with something like a cookbook wouldn't i have to worry about plagarism? It takes a lot of time and testing to get a recipe right. I look to the standard box favorites for what people expect for taste/flaver/texture. I search old books, the net for similar recipies and start working from there. Once i find what "makes them tick" then i can alter away :)
Like the cake; lots of people prefer the box to homemade because it's so light and fluffy, easy to make. I have made tons of cakes, and the home recipies are usually too heavy and take a lot of work. The recipes i have been working on aren't as light as the box, but are soft and moist, and velvety. Best of all, made with oil so it's a quick stir and bake :) I kinda think i like it "in between" better! More moist and don't need an avalanche of frosting! "Cake" took 3 years! Still working on variations!
Brownies are the ultimate, no one has been able to crack the secret of what makes the paper crinkle on the top of the boxed ones.........I came sooooooooooo close once! Cooks illustrated said they did, but their recipe didn't work for me, and several others had wrote in on this as well. Now something like that secret would sell in itself, but then i have to worry about competitors!