Question For Those Who Bake From Scratch And Use Mixes...

Decorating By TamiAZ Updated 17 Jul 2011 , 1:21pm by GrandmaG

FromScratchSF Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 5:11pm
post #121 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF


Everytime I see someone post about how great lano o'lakes is I roll my eyes. It's not much better then using a box mix with all the artificial flavors, fillers and color added to it. It's got one of the lowest butterfat contents you can get. I have seen the ultra creamy, I assume trying to compete with the european butters becoming popular, but it still says "natural flavors" in the ingredient list. Fail. That means chemicals to cover up the sub-par butter they produce... and it's the same price as the high quality butters right next to it - like Plugera, which is AWESOME. If I'm going to spend $5/lb for butter, it better be naturally delicious instead of artificially. But that's just me.




Curious why you do not find Plugra off-putting given they also use "natural flavors" to enhance their product. The ingredient list of Plugra and LoL are exactly the same (if it is not on the box or stick it is on their website). Plugra may indeed taste better (never have tried it) but it is for from naturally delicious. If the idea of flavoring additives is off-putting, it seems that Plugra fails that standard as well.




You are right, Plugra does have the additives. Lemme correct myself - both Land O Lakes and Plugra taste really good to me. They both have additives. But they don't work in cakes or taste good in SMBC. Land O Lakes because of the high water content/low fat content for the regular stuff, and Plugra for the too-high fat content. It's basically like comparing coffee from McDonnalds to coffee from Peets. They may both taste good but they have different standards of quality.

Which is why I use neither, I source my butter from a local organic dairy that makes 83% butterfat butter and is not available in stores. thumbs_up.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 5:22pm
post #122 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narie

How about making butter from scratch. Most people today make it by accident. "OMG, my cream curdled!" No it didn't, you just over beat it and made butter.

Start with really good heavy cream, turn on your electric mixer and let it go till you have butter curds and watery looking buttermilk. Strain off the buttermilk and wash with cold water and knead the butter till the buttermilk is all gone and the butter comes together as a lump. Add salt if you like or not. Home made butter will spoil in two weeks, but it doesn't have any additives.




I TOTALLY tried to do this when I first started taking baking seriously. Months trying to make this work. Man there is a whole world trying to make your own butter! It tastes good on bread but is a total fail in cakes. Part of the problem is commercial whipping cream is ultra-pasteurized which does something to the fat (and it also has additives), versus cream they make butter from at the dairy which is only pasteurized, versus butter made from raw cream. Each taste totally different. The best flavor and highest fat comes from raw cream, which is really expensive and hard to find. Next you have to make sure you wash your butter really well to get all the excess buttermilk out of it otherwise it curdles super fast. Then you have to press it really well to get all the extra water out of it because the unpredictable extra moisture throws the cake off. And even if you get all this, the ultra-pasteurizing changes the texture of the cake!

I am out of the butter making business and sticking with premade stuff, unless I want a special treat on my bread icon_biggrin.gif

GrandmaG Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 5:37pm
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I am now so confused. icon_confused.gif

cmeventcoordinator Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 5:45pm
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I use boxed mixes, usually betty crocker, and doctor them according to what I am trying to achive. I have over 60 gourmet flavors that I make all starting with a box mix. Even people that swear they will only eat scratch cakes end up thinking mine are superior to those that they have tried that are scratch from other bakeries. Friends are shocked when I tell them that I am using the same box mix they are. I have tried making scratch cakes, and am never as happy with the results, typically I can't get them to rise as well, making them too dense. I do add real chocolate to chocolate cake mixes, and fresh fruits to recipes where I am making a pineapple or banana or other fruit flavored cake.
That being said, I have had a few (VERY few) scratch cakes made by others that are wonderful. It really all depends on the baker and what they are most comfortable with, and what they are best at.

warchild Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 6:03pm
post #125 of 159

We have the most awesome cheese shop downtown, Les amis du Fromage, and they stocked imported butters, but had to stop bringing it in a while back because of some new trade bylaws. They still bring in a popular local farm butter once a week, but a very limited supply, so first come first serve applies on that.

