That Missing Ingredient You Thought You Had...

Decorating By CoinUK Updated 23 Jul 2015 , 7:59pm by -K8memphis

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CoinUK Posted 20 Jul 2015 , 7:12pm
post #1 of 25

I'm sure many of us have had this, but it's just happened to me and I'm surrounded by cake muggles who don't get it so needed some friendly ears :D

Been planning for a while to try making my own Marshmallow Fondant and had a free day today. The kids are off school now, so no school runs to interrupt. The elder kids have been out most of the day and have taken themselves to the cinema, the younger kids are having fun on their consoles and PC games and my wife is relaxing on the sofa. I've just finished tidying the kitchen and it's spotless, so thought this was the perfect chance to have a go at MMF.

Goes into the kitchen, gets everything set up, Lady Flash (my stand mixer ;) ) is all ready set up for me, I've got the bags of marshmallows ready to weigh, just need to fill up the big tub of icing sugar with the several bags of of it I have in backup.

Except.....wait......where's the icing sugar?

Hunt around the kitchen in my baking supplies......and no icing sugar! WTF??

Turns out the bags of icing sugar were actually bags of flour and caster sugar.

As the greta man himself once said.....DOH!!

Ah well, could have been worse, could have been mid way through making an actual cake! Hell, I hadn't even started greasing everything up to make the MMF yet!

This sort of thing happened to any of you? Probably with even worse timing?

24 replies
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SandraDee73 Posted 20 Jul 2015 , 8:03pm
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I am forever running out of something! Poor planning on my part...Lucky for me DH doesn't mind running to the store (5 mins down the road) for me if I'm in a jam. Yesterday, I realized after I put the cakes in the oven and turned to clean up my countertops...hmmm...there's the bottle of the vanilla extract. Hmmm...did I ?...nope...I didn't...I forgot to put it in the mix! Ooops... Not a big deal since it was a practice cake. 

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Jinkies Posted 20 Jul 2015 , 8:07pm
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OMG, yes! Last month when I was working on a graduation cake and I had to run to the store about 3 different times because I was using a new recipe and messed it up and did not have enough of the ingredients.  I was so mad at myself.  Then when I was finally all set, I realized I did not have enough baking powder.  Of all things, baking powder!  I've never run out of that before! Called a neighbor who was more than happy to bring theirs over...great!!!  It had expired like a year ago...back to the store.

So frustrating, so yeah, I feel your pain.....

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LizzieAylett Posted 20 Jul 2015 , 8:52pm
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I was experimenting with a honey cake this weekend (see my other thread) and, after baking the cake, left the honey out on the table for when I made the icing.  My children come down to get their breakfast and decide on toast - and honey!  They wiped out the rest of the jar which I was saving...  Not their fault, but my eldest is still traumatised and will probably never eat honey again :-)

At least I didn't need any in the end as the cake was a complete failure.

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-K8memphis Posted 20 Jul 2015 , 9:01pm
post #5 of 25

ouch ouch ouch yes for sure i feel your pain

then there's the opposite too 

you're at the store and can't remember if you have 'X' so you toss one in the cart -- for me it's almond extract I use it so rarely -- then one day when you're cleaning out the cupboard you find 3 or 4  forlorn, abandoned bottles of almond extract...

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Jinkies Posted 20 Jul 2015 , 9:18pm
post #6 of 25

@K8memphis, I do that all the time because I figure if I don't get it, I'll need it.  If I do get it, I have 2 already at home.

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-K8memphis Posted 20 Jul 2015 , 9:41pm
post #7 of 25

jinkies -- high five!

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Trinket90 Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 1:34am
post #8 of 25

One night I went to make my WASC for a cake the afternoon. I'd gone shopping, grabbed all my ingredients, etc... So i threw in all the dry, then added the wet. Hold on... No sour cream. Totally forgot to grab the sour cream for my white almond SOUR CREAM cake. Gah! 

I ended up subbing soured milk + butter and it came out fine, if a little denser and flatter than usual. But omg, the sinking feeling! 

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SandraDee73 Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 1:11pm
post #9 of 25

K8memphis and Jinkies...I have that with flour right now! I've got two extra bags, so I popped them into the freezer.

Trinket90 - yep that's one I always think I have, but nope! Never thought to see if there was a substitute! Go you!

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Apti Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 4:54pm
post #10 of 25

@Lizzie Aylett~~Best wishes on the "honey trauma" recovery for your eldest.....

(You cracked me up!!)

As to forgetting ingredients?   Well, about the cake mix?   I make a wonderful sour cream dark chocolate fudge cake with Duncan Hines mix as my dry base.  Got everything at the store and got home, prepared everything for the mixing and baking, went to the cupboard.....ooops....

