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What ingredients will you only use a brand name?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
Hello! I am curious as to which ingredients in your baking you have found that using a brand name makes a difference in your cake and which items you tend to buy the store brand. At this point, I think that I am only die-hard about using a name brand for butter, extracts, and powdered sugar. Everything else is the grocery store brand. TIA!
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post #2 of 56
Watkins clear vanilla; Dominoes powdered (10x) sugar; Valhrona chocolate; these things I simply will not skimp on. Once you find a quality product, stick with it -- that's what your cakes become known for taste-wise.
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post #3 of 56
Agree...butter, choc, PS and vanilla. And not exactly the same thing, but I also will only use fresh lemon juice, never from a bottle. And if I'm using fruit, berries, etc to flavor or make fillings, I will only buy it from an upscale market like Whole Foods or Wegmans. Fruit from regular markets, like Shaws or Stop & Shop, are a flavorless waste of space.
Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 
artscallion, I totally agree with you on the fresh lemons. I used the bottled stuff once and will never make that mistake again. It's nasty stuff!
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post #5 of 56
I go with top-of-the- line butter, cream cheese, vanilla, chocolate, powdered sugar, flour...I'll use generic water and that's about it! ;D

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #6 of 56
Watkins double strength clear vanilla, Nomu vanilla paste, Rodelle vanilla beans, Rodelle vanilla sugar..

Rogers Icing sugar, Rogers granulated sugar, Rogers Berry sugar (US superfine)..

Brodies xx self rising cake and pastry flour, Rogers unbleached flour, Rogers AP flour, Rogers cake and pastry flour (not self rising)..

Cote D'Azur belgium chocolate, discs & slabs, Ghirardelli chocolate, Bakers chocolate..

Squires kitchen modelling paste & flower paste.. CK dry candy fondant (for cookie icing).

Lorann bakery emulsions, The bakers kitchen citrus emulsions, Lorann gourmet flavorings, Lorann oils, Watkins extracts such as banana, strawberry butter nut etc,..

Brand name or store brand butter, salted & unsalted, whichever is on sale, and the odd store brand baking need (Safeway or Presidents Choice) once in a blue moon.
Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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post #7 of 56
I am getting away more and more from brand names but I will NOT EVER give up on dear ole' Betty (Crocker)! Most of the time I stick to Crisco; either Dominos or C&H pwdr sugar; and REAL (pure) vanilla (not necessarily brand but not imitation!)
post #8 of 56
Watkins clear vanilla? I've only ever seen Wiltons clear..... Watkins is better? Where can 8 find it?
post #9 of 56
Vanilla or other extracts (Penzey's or Nielsen-Massey) and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. (also Penzey's)
Cocoa (Penzey's dutch process or Hershey's unsweetened)
Chocolate (Ghiradelli or Baker's)
Shortening (Crisco)
Nuts (Fisher or Blue Diamond)

This isn't really for baking, but kitchen trash bags, Hefty icon_smile.gif

While I don't necessarily stick with a brand name for dairy products, I won't buy the Walmart brand (except for butter). If I'm at Walmart, I'll buy a local dairy brand (we have a few to choose from) but at Safeway, I'll buy their store brand.

I've never has a problem with store brand sugar (any type), flour, butter (unsalted), etc.
post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicakesBakes

Watkins clear vanilla? I've only ever seen Wiltons clear..... Watkins is better? Where can 8 find it?

Watkins is tens times better. It's double strength, it does not lose its flavour in baking as some vanillas do. I've been using it for years as Watkins was the only brand my mother used. No clear vanilla in those days though, only double strength dark vanilla or pure dark vanilla. Watkins used to go door to door selling their products, same as the Fuller Brush Man but I doubt you're old enough to remember that! icon_lol.gif

Here's a link to Watkins online. Lots of goodies to check out.

http://www.watkinsonline.com/default.cfm?gCatalogLocale=USA

Oh and, Watkins cinnamon is excellect too, regular and Saigon both lovely.
Other than ordering online, you might search for a Watkins rep in your area. I found my rep through the phone book but I'm sure many of them are online also. You could also look out for a Watkins rep that has set up a kiosk or booth, at your local mall. Where I am, Watkins allways sets up a booth at home shows, food shows & fairs.