But, at 8 dollars per 250 grams, its a bit too pricey for my pocketbook.
I use most of the time, and do prefer over the taste of regular butter, a local European style cultured butter. I could, if I was allowed, eat it by the spoonful... icon_razz.gif

warchild Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 6:19pm
post #126 of 159

Bluehue... A bit off topic... but your blog link..

I've not noticed it until this morning for some reason. Only had a short look but wanted to add, love the Yellow and Black cake.

Narie Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 7:34pm
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FromScratchSF
- You have worked much harder at making butter than I ever have. I knew how to do it from watching my Grandmother, but my experience has always been of the oops! variety. You are right, washing all the buttermilk out takes work. Grandma had wooden paddles to work the buttermilk and rinse water out of the butter which she would then press into a crock or mold.

I don't know anything about the ultra pasteurization or the additives.

QTCakes1 Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 8:09pm
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This is by far one of the best threads I have EVER read on here in I couldn't even tell you how long. icon_smile.gif

cakestyles Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 8:14pm
post #129 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandmaG

I am now so confused. icon_confused.gif




Oh don't be! Try for yourself and then decide what you prefer.

I disagree that europeon style butter like plugra isn't good for cake or buttercream. And I strongly disagree that it's comparable to land o lakes in taste or performance.

I think you will too once you try it.

warchild Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 9:03pm
post #130 of 159

For anyone who'd like to try... How to make homemade butter in a food processor, from Have Knives will Cook.

http://havekniveswillcook.com/recipes/starting-from-scratch/homemade-butter/

There's also a link at the bottom of the page to Brooklyn Farmhouse. They have instructions for making homemade butter in a stand mixer.

Have fun!

SugarFiend Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 9:49pm
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Thank you for that link, Warchild! thumbs_up.gif. Now I'll have fun making my own butter!

warchild Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 10:10pm
post #132 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarFiend

Thank you for that link, Warchild! thumbs_up.gif. Now I'll have fun making my own butter!




You're welcome!

Sangriacupcake Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 10:16pm
post #133 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild

For anyone who'd like to try... How to make homemade butter in a food processor, from Have Knives will Cook.

http://havekniveswillcook.com/recipes/starting-from-scratch/homemade-butter/

There's also a link at the bottom of the page to Brooklyn Farmhouse. They have instructions for making homemade butter in a stand mixer.

Have fun!




THAT is cool!

GrandmaG Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 11:35pm
post #134 of 159

Thanks Warchild! I've got to try that. I bought some cream at our local health food grocery and it just says, cream pasturized. Should be good to make butter with. I have some antique butter molds too that would be fun to press it in.

warchild Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 12:06am
post #135 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandmaG

Thanks Warchild! I've got to try that. I bought some cream at our local health food grocery and it just says, cream pasturized. Should be good to make butter with. I have some antique butter molds too that would be fun to press it in.




Oh lucky you on the antique butter molds. I hope you take a photo so we can see!

FromScratchSF Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 12:31am
post #136 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandmaG

Thanks Warchild! I've got to try that. I bought some cream at our local health food grocery and it just says, cream pasturized. Should be good to make butter with. I have some antique butter molds too that would be fun to press it in.




Butter molds? That's AWESOME! I had no idea!

GrandmaG Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 12:53am
post #137 of 159

We collected butter churns too at one time but sold them a few years later. The Kitchenaid mixer will be much easier though. I haven't been able to post PICS for awhile on CC threads but maybe when they get all the bugs fixed I can make some butter, mold it and show it off! icon_biggrin.gif You can buy butter molds on Ebay fairly reasonable. FYI

LindaF144a Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 1:21am
post #138 of 159

I will occasionally make my own butter. I am lucky in that I can get an unpasteurized version of heavy whipping cream at my local Wegmans.

