Scratch Recipes Failing

Decorating By KitchenKat Updated 24 Apr 2009 , 5:13am by KitchenKat

KitchenKat Posted 24 Apr 2009 , 2:20am
post #1 of 4

I moved to a new country about 8 months ago and since then all my tried and true recipes have become anything but. Butter cakes are okay but cupcakes are falling flat (rising then falling), chiffon rises well then cools compressed and with a sunken center. Meringues & Dacquoise argh! don't even go there. I've been trying to work out what have changed and so far it's
1. oven temp runs high and the lowest setting is only 350degF (even though the gauge says 200! - regulating it by propping door open a crack.
2. large sugar granules - which I've been puleverizing in my food processor before use
3. different quality flour - Labels are not in English!!!! APF at 12% protein, Cake flour at 8% but I don't think it's chlorinated, which makes a difference.
4. humidity - most days we're at least 80%

I am just so bummed. Short of buying my own equipment, importing my ow ingredients, I don't know what else to do.

Oh and to complete my can't even get decent vanilla here! Everything s artificial crap that bears no resemblance to vanilla at all!


The one bright spark: my mff still comes out perfect everytime. touch wood!

Thanks for listening. Shutting my crazy eyes now, wiping the spit off the walls and taking deep calming breaths now.

3 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 24 Apr 2009 , 4:11am
post #2 of 4

Holy crap! I have no idea what to tell you, I am scratch baker too, but dang! Giing you a bump, cuz I know there are real scientific chemistry baker know-it-alls (nerds...heh heh, JUST KIDDING-I love them ALL!!!) that will come along and help ya out!!!

aliciag829 Posted 24 Apr 2009 , 4:27am
post #3 of 4

I would say not to prop your oven door open when you make cupcakes. I prefer to bake them at 350 anyway because they seem to get a higher dome. Cupcakes, IMO, seem like they're tempermental about being baked with the door open. I know that if you open the door of the oven a lot while they bake, they will fall, so I'm sure propping it open a crack would give the same result. I would definetely try to get the temperature fixed. I know there's a way to do this, but I've never done it myself.

I would say start making your own vanilla from vodka and vanilla beans.

A lot of people I know who have relocated to areas where they only have certain flour have had to reformulate their recipes based on what they have to work with. Either that or look for recipes from the country you're in now that call for that specific type of flour you have. That's the only advice I can give you based on what I know. HTH somewhat...

Edit: I wanted to add something about your meringues. If I have trouble with mine due to humidity, putting it in an airtight container once it's cooled usually helps. Also, I think the large sugar crystals are affecting this. It's usually best IMO to use superfine sugar in meringues during humid weather because it dissolves better. Hopefully, you can find a place nearby that carries the things you need. Hope things go better for you.

KitchenKat Posted 24 Apr 2009 , 5:13am
post #4 of 4

Thanks for the tips!


I would say start making your own vanilla from vodka and vanilla beans.

Oh if only! I could technically hoard vanilla beans when I travel abroad. But vodka uh oh. This country is DRY DRY DRY! Can't buy liquor except at the duty free store and then only in controlled quantities. As in you have to queue up for an hour before the store opens only to be told sorry, they've reached their sales quota of 50 bottles a day, as soon as you reach the cashier. I have not had a decent martini in ages! Not even in their top hotels.

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