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Of Cakes and Buttercreams, I have a question...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay everyone, I know there have been quite a few discussions as to which buttercreams are better and what is preferred more, cakes from mixes or from scratch. I am very curious as to know if these differences of taste tend to come from the part of the country/world that we live in. I've heard a lot of people rave about doctored mixes and buttercream containing shortening/butter/powdered sugar and I've also heard others raving about recipes from the Cake Bible and imbc or smbc.

Please understand I'm not trying to stir up trouble. I respect each person here and their choices for successful business. I'm just genuinely curious to know why one group prefers a more bland cake with a less sweet buttercream and why another group prefers a more rich taste.

Part of my reason for asking is that I'm trying to start a business and I want to get as much feedback as I can on what would be the best cakes to serve. Thanks for your consideration. I hope I made sense. icon_biggrin.gif
post #2 of 7
Interesting topic and I am eager to hear everyone's feedback. I have been doing a lot of cake testing lately; you know to find the "perfect" cake, lol. I have been sticking to my favorite buttercream which is not overly sweet, a little more ratio of shortening to butter. I like the stability of shortening with the flavoring of butter.

It is funny to get reactions from testers, usually the first thing out of their mouths is, "this is not overly sweet, I like it". I think this must be the #1 concern for most people. I assume they, like I, have those memories of childhood cakes from the bakery with lots of piped royal icing decorations, crunching sugar between your teeth. I try to avoid royal icing like the plague for this very reason, if I can.

Other countries are different. England and Australia commonly use royal icing as decorations and coverings and prefer a sweeter cake. I, like many of you, want a good balance. A great tasting cake that comes off from the sugar topping and balances well, packed with complimentary flavors.

After I am done with my cake testing, I want to move into the buttercreams, Italian and Swiss buttercreams and all their variations. I think Rose Levy Bernbaum has a Moussaline (sp?) or something that I may try. I believe it is similar to the Italian/Swiss variety. Does anyone use these and what are your opinions?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Rodneyck! I would agree with the not too sweet. Anyone else???
post #4 of 7
I have tried many scratch recipes, yellow, white, and chocolate. I finally thought I found a good recipe for ea. When I served them, people sooooo prefered the cake mix cakes. I thought the scratch cakes were tasty and moist but the overwhelming opinion was that it was too dry and didn't have a good taste. I finally just gave up and went back to cake mixes for yellow and white. I still make my chocolate cake from scratch.

Julie
post #5 of 7
I have often wondered about this myself. People say that icing is too sweet...no offense but it is almost 100% powdered sugar. How is it not going to be sweet.

I did notice though that an icing reciped I used to use is much sweeter tasting than the one I currently use. I do get good comments on my icing and I just say its homemade.

But heck, icing is going to be sweet no matter what. JMHO.

As for cake. I think it depends on what you want. I have 2 scratch reciped I like and would need to try tons more but no one has ever complained from a doctored cake mix!
mami2sweeties

Take time to smell the flowers!
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mami2sweeties

Take time to smell the flowers!
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post #6 of 7
This is a great topic. I was just talking to some friends about this exact same thing last week. I use a scratch recipe for my chocolate cake, and get many requests for it. My bil HATES chocolate, but will eat several pieces of my chocolate cake when he's here. I tend to use box mixes for the rest, and people here do NOT like the doctored mixes for some reason! I use all Crisco buttercream with lots of vanilla and butter flavoring, and EVERYONE that I've ever given or sold a cake to tells me that whatever I do, do NOT change my icing recipe. If they only knew it was all shortening. I do put lots of butter flavoring, and was delivering some ice cream cone cupcakes this morning, and my car smelled delicious! I guess it's all about what people are used to, but I know I would lose all my customers if I changed my frosting. I'm going to try some IMBC soon and send a cake to my hubby's work and a few other people to see what they think about it, but I don't think it'll beat the crisco that I use now!
post #7 of 7
It's a funny thing, this icing. I currently use the standard shortening recipe for my buttercream - but I personally hate it. I'm often quite shocked when people request it because it is just far too sweet for me. I personally prefer stabilized cream icings, but I've yet to use one on my own cakes.

As for mix vs. scratch - I far prefer a mix. Not only does it make it easy for the baker, but the customer always loves it. I do say though, I always feel a little guilty knowing that the cake isn't really all "mine." It almost feels like cheating.... icon_wink.gif


Let me know what you find out!!!
Good decorating hides bad baking.
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Good decorating hides bad baking.
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