Allie06 Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 5:13pm
post #1 of

Hi! I was just looking for tips, and thoughts...I bake, like a lot! =) new to the decorating thing, but I love to bake. Generally people are pretty pleased when I bring in goodies to work. BUT one co-worker, keeps insisting my cakes are "too heavy", dense. He has told me this at least 5 times. I'm good with constructive criticsm, but don't know how to change a recipe. I usually do a scratch cake, experimented with WASC and noticed that was just decadent, and YES the texture was different. I use cake flour, unless the recipe says AP flour. Don't know if thats my problem? Is this even a problem? Just the recipe I am using? Anything in the way of advice would be FABULOUS! Thanks!

23 replies
Marianna46 Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 5:40pm
post #2 of

It's probably the recipe you're using. You could try the kind of cake where you have to beat the egg whites and fold in the rest of the ingredients (some white cakes are made that way), but really a dense cake is the best kind for decorating, because it will hold up under all that heavy fondant and icing. If this person has told you 5 TIMES that your cakes are too dense, tell him that you got the message and you're sorry he's going to be missing out on the (FREE, by the way) office treats. Some people just love to needle you!

LisaPeps Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 5:43pm
post #3 of

Could you try separating the eggs, mixing the batter as usual but omitting the egg whites. Then whisk the egg whites up to soft peaks and fold them in at the end? That should make it more aerated.

If that's part of the recipe already, I'm stumped lol!

Allie06 Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 6:03pm
post #4 of

Thanks! This specific cake is RV that has the baking soda added after if "explodes" with vinegar...could I still do the egg thing? would I do the eggs before or after vinegar?

sweets4you Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 6:11pm
post #5 of

What do your other co-workers say? If it's just one guy, maybe it's just his personal taste? Why alter a recipe if only one person out of many co-workers find it too dense?

Debcent Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 6:17pm
post #6 of

I agree with sweets4you. If its just one guy, I wouldnt change anything. You could try making an angel food or sponge cake to bring, that may make him happy and quite for a while icon_smile.gif

gbbaker Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 6:32pm
post #7 of

This guy maybe use to cake mixes, my cakes are from scratch and when compared to a cake mix they seem heavier... but they taste amazing. I would
see what other people say before over hauling your recipe.

Allie06 Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 6:48pm
post #8 of

I get a huge amount of "ego boosting" positive feedback icon_biggrin.gif . Just not from him! icon_sad.gif I think I will experiment a little, but I know I prefer my cakes a little on the dense side, just didn't know if this was a common complaint? Thanks for the comments, at least I feel a little better regarding my picky cake-eater. icon_rolleyes.gif

Marianna46 Posted 27 Apr 2011 , 7:29pm
post #9 of

If you're really interested in experimenting (I personally don't think this guy is worth catering to, but you might want to experiment a little just for your own happiness), you could look up some recipes for sponge, chiffon and angel food cakes. These are all very light. On the other hand, gbbaker is right: scratch cakes (and some doctored cake mixes) are heavier than just plain mixes.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 1:21am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allie06

Thanks! This specific cake is RV that has the baking soda added after if "explodes" with vinegar...could I still do the egg thing? would I do the eggs before or after vinegar?




Wait, in what order are you adding your ingredients? Maybe I read this wrong, but are you mixing the baking soda and vinegar in a bowl, then adding that to the rest of the ingredients? If so, I don't think that is correct, you would be losing a lot of your leavening. I apologize if I didn't understand.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 5:14am

I found this article on Fine Cooking. They say you should use the egg foam for leavening. The vinegar/baking soda combo is to help with the coloring when you use beets rather than food coloring.

http://www.finecooking.com/item/13618/red-velvet-vinegar-and-baking-soda

Allie06 Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 6:28am

That's...odd?=) it's the Joy of Baking, Red Velvet recipe. After everything is incorporated, combine vinegar and baking soda, fold in the "explosion". Maybe I am in search of a new RV recipe to play with?! =)

scp1127 Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 6:59am

I am a scratch baker. Some of my recipes are very heavy... RV is in that category. I have others that weigh next to nothing. But I engineer these recipes to be what I want them to be paired with the frosting. If you really want to understand cakes and baking, read a few books on baking science. Even if you don't want to create a recipe, this knowledge will help you read a recipe and know immediately if it will be a good one and what the texture will be. Bakewise, by Shirley Corriher is a good one. thers are Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Berenbaum, Baking, by James Peterson, and I'm Just Here For More Food, by Alton Brown. Many of these will be in the library.

auzzi Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 10:39am

Let me get this straight -

...everyone is pretty pleased with your cakes

... one co-worker insists that they are "heavy"

.. you are madly running around trying to change your recipes BECAUSE one person insists they are "heavy"...

