Box or Scratch???

Baking By carflea Updated 26 Jul 2006 , 2:02pm by MariaLovesCakes

windoverm Posted 26 May 2006 , 1:56pm
post #31 of 75

I think the most important thing is that we are baking!!! It is just so much fun and it shows you care. Scratch or box baking is just plain fun!!
I think moms should teach their kids to cook, regardless of if they do box or scratch. They love to help mom in the kitchen. Even when it doesn't feel like help sometimes!! icon_wink.gif

jen1977 Posted 26 May 2006 , 1:58pm
post #32 of 75

I started out all scratch, but tried a boxed butter cake in a pinch, and everyone LOVED it...no one could tell. I still bake from scratch for home sometimes, but all the cakes I sell are box, unless it's carrot, I still dothat scratch. I consider myself a baker, even if using a box...I still bake cookies and everything else scratch, and was a baker before I ever considered decorating anything. I say kuddos to those who have been lucky enough to find reliable scratch recipes, and kuddos to those who use boxes and everyone loves them. I don't think there is a right or wrong on this.

carflea Posted 26 May 2006 , 2:00pm
post #33 of 75

For all those scratchers, do you have a fav. book you go from. I heard Cake Bible... ANything else?

dailey Posted 26 May 2006 , 2:57pm
post #34 of 75

oh, okay. you're talking about the "technical" term of a baker. actually, many of the decorators i know *hate* to bake, i think people think they go hand-in-hand, which is not the case. did you feel i was "trying" to make you feel inferior cause you used a mix? that was not my intention, as a matter of fact, i've pretty much decided to stick with doctored mixes for my customers, they seem to like them and i can focus all my attention on decorating cakes. i'm gonna post a recipe that i think would please both the scratch and box BAKER. very rich, dense and flavorful (like a scratch cake) with the ease and reliability of a box. best of both worlds.



white cake mix
small box of of vanilla instant pudding
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water + 2 TB
8 ounces of softened cream cheese
1 tea. vanilla
3/4 cup oil
3 eggs

preheat oven to 350, grease and flour 9 inch pans. in large bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding and sugar. make well in the center and add rest of ingredients and mix for 4 min.

Rodneyck Posted 26 May 2006 , 3:00pm
post #35 of 75

Everyone always refers to the cake bible and it is a wonderful reference (her mousilline buttercream is the best, but some of her cakes are not all that good, mostly a bit on the dry side. Don't get wrong, I am a big fan of RLB and btw, currently she is working on a new cake book (a friend asked her personally), but there are better "recipes" out there.

I have created my own cake cookbook, spending time breaking down cakes by categories and then doing test cakes when I can to compare recipes and find the best of the bunch. This, through lots of eating, sweat and dough, has produced my favorite cake book.

So, I would suggest finding recipe recommendations, narrowing them down, looking at ingredients (best chocolate cakes are the ones with a high liquid ratio) and start testing. You might want to start by checking out what the pastry chefs have to say on the matter at egullet.com. Cake central is to the home baker what egullet is to the culinary world.

boonenati Posted 26 May 2006 , 11:12pm
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by carflea

For all those scratchers, do you have a fav. book you go from. I heard Cake Bible... ANything else?



carflea
I bake only from scratch, I used a little book called "The Women's weekly Chocolate Cakes" to start off.
I took one recipe out of there and came up with about 8 of my own. Most of the flavours I offer on my website are my own recipes. I just like to put in as much effort into designing a cake as designing a recipe.
By the way I dont consider myself a baker, i thought you needed special training for that, here in Australia you need to do a 4 year apprenticeship to become a baker. All i've done is potter around in my kitchen inventin stuff that goes well together.
Nati icon_biggrin.gif

dailey Posted 27 May 2006 , 1:25am
post #37 of 75

well, i hate to break it to you nati but your a baker, at least according to the definition in the dictionary. i think you're confusing "baker" with a pastry chef. icon_biggrin.gif

snicker Posted 27 May 2006 , 1:34am
post #38 of 75

dailey,
thanks so much for sharing that recipe, i cant wait to try it!!!

Nicole

mrsfish94 Posted 27 May 2006 , 1:34am
post #39 of 75

Nati...

I just checked out your site!!! WOW!!! your cakes are wonderful!!!

Do you mind if I use some of your ideas????

So pretty!!!

Loucinda Posted 27 May 2006 , 2:47am
post #40 of 75

Dailey - thanks for that recipe....I never have put cream cheese into one of the cakes (but sure have used a ton of it in my cheese cakes.....which are alll "scratch" icon_wink.gif )

Lisa - you said it best! Thanks!! thumbs_up.gif

boonenati Posted 27 May 2006 , 5:50am
post #41 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsfish94

Nati...

I just checked out your site!!! WOW!!! your cakes are wonderful!!!

Do you mind if I use some of your ideas????

So pretty!!!