It is awesome. And the buttermilk that you get when you are done makes the very best buttermilk cake.

I find washing it to be easy. I use my KA and just put in on high and walk away for about 10 minutes. When I hear the motor change in sound, I check and I have curdles heavy whipped cream, or as I like to call it delicious butter.

Here is the cool part, if you are going to use all the butter in the next 24 hours (13 ounces roughly) then you do not need to wash it. And save the liquid, that is the buttermilk part. It is very different from what you get in the store. Mainly it has none of the chemicals and gums added to thicken it up.

If you are going to keep it. I put it in a cheesecloth and squeeze the heck out of it till I get most of the liquid. Then I wash it with ice cold water (I don't save that water). Then it keeps in the fridge for about 90 days, if it lasts that long.

It makes a great cake, even with not knowing how much butter fat is in there seeing how I squeezed it so much. I would use this for my bake shop, but it is very labor intensive. I will use it for special occasions though as soon as i have a customer willing to pay extra for the service.

Evoir Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 6:35am
post #139 of 159

Re: earlier questions re: my mud cake tips.

If it still looks a bit soft right in the centre, it is ok to take out of the oven IF:
- the top is fully risen
- you can test top density with a finger - it shouldn't sink easily into the batter
- and lastly (most important), you just take them out when they SMELL 'done'. Its a learned skill I know, but its the only method I use now. Trust your nose!

One other thing I meant to add is that the batter for mudcakes looks really thin and liquidy - but don't let that put you off. It will work!

Secondly, re: baking powder. No I don't add salt. However, I do taste the batter for balance before baking. You can use unsalted butter and add salt to taste, or salted butter and add none. All methods work fine with a mud cake. Its quite forgiving.

HTH icon_smile.gif

warchild Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 7:36pm
post #140 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

Re: earlier questions re: my mud cake tips.

If it still looks a bit soft right in the centre, it is ok to take out of the oven IF:
- the top is fully risen
- you can test top density with a finger - it shouldn't sink easily into the batter
- and lastly (most important), you just take them out when they SMELL 'done'. Its a learned skill I know, but its the only method I use now. Trust your nose!

One other thing I meant to add is that the batter for mudcakes looks really thin and liquidy - but don't let that put you off. It will work!

Secondly, re: baking powder. No I don't add salt. However, I do taste the batter for balance before baking. You can use unsalted butter and add salt to taste, or salted butter and add none. All methods work fine with a mud cake. Its quite forgiving.

HTH icon_smile.gif


Thanks Evoir!

bonniebakes Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 10:30pm
post #141 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

For temp, I use an independent thermometer for oven temp. For cakes being done, I have started using the touch and smell method. The middle is springy, but firm. The sides will just start to pull away. If it is not a delicate cake, I use the toothpick, but I like for a few crumbs to stick. On every recipe, I note the temp, time, and indicators so that I don't have to watch so closely once I get it right.

I think some of you think we scratch bakers have some easy way of doing things. Besides the knowledge to get close to what we want, I know that I still have to go through the process on new recipes. Bonnie, what you are doing is what I do. I make "Frankenstein" recipes. I pull what I like most from each recipe and put them together. My favorite is to take the two challengers from "Throwdown", listen to the judges, and put the best of the two recipes together. It doesn't come out right the first time. I make the cakes back-to-back,maybe three or four times, make notes, and do it until I'm happy. I do look for a blend of ingredients I like and I always start with a recipe from a top chef. If you start with any recipe you find on the web, that is a tough and frustrating battle. For example, a great cake chef in my opinion is Warren Brown. He has a very different philosophy, but he is clear with his methods and he has videos on his site. Buying his book, [/u]Cake Love[u], is a good start.




So, you don't check the temperature of the cake itself to check for doneness, you meant a separate thermometer so that the oven temperature is accurate?

