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Cake mix that is closest to home made - Page 2

post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesmiths View Post

I follow Paula Dean's [sic] advice - use a good box mix add milk instead of water, butter instead of oil and 4 eggs instead of 3.  She also adds a teaspoon of vanilla

If you're speaking of the Southern woman with the Food Network shows, who's married to Michael Groover, her name is spelled "Deen," with a double-e.

 

But it's certainly an easy mistake to make, given how unusual the spelling is. And for all I know, you could be talking about somebody else entirely.

 

 

At any rate, ALL baking is an exercise in applied chemistry.

 

And many years ago, I dummied up a box, parodying the Bisquick box, for a product actually called "Scratch."  (Did I ever tell you about my uncle who spent an entire day in the local grocery, trying to find "Scratch"?)

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #17 of 47
Found it.
scratchsmall.jpg
The black-and-white portraits near the bottom of the box are, of course, Betty Crocker, and one of several generals named Mills (You do realize the Betty Crocker is married to Gen. Mills, right?)


More seriously, it occurs to me that if you're really looking for something "closest to home made," i.e., to what ordinary civilians make for themselves, at home, then you probably do want any mix, and you probably want either canned frosting, or a dense, non-whipped, cold-process, all-butter BC, made from the recipe that's been on the back of the powdered sugar box since before most of us were born. Because most ordinary civilians don't make complex hot-process or meringue-based BCs, or use rolled fondant, or use ganache, or exotic bakery fillings. Oh, and if it's a sheet cake, well, for a true home made look, feel, and taste, it should be served in-pan. Or if it's a layer cake, the cakes should be de-panned, put together bottom-to-bottom, unsplit and unleveled, on an ordinary dinner plate, with the aforementioned cold-process BC as a filling, then frosted with no extraordinary effort made to hide the seam between the two layers, and with the top left proudly domed.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

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post #18 of 47

I have a supply of box mixes that I only use as a base to practice my decorating.  When I make a cake to sell or donate, it's always from scratch.

post #19 of 47

I've been inactive for quite a long time due to other personal commitments and this week I came back here and lo and behold, just like since many years ago, we are still debating scratch vs mix LOL  icon_biggrin.gif icon_rolleyes.gif  Same old same old....

 

 

 

I only bake from scratch ever since I first learned how to bake cakes many, many, many yrs ago, but to each her own, if you enjoy baking from mix, and people you have been serving the cakes loved them, then hey, continue doing that, don't let others put you (or your skill) down. Taste is very subjective, I may like one thing that others loath. So.... party.gif

 

 

And WOW.. OT..CC has really changed in terms of its layout.. thumbs_up.gif

post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovelyladylibra View Post

Ewww margarine?? 

 

Lovely Lady, I only use 'decent' margarine (probably a brand called stork if I can get it) icon_biggrin.gif ...and if it is a special cake I generally use plain unsalted butter....My mother inlaw however, chooses the large 2 litre (?half gallon? not sure on my conversions) tub supermarket own brand (cheapest) margarine....the smell of that stuff makes me gag.

I haven't ever used oil in my baking....Flora and Stork have now brought out a pouring baking oil in the UK that is opaque and goes clear when warmed...my sister did try it and wasn't impressed...so I've decided to stick with what works for me...(She is the non baker in the family)

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl View Post

More seriously, it occurs to me that if you're really looking for something "closest to home made," i.e., to what ordinary civilians make for themselves, at home, then you probably do want any mix, and you probably want either canned frosting, or a dense, non-whipped, cold-process, all-butter BC, made from the recipe that's been on the back of the powdered sugar box since before most of us were born. Because most ordinary civilians don't make complex hot-process or meringue-based BCs, or use rolled fondant, or use ganache, or exotic bakery fillings. Oh, and if it's a sheet cake, well, for a true home made look, feel, and taste, it should be served in-pan. Or if it's a layer cake, the cakes should be de-panned, put together bottom-to-bottom, unsplit and unleveled, on an ordinary dinner plate, with the aforementioned cold-process BC as a filling, then frosted with no extraordinary effort made to hide the seam between the two layers, and with the top left proudly domed.