Thanks mrsfish94
You are more than welcome to use any of my ideas.
Show me when you're done icon_biggrin.gif
Nati

Happygrl Posted 27 May 2006 , 5:58am
post #42 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcrew

Dailey - thanks for that recipe....I never have put cream cheese into one of the cakes




I started using cream cheese in my box mixes several mnths ago after one of the recipes in the Cake Mix Doctor Cupcakes book. Its similar to the one Dailey posted but not exact. It has been VERY well-received and that has become my standard mix and several of my other flavors have branched off of it.

rezzygirl Posted 27 May 2006 , 6:11am
post #43 of 75

I use enhanced cake mix formula all the time, but I'm going to try the cream cheese recipe! Sounds good! Does the cream cheese affect the flavor?

boonenati Posted 27 May 2006 , 6:55am
post #44 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by dailey

well, i hate to break it to you nati but your a baker, at least according to the definition in the dictionary. i think you're confusing "baker" with a pastry chef. icon_biggrin.gif



Oh no, pastry chef training is even longer than baker training. But it may be different in different countries. Here you have to be a chef first and then do the specialized training to be a pastry chef. This is the training required to be a baker in Australia.
http://www.bhtafe.edu.au/Courses/HT3BA.htm
Cheers
Nati

dky Posted 27 May 2006 , 9:34am
post #45 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by boonenati


All i've done is potter around in my kitchen inventin stuff that goes well together.
Nati icon_biggrin.gif




I think we should call you master inventor if you won't take the official title of baker.... lol.. your a genius and artist.

karen

dailey Posted 27 May 2006 , 3:38pm
post #46 of 75

your welcome! you can't "taste" the cream cheese, it just makes the cake rich and dense. another variation that i like is substituting a butter cake mix, or even yellow and replacing the oil with a stick of butter. this particular recipe is a favorite among 2 of my repeat customers. lastly, you should bake this cake at 325 as opposed to 350 as i had previously stated, sorry! this will help ensure the cake bakes more evenly as the addition of cream cheese makes it sink a bit. i'm actually going to try this recipe next week substituting crushed strawberries for the water, i have yet to find a strawberry cake that i enjoy.

KakesandKids Posted 27 May 2006 , 3:54pm
post #47 of 75

I bake from only from scratch and get consistent, moist and yummy results every time. I have "my own" cookbook where I have all my recipes I have used for years and years and those are all I use. That's just how I grew up and still do it. I think the trick is to get a good set of recipes and stick to them. There are SO many to choose from and most are just not so good which can be discouraging to people trying to bake from scratch. Many times it not the baker, or that its from scratch its the recipe that is faulty. Of course sometimes, it is just personal taste.

That being said.... I love cake and as long as it tastes good I will eat it icon_smile.gif.....scratch. doctored, straight mix....whatever as long as its good! Me+Cake=Love icon_smile.gif

leta Posted 29 May 2006 , 4:18am
post #48 of 75

The most important thing is: We get to eat our mistakes!

I like scratch baking. I checkout books from the library and try the recipes. When I have to keep re-checking a book out, I ask for the book as a gift from family members for the next bday, christmas, mothers day, whatever.

Baking is Chemistry. It's hard, you have to get it right. In the back of the Cake Bible it explains about different ingredients and ratios and what each ingredient does for the cake.

My fave books so far are:

Whimsical Bakehouse -- for choc chip pound cake and IMBC
The Well Decorated Cake -- awesome Choc fudge and yellow cake
Sylvia Weinstock's Sweet Celebrations--Lady Baltimore white cake and Chocolate mouse that takes about 10 different bowls/pans and has about 16 steps.

Mrs Fish--I messed up IMBC at least 3 times before I got the hang of it.

Happy Baking!

carflea Posted 30 May 2006 , 12:59pm
post #49 of 75

Hey have any of you tried Alton Browns book. He is mr food science.... I may like that one more.

Rodneyck Posted 30 May 2006 , 4:18pm
post #50 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by leta


Whimsical Bakehouse -- for choc chip pound cake and IMBC




Also, the Whimsical Bakehouse's yellow cake recipe is suppose to be good. I have it down to test for my next yellow cake. Have you tried it?

cookielicious Posted 30 May 2006 , 9:06pm
post #51 of 75

I wasn't thrilled with the Whimsical Cake House yellow cake recipe, but I'm not exactly thrilled with my baking skills either! I cannot, for the life of me, bake a good, consistent scratch cake. Maybe it's me, maybe it's my oven. Who knows? But I keep trying though!

greenhorn Posted 30 May 2006 , 9:31pm
post #52 of 75

Although it sounds as if many of you are tired of this subject, I thank you for all of the different view points. I just arrived home from work and pulled a box of mix out so that I could bake this evening and decorate to unwind. I am very new to decorating and it is my stress relief. I was thrilled to see this topic . I have a full time job and 5 children. I think doctoring a box is a perfect alternative for me at this point. Does anyone else have any doctoring recipes they could share or point me in the right direction?

