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How to work with percentages within a recipe?

We all have our different techniques, habits and preferences when it comes to cooking or pastry.

For me, I live to work and talk in percentages for my recipes. So, in mine, each weigh has a percentage of the total weight.

There are numerous advantages.

For example, this enables me to have a quick overview of what is inside, but also to compare two recipes to see their difference in terms of percentage of sugar, pectin or puree.


  • Let us have a look at some examples where percentages are used :

Raspberry Coulis :

88,5% Raspberry puree (10% sugar)
1,5% Pectin 325NH95 (Louis François)
10% Caster sugar
100% Total


This coulis recipe is in percentages, to transform in grams, just start from the total mass that you want and make your calculations.

For 1 kg of coulis it will give you the following :

885 g Raspberry puree (10% sugar)
15 g Pectin 325NH95 (Louis François)
100 g Caster sugar
1000g Total


For the bonus, I’ll give you the method of preparation for the raspberry coulis :

Heat puree to 50°C, add pectin mixed with sugar. Blend with a hand blender. Heat to 85°C.

In this recipe is possible to change the percentage of pectin used.

For this if we reduce the pectin to 1% (for a less hold) the puree will need to be increased to 89,5%.

  • Another example of the value of working with percentages in a recipe is comparing ingredients.

I have noted two brownie recipes below, thanks to this operation I can choose according to the fat that I want of the sugar level that suits me best :

Chocolate brownie :

A B Ingrédients
 – 8,6% Couverture Galaxie Noir 67% (Weiss)
12 % 8,6%

Cocoa paste (Couverture 100% without sugar)

16% 12,5% Butter 82% fat
14% 11% Eggs
 –  6,8% Cream 35% fat
 28,7% 16,9% Rawunrefinedsugar
 0,3%  0,3% Salt
11,5%  7,5% Flour (or gluten free flour mixture)
 –  7% Almond powder
 17,5% 17,5% Nuts (Pecans, almonds, pistachios)
 100% 100% Total


Method A :

Melt couverture with butter to approx. 45°C.

Mix eggs with sugar and salt.

Add egg mixture into chocolate base.

Finish with flour and roasted nuts.

Spread and bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness.

We can see the difference directly between the two recipes for each ingredient to better compare before deciding which recipe to test.

Method B :

Melt couverture with cocoa paste and butter to 45°C.

Mix eggs with sugar and salt before adding into melted chocolate.

Add flour and almond powder. Finish with roasted nuts.

Spread out and bake at 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness.


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Écrit par Richard Hawke

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