Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Recipes › Following Recipe Directions vs. Conventional Wisdom
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Following Recipe Directions vs. Conventional Wisdom - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

The "beat for two minutes" could also mean use a hand mixer, not a stand mixer. The stand mixer will give you different results. I don't time my mixing time, but I know that I never mix batter for two whole minutes.

Overmixing can cause cakes to fall during baking, as can an oven that's too cold.



I thought the fact that this specific recipe is a cold oven pound cake recipe might make it more finicky! Ick! I really love the recipe so I'm wondering how it would fare if I just baked it in a pre-heated oven. I'll have to give it a try.

Thank you!
post #17 of 36
Have you tried the Magic Strips around your pan to even out the baking. From what you are describing, it sounds like the outer edges are baking at a faster rate. The Magic Strips are moistened and pinned around your cake pan. This will slow down the outer layer and it should bake evenly. What temp are you baking on?
Believe in yourself so that you can be the best.
Reply
Believe in yourself so that you can be the best.
Reply
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betheigh

Oh, and I'm still curious what you think about the over beating, in general. In most cases, should I avoid that last directive, and just mix/stir/beat until combined or is it really recipe specific, or cake-type specific?



There are many methods for mixing cakes - it depends on the ingredients and the desired outcome: One Step Method; High Ratio Method (YES - will often require about 2 minutes); Creaming Method; Modified Creaming Method; Angel Food Mixing Method; Chiffon Mixing Method; Sponge Mixing Method (e.g. sponge, genoise, biscuit, etc...), etc... To state that you should never beat something for 2 minutes is not correct. If you want to email me your recipe I can look at it try to figure it out as your issue could be the recipe. Ingredients and the quantities will react differently - some will tenderize, some will toughen (and the word 'toughen is not negative as you need some strength in all types of cakes).
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dldbrou

Have you tried the Magic Strips around your pan to even out the baking. From what you are describing, it sounds like the outer edges are baking at a faster rate. The Magic Strips are moistened and pinned around your cake pan. This will slow down the outer layer and it should bake evenly. What temp are you baking on?



I haven't tried them yet because I've heard mixed results with them. I will shop around and give them a try - honestly, since I decided not to use them, I had kind of forgotten about them!

For most cakes, I bake on 325 F. For this specific cold oven pound cake recipe, I bake on them on 275 F for 1 hour per the recipe instructions.

When I bake on 325 with some recipes (typically the butter cakes), I have the same problem, though. This is especially true if I bake in a wide/large pan like a 9x13 - a cake that turns out just fine in a regular 9 inch round will be under baked in the middle in a 9x13 pan.

Thanks for your help!
post #20 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowshoe1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betheigh

Oh, and I'm still curious what you think about the over beating, in general. In most cases, should I avoid that last directive, and just mix/stir/beat until combined or is it really recipe specific, or cake-type specific?



There are many methods for mixing cakes - it depends on the ingredients and the desired outcome: One Step Method; High Ratio Method (YES - will often require about 2 minutes); Creaming Method; Modified Creaming Method; Angel Food Mixing Method; Chiffon Mixing Method; Sponge Mixing Method (e.g. sponge, genoise, biscuit, etc...), etc... To state that you should never beat something for 2 minutes is not correct. If you want to email me your recipe I can look at it try to figure it out as your issue could be the recipe. Ingredients and the quantities will react differently - some will tenderize, some will toughen (and the word 'toughen is not negative as you need some strength in all types of cakes).



I should have specified those cakes that employ the creaming method - sorry!

I appreciate the offer - here is the full recipe. It was actually found through a blog with a link back to this page on Bakespace:

http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Annie-Laurie's-Cold-Oven-Pound-Cake/7096/

On the blog post where I found the recipe, the author and another reader had no problems making the cake. I and another reader experience similar problems as one another.

Thanks a bunch!
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

The "beat for two minutes" could also mean use a hand mixer, not a stand mixer. The stand mixer will give you different results. I don't time my mixing time, but I know that I never mix batter for two whole minutes.

Overmixing can cause cakes to fall during baking, as can an oven that's too cold.



Personally, I feel this could be part of the issue. Most recipes in home cook books are written for little hand mixers. There is a difference between the small beaters of a hand mixer, vs the Paddle attachment of a KA mixer.
The mixing times and speeds would be different. Your KA mixer came with a book, and I believe there maybe recipes in it for cake. I would look up those recipes and try it, and then compare it to the other recipes you want to use. If the recipe in the KA book are similar, then you should be able to adjust your mixing time and speeds accordingly.

