No One Yet Knows The Difference Between Store Box Mix And Scratch Cakes, Why Bother?

Baking By MBalaska Updated 4 Mar 2014 , 4:02pm by mrsv

mcaulir Posted 6 Aug 2013 , 12:47am
post #31 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 


That a bit of a distance - like a 10 hour drive?  Queensland is my favorite state!  It's morning there now, right? It's evening here, going to get dark soon. For some reason I have trouble wrapping my brain around that. Do you ever get to the coast? I have friends who traveled from Brisbane up the countryside northward and they kept saying that the snakes jump out on you from the trees and then laughing hysterically. I never got the joke haha!

 

Yes, it's about half past 10 on tuesday morning here. I have a sick little person laying around on my lap - hence all the time to be posting this morning!

 

I grew up in Brisbane, which is on the coast, so we get there pretty often, and we ususally spend a couple of weeks at the beach once a year. It's about a 3 hour drive to the coast from here. We tend to travel at about 100km/hr, so a 1300km drive would take at least 13 hours, plus breaks. I've been to Townsville once - it's a beautiful place. High heat and humidity, though, so no good for cake!

 

There are a lot of poisonous species of snakes and spiders and jellyfish and other things here, but you actually don't come across them very often. But it's a bit of a running joke that poisonous creatures will leap out at you from every nook and cranny in Australia. Especially told to nervous tourists - so maybe that was the joke?

howsweet Posted 6 Aug 2013 , 1:34am
post #32 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir 

Yes, it's about half past 10 on tuesday morning here. I have a sick little person laying around on my lap - hence all the time to be posting this morning!

 

I grew up in Brisbane, which is on the coast, so we get there pretty often, and we ususally spend a couple of weeks at the beach once a year. It's about a 3 hour drive to the coast from here. We tend to travel at about 100km/hr, so a 1300km drive would take at least 13 hours, plus breaks. I've been to Townsville once - it's a beautiful place. High heat and humidity, though, so no good for cake!

 

There are a lot of poisonous species of snakes and spiders and jellyfish and other things here, but you actually don't come across them very often. But it's a bit of a running joke that poisonous creatures will leap out at you from every nook and cranny in Australia. Especially told to nervous tourists - so maybe that was the joke?

So sorry to hear your little one is sick. When they're sick can be the best cuddle time though, if anything like my kids were. They never wanted to slow down if they were well - haha.

 

In Texas the speed limit out on the highways is like 70mph and everyone drives 79 (which is about 127 kph). It's really stupid and a wonder anyone is still alive...I'm so jealous, 3 hours from a gorgeous beach. The closest beach to me is Galveston and the water is the color of coffee with cream and you can't see what's in there. We do have jellies, but they aren't deadly. And even though the water's not blue, it still has a salt breeze, ocean smells and sounds. We used to rent a beach front house every summer and Hurricane Ike washed away everything we could afford. From what i could tell when I was looking at real estate online, it looks like in Ausralia you're not allowed to build anything there that can't withstand the surge, is that true?

 

I think I would have loved Townsville and they probably would have loved the Tex Mex food.

 

The poisonous creatures... I'm sure that must have been it about the animals. They're both biologists so I guess that was partly why they thought it was so incredibly funny. Thanks!

 

On a side note, I love the Queensland accent - had an acquaintance from Brisbane and I loved to hear him speak. One of my best customers is from the west coast and his is entirely different. I've heard from people I believe that no one likes the American accent - haha. Oh well! :)

kikiandkyle Posted 6 Aug 2013 , 1:42am
post #33 of 185

ABox mix is definitely an American thing, I'm from the UK originally and you just wouldn't find a custom cake shop using a box mix. They exist, but primarily for having a fun afternoon with the kids, if you want a serious cake you bake it from scratch.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 6 Aug 2013 , 5:13am
post #34 of 185

I get comments quite often from people saying they can tell I don't bake from a mix, but then, there are a lot of bakers in the area who use straight mix. No doctoring up/adding extras in, etc, so the difference in texture and flavour is far more noticeable.

 

When you aren't tasting two products side by side, it can be tricky to tell the difference.

bct806 Posted 6 Aug 2013 , 5:36am
post #35 of 185

I bake from scratch and since I started, I can tell the difference. My husband now can as well. They had a birthday cake for someone in his hangar and he came home to tell me that he could tell it was boxed cake and not as good as mine. Not everyone can tell the difference, but once you get used to scratch, there isn't usually any going back. That being said, to each their own. You do what works for you.