Forgetting stuff happens to me all the time, so I do like jinkies and K8 (and probably a few million other people), and end up with 3 or 4 of something's because I'll throw an extra in the grocery cart "just in case I'm an idiot and have C.R.S." [can't remember sh*t]

I also end up with tubes of sleeve filling in the freezer because I have to drive quite a distance to purchase them and always, always  think, "Oh, I'll just use these up right away with all the fun cakes I'm going to make".   Then 3 months go by with no cakes and I fling 'em in the freezer.

Currently I have a half-gallon of super-heavy cream in the fridge because I was "going to make a lot of ganache for the fun cakes I'm going to make" and put the extra ganache in the freezer for the rest of the fun cakes I'm going to make".  oooops...

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jgifford Posted 21 Jul 2015 , 8:46pm
post #11 of 25

With me it's giant bottles of vanilla.  We use so much of it in our pancakes and French toast that I'm always afraid there won't be any on the shelf for my cakes.  I was doing inventory this morning and we have 8 of them.  Yay!  But I keep forgetting to get cocoa.  : (

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Apti Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 12:51am
post #12 of 25

@jgifford~~Well at least you picked something that has a LONG shelf life!  (Not so much with heavy cream...)

Google search:

"We looked at the storage recommendations from several flavoring manufacturers and they say that extracts tend to have a shelf life of 6 months to 1 year. The exception to this is pure vanilla extract which, if stored in a cool dark place and tightly sealed, can last indefinitely and even improve with age."

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craftybanana2 Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 5:13pm
post #13 of 25

@Apti   So vanilla ages like a fine wine? It would be interesting to compare a fresh bottle of vanilla with one from 5 years ago, ha ha.

And speaking of heavy cream, that's what I thought I had, but I'm out of it. So back to the store after I dump out two small cartons of the expired stuff.

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jgifford Posted 22 Jul 2015 , 11:38pm
post #14 of 25

Unfortunately, those 8 bottles will only last a couple of months.  We make very good pancakes and French toast.

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yortma Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 1:16pm
post #15 of 25

This made me curious - I just received 2  - 1 quart bottles of vanilla in the mail yesterday (I order 2 every year or so) and never had any problems with shelf life that I could tell.  Vanilla is alcohol based, and I store it in a dark cool place and figured it should last a loooong time, like a liqueur.  My brand new bottles have an expiration date on them for March 2018 - so vanilla does last at least a few years.  (Nielsen-Massey btw).  

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CoinUK Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 1:23pm
post #16 of 25

As an addendum to this, I've discovered another annoyance of my own mistakes!! :D

Instead of not having that ingredient in stock, how about that one missing element of a recipe that you always bloody forget! for me, I always forget to get the butter out of the refrigerator in advance to let it warm to room temperature. I start getting the ingredients ready and realise I have solid butter in the tub and end up having to wait at least an hour before it's ready to use! 

Every. Damn. Time! :D

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-K8memphis Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 1:54pm
post #17 of 25

coin, when your butter is too hard -- whip out a sheet pan and shred your butter first thing and let it fall around in a thin layer all over the pan -- by the time you have all the other ingredients out and oven heated and things measured out, the butter will be fine --

also if you use a stand mixer with planetary action -- you can use the butter hard right out of the fridge -- you can cut it into smaller pieces or not -- but the action of the mixer actually warms it up to acceptable levels for baking -- for making swiss meringue butter cream i go with the shredding if necessary -- or you can pop it into the microwave in a few 5 second bursts --

best baking and buttering to you

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-K8memphis Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 1:56pm
post #18 of 25

in fact i'll often shred it into the empty mixer bowl and let it lightly stack up on itself and just wait a few and it's fine -- less dishes to wash unless you line the sheet pan with a parchment or plastic wrap -- 

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-K8memphis Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 1:57pm
post #19 of 25

and if you do the 5 second bursts -- feel it between each burst because you don't want to get a hot spot that melts faster --


yours for too much information always :)

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SandraDee73 Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 2:00pm
post #20 of 25

Great advise K8memphis! 

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SandraDee73 Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 2:01pm
post #21 of 25

advice... (ugh)

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CoinUK Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 6:40pm
post #22 of 25

Some excellent ideas there, thank you!

Although, it might just be easier if I try and remember to take the damn stuff out of the fridge the night before :D

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-K8memphis Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 7:57pm
post #24 of 25

coin, for food safety you would want to not leave it out that long -- the rule for time temperature sensitive foods is 4 accumulated hours -- so if you leave it out overnight you've gone past the mark --

those methods are quick and painless and safe --

not that i haven't done the very same thing and left my butter and cream cheese out too long --  because i didn't know -- but i took a course to be able to teach food safety and that's what i learned -- that the way i used to do it is unsafe and since i am certified i feel the need to set the mark -- but the whole matter is up to each of us an individuals --

best baking to you

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-K8memphis Posted 23 Jul 2015 , 7:59pm
post #25 of 25

not to mention my many decades of baking i never remembered to take it out in advance on a regular basis -- that's how i devised the ideas i shared - not for safety but lo and behold they do work for safety :)

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