He must be a very important person for you to change successful recipes on his say-so ...

sweeteypie1118 Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 11:07am

I make my red velvet cake the same way with mixing the baking soda and vinegar. As someone else said, this man is probably used to cake mix cakes so don't take his comments to heart. I'm sure your cakes are delicious, and your other co workers think so! Don't mess around with a good recipe for one person. Make your goodies for everyone and don't worry about him. As an experiment, make a box mix cake and see what he thinks!

Jennifer353 Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 1:03pm

People (and in particular colleagues) are odd. I bring in cakes and other baked things from time to time. One of my colleagues asks me if it is one of my weird recipes with stuff missing and does not eat them. By stuff missing he is referring to the recipes I have which have no dairy/eggs and when I bring them in I tell various people that they have no whatever in it. Eg my boss doesnt eat eggs so if there are no eggs in a recipe I will tell him so he can eat it.
I was a bit irritated at first but now I just think there is more for those who do want it if he doesnt have any!

If you want to try a lighter cake for interests sake try a fat free sponge - normally used for swiss rolls or let me know if you want the recipe but cant find it.

Allie06 Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 7:34pm

Great advice, thank you. Love the idea of reading a book about the science of baking!!!! Thanks for that suggestion!!! Auzzi, the guy actually bothers me, but it's because I like him the least, I don't want to give him a reason to say ANYTHING negative. Thanks again everyone!

lilmissbakesalot Posted 28 Apr 2011 , 7:49pm

I'm willing to bet he will NEVER be happy with anything you bring in... some people are just like that. Especially if you don't like them.

madicakes Posted 3 May 2011 , 3:38pm

Sounds to me he 1) isn't going to be satisfied with anything and just likes to complain and 2) he is probably someone who is used to box mixes, not scratch cakes. If everyone else says they are great I wouldn't worry about what he has to say.

StacyN Posted 3 May 2011 , 3:56pm

I agree with some of the others that he will never be happy no matter what type of cake you make. I have a friend who said the same thing about my cakes. So after many "your cakes are too heavy" comments, I used a cake mix and didnt tell her and she still said it was too heavy/dense! After that I decided she would never like a cake I made no matter what and i didn't need to worry about it anymore!

madicakes Posted 3 May 2011 , 8:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyN

I agree with some of the others that he will never be happy no matter what type of cake you make. I have a friend who said the same thing about my cakes. So after many "your cakes are too heavy" comments, I used a cake mix and didnt tell her and she still said it was too heavy/dense! After that I decided she would never like a cake I made no matter what and i didn't need to worry about it anymore!



That gave me a chuckle Stacy. I think you are right, she wouldn't have been happy regardless.

Nanassweets Posted 15 May 2011 , 6:22am

Scratch cakes are heavier than box cakes BUT taste soooo much better. My scratch cakes were labeled as "too heavy" and hard by my son, but I started using a light silver pan which took care of the hardness of my cakes and I sometimes add baking powder to the mix which helps with the heavyness. I have found out adding 1 tsp baking powder to 2 cup flour. I also now sift my flour ALWAYS with the other dry ingredients and now fold in the flour mixture last and finish mixing by hand ( until all is moistened, it has lumps but bakes ok and MUCH lighter cakes). Now my cakes are lighter, requested more to the point that I'm opening a store to handle the orders!

What I've learned from hard heavy cakes is; the pan color has alot to do with the cooking - dark color mades my cakes hard I think because dark colors draw heat and it draws too much heat for the cake; sifting my flour ALWAYS and ADDING FLOUR MIXTURE LAST and FINAL MIXING BY HAND TO JUST MOISTEN the flour keeps the flour protien from escaping making the cake dry and heavy. These have proven a BIG PLUS for my cakes. I hope this helps you as I know how disappointing it can be to get negative comments about your cakes, no matter how tough you are.

Marianna46 Posted 15 May 2011 , 2:35pm

There's a big controversy about whether to start with the dry ingredients and putting the moist ones in last or the other way around. I find my cakes turn out better when I add the dry ingredients last, too, and like you say ALWAYS sifted. I'm going to take your advice about just mixing in the dry ingredients at the end instead of beating them. That way the glutens don't develop and I'm sure the cake will be a lot more tender. After all, that's the way you make pancake batter to keep them light.

Nanassweets Posted 17 May 2011 , 6:34am

I've never heard of the controversy of adding dry first or last, but I did see America Kitchen add the dry last because of gluten affect if batter is beaten too long. I used to do this (beat batter until all lumps were gone and batter was smooth) but my cakes were super heavy, now they are light and taste better. According to my personel experiences I will add the flour last , sift always and do the final mixing by hand leaving lumps, this makes a much better cake.

As for your co-worker, one out of an office of people is still a good record. Some people can't be satisfied no matter what you do! Keep baking if this is what you like! I ignored my sons comments and kept baking, now I'm getting ready to open my own shop and EVERYONE loves my cakes, even him now!
Continue baking!!!

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