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Do I avoid the "do you use a mix" question?? - Page 15

post #211 of 246
i hope no one takes this the wrong way, but i dont think its right to lump all *mix* bakers or *scratch* bakers as having one thought. icon_eek.gif

its like saying all scratch bakers have a superiority complex. not true not true

i don't think that mixes offer something that scratch can't. i have a few scratch recipes that I love, but am still searching for others because I have tried some that just did not come out right. Was it me? Maybe. But if I have followed the recipe to the T and it comes out blech and other scratch recipes come out great, then maybe its not me.

i have a friend who does only scratch and 9 times out of 10 the cake is dry, but she prides herself on baking from scratch.

Again, I make both types. I'm not partial. I just LOVE a great tasting cake. icon_biggrin.gif
post #212 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by onceuponacake

i have a friend who does only scratch and 9 times out of 10 the cake is dry, but she prides herself on baking from scratch.



icon_lol.gif She must be the kind of scratch baker that I've encountered my whole life! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Can we all have a big convention sometime so I can sample some of the great scratch-baking talent on here? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #213 of 246
Anytime you're up in my neck of the woods I'll gladly make you some cakes Debi.. if you make me some of your chicken lasagna and chocolate chip cookies. Sound fair to you?? icon_wink.gif
post #214 of 246
jkalman, you gotta deal!! I'll bring lunch ... you bring dessert!
post #215 of 246
can i come too? 'cept i won't bring anything...cause i hate cooking! lol
post #216 of 246
You're on Debi.. icon_wink.gif
post #217 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Quote:
Quote:

Which ingredient in the box mix gives it a noticeable chemical taste?



Try posting the ingredient list for a box of cake mix instead if you're going to argue from ingredient lists.

Here's one: http://www.generalmills.com/corporate/brands/product_image.aspx?catID=24401&itemID=2072

Propylene glycol monoesters of fatty acids? Distilled monoglycerides? What ARE those?



Wow, I was offline for a day and I missed 5 pages of debate.
Anyway, as requested here is a list of the ingredients in a box cake mix as compared to the scratch mix. Iâve also included my very uneducated analysis of each ingredient (I dug up some interesting stuff that some people might be interested in).

Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake
Sugar
Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid),
Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil,
Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate)
Propylene Glycol Monoesters of Fatty Acids
Nonfat Milk
Corn Starch, Modified Corn Starch
Salt
Distilled Mono and Diglycerides
Dextrose
Soy Lecithin
Xanthan Gum
Datem
Artificial Flavor
Add: Water, eggs, oil


White Sugar - both the box mix and the scratch version have sugar in abundance. (BTW: Sugar is very, very bad for the human body. Read âSugar Shockâ if you want to get scared out of your wits.)

Flour â Looks like the box mix is using AP flour and my scratch recipe calls for Cake Flour. To make the AP flour act like cake flour, certain emulsifiers (see below) need to be added that inhibit the formation of gluten. Why doesnât Betty just use cake flour? Well in the US Cake Flour is produced using chlorine and benzoyl peroxide and chlorinated flour has been banned in Europe. I guess Betty doesnât want one mix for the US and another for Europe, so they went the AP flour + Xanthan Gum route. (Just my opinion, though.)

Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil â This is in the box mix and not the scratch, but the scratch version uses butter. Both the oil and the butter and moistness and tenderness to the final baked product, but the butter (creamed with sugar) adds volume which the oil does not. Because the oil does not add volume, other emulsifiers are added to the box mix (see below).

Leavening â same in both â Baking Powder ( Cornstarch, Bicarbonate of Soda, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate)

Propylene Glycol Monoesters of Fatty Acids - Ykees. Sounds really nasty, but it is an additive that protects the mix against mites and microbial damage during storage.

Milk â non fat milk in the box mix vs whole milk in the scratch. Milk also contains glutathione, a reducing agent that softens dough.

