Do I avoid the "do you use a mix" question??

Business By jessieb578 Updated 2 Jul 2008 , 3:07pm by FromScratch

-K8memphis Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 10:38pm
post #151 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petit-four

...Anyway -- I sort of feel I am re-stating things, but since the OP is in my area, I thought I should mention that (at least my inspector) was very, very clear and insistent that we must answer each and every question about content. I suppose a legal answer to the OP's original question would be: "I list my ingredients on my box. Please check them if you have any concerns."...




No no no I read your posts I mean do you or does anyone know about BHT the preservative that is not generally included in the ingredients because it is indeed not an ingredient. It used to be used on the packaging literally used on the box and packaging especially for cereal products as I recall.

BHT--anyone?

moreCakePlz Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 11:23pm
post #152 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by


Scratch baking is when you use basic ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, milk, etc. to bake something that is chemical and preservative-free. That's the basic reason for scratch baking in my case, I don't like the preservatives and the chemicals, and contrary to what many people here have posted, I can tell the difference between scratch and a mix.




Okay, with all the talk about box mixes containing preservative, chemicals and nasty artificial stuff I made a list to compare the twoâ¦

First - the ingredient list from a boxed brownie mix:
Sugar
Enriched Bleached Flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
Chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin (emulsifier), vanilla)
Canola Oil
Natural Cocoa
Cocoa (processed with alkali)
Wheat starch
Salt
Artificial Flavor
Sodium Bicarbonate
Add: Eggs & Water

Second - the ingredient list for scratch brownies:
Sugar
Enriched-Bleached AP Flour (Bleached wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
Semi-sweet chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, vanillin-an artificial flavor, natural flavor)
Canola Oil
Cocoa ( cocoa, cocoa processed with alkali)
Salt
Bacarbonate of Soda (cornstarch, bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate)
Eggs
Water

The only difference I can find between the two is the âWheat Starchâ in the box mix. The box mix also has individual component label âartificial flavorâ but the scratch version has âartificial flavorâ in the chocolate chips so I guess they even out.

So how do I identify the preservatives? Which ingredient in the box mix gives it a noticeable chemical taste?

costumeczar Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 11:46pm
post #153 of 267

I actually find that brownies are the only thing that I can eat from a mix and like, so this doesn't surprise me (I do usually dump half a bag of chocolate chips into them, however! thumbs_up.gif ). All I know is that when I used boxed cake mixes for the kindergarten heathens and washed the dishes it took forever to get the gummy mess off the pans and beaters, etc. Scratch cakes don't take as long to clean up. That's because of the gums and other things they have to put into mixes to give the consumer a consistent result.

Cakes and brownies are different animals...I can't say for sure because I don't have a mix in front of me, but if you compare those you'll probably find more differences. Cake mixes are made so that the average whoever can dump the ingredients in a bowl and mix them up for a consistent result. They wouldn't be able to stay in business if they were selling a product that didn't result in the same product each time. IMO, the result is a gummier texture and a blander flavor, which is probably why people dress the mixes up by adding other stuff. I prefer scratch to avoid the gummy texture of the finished cake.

And k8memphis, I think that most Americans have palates of cardboard, so you're right that people probably can't tell the difference. Since mixes for a lot of things came out in the 60's and 70's, most adults haven't grown up knowing the difference, because they just don't know there is an option. When the standard of a birthday cake is Walmart and Costco it's a sad thing, but people actually think that it's the standard. My neighbor just finished telling me about this "delicious" Walmart cake they got for a party... icon_lol.gif

chutzpah Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 11:52pm
post #154 of 267

Oh believe you me, having a cardboard palate is definately NOT an American exclusivity. Cardboard palates are everywhere..... every nationality, skin color, social class, religion....

Petit-four Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:04am
post #155 of 267

Hi everyone...

k8: it looks like industries are getting away from using the BHT in the packaging. But you are right -- you do see it marked on cereal boxes, etc. icon_confused.gif

http://www.allbusiness.com/manufacturing/plastics-rubber-products-manufacturing/314651-1.html


Anyway...here's something on colorings (which I know is in DH yellow cake mix, ergo, under NYS law, must go on our box too):

http://chemistry.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Elrd/foodaddi.html


Q. Does FD&C Yellow No.5 cause allergic reactions?

A. FD&C Yellow No.5, or tartrazine, is used to color beverages, desert powders, candy ice cream, custards and other foods. The color additive may cause hives in fewer than one out of 10,000 people. By law, whenever the color is added to foods or taken internally, it must be listed on the label. This allows the small portion of people who may be sensitive to FD&C Yellow No.5 to avoid it.