MBalaska Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 6:49am
post #36 of 185

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 
Box mix is definitely an American thing, I'm from the UK originally and you just wouldn't find a custom cake shop using a box mix........

kikiandkyle, it seems that cakes made in UK, Australia, NZ don't have the collapsing layers falling over problem like the American cakes.  It seems that the cakes in these countries are much denser and firmer.  Then you cover them with a layer of almond paste and Royal Icing or fondant.  Do they hold up pretty well, is this an accurate estimation.  How would you compare the cakes texture?

I love the holidays when the heavy dense chewy Fruit Nut cakes are available in the US.

kikiandkyle Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 1:14pm
post #37 of 185

AThe only cakes that are covered in almond paste (marzipan) or royal icing are fruit cakes which are reserved for Christmas, and the occasional old school wedding. Everything else is just cake made with butter, sugar, eggs and flour like here in the US.

daryll Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 9:27pm
post #38 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

The only cakes that are covered in almond paste (marzipan) or royal icing are fruit cakes which are reserved for Christmas, and the occasional old school wedding. Everything else is just cake made with butter, sugar, eggs and flour like here in the US.

 

This ...

Its not all fruitcake and almond icing...we do cakes just like you do in the States...just not from a box :)

MBalaska Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 11:16pm
post #39 of 185

It would be so interesting to travel to other countries and explore the pastry shops. I've purchased several books on baking/decorating that are from UK, AU, NZ as well as the US.

 

I started this OP as I was frustrated, but now I see that I was quite simply 'low knowledge'.  Now It's apparent that box mixes, scratch recipes, and a combination of the two such as the WASC are all nice in their own way.   Cheers everyone.

BatterUpCake Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 11:35pm
post #40 of 185

The pastry shops in France were phenomenal! The food was just too pretty to eat.

jennicake Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 11:45pm
post #41 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

The pastry shops in France were phenomenal! The food was just too pretty to eat.

I so agree with this.  Pastry heaven!  

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 12 Aug 2013 , 11:54pm
post #42 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

The pastry shops in France were phenomenal! The food was just too pretty to eat.

Impossible :)

j92383 Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 4:00am
post #43 of 185

totally agree when I was in Europe last year my diet consisted of 90% sweets. I barely ate regular food. I was in heaven. I kept trying to figure out how I can smuggle some of that butter back into the states without it melting. 

ivenusca Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 8:31pm
post #44 of 185

I just saw a documentary on TV (ABC, or Dateline, one of those).  They did the tasting of 3 wedding cakes:  (1) Fancy designer bakery cake, (2) Grocery store cake, (3) cake from a store box mix made by the tv show producer.  Guess which cake EVERY test group (kids, brides, men, etc)  picked as the best/tastiest/moistest?  The cake made from the STORE BOX MIX!

 

I love box mixes for taste, consistency, ease of use, and value.

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 8:47pm
post #45 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivenusca 

I just saw a documentary on TV (ABC, or Dateline, one of those).  They did the tasting of 3 wedding cakes:  (1) Fancy designer bakery cake, (2) Grocery store cake, (3) cake from a store box mix made by the tv show producer.  Guess which cake EVERY test group (kids, brides, men, etc)  picked as the best/tastiest/moistest?  The cake made from the STORE BOX MIX!

 

I love box mixes for taste, consistency, ease of use, and value.

It wasn't a documentary. It was a cheesy silly little "experiment" and the tasters were a Honey Boo Boo pageant toddler, a drag queen that jumps out fake cake, a man who strips for over ***ed housewives at smelly nightclubs, and someone else I don't remember. Either way, it was not an accurate representation of a group of people who would at that moment, seriously trying to decide what cake to choose for their wedding. 

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 8:48pm
post #46 of 185

If anyone took that seriously, it was Betty Crocker who of course, sent the woman a trophy for "winning".

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 8:52pm
post #47 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivenusca 

I just saw a documentary on TV (ABC, or Dateline, one of those).  They did the tasting of 3 wedding cakes:  (1) Fancy designer bakery cake, (2) Grocery store cake, (3) cake from a store box mix made by the tv show producer.  Guess which cake EVERY test group (kids, brides, men, etc)  picked as the best/tastiest/moistest?  The cake made from the STORE BOX MIX!

 

I love box mixes for taste, consistency, ease of use, and value.

It wasn't a documentary. It was a cheesy silly little "experiment" and the tasters were a Honey Boo Boo pageant toddler, a drag queen that jumps out fake cake, a man who strips for over ***ed housewives at smelly nightclubs, and someone else I don't remember. Either way, it was not an accurate representation of a group of people who would at that moment, seriously trying to decide what cake to choose for their wedding. 

