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Do I avoid the "do you use a mix" question?? - Page 8

post #106 of 246
I actually prefer the box much easier--for me that is icon_smile.gif . I do Doctor them so that I can get the moistness that I like.
post #107 of 246
Hi jessieb578! First, that is a wonderful shop! I like your use of the space, and the decor.

I see you are in NY, as I am. If I understand it correctly from my inspector, we are required to label all ingredients in our baked goods (unless you are doing work under a restaurant/catering license). So, all ingredients, including those trace preservatives have to be listed. Also, as you know, DH's yellow cake mix has Yellow No 5 or whatever it is.... called a "declared" coloring under NYS law. So, in other words, we've got to type it out on the label....even water!

I agree with the suggestions for ways to more efficiently store box mixes -- they do take up a lot of room. I think if you find it detracts from the appearance of your lovely bakery, then go right ahead and store them in a better way! And, as discussed, those individuals who want to know about ingredients because of allergy, ethical, or medical reasons, rightly should know about all ingredients. So, basically, someone who takes an interest in ingredients -- for whatever reason -- can see with one glance at a baked good label if it is from a pre-measured commecrcial product, or not. (See, I didn't write mix!). Someone who does not care other than being sort of nosy, will most likely not know what to "look" for.

Does that make sense? icon_confused.gif

Anyway -- I do scratch baking, and believe me, I find myself doing LOTS of typing for my labels. I have tried to find the simplest ingredients I can, because, after thinking it over, it seemed to reflect what I wanted to do as a business. So, for example, I was glad to find a "all natural peanut butter" that was reasonably priced, and now, I can just type (peanuts, salt) in the ingredients. But, this is just my tiny little part of the whole wonderful world of preaching intended!

As for some of the observations about "grinding wheat" and such...well, I drive to a local farm so I can get free-range fresh eggs, and I know a local baker who does indeed grind up her own flours. So, some do...some don't. I hope we can all respect each other, and try not to "label" each other like I've got to label my cakes! icon_rolleyes.gif

Thanks for starting a great discusion, jessieb578! I am always glad to learn the many points of view on CC. thumbs_up.gif
post #108 of 246
Does your island have a cabinet in it? If it does why not store them in there? And if it doesn't.. it'd be easy to add some doors to it.. even salvaged ones that wouldn't be expensive.. you'd just need a jig saw. Or you could get a nice wicker basket and put it on the bottom of your leaning shelf unit and fold a towel or two to cover the boxes. Not necessarily to "hide" them, but to keep the look more appealing and less "look at me I'm a storage unit.

Just thoughts that ran through my tired head this morning. A wicker laundry basket (tall) could maybe work too.. you know.. one with a lid.
post #109 of 246
Originally Posted by MaisieBake


What if it's a competitor at a bridal show wanting to sway business in front of customers? Because the answer can adversely and unfairly profile my business and therefore hurt my livelihood. Declaring either way can hurt you depending on the feelings of the person. Why divide your market?

Flip side, why not stand behind your product?

If you think that what you're doing is good, defend it honestly.

Do you think that your customers won't buy from you if they learn more about what they're buying?

If I understand this correctly, the question is not whether she should lie or tell the truth or whether she is insecure about her product. I think the question is should she be concerned about people's prejudices keeping them from trying her product. She is in the beggining stages of her business and if people don't get to walk in the shop and see/taste her product beofre that nasty rumors about "that bakery down the street attempting to rip people off by using a boxed mix" starts she might be in a lot of trouble.

I would definately hide the boxes and any of your other key ingredients. Not out of insecurity or with the intention to deceive. I would do it to try and forstall any negative reaction based on stupidity. Those with an allergy will ask about the ingredient they are allergic to. Those operating from the point of stupididty will assume that you bake from scratch and the question won't come up unless they see a box and walk away with their noses in the air. Most people still don't know that bakeries often use mixes to make their favorite cakes.

Do yourself a favor and don't voluntarily put it out there. I would definately adopt a don't ask don't tell attitude and when they ask, don't beat around the bush simply say "I use a doctored mix recipe my mom gave me." (well that's what I say. Feel free to borrow it)
post #110 of 246
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Best reply- MY recipe is just that, my recipe. (forget the box/ scratch thing).

Question- "Do you use a mix?"
Answer- "Sorry, I don't share my recipes."

Question, "But do you bake from scratch?"
Answer- "Sorry, I spent years perfecting my methods and recipes and just don't discuss them. I'm glad you like the taste."

I like this approach and would use it for some customers. I would add "are you asking because you have specific allergies?" and then decide whether or not youare willing to accomodate.
post #111 of 246
I have really enjoyed this thread! thanks all!

Petit_Four, you had a interesting point that struck a chord with me...
my cousin is deathly allergic to red food coloring.
I guess it's a good idea to know all your ingredients, box or not icon_lol.gif
'Why sleep when you can bake!'
'Why sleep when you can bake!'
post #112 of 246
I like the doctored mix recipe my mom or a very close friend gave me. I really like that one.
Most of my friends think I lie to them when I say ..Oh, it's just a cake mix...LOL.. So I just let them think I make from scratch if they want to.
I just give my cakes a very yummy flavor title, and they think it's scratch...I never say it's just chocolate or yellow.... I say something like, it's double chocolate, chocolate chip fudge, with chocolate peanut butter fudge icing...Do you think that sounds like a box mix?
Anyways, try to avoid the mix question.
post #113 of 246
I recently bumped into this issue and I believe that I agree that it is simply none of the persons business... we research and gather info on these recipes doctored or not and it comes down to taste matters, and people want to know how you make that darn cake better than they can. If we asked what the secret spices are at KFC do you think they would tell us? Let them do the research and figure it out!!!
When going up the ladder of life, be nice to people on your way up. You never know, when you will see them on the way back down.