So...yes, if someone can be allergic, all the more reason to mention it. Wilton has an easy to print out list of all of it's colorings I use

Here's a quote which I think sums it up:

"If you have a food allergy, you really have to alter your life," Tollefson says. "You have to really read labels, and really be careful about what you eat."

see: http://chemistry.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/wh%2Dalrg1.html

Please, I am not saying use a mix, or do scratch ... I am just trying to point out the legal, ethical, and good business reasons to be as clear as we can about labeling. For me (as I wrote earlier) I found myself looking for "simpler" products, because it seemed less typing (and less liability) for me. thumbs_up.gif

Hope we're all ok with this. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:05am
post #156 of 267

Okay, I can go with that, palates of cardboard are a worldwide phenomena. I just like seeing the little light that comes on when people try a well-baked scratch cake with IMBC on it instead of the crisco buttercream (or should I say But'R'Creme, liek they spell it at Sam's Club?) icon_wink.gif Although I will say that I do offer both crisco buttercream and the IMBC since that's a personal preference thing and some people just want to eat those sweet globs of crisco-ey goodness (?) icon_lol.gif

Hey, by the way chutzpah, where have you been lately? I haven't seen as many of your posts lately. I've been working, myself, but now June wedding hell is over, yay!

-K8memphis Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:16am
post #157 of 267

Duncan Hines like I mentioned recently here somewhere was a real dude. He was like a one man Consumer Reports for eating establishments at the time and he published restaurant guides and eventually went into marketing products that he endorsed. The public held him in high regard because he was a man of his word. If Duncan Hines endorsed a product it was golden y'know? It would be like a huge endorsement for him to shine his light on you and he was upright about it.

Duncan Hines cake mix hit the market in 1951.

Isn't that interesting how his name was synonymous with excellence and how his product is considered by some today?

chutzpah Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:18am
post #158 of 267

Halloooo costumeczar.... we were in Michigan for eight days and got home on late on tues, then it was up early on wednesday for work and non-stop since then.... blah. I need a vaca from my vaca.

costumeczar Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:20am
post #159 of 267

I'm sure that the Duncan Hines company has either been sold twenty times between 1951 and now, or they've changed the formulas for their mixes many times since then. Maybe the old dude is rolling in his grave, but his mixes are still gummy!

-K8memphis Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:30am
post #160 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I'm sure that the Duncan Hines company has either been sold twenty times between 1951 and now, or they've changed the formulas for their mixes many times since then. Maybe the old dude is rolling in his grave, but his mixes are still gummy!




Nobody's saying you ain't entitled.

There's some of us who say we can't make a scratch cake to save our lives and the opposite obviously is true as well. Nobody faults anybody for not being able to bake like the next.

I found this about Betty:

"1940s: It takes almost a decade to develop cake mix. Beginning in 1943, the Betty Crocker labs and kitchens spent four intensive years creating and researching cake mixes. Layer cake mixes were sent to consumer kitchens for additional testing. An unexpected result: consumer testers preferred to add some of their own fresh ingredients in order to make the cake more genuine. Powdered eggs were removed from the mixes, and the cake mix directions called for adding two fresh eggs instead."

icon_lol.gif high five icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:45am
post #161 of 267

If anyone has an interest in more cake mix history, which by the way it was first introduced in the 1920's I stumbled upon this link--really cool reading.

http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodcakes.html

scroll down a bit to cake mix

And Indy was right--mixes were/are perceived as too easy.

costumeczar Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:46am
post #162 of 267

My, how this thread has degenerated...What was the original question??? icon_lol.gif

I love how they keep updating the Betty Crocker logo periodically to better represent "The Modern Woman." I think they should make the next one a logo of a harried-looking woman with a cell phone who's calling for take-out! They could put the slogan "I've got your Crocker right here!" underneath it.

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:58am
post #163 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I love how they keep updating the Betty Crocker logo periodically to better represent "The Modern Woman."




I noticed they did this to Aunt Jemima some years ago, too.
Thank goodness Col. Sanders is still the same friendly face I grew up with!

costumeczar Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:01am
post #164 of 267

But it's not Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore, it's KFC (like that fools anyone!) Fried is a baaaaaad word, don'tcha know...

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:04am
post #165 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

But it's not Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore, it's KFC (like that fools anyone!) Fried is a baaaaaad word, don'tcha know...



