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56

Why the doming happens When you heat leavened dough, two things happen: leavening agent creates bubbles, causing the soft dough to rise. For chemically leavened doughs (baking powder or baking soda), the amount of lift mostly depends on the time the bubble creating reaction goes on and the concentration of non-spent leavening agent. The gluten in the ...


27

A Baker's (now owned by kraft foods) employee named Sam German developed a chocolate recipe that was sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate, as well as containing a blend of chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, flavorings, and lecithin. Baker's honored Sam by naming the chocolate that he created Baker's German's Chocolate. In 1957 the recipe was published in ...


24

Generally, you'll want to use unsalted. The amount of salt in salted butter can vary, so most recipes call for unsalted, and then have you add the exact amount of salt. Cake mixes have salt in them, so this would still apply.


23

It is traditionally served with coffee when getting together with friends for coffee; kind of like tea-cakes are served at tea-time.


17

Dust the fruit with a little flour before adding to the cake. It will act like a glue and prevent the fruit from sinking.


15

Alton Brown and an Elvis impersonator called it a custard pie.


15

Citrus zest is where most citrus flavour in a sauce or baked good actually comes from because it remains in solid form, like herbs and spices. The juice adds some flavour but it turns into solution and gets spread out over a very large surface area/volume. I don't know why you decided not to use the zest - are you using commercial orange juice? If so, that ...


14

The closest thing is to combine equal parts of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper.


13

If the reason you don't want to use a toothpick is that it leaves a big hole, you can buy a cheap little item called a cake tester that is just a thin piece of wire with a little handle. It leaves such a small hole that as to be unnoticeable. As a bonus, it is quite useful for checking the doneness of vegetables. This is the one I use.


13

The problem is just uneven rising because of when the different parts of the cake cook. The solution is to insulate your cake pan. You can wrap your cake pan in a damp tea towel (reserve one or two just for this purpose) or there are special insulated strips that are sold specifically for this by baking supply stores. Basically it insulates the outside ...


13

Yes, there are multiple substitutes. I can't explain it myself any better than here, but I have tried to summarize it: The best substitute for egg in a dish depends on the dish itself (because the function of the egg isn't the same in every dish). As a general rule, the fewer eggs a recipe calls for, the easier they will be to substitute. Also consider how ...


12

I have never baked a cake that hasn't risen more in the middle than around the sides. Nor, I am almost certain, has anyone else. Guess how pros get their cakes flat; they cut the top off! To be precise, they cut the top off (generally not totally flat though), then they turn the cake over so the nice flat bottom becomes the top. Then they ice (frost) it.


12

Professionals ice on a turntable. Turntables for home use are affordable, and make icing much easier. Your spatula should reach to about the centre of the cake when held steady and comfortable. As @rfusca suggests, heating it for buttercream is a good idea. You can also wet it for other icings, to make it glide smoothly. For the icing process itself, ...


12

A lot of those nicely shaped cakes are made from a rectangular or round cake. You just cut the required sizes and shapes so you end up with something T-rex looking. You put a bit of frosting between each pair of pieces, so that they stick together and the cake does not fall apart. Usually the whole thing is covered with fondant, so you cannot see the ...


11

There are basically two types of cakes: butter and sponge (or GĂ©noise). In a butter cake the egg proteins, like the gluten proteins, help build the structure of the cake. Additionally, the egg yolks have emulsifying action, helping create a smoother batter and more stable air bubbles. In a sponge cake the eggs additionally act as the main leavening ...


11

There are substitutes, but eggs have very important effects on the texture of dough and are therefore hard to substitute. You will need to experiment a great deal until you hit on the correct texture, because you'll need to tweak all other ingredients and maybe include new ones, e.g. substitute part of the butter and use cream instead to account for moisture ...


11

Cayenne pepper. I'm actually serious. I haven't tried it in carrot cake but a little capsaicin actually works well with a little sweet to offset it. Chile powder also works well in sweet things. Cardamom is my wife's favorite and so it goes into many baked goods I make. It would work and be interesting but not spicy. You can always put in a good extra ...


