There are copyright laws that govern the sharing the recipes of others and, whenever possible, permission should be sort before doing so. In the event that the author is not contactable, credit should be given or a source should be quoted but if the person does contact you, you as the writer of the blog post or article, should be ready to withdraw the piece should permission not be given. This is how I understand the laws. I stand to be corrected though and I say that cringing because I don’t know how much trouble I can get into by what I have shared on this site already. (Eek!!)
After thinking about it for a while and once I got over the complete sense of paralysis about where to from here (since I am “not allowed” to share the recipes of others) I realized that the answer is developing my own. While most recipes I post up here have been tweaked to my preferences, I don’t think I can ever call them my own. The thing is, baking is a science. This means that no matter how long you have had the recipe (if it was your great, great, great, great grandmothers famous chocolate cake) and you can’t trace the origins or if it was something that you have developed yourself from scratch, ever recipe for a baked treat will follow the same formula.
If you are making a sponge cake you will have a particular ratio of flour & sugar to butter and eggs and if you are making a chiffon cake you will have something different. In order for the recipe to work, all recipes of this nature will follow this formula in various ratios. This brings me to the question, when can you honestly and truly say that a recipe is your own which implies free of any outside influence?
I made an apple crumble this weekend and I used someone’s recipe for crumble bars for the base and topping and someone’s method (sort of) for the filling. Is this my apple crumble recipe now? I don’t know. I will post the recipe as soon as I make it again since it was gobbled up before I could take a picture so sorry to disappoint you. If you are looking for a recipe though I refer you to a few posts ago where I did a Chocolate Chiffon Cake from a recipe of unknown origins that I found sometime in 2011.
Best chocolate cake in South Africa recipe competition
This brings me to a press release that I received today. The Sunday Times is looking for the Best chocolate cake in South Africa and is running a competition where you get to share your recipe. For more information, get the Food Weekly supplement available in the Sunday Times by 27 August 2013 (so you will need to get your hands on last weeks newspaper) to stand a chance of winning a top of the range Elba stove and R10 000 in cash. The Food Weekly team will test the top 20 recipes and choose 6 to participate in a live bake off in Sandton City on the 14 September 2013.
I have been very careful to never call anything I post here “the world’s best” because I have over 30 recipes for chocolate cake (that’s just what I have collected from 2010) and that was choosing “the best” from various internet sites. I have tried many of them. Some flopped…some were great but I have yet to find something I would call “the best”. I happen to have a recipe for an amazing chocolate Amarula mud cake from a friend but I can’t share the recipe because she uses this recipe to make wedding cakes and it would jeopardise her business.
So, if you think you have an amazing recipe for chocolate cake, please get your entry to the Sunday Times ASAP and I can’t wait to here how it turns out. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the whole content/recipe ownership thing and whether baking recipes are exempt because it is science. I am definitely no expert and I’m always willing to learn and grow .