That paddle could be responsible for over beating. You can get funky results from beating eggs too long. (unless for meringue) You can also beat the dickens out of the gluten in the flour, thus creating tough baked goods.

I think you are on the right track, trying to trouble shoot your recipes and asking for help.
All I can suggest is that you keep trouble shooting until you find a product you like.

I hope this helps.
tokazodo
post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Betheigh

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowshoe1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betheigh

Oh, and I'm still curious what you think about the over beating, in general. In most cases, should I avoid that last directive, and just mix/stir/beat until combined or is it really recipe specific, or cake-type specific?



There are many methods for mixing cakes - it depends on the ingredients and the desired outcome: One Step Method; High Ratio Method (YES - will often require about 2 minutes); Creaming Method; Modified Creaming Method; Angel Food Mixing Method; Chiffon Mixing Method; Sponge Mixing Method (e.g. sponge, genoise, biscuit, etc...), etc... To state that you should never beat something for 2 minutes is not correct. If you want to email me your recipe I can look at it try to figure it out as your issue could be the recipe. Ingredients and the quantities will react differently - some will tenderize, some will toughen (and the word 'toughen is not negative as you need some strength in all types of cakes).



I should have specified those cakes that employ the creaming method - sorry!

I appreciate the offer - here is the full recipe. It was actually found through a blog with a link back to this page on Bakespace:

http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Annie-Laurie's-Cold-Oven-Pound-Cake/7096/

On the blog post where I found the recipe, the author and another reader had no problems making the cake. I and another reader experience similar problems as one another.

Thanks a bunch!

I sent you back an email - check your spam if you don't get it.
post #23 of 36
Betheigh- If you have the FJ county fair winner's recipe book, the Champion Sponge Cake with pineapple frosting is brilliant. The pineapple frosting deteriorates within a day-so don't use that frosting if the cake is not going to be eaten in one day. The only trick with that one is not to over bake. I won a blue ribbon with that one at a local fair. In fact most of the blue ribbons I have won have been with Farm Journal recipes. I gave a friend a copy of the their cranberry -blueberry pie recipe, and she promptly took a first place with it.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowshoe1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betheigh

Oh, and I'm still curious what you think about the over beating, in general. In most cases, should I avoid that last directive, and just mix/stir/beat until combined or is it really recipe specific, or cake-type specific?



There are many methods for mixing cakes - it depends on the ingredients and the desired outcome: One Step Method; High Ratio Method (YES - will often require about 2 minutes); Creaming Method; Modified Creaming Method; Angel Food Mixing Method; Chiffon Mixing Method; Sponge Mixing Method (e.g. sponge, genoise, biscuit, etc...), etc... To state that you should never beat something for 2 minutes is not correct.



I'm sorry, but most home hobby bakers this is correct to a degree. There are two reasons. First the "hi-ratio" method is for recipes that have more sugar then flour ratio. This works for batters that use hi ratio shortening, something not readily available to the average home baker. Or before Crisco went mostly, but not all, trans fat free. Now we have the blogosphere where people take recipes, substitute butter for the shortening without reformulating the flour/sugar ratio. They also do not redo the batter making process. They may get good luck for whatever reason the first time, or think that the sunken look in the center is just indicative of scratch cakes and not do anything about it. I have seen plenty of cake photos with the sunken bottom and the author stating it is the best cake ever. Shirley Corriher said it best in her book Bakewise that a sad cake is the best cake to eat. That doesn't mean it was made right.

It certainly is better for the cake to not be beaten for two minutes than it is to beat for two minutes - at the end stage. The gluten gets over developed, as said several times here, and then problems arise. I find that most recipes assume one is using a hand mixer. I have also seen over and over the statement that if you use a hand mixer that is the time you need to mix longer than a stand mixer.

The second reason is that we all have different equipment, different brands (even that will make a difference, more than one thinks) and different ideas on what a cake should taste like.

I notice in the recipe she does state to beat for two minutes "using a hand mixer". Those words there should raise a red flag to any body using a stand mixer that this recipe process needs to be revamped to work with your tools. Plus that recipe is a very temperamental recipe calling for all the products toe ice cold. And then we will add another problem to the mix - use a different pan than the recipe called for and you will have other issues also, even using a 10 cup bunt pan vs. A 12 cup bunt pan.