Corn Starch â again the AP vs Cake flour thing. Because of the soft wheat used in cake flour production, cake flour has more natural starch than AP. Corn Starch is added to the box mix to compensate.

Salt â present in both versions

Distilled Mono and Diglycerides â Just in the box mix. This is a type of fat or emulsifier that helps produce a softer cake crumb. Again the AP vs Cake Flour thing. Cake flour uses soft wheat that is bleached with both chlorine and benzoyl peroxide. The bleaching of cake flour weakens its gluten and increases the ability of the starch to absorb water (yielding a softer cake crumb). The box mix is using hard wheat and no chlorination so it needs more fat/emulsifiers to inhibit gluten production and produce a soft crumb similar to cake flour.

Dextrose (aka corn sugar/grape sugar/glucose) â Just in the box mix. This is another type of sweetener (naturally occurring form of glucose). The dextrose provides the same properties as granulated sugar (bulk, browning, caramelized baked flavor, moistness, tenderizes ,etc) but without as much sweetness. Dextrose also improves the shelf life of baked goods because it inhibits microbial growth better than granulated sugar.

Soy Lecithin â Just in the box mix. This is an emulsifier to help provide a consistent texture to the cake. It makes dough less sticky and helps it rise. Also a great dietary supplement (I take it every day). It is a free-radical scavenger, boost âgoodâ cholesterol, and helps stabilize blood sugar. Lecithin is also part of a brain longevity regiment and is being used to help treat dementia patients.

Xanthan Gum (aka Corn Sugar) â Just in the box mix. Leavening agent. Xanthan Gum thickens without feeling thick and heavy and helps batters hold in gases. Xanthan is also being considered (along with heat and enzymes) as an alterative to chlorination in Cake Flour production.

Datem â Just in the box mix. It is another emulsifier used to make baked products rise to greater heights. Because the box mix doesnât use creamed butter/sugar, other methods are needed to achieve the same height.

Artificial Flavor â Iâm assuming this is artificial vanilla flavoring, but there is no way of telling. I guess it is Bettyâs secret formula. I did find this blurb about Artificial Flavors: The FDA does not require companies to disclose ingredients of color or flavor additives so long as all the chemicals in them are considered by the agency to be GRAS (Generally recognized as safe) enabling companies to maintain secrecy of formulas.


So nothing in this list has scared me off (except the chlorination of cake flour). Iâll still use doctored box mixes for my regular cakes and scratch for the special ones.
post #218 of 246
I don't know, I'm still hesitant about all the chemicals. Just because I know what a chemical does, doesn't mean it's okay to put in my body. It's a touchy subject and I thank you for taking the time to look into the ingredients. I know that sometimes things sound more dangerous than they are. Take titanium dioxide for example (Wilton Icing White). It's mined in the earth and is in everything that is white (like toothpaste), but it sounds like some nasty chemical.
No longer baking and caking. Medical transcriptionist and Thirty-One Gifts independent consultant.
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No longer baking and caking. Medical transcriptionist and Thirty-One Gifts independent consultant.
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post #219 of 246
I've know some anti-cake mix snobs and they generally don't know what the heck they are talking about. For example, at work our office manager orders cakes for birthday and other celebrations. She refuses to pay for "cake mix cakes" (this from a woman who doesn't cook anything ever), but most of the "scratch" bakery cakes she gets look good but taste blah.

The cakes I make taste much, much better (and get rave reviews) and (except for certain flavors) they generally start with a mix. Why feel guilty about that???? What the customer wants is something that tastes good - why they heck should they dictate how you achieve that goal?
...will there be cake?
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...will there be cake?
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post #220 of 246
Cake is fun. Cake is a luxury, it is an indulgence. If you want health food, you are not going to find it in any type of cake. Period.

You can go flourless if you need to, use Splenda if you need to, use scratch instead of mix to avoid allergies if you need to. Cake is versatile.