Annabakescakes Posted 12 Jul 2011 , 2:24am
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Darn it, I stopped getting updates for this topic! So annoying!

When I have accidentally made butter with sweetened whipped cream, I added a little cinnamon and whipped a little more and put it on toast. AMAZING!

scp1127 Posted 12 Jul 2011 , 6:08am
post #143 of 159

I mean a thermometer in the oven that makes sure your oven is working properly each and every time. Computerized ovens can have problems from one batch to the next. Regular ovens usually creep out of calibration.

No, I try not to stick things in the cakes. As you get deeper into scratch baking, many cakes will fall if you stick them with a toothpick or anything else. Just learn to watch the sides coming away, the smell, and the feel test. You will get good at it.

bonniebakes Posted 12 Jul 2011 , 6:21pm
post #144 of 159

ahhhh... yeah, I have one of those. My oven runs about 25° high all the time.
My problem with telling if cakes are done is that the edges seem finished looking and they start to come away form the edge, but the center seems not done. When I press lightly, they don't bounce back., so I leave them in longer. Then the edges get too done by the time the center is cooked through.

Adevag Posted 12 Jul 2011 , 11:25pm
post #145 of 159

I just wanted to share the link to this newly started thread about a scratch-off (especially since this thread now has inspired the scratch-off).

We are planning on having our first scratch-off be mud cake. So if anyone were excited to try one after seeing Bluehue's recipes it would be so nice if we could share our success (hopefully) and results. And, of course, even better if mud cake-experienced members would like to join us as well... icon_biggrin.gif

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-723994-.html

cakestyles Posted 13 Jul 2011 , 12:27am
post #146 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by bonniebakes

ahhhh... yeah, I have one of those. My oven runs about 25° high all the time.
My problem with telling if cakes are done is that the edges seem finished looking and they start to come away form the edge, but the center seems not done. When I press lightly, they don't bounce back., so I leave them in longer. Then the edges get too done by the time the center is cooked through.




I actually take my white and yellow butter cakes out when the middle doesn't bounce back yet (my finger print stays when I test the center)...if it bounces back than I've baked them too long.

Cakes will continue cooking a bit when you take them out of the oven.

The trick is to get to know your recipes well enough so you'll know which ones need to come out at this point.

HTH

scp1127 Posted 13 Jul 2011 , 2:31am
post #147 of 159

Cakestyles is right. Every one of my cakes are different.

Bonnie, you may need new pans. If you check the temp every time, use baking strips, and use a nail (these two will help even the temp), this should help.

bonniebakes Posted 14 Jul 2011 , 11:20pm
post #148 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Cakestyles is right. Every one of my cakes are different.

Bonnie, you may need new pans. If you check the temp every time, use baking strips, and use a nail (these two will help even the temp), this should help.




Thanks, Cakestyles and scp1127. So....you suggest I use a nail and baking strips even with a 6" or 8" cake pan?

scp1127 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 4:14am
post #149 of 159

bonnie, it is an unpopular technique, but I do it and my cakes really are more even. And especially if the cakes are in a three inch pan. I find that my cakes are the same color on the sides, tops, and bottom. I can produce a lighter color and softer outside with this method. I figured if it was good for a big cake, why not try to more evenly bake the small cakes?

I use Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch pans and Magic Line pans. The Goldtouch make a huge difference, but they are very expensive and limited in size and shape. My contour pans are Fat Daddio's.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 4:27am
post #150 of 159

Goldtouch are beautiful, but they don't go bigger than 10 inches. If I ever need anything bigger than that I will bake in the Goldtouch sheet pan and cut with a pastry ring. I think I'm afraid not to use Goldtouch, lol.

By the way, there are new heating cores that are thicker and taller than a nail. I saw them as pastrychef.com. They're 2" tall and completely flat in the bottom. I know that the nails might not be flat.

http://www.pastrychef.com/HEATING-CORES_p_1992.html

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