Making gourmet Doritos is this pastry chef's greatest challenge yet

The stakes are high for Claire Saffitz, the pastry chef helming the show Gourmet Makes on Bon Appétit, but her standards “have lowered.” 

After attempting to recreate various confounding junk food treats, Saffitz takes on arguably her biggest challenge of the series — the classic Dorito (Nacho Cheese flavor, not Cool Ranch.) 

From the beginning, there are doubts from her coworkers — and herself — that she will be able to nail the classic cheesy bite. She compares it to attempting to re-create Coca-Cola, with a tightly-guarded, lab-made secret flavor. 

To make the flavored powder, Saffitz needs to recreate the ingredient listed in Doritos. She tweaks all possible combinations of spices, and jokes about creating a “Dorito Spice Blend” (ala the Trader Joe’s everything bagel seasoning) that they would “probably” end in a lawsuit.

The attempts to find the perfect airiness that the original tortilla chip is known for is stressful. She plays around with everything from drying time, to oven heat, to frying oil temp. After the last batch comes out overdone, Saffitz moves through the “seven stages of grief into acceptance” and tries again the next day.  

In the end though, she says it feels awesome and gratifying to recreate something that could seemingly only be produced through sheer science. 

After all, it wouldn’t be Gourmet Makes if Saffitz didn’t suffer through the process at least a little.

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