But we see that scratch doesn't really mean better for you. (Thanks for the break down, MoCakePlz.) What about the hormones in the milk and eggs from cows and chickens. Please. We are kidding ourselves if we try to justify one way of making cake as better than the other. Practically everything we eat nowdays is not healthy. Sad but true. Organic everthing is so expensive!
post #221 of 246
I bake from scratch. That's basically because the boxes are SO disgustingly filled with chemicals and artificial junk. Also my cakes are good.

There is a brand that I use- rarely, because why bother?- called Dr. Oetkers. It's organic. It doesn't have that chemically artificially disgustingly gross stuff in it. It's good. But it's expensive. So I bake from scratch. Everyone loves it. Like Debi says, don't fix what ain't broken.

I would NEVER bash anyone who uses a mix. I just don't happen to want to eat floor wax and shoe polish or whatever the equivalent of the junk in them is.

*stepping off my soapbox now...*
~Normal people worry me~
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~Normal people worry me~
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post #222 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Michelle, titanium dioxide can bring about a horrible allergic reaction in some people.

But I know we think of sugar and flour as righteous ingredients but they are chemicals too. We are just more used to them so they are more friendly to us. Sugar and flour are massively refined. I mean try to take a beet or a length of sugar cane into being sugar--it becomes a chemical made from those natural products. Our flour we use has vitamins added. Those are all chemicals. There's lots of crazy stuff in there. We are just more used to a majority of it.

Shoot if gums are off limits how yah gonna justify using fondant?



Sure, but so do most vegetables and fruits, as far as allergies go.

I see your point and agree, so if we can eliminate them in any way, then we should. Now I was a box-mix-extender baker until I found a recipe that I loved. I probably would still be a box-mix-extender baker if I hadn't. I'm not against them, just found something that I like better.
No longer baking and caking. Medical transcriptionist and Thirty-One Gifts independent consultant.
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No longer baking and caking. Medical transcriptionist and Thirty-One Gifts independent consultant.
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post #223 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by onceuponacake

jessieb- thanks for the heads up on the hershey cake ill look for it. i also have a scratch carrot cake....yummy...my search continues for a great white scratch cake..until then its a doctored BC for me lol




I'm looking for a good carrot cake. Would you mind PM me the recipie???

Thanks bunches! icon_biggrin.gif
Mare
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Mare
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post #224 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Quote:
Originally Posted by gottabakenow

I bake from scratch. That's basically because the boxes are SO disgustingly filled with chemicals and artificial junk. Also my cakes are good.

There is a brand that I use- rarely, because why bother?- called Dr. Oetkers. It's organic. It doesn't have that chemically artificially disgustingly gross stuff in it. It's good. But it's expensive. So I bake from scratch. Everyone loves it. Like Debi says, don't fix what ain't broken.

I would NEVER bash anyone who uses a mix. I just don't happen to want to eat floor wax and shoe polish or whatever the equivalent of the junk in them is.

*stepping off my soapbox now...*



Priceless. No bashing. No disgusting floor wax.



why bash if you can get your point across while being nice? icon_smile.gif
~Normal people worry me~
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~Normal people worry me~
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post #225 of 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by gottabakenow

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Quote:
Originally Posted by gottabakenow

I bake from scratch. That's basically because the boxes are SO disgustingly filled with chemicals and artificial junk. Also my cakes are good.

There is a brand that I use- rarely, because why bother?- called Dr. Oetkers. It's organic. It doesn't have that chemically artificially disgustingly gross stuff in it. It's good. But it's expensive. So I bake from scratch. Everyone loves it. Like Debi says, don't fix what ain't broken.

I would NEVER bash anyone who uses a mix. I just don't happen to want to eat floor wax and shoe polish or whatever the equivalent of the junk in them is.

*stepping off my soapbox now...*



Priceless. No bashing. No disgusting floor wax.



why bash if you can get your point across while being nice? icon_smile.gif



I don't see how calling someone's cake from a box shoe polish or floor wax is nice at all icon_confused.gif
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