New to scratch cakes...advice on picking recipes, long sorry

Baking By springlakecake Updated 3 May 2009 , 1:02am by springlakecake

Ironbaker Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 4:15pm
post #31 of 71

Oh Merissa, I wish I could come to your kitchen to see what's going on. icon_lol.gif
A baker's scale has worked wonders for me! It makes a difference using the weighted measurements. Measuring, overmixing, overbaking...they all play a part in the end result. There are some bad recipes out there but I find that most of the time it's user error. I've gone back to a few recipes I thought were "bad" (before I knew much) and they came out better. I also like to use cake flour when I can...the type of flour makes a big difference in the crumb you get.

The Perfectly Choc. cake recipe is a good one. I like more of a chocolate flavor so I may add some melted chocolate or sub in coffee/kahlua for some of the liquid.

springlakecake Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 5:18pm
post #32 of 71

Thanks for the additional tips! I do want to get the cake bible. (I was supposed to for my b-day. My DH forgot to put the shipping address in when he ordered from amazon. How do they let you order without an address?? Weeks went by and finally amazon contacted us and cancelled the order because of no address. I jsut never got around to re-ordering it.) Anywho...Maybe I will try the Hersheys cake next. What happens if I sub AP for cake flour, do I add or subtract a certain amount?

mija10417 Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 5:30pm
post #33 of 71

I personally never had any luck with the Cake Bible. I followed the recipes to a T but they always come out dry. The Hershey's cake uses AP flour but I find the cake flour gives it a finer, sturdier crumb.

1 Cup of AP Flour = 1 Cup + 2 T. of Cake Flour

Ironbaker Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 5:59pm
post #34 of 71

Yes, you'd subtract a little AP flour if you use it to sub.

I find that some of her recipes (Rose Levy B.) border on being dry - the slightest thing will not turn out in your favor. I definitely have to go by her weights instead of measuring. I tweak a little bit too. (a tbsp or 2 of sour cream on some of them) Like I said, my fav is the white chocolate one, turns out every time for me. Even if you don't use the recipes, the info is valuable.

Another thing, if your cake starts to shrink from the sides while it's still in the oven, it's already overbaked or at least beginning to. It should shrink away after you remove it. I think I got that from her book and have found it to be true.

For cupcakes, I've been addicted to Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I'm not vegan by any standard but a moist cake is a moist cake. Every single one I've made has been delicious! The chocolate recipe in it is now my standard for chocolate cupcakes. I made it on Saturday with a peanut butter cream cheese icing and it was heaven! That particular recipe is online somewhere. Give it a try. There aren't many extras you need, you're just not using butter or eggs. Most of the recipes call for soy or rice milk and I drink both anyway. I'm sure you could still use regular milk if you want...just may need to cut back on the fat a little.

Sorry I'm rambling so much. icon_smile.gif

springlakecake Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 6:07pm
post #35 of 71

Okay a couple of more questions:

When you guys sub butter for oil (or some of it) do you melt it, or just soften?

If a scratch recipe doesnt indicate mixing speed or time what would you recommend?

springlakecake Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 6:16pm
post #36 of 71

http://www.amishrobot.com/recipes/2003/07/

Is this the same recipe for the white chocolate cake your referred to?

Ironbaker Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 6:20pm
post #37 of 71

If you're subbing for oil, I'd melt it. I find that recipes with oil distribute the fat more evenly. But if a recipe just calls for butter, it's softened.

As far as the 2nd question, sometimes it depends on the mixing method. Once flour is introduced to the batter, I usually do not mix more than 1-1 1/2 mins. Scrape the bowl at least once and go for another 20seconds or so. You need to build up the structure but don't overdo it. When eggs are added, I mix for about 15-20sec.

Again, it depends on the mixing instructions of the recipe. If it starts with creaming butter and sugar...get that good and fluffy (about 2 mins).

I usually don't go past the midspeed on my KA...4 I think?

springlakecake Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 6:28pm
post #38 of 71

okay thanks! I am excited to try again! I will let you know how my next endevour turns out.

Ironbaker Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 6:40pm
post #39 of 71

Good luck! What recipe are you going to try?

These are just my tips and what works for me...hopefully, others can chime in with theirs.

Narie Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 9:00pm
post #40 of 71

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sara-moulton/classic-white-cake-recipe/index.html This the white cake I like.

The Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate cake on the back of the Hershey's cocoa box is the same as their Black Magic cake with the alteration of coffee for water and the use of buttermilk. http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?id=4754&page=1&per=25&category_id=13&classics=1&CategoryPage=true#content_area

It uses AP flour rather than cake flour.

springlakecake Posted 24 Nov 2008 , 9:06pm
post #41 of 71

I think maybe either the Hershey's cake or the white chocolate one. Maybe tomorrow...!

springlakecake Posted 25 Nov 2008 , 9:57pm
post #42 of 71

okay the Hersheys cake is in the oven now...gosh the batter was thin. It said it would be, but WOW. I hope I made it right. We will see in about 15 minutes LOL! I like how nice and dark it is though (Dark Chocolate fan here. I used the special dark cocoa) I will let you all know how it turns out!

giraffe11 Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 1:10am
post #43 of 71

I have baked scratch all my life and I too hated the Whimsical bakehouse vanilla cupcakes.......just not good. So, don't worry, it's not you! They do have several other excellent recipes though, so don't write them off entirely.
My favorite chocolate cake is Hershey's Black Magic Cake and yes, the batter is really thin. So good though. And people can't get enough of it. I have a couple of slices in the freezer right now. Maybe it's time for a lil' snack..... lol

Mike1394 Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 9:41am
post #44 of 71

Merissa how did the cake turn out?

For choc I like to use the Toba Garrett recipe that is in the back of her decorating book.

Now that recipe will screw with ya. You just dump everything in the bowl mix it a lil, and pour in the pans. It's a good cake.

Mike

Ironbaker Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 2:49pm
post #45 of 71

Maybe she's in a cake coma.

Mike, I'm still looking for the time and opportunity to try that recipe you gave awhile back...

BCJean Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 5:59pm
post #46 of 71

I bake all of my cakes from scratch because I like the idea of eating without all of the added chemicals. A Twinkie which is good for a year scares me.
I would like to weigh all of my ingredients but how do you know what they should weigh? If I measure out a cup of flour, then weigh it, how do I know it is the correct weight. Does it need to be sifted before measuring it in the cup? Is there a chart which tells what basic ingredients should weigh? If you are using all purpose flour, do all brands weigh out the same?

springlakecake Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 6:34pm
post #47 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

Maybe she's in a cake coma.

Mike, I'm still looking for the time and opportunity to try that recipe you gave awhile back...




LOL! I just finally was able to access this site. I was DYING to tell you!

I think the cake is great! I didnt mess with any substitutions or anything. It was nice and deep chocolate color (which I like), moist and a little dense. It really is about what i am looking for.

HOWEVER... the dang thing totally stuck to the pan...AND THE PARCHEMENT PAPER! WTH?? It really stuck where the batter was poured in. Where it rose it didnt seem to stick. What did I do wrong? I prepared my pans like I normally do. I greased with crisco, dusted with flour and used a parchent circle for the bottom. I also used the bake even strips. It was almost as if the sugar melted right onto the pan. It was really stuck on there. I was super disappointed.

Also doesnt seem like a lot of batter. It suggested to put in 9inch pans. I put it in 8 inch and it didnt really seem like enough. Maybe I would need to double the recipe.

Ironbaker Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 7:05pm
post #48 of 71

icon_lol.gif Oh yeah..the whole site access thing...

Well I'm glad you at least like the taste of this one. I'm stumped on the sticking. I usually just spray the Wilton Bake Easy spray or something similar. And that's it. I'm surprised it stuck to your parchment paper too...

BCJean - there are sites that I refer to that give the weighted measurements of common baking ingredients. I usually refer to those if I don't know off hand. This is a good one I like to go to:

http://pantsblazing.com/convert/vol_weight.php

BCJean Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 7:23pm
post #49 of 71

Thank you Ironbaker
That is exactly what I needed.

springlakecake Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 7:36pm
post #50 of 71

I researched this recipe and it mostly got really good reviews on other sites. Nobody else mentioned the cake sticking....so I guess it is just me icon_cry.gif

Narie Posted 26 Nov 2008 , 9:12pm
post #51 of 71

OK. I use the flour spray around the sides- some of it goes on the bottom but I don't bother deliberately greasing under the paper- and place the parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. When the cake come out of the oven, I immediately set the timer for 10 minutes; when the timer goes off I flip the cakes over onto the cooling racks and remove the the pan. My first thought was that you allowed the cake to cool in the pan. If the grease sets up again, cakes will stick.

springlakecake Posted 27 Nov 2008 , 1:33pm
post #52 of 71

Honestly I dont think I let it cool too long. If anything I flipped it out too soon. I usually wait about 10 minutes as well. I don't know what went on!! I will try it again soon and see if it was a fluke.

springlakecake Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 1:22am
post #53 of 71

I went away for the weekend and left the cake in some tupperware. When I got home it was still sooo good! I am really happy with the cake if I can get it to come out of the pan next time.

moxey2000 Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 1:57am
post #54 of 71

The Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake is my go to fav for all my chocolate cakes. If I had to find one thing wrong with it, it'd be that it's very moist and soft and sometimes can be difficult to ice and decorate. I try to make it the day before so it can settle and I refrigerate it overnight. I love the yummy chocolate flavor in this cake and it's even better if you use 1/2 special dark cocoa thumbs_up.gif
Try this scratch recipe: http://www.cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-4313-0-Vanilla-Butter-Cake-from-The-Mermaid-Bakery.html
It's the only recipe I use. I've tweaked it a bit though since I originally posted it. I now add 1/4 cup more milk and 1 envelope of vanilla pudding. This cake is never dry and taste great even when it's been refrigerated. I live in a very small community and people tell me all the time that even though they don't care for cake if it's one of mine they'll always have a piece icon_biggrin.gif
As for a good cake book, I use The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle. It's has tons of awesome cake, icing, and filling recipes. It also has a lot of information about the science of baking and tips for successful scratch baking. Some of the things I always do: use butter at room temp (heat in microwave on power level 1 till soft), room temp liquid (again heat in microwave till the chill is off), and room temp eggs (place in a bowl of hot tap water while you're getting other items together). These are all equally important things to do. I've found if I skip one then my cake just isn't as good as it can be. I've made my cakes from scratch for so long I could do it in my sleep and I can do it almost as fast as anyone using a box mix! Good luck and keep working on it. You'll find the right recipe and get your process down and then it'll be easy thumbs_up.gif

steplite Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 2:14am
post #55 of 71

I bake from scratch most of the time but I like DH golden butter recipe and DH white mix done with the extender. I always use softasilk cake flour and White Lily AP flour. I sift first then measure. This is a very important first step. Just scooping out three cups of flour with out sifting first will give you much more than three cups which will lead to a heavy cake. Never over mix after all the flour has been added. I like the yellow cake recipe on www.wrens cottage.com (From Karen's Kitchen) It uses the reverse creaming method. This cake comes out perfect everytime. Also Slyvia Weinstock's Classic yellow cake is very good also. Hope this helps.

steplite Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 2:19am
post #56 of 71

I bake from scratch most of the time but I like DH golden butter recipe and DH white mix done with the extender. I always use softasilk cake flour and White Lily AP flour. I sift first then measure. This is a very important first step. Just scooping out three cups of flour with out sifting first will give you much more than three cups which will lead to a heavy cake. Never over mix after all the flour has been added. I like the yellow cake recipe on www.wrens cottage.com (From Karen's Kitchen) It uses the reverse creaming method. This cake comes out perfect everytime. Also Slyvia Weinstock's Classic yellow cake is very good also. Hope this helps.

steplite Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 2:19am
post #57 of 71

I bake from scratch most of the time but I like DH golden butter recipe and DH white mix done with the extender. I always use softasilk cake flour and White Lily AP flour. I sift first then measure. This is a very important first step. Just scooping out three cups of flour with out sifting first will give you much more than three cups which will lead to a heavy cake. Never over mix after all the flour has been added. I like the yellow cake recipe on www.wrens cottage.com (From Karen's Kitchen) It uses the reverse creaming method. This cake comes out perfect everytime. Also Slyvia Weinstock's Classic yellow cake is very good also. Hope this helps.

steplite Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 2:19am
post #58 of 71

I bake from scratch most of the time but I like DH golden butter recipe and DH white mix done with the extender. I always use softasilk cake flour and White Lily AP flour. I sift first then measure. This is a very important first step. Just scooping out three cups of flour with out sifting first will give you much more than three cups which will lead to a heavy cake. Never over mix after all the flour has been added. I like the yellow cake recipe on www.wrens cottage.com (From Karen's Kitchen) It uses the reverse creaming method. This cake comes out perfect everytime. Also Slyvia Weinstock's Classic yellow cake is very good also. Hope this helps.

Narie Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 3:19am
post #59 of 71
Quote:
Quote:

HOWEVER... the dang thing totally stuck to the pan...AND THE PARCHEMENT PAPER! WTH?? It really stuck where the batter was poured in. Where it rose it didnt seem to stick.




It really stuck where the batter was poured in??? Where it rose it didn't seem to stick??? Humm... where did you pour the batter in? The batter is very thin if you poured it in near the side of the pan, could the batter have run under the parchment paper? If that is what happened, you would have had an interesting mess to deal with. The reason I asked that is most cake raise in the center and you said it it stuck where you poured it in but not where it rose. If that is what happened, pour the batter into the center of the pan and just give it a shake to level it out.

springlakecake Posted 3 Dec 2008 , 1:36am
post #60 of 71

OKAY...so I made the hershey's cake again. I have a friends birthday this week and I thought I would try it again. I really took my time, greased, floured, parchemented...and it stuck again!! Definitely not as much this time. I managed to get my 5 inchers out, but the 7 inch cake stuck enough that it wasnt salvagable. Where it stuck it was like a sugar glue! I baked some cupcakes with leftover batter and the tops are really sticky and sugary. I think I have given up on this recipe icon_sad.gif
all right, what's next?? icon_biggrin.gif

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