Originally Posted by txkat
Sorry, but that is a load of nonsense that only someone who can't bake a scratch cake ( or doesn't want to bother to learn ) could come up with. It's like saying somebody doing a paint by number is actually a great creative artist.
Baking from scratch and cosistently acheiving a superior product is the zenith of the culinary craft. It is harder than cooking. I say this as someone who was trained as a "chef" rather than a "pastry chef".
I put box mixes one step above Walmart cake. That said, a lot more people shop at Walmart than at Bergdorf's. There is no doubt you can make a living selling cake made from a mix.
I personally take exception pride in the quality of our " made fresh from scratch everyday" baked goods. There are maybe 15 bakeries in the country who do what we do. That is special. Duncan Hines sells $250 million dollars worth of mix a year, so popular, yes....special, no, not so much.
Why do you assume that I bake only from box mixes? And if I did, how is that a valid assesment of my baking skills overall? Why is a box filled with pre-measured ingredients such a threat to ones sense of self-worth over their skills?
I'm playing Devil's Advocate by looking at the debate from all sides in a purely dry manner.
This once again goes back to defining baking from scratch and the emotional attachment associated with the claim. This response above? A classic example of an emotional reaction that does not state any supportive logical facts.
Baking harder than cooking? Opinion -- It is highly variable depending on the individual. It cannot be concretely proven.
Popular not the same as Special? Opinion -- If 250 million people all like the same thing that can also make it pretty special.
Box Mix one step above Wal-Mart cake? Opinion -- Even a pre-assembled Wal-Mart cake can beat out a fresh cake. One has to assume the final result of a cake made with a box mix will be consistently on the same level of quality as a pre-made cake, which isn't practical.
That you are one of 15 bakeries who does something a certian way and therefore it instantly makes it better or special? Opinion -- Taste is subjective. Ingredients are only one factor, not the penultimate factor of quality.
It's not the ingredients or in what manner they were assembled which makes the cake special, it's the time and talent the person puts into the cake overall which makes it special.
A person can have all fresh, expensive, top of the line ingredients and make a lousy cake. A person can have a box mix and grocery store bought ingredients as a base and produce a spectacular cake. The reverse is also true: a person can be lousy with box mix and a master at manual assembly.
That's really what it boils down to...One method of labor is not inherently better than the other. Different? Yes. Better or a valid measure of overall quality? No. The ingredient means only as much as the level of skill, training, and know-how the person using them brings to the table.
This is the factor that's always thrown out first thing when this debate arises, and why both sides get so riled up. Both sides are guilty of placing ALL the deciding factor of quality and someone's worth as a baker on one insignificant detail.
....but then, people will always judge others and find ways to think of themselves better than, because it's just what we humans do.
That's why this debate will never end and there's no right answer. Man cannot live off dry facts and logic alone.