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New to scratch cakes...advice on picking recipes, long sorry - Page 3

post #31 of 71
Oh Merissa, I wish I could come to your kitchen to see what's going on. icon_lol.gif I'm a huge fan of scratch baking and it did take me awhile to get the hang of things. Reading the info in the Cake Bible does help understand the science to it all. How some things work and don't work. I like her style of mixing also. My fav recipe from that book is the white chocolate whisper cake.

A baker's scale has worked wonders for me! It makes a difference using the weighted measurements. Measuring, overmixing, overbaking...they all play a part in the end result. There are some bad recipes out there but I find that most of the time it's user error. I've gone back to a few recipes I thought were "bad" (before I knew much) and they came out better. I also like to use cake flour when I can...the type of flour makes a big difference in the crumb you get.

The Perfectly Choc. cake recipe is a good one. I like more of a chocolate flavor so I may add some melted chocolate or sub in coffee/kahlua for some of the liquid.
post #32 of 71
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the additional tips! I do want to get the cake bible. (I was supposed to for my b-day. My DH forgot to put the shipping address in when he ordered from amazon. How do they let you order without an address?? Weeks went by and finally amazon contacted us and cancelled the order because of no address. I jsut never got around to re-ordering it.) Anywho...Maybe I will try the Hersheys cake next. What happens if I sub AP for cake flour, do I add or subtract a certain amount?
post #33 of 71
I personally never had any luck with the Cake Bible. I followed the recipes to a T but they always come out dry. The Hershey's cake uses AP flour but I find the cake flour gives it a finer, sturdier crumb.

1 Cup of AP Flour = 1 Cup + 2 T. of Cake Flour
post #34 of 71
Yes, you'd subtract a little AP flour if you use it to sub.

I find that some of her recipes (Rose Levy B.) border on being dry - the slightest thing will not turn out in your favor. I definitely have to go by her weights instead of measuring. I tweak a little bit too. (a tbsp or 2 of sour cream on some of them) Like I said, my fav is the white chocolate one, turns out every time for me. Even if you don't use the recipes, the info is valuable.

Another thing, if your cake starts to shrink from the sides while it's still in the oven, it's already overbaked or at least beginning to. It should shrink away after you remove it. I think I got that from her book and have found it to be true.

For cupcakes, I've been addicted to Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I'm not vegan by any standard but a moist cake is a moist cake. Every single one I've made has been delicious! The chocolate recipe in it is now my standard for chocolate cupcakes. I made it on Saturday with a peanut butter cream cheese icing and it was heaven! That particular recipe is online somewhere. Give it a try. There aren't many extras you need, you're just not using butter or eggs. Most of the recipes call for soy or rice milk and I drink both anyway. I'm sure you could still use regular milk if you want...just may need to cut back on the fat a little.

Sorry I'm rambling so much. icon_smile.gif
post #35 of 71
Thread Starter 
Okay a couple of more questions:

When you guys sub butter for oil (or some of it) do you melt it, or just soften?

If a scratch recipe doesnt indicate mixing speed or time what would you recommend?
post #36 of 71
Thread Starter 
http://www.amishrobot.com/recipes/2003/07/

Is this the same recipe for the white chocolate cake your referred to?
post #37 of 71
If you're subbing for oil, I'd melt it. I find that recipes with oil distribute the fat more evenly. But if a recipe just calls for butter, it's softened.

As far as the 2nd question, sometimes it depends on the mixing method. Once flour is introduced to the batter, I usually do not mix more than 1-1 1/2 mins. Scrape the bowl at least once and go for another 20seconds or so. You need to build up the structure but don't overdo it. When eggs are added, I mix for about 15-20sec.

Again, it depends on the mixing instructions of the recipe. If it starts with creaming butter and sugar...get that good and fluffy (about 2 mins).

I usually don't go past the midspeed on my KA...4 I think?
post #38 of 71
Thread Starter 
okay thanks! I am excited to try again! I will let you know how my next endevour turns out.
post #39 of 71
Good luck! What recipe are you going to try?

These are just my tips and what works for me...hopefully, others can chime in with theirs.
post #40 of 71
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sara-moulton/classic-white-cake-recipe/index.html This the white cake I like.

The Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate cake on the back of the Hershey's cocoa box is the same as their Black Magic cake with the alteration of coffee for water and the use of buttermilk. http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipes/detail.asp?id=4754&page=1&per=25&category_id=13&classics=1&CategoryPage=true#content_area

It uses AP flour rather than cake flour.
post #41 of 71
Thread Starter 
I think maybe either the Hershey's cake or the white chocolate one. Maybe tomorrow...!
post #42 of 71
Thread Starter 
okay the Hersheys cake is in the oven now...gosh the batter was thin. It said it would be, but WOW. I hope I made it right. We will see in about 15 minutes LOL! I like how nice and dark it is though (Dark Chocolate fan here. I used the special dark cocoa) I will let you all know how it turns out!
post #43 of 71
I have baked scratch all my life and I too hated the Whimsical bakehouse vanilla cupcakes.......just not good. So, don't worry, it's not you! They do have several other excellent recipes though, so don't write them off entirely.
My favorite chocolate cake is Hershey's Black Magic Cake and yes, the batter is really thin. So good though. And people can't get enough of it. I have a couple of slices in the freezer right now. Maybe it's time for a lil' snack..... lol
post #44 of 71
Merissa how did the cake turn out?

For choc I like to use the Toba Garrett recipe that is in the back of her decorating book.

Now that recipe will screw with ya. You just dump everything in the bowl mix it a lil, and pour in the pans. It's a good cake.

Mike
post #45 of 71
Maybe she's in a cake coma.

Mike, I'm still looking for the time and opportunity to try that recipe you gave awhile back...
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