At least they recognized how stupid the "our chicken is healthy!" advertising campaign was and dropped it like a balloon wiht a big hole in it!

-K8memphis Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:05am
post #166 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

But it's not Kentucky Fried Chicken anymore, it's KFC (like that fools anyone!) Fried is a baaaaaad word, don'tcha know...




Yeah we are like lost sheep wandering far-er astray here

But the name was changed to delete the 'Kentucky' part not the 'fried' part if memory serves.

indydebi Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:08am
post #167 of 267

k8, you are so right! Here's the snopes story! http://www.snopes.com/lost/kfc.asp

The reasoning is so interesting! A great story!

bobwonderbuns Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:23am
post #168 of 267

Jessie, I haven't read the whole thread, but this is what I tell people who question me (I'm a box mix baker myself): "I never discuss my recipes with clients. You've tasted them, you've enjoyed them. Period." IF they persist I tell them that "some are started with a commercial starter but they are all scratch recipes." I say that with confidence too because if you call DH or BC or Pillsbury, and you tell them you have doctored their cake mix in any way, they consider it to be a scratch cake from that point on. No harm, no foul! icon_lol.gif

dandelion56602 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 3:12am
post #169 of 267

I've only gotten 1/2 way through the posts & I have to run away from the computer for awhile.

I too use mixes & just feel like people think they shouldn't pay you what you ask b/c you use a mix & "they can do that themselves". I know they can't decorate like me though...another subject.

But my ? is what do you do if it's not a client. Eg. At my dd's bday party I was getting soooo many compliments on how moist the chocolate cake was & then I'm asked "so how do you make your cakes, what do you do to make them so moist, do you start from a mix, etc". I just said I try so many different recipes ( & I do b/c I'm trying to get a set of recipes to use). But everything I do is docotored, not just a box. So, I do start w/ a box but it's more than that. So, my thing is I don't want them thinking that I open a box, pour in water, oil & eggs & bake when I don't. It's not fair for others to assume that we take the "easy way out", b/c it's taken me just as long to find my doctored mixes that I like as it has for scratch bakers to find their recipes. Plus, everything else I do is from scratch (cookies & desserts) & I wish I could honestly say I make everything from scratch

eiyapet Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 4:04am
post #170 of 267

I use DH mix in my bakery also and our clients rave about our cakes. We tell them we start with a basic mix and add when we need to for flavors and such. We usually do not add to a flavor that DH carries, but we wrap them in Press and Seal while they are still warm and it locks in a lot of moisture. We constantly hear that we have the moistest cakes ever (not that we tell anyone how we do it LOL). My problem is we do a lot of sculpted work and the moistness of the cake usually causes it to fall apart. Has anyone had any luck adding to a DH mix to get a stiffer cake that still tastes good?

MaisieBake Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 4:08am
post #171 of 267
Quote:
Quote:

Which ingredient in the box mix gives it a noticeable chemical taste?




Try posting the ingredient list for a box of cake mix instead if you're going to argue from ingredient lists.

Here's one: http://www.generalmills.com/corporate/brands/product_image.aspx?catID=24401&itemID=2072

Propylene glycol monoesters of fatty acids? Distilled monoglycerides? What ARE those?

Shakti Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 5:44am
post #172 of 267

Well I've been testing out tons of recipes the past few weeks from scratch because our bakery is not a from scratch bakery anymore, and I cannot find one recipe that lives up to our mix. We use Pillsbury mixes that come in great big 50lb bags, and just add oil and water. I found our old recipes from when we were a 'from scratch' bakery, and it was all flour, fluid flex, sweetex, egg-yellow food coloring to make it look like it has more eggs than it does, liquid egg substitute, 'just add water' milk-from-a-can, etc...

Honestly, I prefer oil and water and cake mix to all that crap. I was aghast at how little actual FOOD there was in our cakes. But if you think about it, fluid flex and egg shade and flour and all that is already figured into the mix, it's the same exact recipe. So what difference is there, really? Honestly, it was pretty much imperceptible when we 'made the switch' to mixes.

Our mix is softer in texture than any from scratch recipe could be because of the fluid flex and other additives, and it bakes evener, and it's more stable, and it's perfectly firm enough to be able to be sculpted into awesome shapes and designs, it holds tiered shapes well, aw hell, it even freezes well. REALLY well. I can eat it frozen and it still tastes good to me! We go through it fast enough that it's never old sitting in the freezer, anyway.