I have said this before, and will put it here. There are excellent books to read that can educate you on all the nuances of scratch baking. I find this topic to be of great interest and pour over them again and again like novels. Here are some of the books you can read:

Bakewise and another book Cookwise, both by Shirley Corriher. How Baking Works by Paula Figoni (may have spelling wrong), The Professional Decorator by Toba Garrett, The Professional Baker, a college text book by Garrett (last name), The Cake Bible by Rose Levenbaum. Every recipe and the last chapter all have information on how the recipe works. I may be forgetting a book or two, but these are all good starts. Most of these can be found in your local library.

I don't remember exactly if I said you should never mix for two minutes. Certainly those that can get the hi ratio shortening will have different methods for mixing as well as those that use a hand mixer over a stand mixer. But I can say I have a happier cake and a more satisfied crowd when I don't over mix. If you want to mix for the 2 minutes, then I suggest a slow speed over medium. But I still stand by my statement that it is better to NOT mix for 2 minutes than to mix. I have done months and months of experimenting to come to this conclusion. I have done my share of dumping a lot of product before I followed my intuition and after months of research and found what worked with my equipment. For me and my KA, I do not beat for 2 minutes. Ever since I changed that method I have not had to toss any more products.

So I will still say follow your intuition. And actually the best way I have found to see if it works is to get into the kitchen and do some "science" experiments. Make a batter several different ways with the same ingredients. Find the one that works for you, and works more than once, and then use that method. Recipes are guidelines and you are the scientist. Go and explore. It will be fun
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
Reply
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
Reply
post #25 of 36
I also forgot to state that the recipe you are using still has lots of room for questions.

The butter - is it room temp or very cold? She states this for some of the ingredients but not all. Did she use very cold butter, semi cold, room temp, very soft?

Cream butter and sugar - for how Long. The difference in this stage of the process between 2, 3, or even 6 to 8 will make a world of difference in how a cake comes out.

Alternate flour and liquid - again for how long did she it let it mix in between. Did she do it til each ingredient was fully incorporated, or did she just dump one after another. If using a hand mixer this make a world of difference. You have to stop, put down the mixer, pick up your product, put it in. All that time wasted can make the batter settle differently and then it may need the extra time to mix for a smooth batter.

What kind of flour, what brand of flour? What kind of baking powder?

This is my point that you must objectively approach every recipe as a guideline instead of following the directions to the letter. There are so many variables not ever written. It is no wonder we get so many varying results and opinions on scratch baking.
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
Reply
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
Reply
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144


I'm sorry, but most home hobby bakers this is correct to a degree. There are two reasons. First the "hi-ratio" method is for recipes that have more sugar then flour ratio. This works for batters that use hi ratio shortening, something not readily available to the average home baker. Or before Crisco went mostly, but not all, trans fat free. Now we have the blogosphere where people take recipes, substitute butter for the shortening without reformulating the flour/sugar ratio.



Just to clarify, the high-ratio cakes are ones which the weight of the sugar equals or exceeds the weight of the flour and hi-ratio shortening is not a requirement for using this mixing method (butter and other fats can be used). Standard process is to mix all the dry ingredients with your fats (e.g. butter / shortening - and shortening does not need to be high-ratio), the process of incorporating the fats usually will take about two minutes using a stand kitchen-aide (I mix on low speed - e.g. 2 - 3 and your mixture will look a bit like cornmeal - this process will not create excess gluten strands) then add liquids, including the eggs, combining these in three parts.
post #27 of 36
The method you state as hi ratio I often if not always see it referred to as the two-stage method. This is true in all the books I stated in my last post. In using a two-stage method the fat and flour are together, with a touch of the liquid to coat the flour and prevent gluten formation. That is why you can get away with mixing it for two minutes at the Beginning stage of that method. Let's not confuse the OP who is referring us to a recipe for the creaming method. The best book for the two stage method is The Cake Bible. In the creaming method it is best NOT to mix for a log period of time once you add the liquid. Adding the liquid is what starts the gluten formation. Once you are at that stage, the less mixing the better.

