Warren Brown Yellow Cake - Potato Starch

Baking By LisaPeps Updated 31 Jan 2012 , 11:53am by LisaPeps

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LisaPeps Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 10:41am
post #1 of 13

I want to try to make Warren Brown's yellow cake recipe, it calls for potato starch. I have sweet potato powder from a Chinese Grocery store, do you think this is interchangeable with the potato starch? I can't read the actual ingredients in the sweet potato powder because they are in chinese, so I don't know if it has any additional ingredients like cornflour etc...

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AnnieCahill Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 11:23am
post #2 of 13

Not sure Lisa. If you have have a Jewish foods section in your grocery store check there. I have heard that's where people are finding it.

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LisaPeps Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 11:32am
post #3 of 13

I can get potato starch quite easily in the UK, the sweet potato powder is what I have on hand. Just wondering if I can save myself a trip to the store icon_smile.gif

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AnnieCahill Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 12:07pm
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Oh ok I understand. I imagine the two are interchangeable as they are both starches, but without seeing what else is added to it, it's hard to say. Have you tried the recipe before?

Good luck!


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LisaPeps Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 2:56pm
post #5 of 13

No I haven't, that's why I'm being a bit hesitant with the sweet potato as I like to follow a recipe perfectly the first time then make changes. I guess I'll suck it up and go to the shop and try the recipe with the different starches. Thanks Annie!

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AnnieCahill Posted 29 Jan 2012 , 12:19am
post #6 of 13

Let me know how it goes! I have yet to try his recipe but I have heard that it's awesome!

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dukeswalker Posted 29 Jan 2012 , 1:26am
post #7 of 13

Lots of natural food stores carry Potato Starch, Bob's Red Mill makes some too. (I use it in GF baking quite a bit) I've never used the Sweet Potato starch though, so, I'm sorry I can't help with that...

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auzzi Posted 29 Jan 2012 , 9:12am
post #8 of 13

Potato starch and sweet potato starch are not interchangeable as they have different characteristics. Cornstarch is closer in character to potato starch.

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scp1127 Posted 29 Jan 2012 , 9:45am
post #9 of 13

I wouldn't do it. They will have a different taste. I don't know about the rest, but I hate cake failures so I would wait. I usually make a highly rated recipe as stated the first time too unless I'm sure of the outcome. Others I use combos of many recipes plus my own changes. If you change it now, you won't know if you like the basic recipe.

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LisaPeps Posted 30 Jan 2012 , 1:25pm
post #10 of 13

I went out and got some potato starch from the shop and made the recipe today. It was horrendous, I don't know if I have the correct recipe or if I made an error somewhere? The cake was disgusting, it had fat bubbling away on the edges, was gummy in the middle and crusty brown on the top.

This is the recipe I used (I doubled the original recipe I found on a website)
14 oz Plain Flour (The same as AP)
4 oz Potato Starch
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp sea salt

1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Whipping Cream
(We don't have half and half so I used 2% milk and 35% fat Whipping cream)
4 tbsp Brandy
2 tbsp vanilla

12 oz butter
28oz sugar
8 eggs

Bake at 170 (335). Followed the directions to a T.

When I had finished mixing the batter, it looked very runny and looked slightly curdled/separated.

I am assuming my issue was with the Half 'n Half concoction. On wikipedia it says the UKs equivalent is Half cream which is 12% fat content. I have never seen or heard of half cream and it says it is uncommon when I look for it on the net. The next lowest cream is single cream at 18%, should I use this next time?

Wish I hadn't doubled now ugh... I have 4 6" rounds and 2 8" rounds to bake and I thought I would be speeding up the process but now I've taken a giant step back >.<
Failing that being the cause of my problems, does anybody know what it could be??

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scp1127 Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 1:57am
post #11 of 13

Wow, sorry about the failure. I hate that when I'm baking. But I sure have had my share.

This is my basic yellow recipe with a few changes, but none to the structure.I use this if someone orders a chocolate and vanilla cake, but in my business, this has only happened once. I don't get many orders for the more available flavors.

You got the recipe right. Did you make a larger cake or two 9 inch cakes?

But, I have never had the curdling issue and I have many times made my own half and half for many recipes.

This recipe is usually very easy and the first one I suggest to novice bakers. Could we have a variance in the ingredients in our two countries? The only odd ingredient is the potato starch. I don't have my bag but I will look it up and post the ingredients. Why don't you post yours too.

Even if the leavener needed an adjustment, it doesn't explain the curdling. I can't remember if it curdles before it emulsifies.

My taste changes are Hennessy for the brandy (cognac is an aged, sweeter brandy), 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground ginger, vbp, and homemade vanilla extract.

This cake is sturdy and easily accepts additional flavors, makes a great cupcake, even some of the novelty additions, and can be easily adjusted. I feel bad that you had a bad experience when I give this cake high reviews.

My suggestion is to try again with a single recipe, make sure the brandy you chose was one that is sweet and compliments desserts (or change to Hennessy), and make sure it emulsifies. Good luck.

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Panel7124 Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 9:53am
post #12 of 13

Lisa, I have two 9 inch cakes in the oven now (using the same recipe, omitting brandy though). Never tried it before. I was quite amazed by the quantity of sugar in the recipe, but after tasting the batter icon_redface.gif
,it seemed quite good. I used so called 'coffee cream' - they sell 15 % fat cream to make milk coffee and it's a good quality one. Nothing like 12 % fat cream here. I think mixing 35% fat whipping cream with milk could be a problem. Was it at the room temperature when you added it to the mixture? If not, I imagine it would cause the mixture to curdle.

Potato, corn and wheat starch are generally used here quite often. It's added to the AP flour to get better, softer cake texture - like making cake flour which is not available here. Wheat starch (Epifin) I've found probably to be the best. I don't use it in the quantities mentioned on the box though - substitute 1/4 to 1/2 of the AP flour - seems too much to me.

If you are interested, I'll let you know how the cakes came out.

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LisaPeps Posted 31 Jan 2012 , 11:53am
post #13 of 13

I went out and got some single cream (18% fat) and tried the recipe again, it worked. I didn't use the brandy this time though as I didn't like the smell and the taste from the first effort.

It must be the viscosity which was the issue the first time. The fat content would have been 35% + 2% / 2 = 18.5 so the fat wasn't the issue it was the combining of the milk with the cream. I think that is what caused the curdling too as the mixture couldn't cope with the high liquid content.

Is there any way to make this recipe less dense? I like the density for carving which I plan to do with these ones, but I prefer SW's recipe for it's lightness. It's just a PITA having to whip up the egg whites separately.

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