So, why fix it if it ain't broke? I don't know. Baking is a science and if you are not a culinary arts grad with a firm knowledge in the chemistry of baking I personally would not attempt to make cakes from scratch, especially when I have such a high volume of cakes. No shame.

As for customers, I don't really know what to tell them because none of them ask me (then again, I'm hiding in the back decorating most of the time, with store girls dealing with people) AND THAT'S HOW I LIKE IT! hehe

FromScratch Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:37pm
post #173 of 267

No ownder why your scratch cakes were icky.. they have all of that artificial stuff in them. All of my recipes have real ingredients.. real eggs, real butter, real milk or buttermilk.. with all of that artificial nonsense in your recipies I can see why they wouldn't be better than a box.. they basically are a mix minus some of the gums.

jessieb578 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:41pm
post #174 of 267

Geez people - it's cake, not a debate on the national debt - who knew that some responses would become so emotional!!! Take it easy...

icon_razz.gif

Mike1394 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:55pm
post #175 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakti

Well I've been testing out tons of recipes the past few weeks from scratch because our bakery is not a from scratch bakery anymore, and I cannot find one recipe that lives up to our mix. We use Pillsbury mixes that come in great big 50lb bags, and just add oil and water. I found our old recipes from when we were a 'from scratch' bakery, and it was all flour, fluid flex, sweetex, egg-yellow food coloring to make it look like it has more eggs than it does, liquid egg substitute, 'just add water' milk-from-a-can, etc...

Honestly, I prefer oil and water and cake mix to all that crap. I was aghast at how little actual FOOD there was in our cakes. But if you think about it, fluid flex and egg shade and flour and all that is already figured into the mix, it's the same exact recipe. So what difference is there, really? Honestly, it was pretty much imperceptible when we 'made the switch' to mixes.

Our mix is softer in texture than any from scratch recipe could be because of the fluid flex and other additives, and it bakes evener, and it's more stable, and it's perfectly firm enough to be able to be sculpted into awesome shapes and designs, it holds tiered shapes well, aw hell, it even freezes well. REALLY well. I can eat it frozen and it still tastes good to me! We go through it fast enough that it's never old sitting in the freezer, anyway.




Sounds like a lil to close to the science of baking to me.

Mike

FromScratch Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:11pm
post #176 of 267

*disclaimer* This is in no way to say ha ha ha my recipes are better than yours.. someone asked what gives the chemical taste in a mix and I am just trying to answer. Please don't get mad at me for answering a question.




Okay.. here is the break down between a mix and a scratch recipe

Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow

Enriched Flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
Sugar
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cotton Seed Oil
Corn Syrup
Leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate)
Modified Corn Starch
Propylene Glycol
Monoesters of Fatty Acids
Corn Starch
Dextrose
Salt
Dicalcium Phosphate
Distilled Monoglycerides
Xantham Gum
Natural and Artificial Flavor
Yellows #5&6
Nonfat Milk

The Yellow Cake I Bake

cake flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin, mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid)
aluminum-free baking powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate)
salt
sweet butter
sugar
egg yolks
vanilla bean
full fat, organic sour cream (organic light cream and organic nonfat milk, microbial enzymes, and live and active cultures)
egg whites


MUCH less 'stuff' in it. No corn syrup. No modified food starch. No propylene glycol (which is the less toxic cousin of ethylene glycol or anti-freeze). No gums. No food coloring. No aluminum. All of this stuff is what you taste and what gives that gummy texture to box mix cakes.

-K8memphis Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:17pm
post #177 of 267

Properly prepared cake mixes are not gummy.

Mike1394 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:24pm
post #178 of 267
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Properly prepared cake mixes are not gummy.




Oh I disagree here. That's the American palate at work. Cake mixes are marketed as "Super Moist" They need all the emulsifiers in them to keep them that way. You don't need teeth to eat them.

Mike

FromScratch Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:34pm
post #179 of 267

I disagree too. It's not super nasty or anything.. it's just different than a cake baked without the gums and emulsifiers. I have baked (and properly thank you) a mix cake before. My mom still does. I eat them when I have to (like when she makes me a b-day cake) but if I have a choice.. no way. But it's my personal preference. There are plenty of people who like mix cakes more than scratch cakes. No harm no foul.. unless you make me a mix (dr'd or not) that you passed off as a scratch cake. Then I'm going to throw it at you. icon_wink.gif

-K8memphis Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:52pm
post #180 of 267

Wow icon_rolleyes.gif

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