Rodneyck Posted 30 May 2006 , 10:00pm
post #53 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by wcgirl

I wasn't thrilled with the Whimsical Cake House yellow cake recipe, but I'm not exactly thrilled with my baking skills either! I cannot, for the life of me, bake a good, consistent scratch cake. Maybe it's me, maybe it's my oven. Who knows? But I keep trying though!




LOL... I say it is your oven. I bet you can bake the best of cakes. Do you own a separate oven thermometer? I find this is the best thing when all else fails, the oven being the culprit. Baking at 325 for a bit longer rather than 350 like most directions say is another useful hint. Chocolate cakes can be baked at 300 to 325. I find chocolate burns easily during baking, which is why you get that weird taste sometimes in chocolate cakes. I always pull all my cakes when there are crumbs on the toothpick (this is what you want) because cakes continue to bake even out of the oven. What you don't want is cake batter on the pick.

I hope that helps.

fosterscreations Posted 31 May 2006 , 2:30am
post #54 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcrew

Quote:
Quote:

i wouldn't exactly call a person who strictly uses mixes a "baker",



So....what would you call someone who measures and adds their ingredients into a bowl and then bakes them in their oven??? I think anyone who spends valuable time to mix and bake and then decorate their own creations is indeed a BAKER/DECORATOR. Because a mix is used does NOT make them any less of a baker. It is not right that some people try to make others feel inferior because they choose to use a mix. (just my opinion)




Exactly as we all know that most Grocery store "BAKERIES" use either bulk mixes or better yet frozen pre-baked cakes are they not bakers?

I use mixes for everything except my Angel Food and my Chocolate Mayonnaise cake.

I doctor the mixes and my customers love them. I use 3 jumbo eggs which is about the same as 4 regular eggs. And I embellish with pudding mix and various flavorings and add ins depending on the flavor.

I too consider myself a baker even though I use mixed for most of my cakes.

fosterscreations Posted 31 May 2006 , 2:37am
post #55 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodneyck

Everyone always refers to the cake bible and it is a wonderful reference (her mousilline buttercream is the best, but some of her cakes are not all that good, mostly a bit on the dry side. Don't get wrong, I am a big fan of RLB and btw, currently she is working on a new cake book (a friend asked her personally), but there are better "recipes" out there.

I have created my own cake cookbook, spending time breaking down cakes by categories and then doing test cakes when I can to compare recipes and find the best of the bunch. This, through lots of eating, sweat and dough, has produced my favorite cake book.




Is your book for sale. Where would one find good tried and true scratch recipes.

Naty Posted 3 Jun 2006 , 3:16am
post #56 of 75

For me, it is more rewarding to bake (and frost) from scratch....especially if its a carrot cake.

Naty

CherryMerry Posted 3 Jun 2006 , 3:22am
post #57 of 75

The most reliable cakes for me have always been rom the Magnolia Cookbook and More from Magnolia. I also have some vintage Softasilk recipe books that work great, but the Magnolia ones always come out fluffy, moist and tasty- not bland and dry and crumbly like many homemade cakes.

I do use boxed cake mixes often, though- most people expect them.

missyjo30 Posted 3 Jun 2006 , 3:35am
post #58 of 75

I have a real problem keeping scratch cakes moist!!! Anyone know any secrets????? I do have a recipie with a doctored mix and it is so moist and fluffy, probably my best tasting one. The only problem I have experienced with my doctored cake mix recipie is that they are not dense enough to use to stack (like for a wedding cake). Any hints on how to keep a cake moist I would appreciate!!!

Loucinda Posted 3 Jun 2006 , 4:06am
post #59 of 75

Most scratch bakers use some kind of simple syrup that they spoon/pour/spray on the cakes to give them some moisture.

I perfer the cake mix route - the almond white cake that squirrlleycakes uses is the perfect consistency - dense but still very moist and delicious. (and uses a mix as it's base)

boonenati Posted 3 Jun 2006 , 5:35am
post #60 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by missyjo30

I have a real problem keeping scratch cakes moist!!! Anyone know any secrets????? I do have a recipie with a doctored mix and it is so moist and fluffy, probably my best tasting one. The only problem I have experienced with my doctored cake mix recipie is that they are not dense enough to use to stack (like for a wedding cake). Any hints on how to keep a cake moist I would appreciate!!!



missyjo30, i would suggest checking the temperature of your oven. I have lots of scratch cake recipes that i make all the time that do not require any syrup or extra moisture added to them, they are super moist as they are. I had a friend that only bakes from scratch as well and when she tried my recipes they always turned out dry. It turns out, that after she bought herself an oven themometer that her oven was too hot, it was showing one temperature and baking at 20 degrees celcius higher!!!
If you have an issue like this, this would be the reason why your cakes are not moist.
cheers
Nati

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