 

If anyone took that seriously, it was Betty Crocker who of course, sent the woman a trophy for "winning".

 
It was a guy who shovels food in his mouth without even tasting it, for sport. 
 
HAHAHAHAAAA! I couldn't agree more, and calling that a documentary is hilarious! 
AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:09pm
post #48 of 185

Oh my GAWD yes, a man who shoves food in his mouth for a living, without savoring or tasting. Yeah, GREAT judge there!icon_confused.gif

BatterUpCake Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:22pm
post #49 of 185

drag queens need love (and cake) too!

daryll Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:40pm
post #50 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

It wasn't a documentary. It was a cheesy silly little "experiment" and the tasters were a Honey Boo Boo pageant toddler, a drag queen that jumps out fake cake, a man who strips for over ***ed housewives at smelly nightclubs, and someone else I don't remember. Either way, it was not an accurate representation of a group of people who would at that moment, seriously trying to decide what cake to choose for their wedding. 

 

LOL! I think that is probably quite an important detail to leave out!

ivenusca Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:41pm
post #51 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
 

Yeah, whatever.  Get over yourself.

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:42pm
post #52 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivenusca 

Yeah, whatever.  Get over yourself.

Awwww, no sense of humor I see? Get over yourself. It's the internet.

daryll Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:49pm
post #53 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Awwww, no sense of humor I see? Get over yourself. It's the internet.

 

Bahahahahahahaha...these both made me laugh out loud at work!!

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:53pm
post #54 of 185

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

drag queens need love (and cake) too!

Of course they.do, everyone does! But a groom making an informed decision with his partner at a sit down tasting, with other factors to consider, he was not. That whole show made my eye twitch. It was funny, and unfortunately to capture the attention of the average tv audience nowadays, they needed to cast colorful characters. ;-)

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 9:56pm
post #55 of 185

AHey, it may have been a behind the scenes advertising scheme with Betty Crocker too...I don't believe much that's on tv.

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 10:02pm
post #56 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivenusca 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
 

Yeah, whatever.  Get over yourself.

HAHAHAHAHA! I love it! Funny thing is, I started with box mixes and see nothing wrong with them. My white cake is still a box mix, though I have found and tweaked recipes for most of my cakes now. It just wasn't a documentary, by any stretch of the imagination. 

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 10:06pm
post #57 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

HAHAHAHAHA! I love it! Funny thing is, I started with box mixes and see nothing wrong with them. My white cake is still a box mix, though I have found and tweaked recipes for most of my cakes now. It just wasn't a documentary, by any stretch of the imagination. 

 

I made a few box mixes at first, and tried to like to WASC, we just didn't get along. The so called stigma is pretty much created by the people who use them and assume that people who don't, hate them or think they are less than. icon_rolleyes.gif

texas_mom Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 10:46pm
post #58 of 185

Google "The Cake Test Video- ABC News"  you just might be surprised.  All I use is box and everyone that gets a cake from me knows it.

daryll Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 10:58pm
post #59 of 185
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas_mom 

Google "The Cake Test Video- ABC News"  you just might be surprised.  All I use is box and everyone that gets a cake from me knows it.

 

Without wanting to flog a dead horse - what some people are used to is not what others are used to.

In this part of the world, we just don't use box mixes and so we can tell the difference. We know that it is different in your part of the world. People know what they know and what they have been exposed to. I don't think that anyone is arguing that one opinion is "right". The title of this post is that no one knows the difference - THIS is what people are arguing. Some people DO know the difference so THAT is the argument that is flawed.

CalhounsCakery Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 11:01pm
post #60 of 185

I bake from scratch, and only make Italian Buttercream.  I use fresh ingredients, and the only thing in my cakes that is still chemically made, is the sugar.  But I'm working on trying different sources of sweeteners because I don't even like using that.  But that's just me.  In my house, I won't even buy pasta or bread, I make it all.  We are a whole foods family, and I've never felt better for it.  Remember, you are what you eat.  Literally.  If you eat chemically made processed foods, than your body's cells will rebuild with chemically processed nutrition.  That being said, you also have to do what you are most comfortable with.  If you prefer mixes, go for it!  I've even tried WASC, just to see how it tasted, and my whole family was able to tell it wasn't from scratch.  Did I ever get in trouble that night!  But again, not everyone can tell the difference.  Stay true to yourself.  If you want to spend the time refining your baking skills, do it.  There is a lot of pride to be taken in that.  But if you would rather focus on just the decorating side, than do that.  But no matter what, be up front when people ask.  There are to many people with food sensitivities and allergies out there, and WAY to many people willing to lie because they don't want to own up to using box mixes.

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