Anyway, do give the clear vanilla a go. You won't be sorry you did, I promise!
Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild


Here's a link to Watkins online. Lots of goodies to check out.

http://www.watkinsonline.com/default.cfm?gCatalogLocale=USA



I'm so glad to see this brought up as I have been thinking about it as well. So thanks for sharing! While we're on the subject on extracts, which one is your favorite almond extract? I just assumed I did not like almond as a flavoring in cakes or frostings. But maybe I just need to try another brand.

Specific brand names that I use is softasilk cake flour, domino's 10x powdered sugar and (at the moment) Nielsen-Massey vanilla. For chocolate, if it's for kids I use Ghirardelli, if it's for adults I use Callebaut. I use different brands for dairy. Butter: Organic Valley, Milk: a local organic grass fed, Yogurt: Stoneyfield.
I also found a pack of 10 Madagascar Vanilla beans at Costco for I think $11 or $12.
Sofia
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Sofia
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post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adevag

Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild


Here's a link to Watkins online. Lots of goodies to check out.

http://www.watkinsonline.com/default.cfm?gCatalogLocale=USA



I'm so glad to see this brought up as I have been thinking about it as well. So thanks for sharing! While we're on the subject on extracts, which one is your favorite almond extract? I just assumed I did not like almond as a flavoring in cakes or frostings. But maybe I just need to try another brand.

Specific brand names that I use is softasilk cake flour, domino's 10x powdered sugar and (at the moment) Nielsen-Massey vanilla. For chocolate, if it's for kids I use Ghirardelli, if it's for adults I use Callebaut. I use different brands for dairy. Butter: Organic Valley, Milk: a local organic grass fed, Yogurt: Stoneyfield.
I also found a pack of 10 Madagascar Vanilla beans at Costco for I think $11 or $12.



Watkins Almond extract is my all time favourite. Safeway pure almond extract is good in a pinch but I rarely buy it. One thing I don't do with cakes and frostings, is use the whole amount of almond extract called for. I only add half the amount, as I find almond extract overrpowers the other flavours if I add the whole amount. If it's a pasty that calls for almond extract I'll add more, but again, not the whole amount. If it's 1 1/2 tsps needed, I add 1 tsp. I like the taste of almond in baked goods, but, I don't love the taste. Hence my cutting back.
Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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post #13 of 56
Crisco shortening. Only. Never anything else. Ever.

Peter Pan peanut butter (for cookies). Jif has honey in it and is sweeter than other brands. Peter Pan tastes more 'pure' to me.

Sun Maid brand raisins (for oatmeal cookies). tried a house brand via one of my suppliers and absolutely hated them!! they were super sticky and it was very hard to unclump them. Plus they tasted sour, not like 'sweet raisins'.

Clear vanilla, not brown (unless I need an ivory colored icing). I use the clear vanilla sold by my local cake supply store. She buys it in concentrated bulk and makes up the bottles herself.

Not cake/food related:
Only use Dawn dishsoap.
I won't eat generic cereal. (I've tried them .... if you cut the generic cheerios in half, you'll find they are half air whereas real cheerios is more solid, ergo I'm getting more oat fiber per bite!)
No store brand spaghetti sauce, mac-n-cheese, or canned mixed vegetables.
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

...Sun Maid brand raisins...



Yes, definitely agree on the raisins. The difference is like night and day.
Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
Reply
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by warchild


Watkins Almond extract is my all time favourite. Safeway pure almond extract is good in a pinch but I rarely buy it. One thing I don't do with cakes and frostings, is use the whole amount of almond extract called for. I only add half the amount, as I find almond extract overrpowers the other flavours if I add the whole amount. If it's a pasty that calls for almond extract I'll add more, but again, not the whole amount. If it's 1 1/2 tsps needed, I add 1 tsp. I like the taste of almond in baked goods, but, I don't love the taste. Hence my cutting back.



Thank you once again! I will give the Watkins vanilla and almond extract a try -and use your advice to not add as much of the almond as the recipe calls for. thumbs_up.gif
Sofia
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Sofia
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