 Hbquik, You are so funny and spot on...it is so true, x2 7" sandwich tins, placed bottom to bottom, filled with buttercream.... or even strawberry jam and fresh cream if you're  feeling talented...then dusted with icing sugar or covered with buttercream and sprinkled with 'hundreds and thousands'  or chocolate looking 'vermicelli'.....(which we used to call mouse muck when we were children)....

I never knew there were so many different types of BC before coming on this site icon_biggrin.gif

post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariets View Post

I agree, box mixes are something you give the kids to play with on a rainy day.

Mariets....this really made me laugh...because that is what some of my school friends do on rainy days icon_biggrin.gif

post #23 of 47
Margarine is viewed a little differently in the US and the UK, its usually of a much better quality in the UK, I don't know of many people who would bake with it here in the US whereas we learned to bake with it in school in the UK.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #24 of 47
We use marge in Australia too. Not so much for baking but as a spread.
I will use it in baking when I forgot to soften butter or just forgot to buy some (I live across the road from the shops so its more for when I can't be bothered!)
I use homebrand non salted butter for most cakes though... I tried the more expensivs brand (devondale) and it was horrible!
post #25 of 47

On mixes vs. scratch: for cookies, I've never used a mix, but for cakes, I've never gone completely from scratch.

 

On butter vs. margarine vs. Crisco vs. high-ratio, for cookies, I use a 50-50 mix of butter and margarine, and for frosting, I use 100% butter. I was rather shocked when I first noticed that the margarine we currently use ("I Can't Believe . . . ") is actually more expensive than butter.

 

On baking as an exercise in applied chemistry, I will ad that unlike, say, making black-and-white slides (which I've done, and which involves a bleaching bath based on either potassium permanganate or chromic acid), baking is an exercise in applied chemistry that's comparatively unlikely to burn holes in your clothing, your hide, or your benchtop.

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply

James H. H. Lampert
Professional Dilettante

Web site: http://www.hbquik.com/jamesl

Flickr "baked goods" set http://flic.kr/s/aHsjvZvdTh

Reply
post #26 of 47
I have done scratch and box baking and the doctored mix was way better in regards to moistness. Some of the best US bakers/ pastry chefs use mixes and even some high end 5 star hotels too. So i really don't know what the big deal is. I use buttermilk instead of regular milk, DH MIX, 4 eggs, vanilla and almond essence and it comes out fabulous. Where as I'm STILL on the search for a scratch vanilla cake that doesn't make me either need to drink a glass of water behind of it because its sooooo dry or pat it with a paper towel because its so oily. Judge me if you like but, I'm using DH until I find that perfect scratch cake.
post #27 of 47

I love the WASC and all of it's variations. I had never tasted a white cake I liked until WASC and now the only cake I like better is my carrot cake which is a scratch recipe created by my daughter

post #28 of 47

I love homemade cookies and don't care for the packaged versions.  On the other hand, in my experience a box mix (doctored-my preference) stays fresher tasting much longer than scratch cakes.  I have been trying new recipes.  While usually the first day or two, they are fresh tasting, by the end of the 2nd day and into day 3 they are drier.

 

Any suggestions to help a scratch cake stay fresh tasting(I know some hate the word moist)?

 

Thanks!

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkchocolate View Post

I love homemade cookies and don't care for the packaged versions.  On the other hand, in my experience a box mix (doctored-my preference) stays fresher tasting much longer than scratch cakes.  I have been trying new recipes.  While usually the first day or two, they are fresh tasting, by the end of the 2nd day and into day 3 they are drier.

 

Any suggestions to help a scratch cake stay fresh tasting(I know some hate the word moist)?

 

Thanks!

What??? Cake lasts in your house longer than 2 days?? lol

post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

What??? Cake lasts in your house longer than 2 days?? lol

Yes, when you have to practice moderation and restraining yourself from eating it. icon_biggrin.gif  Sweets are my downfall, so I have to have self control.

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