And you can get away with your sugar being a high ratio than your flour. But not by much of you don't want a slightly collapsed looking cake or cuccapke.I have learned personally by testing a lot of recipes that too much sugar will make a cake collapse. And the best example is in the book How Baking Works where she shows her experiments with varying amounts of sugar to flour ratio baking experiments and what the results look like. Too much sugar to flour and you have a collapsed cake, no matter what the method of preparing the batter. And yes, you do need hi-ratio shortening to absorb the extra liquid that is necessary in a cake like this. Your liquid in a hi ratio cake must be equal to or higher than the sugar. If it is not, the sugar cannot fully dissolve. And hi ratio shortening is the only fat that wil be able to absorb the extra liquid. It is formulated to work that way as stated again in every book I cited above. That is one of the advantages of using a hi ratio shortening.

And so again I stand by my statement of over mixing. Too much is not a good thing. I will also say that recipes that do have the flour to sugar ratio skewed set up the average home baker up for disappointment. It's not that they won't get an edible product, they will not get a pretty product like the OP is talking about. Again I will refer you to the chapter in Shirley Corriher's book. Her bundt cake tasted delicious, but was sunken. Her solution, once you turn it put of the pan, the sunken part is on the plate and no one will see it anyway!

I have readjusted recipes to have the flour equal the sugar in weight and do not miss the extra sugar at all. It does not change the taste, sweetness, crumb, texture. It does give me a cake or cupcake that rises better, even with my way of mixing my batter.
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
Reply
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
Reply
post #28 of 36
Linda - you should also check the book Professional Baking by Wayne Glissen which is issued in many Pastry Arts professional programs - as it was in mine. Hi-ratio shortening is not required for high-ratio cakes. I have many high-ratio cake recipes that turn out wonderful using butter as the fat - I would be happy to share.

The high-ratio mixing method is also referred to as the two-step mixing method (see Glissen's book). It is generally accepted the high-ratio (or two-step) mixing method was developed by Procter and Gamble in the 1940's to prevent the batter from separating when the high proportion of sugar can make the batter separate.

I don't think I've ever encouraged anyone to overmix.
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokazodo

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

The "beat for two minutes" could also mean use a hand mixer, not a stand mixer. The stand mixer will give you different results. I don't time my mixing time, but I know that I never mix batter for two whole minutes.

Overmixing can cause cakes to fall during baking, as can an oven that's too cold.



Personally, I feel this could be part of the issue. Most recipes in home cook books are written for little hand mixers. There is a difference between the small beaters of a hand mixer, vs the Paddle attachment of a KA mixer.
The mixing times and speeds would be different. Your KA mixer came with a book, and I believe there maybe recipes in it for cake. I would look up those recipes and try it, and then compare it to the other recipes you want to use. If the recipe in the KA book are similar, then you should be able to adjust your mixing time and speeds accordingly.

That paddle could be responsible for over beating. You can get funky results from beating eggs too long. (unless for meringue) You can also beat the dickens out of the gluten in the flour, thus creating tough baked goods.

I think you are on the right track, trying to trouble shoot your recipes and asking for help.
All I can suggest is that you keep trouble shooting until you find a product you like.

I hope this helps.
tokazodo



Thanks for your response! I looked at the book, trying to pay close attention between what the numbers supposedly correspond to - you know, like cream, mix, etc. But, I didn't think about looking at the recipes and seeing what they suggest...duh - what a good idea!
post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Narie

Betheigh- If you have the FJ county fair winner's recipe book, the Champion Sponge Cake with pineapple frosting is brilliant. The pineapple frosting deteriorates within a day-so don't use that frosting if the cake is not going to be eaten in one day. The only trick with that one is not to over bake. I won a blue ribbon with that one at a local fair. In fact most of the blue ribbons I have won have been with Farm Journal recipes. I gave a friend a copy of the their cranberry -blueberry pie recipe, and she promptly took a first place with it.



I JUST got that one yesterday at a used bookstore. I love those FJ books so much and have had good luck finding them at a local used bookstore on occasion for $3-$5. I have had to order a couple that I desperately wanted, but even those, including shipping charges, weren't high priced.

I'll check out that recipe!! I've never made a sponge cake, but I'd love to try! I did see a couple of pie recipes in there that I'm dying to try - specifically a chocolate one, because I've been in a chocolate mood lately.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Recipes
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Recipes › Following Recipe Directions vs. Conventional Wisdom