A Sweet Success
When going up the ladder of life, be nice to people on your way up. You never know, when you will see them on the way back down.

A Sweet Success
post #114 of 246
I beleive it was Carl Sagan (not sure) that said to truly make something from scratch we would have to start with the creation of the universe. I really hate the do you grind, grow, ect. comments. It is a snappy retort that would throw off a non professional but among professionals it doesn't seem to fit as an answer to anything.
post #115 of 246
I forget who said this first, but when asked a question that we would prefer to not answer or that makes us uncomfortable, answer with the question, "Why do you ask" icon_confused.gif . Then, if it is about allergies, you would know. If, like a gentleman I know, it is about not consuming specific non-foods (corn syrup), then you would know. Some people take very seriously every bite of food they consume (wish I was one - I wouldn't have weight issues icon_redface.gif ). This would help anyone to know how best to answer. thumbs_up.gif
If I only got what I asked for, I would not get what I really want.
If I only got what I asked for, I would not get what I really want.
post #116 of 246
I always get compliments on my Aldi cake mixes. So many people have asked me how I get my cakes so moist.
post #117 of 246
Just curious. Iâm a just a casual home baker, so I donât really understand the where the âscratchâ line is drawn.

If a doctored cake mix is not considered scratch because it uses pre-measured, pre-combined dry ingredients, how would my coconut cake be classified?

For my coconut cake I measure out the flour and sugar, but I use a can of Coco Lopez Coconut Cream to achieve the unique flavor and texture. The Coco Lopez is pre-measured and pre-combined. Does this make my cake a âcanned mixâ vs a âbox mixâ or âscratchâ?

From the ongoing debate it sounds like if you measure out and combine your own flour and sugar the cake it is considered scratch.

Is it that simple?

Is that the only difference between the two?

Iâm so confused. Does someone have a definition for âscratch bakingâ.
post #118 of 246
*Climbing up on my soapbox*

Scratch baking is when you use basic ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, milk, etc. to bake something that is chemical and preservative-free. That's the basic reason for scratch baking in my case, I don't like the preservatives and the chemicals, and contrary to what many people here have posted, I can tell the difference between scratch and a mix. If I made a pie crust from scratch and then dumped cherry pie filling from a can into it, I wouldn't call it a scratch pie.

Whenever this kind of thread pops up is elicits a lot of responses because people are touchy about it, but I've noticed that it's usually the mix bakers who argue that mixes with stuff added to them are scratch. IMO, mixes have so many chemicals added to them to extend their shelf life and make them relatively foolproof to make, you can't say that it's scratch baking if you use them.

There are so many recipes that I've seen on CC that start with a cake mix and add a lot of stuff to them, you might as well avoid the chemicals and start with cake flour and sugar. And no, it really isn't more expensive to do it that way. You do have to know how to mix a cake batter the right way, though, and that's why a lot of people choose to use a mix...I'll say it again, get The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum, it's a great book and has a lot of information in it.

It's a personal decision whether to use the mixes or not...I choose not to because I don't like the taste and texture. You might like them, so have at it!

*Climbing down off my soapbox, time to go get some chocolate.*
post #119 of 246
To the OP, your shop is very cute.

To the issue:

I can't name a bakery in my area that bakes everything from scratch. They start with bulk mixes for just about everything.

When you go to a restaurant those big beautiful cakes you see displayed are not even made in the restaurant. They are ordered and shipped in (I know this because a place called Sweet Heart USA in my area provides 90% of cakes for the restaurants here) and they are not from scratch.

You are rarely going to find a bakery that bakes from scratch, let alone a grocery store. So the people with "special needs" that many are referring to, will let you know that when they contact you. The others are just nosy.

I make many of my cakes from a mix some I would never make from a mix (family recipes that everyone is used to), I have no problem saying so and telling them which cakes are which.

If they have a problem with it, then I'm not the baker for them.
Whatever your heart desires and your mind can dream you can find it here and it's one of THE SWEETEST THINGS.
Whatever your heart desires and your mind can dream you can find it here and it's one of THE SWEETEST THINGS.
post #120 of 246
I don't think a customer has EVER asked me that question!

I do bake with mixes. I am not a scratch baker at all but I get RAVE reviews on the taste of my cakes. I have had other bakers ask for the recipe and couldn't believe it was a box mix. It is a doctored mix so I guess it works for me.

I do volunteer the information that I bake my cakes with real butter and buttermilk - this is usually as brides are eating the cake and tasting the frosting (made with butter also) and raving about how good it is. I think by volunteering the "real butter/buttermilk/extra large or jumbo eggs are used to make my cakes" they don't feel the need to ask if it is scratch or box.

I get my thrills by decorating. If I got my thrills by baking - I would be baking from scratch. Each to his own and whatever works for his or her personal situation.

Lots of restaurants use precooked (especially chain restaurants) foods and deserts from Sysco. People lap them up and LOVE it. My son was the head cook at a local family owned restaurant who made all of the savory dishes from scratch. Devin poo poo'd Olive Garden because he said their food was all made at huge kitchens and shipped frozen to the individual sites for basically "reheating". He said working for one of those restaurants wouldn't have taught him what he knows - and that is how to make KILLER meatballs, marinara sauce and KILLER brouschetta. But at the same time - they did not make the pasta from scratch sometimes a blend of the two - scratch and prepackaged can work together to bring a wonderful product to our customers!
Sugar Artist in Progress
Sugar Artist in Progress
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