11

Short answer - not really. Fat is an essential component in any cake, and milk just isn't very fatty - about 5% for whole milk. You can make cakes with milk, but they require totally different recipes: you can't simply substitute milk for oil. Bear in mind that you're distributing the cup of oil throughout a whole cake, so that any one slice will only have ...


10

I've actually done some cake decorating (non-professional, but I did take a few classes), and I'll go with an option you didn't give: Only bake one cake and split it in half (reduce the temperature of the oven, longer time, and if necessary, use cooling strips).You'll likely need taller pans for this -- you'll want light colored aluminum, 3" high for most ...


10

In my opinion, cakes rise, pies have crusts that are filled (and do not rise). By those loose definitions, I would consider it a pie. edit: Wikipedia says it's neither. Many types of cheesecake are essentially custards, which can lead a novice baker to overcook them, expecting them to behave like true cakes.


10

I've not yet found a cake recipe which I could not use for cupcakes instead. I always change the baking time and only the baking time. I rotate the tray of cuppies after about 7 minutes, and after another 7 minutes or so I use the "clean toothpick" method to see when they are done. It does vary greatly, but from most cake recipes, I expect to get 18-24 ...


10

The key thing here is a substance called Lecithin and it is found in your Incredible, Edible Egg! Doing the adding of the egg one-by-one, plus a few other things are... in the service of creating a stable emulsion of liquid and fat in the batter. When this is done correctly, the cake will have a springy, even crumb, great flavor, and light texture. If ...


9

Yes, there is a difference. You shouldn't be baking a cake (or anything else) in a microwave oven. A microwave oven excites the water within your food. When you put in dough or batter, the excited water doesn't bind with the starch the way it does under normal heat, it escapes the starch, leaving you with a stone-hard piece of dough or batter. There is ...


9

This is not really an answer, but rather a report on an experiment. After the discussion here I got very curious and wanted to compare what I would call a "yeast cake" (even though this is against the traditional definition, but the texture is more or less that of a spongy cake/quick bread) to the "same" cake made with baking powder. To perform the ...


8

I'd look towards a dutch oven and cake-like items: upside-down cakes cobblers / crisps / grunts / bettys / slumps / etc. In all of these, the fruit on the bottom helps to protect from the bottom of the cake-like-item cooking too quickly. You can either cook directly in the dutch oven, or drop another pan inside the dutch oven to speed on cleaning if ...


8

I have halved cake recipes before without issue. The most complicated thing to worry about is halving an odd number of eggs, but this question addresses that. The finished product was indistinguishable from the full recipe. Edit One thing to note. In your specific case, because it's a two-layer cake, halving is simple because you're only cooking a single ...


8

You'd have to use a whole lot of gelatin to ruin the taste. My guess is that when you experienced that in the past, you were using (perhaps unknowingly) flavoured gelatin or "dessert gelatin" instead of ordinary, pure, unflavoured gelatin crystals or sheets. Erik is correct in that gelatin does not do well with tropical fruits (including mangoes), nor ...


8

Assuming you aren't very unlucky and happen to download a series of bad recipes I think it's one of a few things. It's possible you could be undercooking your goods. Fully cooked baked goods should not taste like flour. It's also possible that you could be mixing insufficiently. If this were the case though you'd likely have some cookies that weren't ...


8

When it comes to spicing cakes I tend to err on the side of heavy handed as I like them to have a bit of punch. I'd go for more cinnamon definitely, and I'd also consider a good pinch or more of powdered ginger. i love the combination of cinnamon and ginger in a cake. I also like to butter my cake tin, then sprinkle a layer of sugar over the butter and ...


8

It's never the best of an idea taking the cake out of the oven during its cooking as you'll probably knock it a bit and knock the air out and then it'll cool down a bit and so take longer too cook. Saying that, the whole thing is when you take the cake out. As a rule don't take your cake out until at least half-way through the cooking time, that way the ...



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