"all-Natural"? "whole" Ingredients? Do

Baking By Steffen74 Updated 19 Jun 2009 , 12:35am by Steffen74

Steffen74 Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 2:17am
post #1 of 13

Lately I have begun reading more about and incorporating more "whole" foods into my diet, which has led me to develop a slight aversion to some of the ingredients I currently use in my cakes. Such as oh...cake mixes for example (enriched bleached flour, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, modified cornstarch, soy protein, polyglycerol esters of fatty acids, corn syrup solids, etc).

I'd like to use more ingredients like butter, whole grain flour, honey, etc. Just going for pure...ingredients that are not manufactured or processed to resemble something like food, but are actually food.

I know that there are tons of scratch recipes out there, but I'm even looking for some that don't use refined sugar.

Does anyone else feel this way, and, if so, have you tired any recipes and had any success? Looking for a resource if anyone has any thoughts.

Thanks!
Cathy

12 replies
-K8memphis Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 2:35am
post #2 of 13

There is a market for this line of food--but it is a narrow one. If there are enough like minded people in your area you could be real successful.

Whole wheat flour is not a cake's best ingredient choice. There was a cupcake challenge on tv -- and the 'natural' bakers from San Fransisco came in last on taste. They were real surprised. Because (I'm just surmising here) for that line of goods I bet their stuff rocks--but compared to cake as we generally know it--they came in dead last.

BillaCakes Posted 7 Jun 2009 , 1:52am
post #3 of 13

i'm doing the same thing too! i am hoping to launch a baking business in the next few years here in austin, tx that sells products that are as close to organic and pure as possible without sacrificing taste or familiarity. (i want to make cakes like duff does but all natural!)

k8memphis is right; don't use whole wheat flour unless it doesn't bother you at all. look at king arthur flours; their white whole wheat flour works pretty well and if you sift a bit it will still come out fluffy in cakes. if you use turbinado sugar, throw it into a food processor and pulse it a few times to further crush the granules further, and it works measure for measure in cookie and cakes recipes (if you can't find it in a finer grind). also, realize that by using ingredients in their most natural and unprocessed state will cause them to spoil faster since there are no preservatives, so plan accordingly!

check out colleen patrick-goudreau's 'joy of vegan baking'; i'm not a vegan, but there are some cake recipes in there that are to die for and you'd never know they were vegan! there are several blogs and websites devoted to this kind of stuff too. if you're interested in discussing this further or any other questions, feel free to email me!

Steffen74 Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 2:28am
post #4 of 13

Thanks for the replies!

I will check out King Arthur flours...and I was wondering if I could do that with turbinado sugar. So good to know.

I'm moving to TN pretty soon, where I'm sure there's an even slimmer market for these types of cakes than a lot of places...we'll see!

BillaCakes Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 11:09am
post #5 of 13

Market, schmarket...IMHO, taste trumps all and speaks for itself! Good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 9 Jun 2009 , 12:02pm
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffen74

Thanks for the replies!

I will check out King Arthur flours...and I was wondering if I could do that with turbinado sugar. So good to know.

I'm moving to TN pretty soon, where I'm sure there's an even slimmer market for these types of cakes than a lot of places...we'll see!




Why slimmer market here? Less populated area? Depends on the area's mind set though. What general area are you moving to?

But the deal with this kind of product is that taste is secondary to the specialized kind of ingredients. For cakes and baked goods you definitely sacrifice taste and texture for the ingredient. You do have to market to lovers of the mindset and ingredient list and it should taste ok too.

If someone is going for best taste and texture you don't grab the whole wheat pastry flour.

Steffen74 Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 2:08am
post #7 of 13

I'm actually moving to Nashville. I think I was comparing to San Fran, for example, where there may be a more dense market of folks concerned about eating "whole", if you will. But maybe not...maybe I'm just making assumptions. Never having lived outside of MO or KS, I don't have a whole lot to base that on.

You're right about the taste mattering. And I think that even being a person concerned about those things, I may not care for one cake on my wedding day, and taste may trump principles icon_smile.gif.

Maybe I'll just try some recipes out for myself and go from there - keep tweaking until I find a taste/texture/ingredient combo that serves both purposes.

snowboarder Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 6:10pm
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

There was a cupcake challenge on tv -- and the 'natural' bakers from San Fransisco came in last on taste. They were real surprised. Because (I'm just surmising here) for that line of goods I bet their stuff rocks--but compared to cake as we generally know it--they came in dead last.




Where/when was this baking challenge? Was it on the food network?

-K8memphis Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 11:47pm
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffen74

I'm actually moving to Nashville. I think I was comparing to San Fran, for example, where there may be a more dense market of folks concerned about eating "whole", if you will. But maybe not...maybe I'm just making assumptions. Never having lived outside of MO or KS, I don't have a whole lot to base that on.

You're right about the taste mattering. And I think that even being a person concerned about those things, I may not care for one cake on my wedding day, and taste may trump principles icon_smile.gif.

Maybe I'll just try some recipes out for myself and go from there - keep tweaking until I find a taste/texture/ingredient combo that serves both purposes.




In San Fransisco there'd be a more dense market but also more competition.

Yeah I mean as a tradition, when it's a celebration we break out the champagne and the sugar.

-K8memphis Posted 10 Jun 2009 , 11:51pm
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowboarder

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

There was a cupcake challenge on tv -- and the 'natural' bakers from San Fransisco came in last on taste. They were real surprised. Because (I'm just surmising here) for that line of goods I bet their stuff rocks--but compared to cake as we generally know it--they came in dead last.



Where/when was this baking challenge? Was it on the food network?




Yes it was a coupla years ago on the food network--a cupcake challenge and Bronwen was on there and the lady that won did awesome!!

hollylikescake Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 3:43am
post #11 of 13

Because I have a child with special medical circumstances, I also have become concerned with the ingredients used in cakes.

I make cakes that are just for my family very different than I do for others. At first I felt bad about this, but then I realized most others don't care, and I am not going to save their health by making them one "whole foods" cake when they still eat fast food every week. icon_smile.gif

I don't use whole wheat flour though. Maybe in carrot or zuchini cake I would substitue 1/4 whole wheat flour, but it does change the taste and texture.

It is still sugar, but I have recently read about something called refiners sugar that can be subsituted for corn syrup. It is a cane sugar product. I am curious where you could buy it and if it would work for making fondant.

Basically my family cakes have organic eggs, organic butter, no preservatives, thinner coat of icing, icing is made with out shortening, aluminum free baking powder, no packages of pudding or other convenience products mixed in, etc.

HTH

Gefion Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 6:04am
post #12 of 13

Just wanted to say that you can definately use unrefined cane sugar in your recipes. Just use the dry kind - like demarara. I prefer this sugar for all my cakes, but it does giver a darker color, so white cake is out icon_wink.gif call it golden cake instead. You might want to whizz it in the blender for easier dissolving as it's quite coarse.

But don't use whole wheat flour. There is way too much gluten in it to make a nice tender cake. Use organic white flour instead.

Steffen74 Posted 19 Jun 2009 , 12:35am
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gefion



But don't use whole wheat flour. There is way too much gluten in it to make a nice tender cake. Use organic white flour instead.




What about unbleached white flour? Does that work the same?

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