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For a great tutorial, check out the Baking Bible Bake Along with ROSE'S ALPHA BAKERS. The link is on the left side of the blog. We will also be posting "OUT-BAKES" from the book, on this blog, including step-by step photos and other extras.

Rose's Favorite Yellow Layer Cake

Oct 26, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Bake 35  to 45 minutes

Makes:  A 1-3/4 inch high cake

The Batter

INGREDIENTS

MEASURE

WEIGHT

cool room temperature

volume

ounces

grams

4 large egg yolks

 2 full fluid ounces

2.5 ounces

74 grams

sour cream

2/3 cup

5.5 ounces

160 grams

pure vanilla extract

1-1/2 teaspoon

-

6 grams

bleached cake flour

2 cups (sifted into the cup and leveled off)

7 ounces

200 grams

sugar

1 cup

7 ounces

200 grams

baking powder

1/2 teaspoon

-

-

baking soda

1/2 teaspoon

-

-

salt

1/4 teaspoon

-

-

unsalted butter
(must be softened)

12 tablespoons

6 ounces

170 grams

Equipment: A 9 inch springform pan, bottom greased, lined with parchment, then greased and floured (preferably with spray that contains flour)

Preheat the Oven: 20 minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix the Batter
In a medium bowl, lightly combine the yolks, about 1/4 of the sour cream, and the vanilla.
In a stand mixer bowl, with paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, the sugar, the baking powder, the baking soda, and the salt.
Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and the remaining sour cream and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Increase to medium speed, or high speed if using a hand held mixer, and beat for 1 minute to aerate and develop the structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 2 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides.

Bake the Cake
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and it springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
Remove the cake from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula, and remove the sides of the springform. Invert the cake onto a wire rack and reinvert onto a second rack it so that the top faces up. Cool completely before frosting or wrapping airtight.

Store airtight  3 days room temperature;  1 week refrigerated;  3 months frozen.

Pointers for Success
Use superfine sugar for the finest texture.  (You can make it by processing fine granulated sugar in the food processor for a few minutes.) 
Use cake flour without leavening or bleached all purpose flour.
Use unsalted butter for the best flavor. 
Use fresh baking powder under 1 year old. 

Adapted from “The Cake Bible”

Copyright 2005 Rose Levy Berenbaum

Comments

I meant to add, to my other reply to you that one of the other recipes that had oily middles was from Gourmet...it was the Austrian Butter Cake. The other cake was from an old friend. That cake is made with all Wondra Flour, a lot of butter and a little Crisco. Wonderful flavor but unreliable.

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Karen
10/10/2013 04:27 PM

Hi Karen,
We will be interested how your yellow cake will come out.
Were the other recipes from Rose's books?
Are you using bleached cake and/or bleached all-purpose flour?
Rose & Woody

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I've had a problem with two butter cakes that have a congealed, translucent mass in the middle. Is it a function of bad recipes or something else? Other butter cakes come out fine. My oven is accurate. By the way, I've got your yellow cake in the oven right now.

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Honestly I don't think so an even shortening is a pain to apply.
Get a can of bakers joy, there really isn't any bestest. Shelf life is indefinite even it says otherwise. The amount of spray is so little, you won't get any health risks that I know of i that is a concern. Of course, eat only a small slice!

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Thanks, Hector. I don't have shortening. Can I use a neutral-flavoured vegetable oil instead?

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Oh wonderful Jyll. Coating the pan w butter will tend to stick because the butter solids burn. Try using shortening instead.

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I made the She Loves Me yellow butter cake from your Heavenly Cakes book. Love the texture and flavour! Thanks, Rose!
Used my little fluted Gugelhopf tube pan but I didn't have baking spray, so I painted its inside with softened butter and dusted it with flour. However, after resting the cake for 10 minutes, I stuck a thin knife between parts of the cake and pan but probably I didn't do this conscientiously enough and part of it remained stuck to the pan after I unmolded the cake. :(
The rest of the batter I used for six cupcakes which turned out perfect - they were baked for only 23 minutes.

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bravo katie! thanks for the feedback.

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Just wanted to let you know I made it as you suggested (1/8 tsp BP extra in a 1.5x batch in 2 pans) and it came out perfect. There was a tiny pasty spot in the center, but it was only on the surface and didn't impact the crumb at all; not noticeable once frosted. I filled it with half a batch of the creme chiboust from the St Honore trifle from RHC and 3/4 pound macerated and drained strawberries; topped with the rest of the creme chiboust and 3/4 pounds fresh strawberries glazed with the strawberry juice from the macerated half, thickened with cornstarch. It was great! If... er, when I make it again, I'll probably do a 1.5 or 2x batch of the creme, not because it really needed it, but just because I love it so much. Thanks for your help!

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Katie H
08/25/2012 01:17 AM

Hi Katie,
We suggest you start with adding just 1/8 teaspoon extra. Depending how you like the doming you can then adjust up for a flatter top or down for a more domes top.
Rose & Woody
Woody's iPhone

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Thank you. I read the section in RHC (I don't have the Cake Bible yet) and those 2 posts. It seems to me that since "higher pans need proportionally less baking powder" then switching to a lower pan means I should put MORE baking powder. That is, if I were to do the recipe as written (same batter in a lower pan = more BP). But I wanted to 1.5x the recipe and put it in 2 pans, so where does that leave me?

So I watched the video for Downy Yellow, which uses milk instead of sour cream and has 2/3 the butter. Downy Yellow is 1.5 times this recipe, but it has 4 tsp of BP. Here, counting BP and BS together at 1.5x would only get me 1.5 tsp of leavening. That's quite a bit less, but perhaps this cake needs more structure because it has more fat? That seems like a reasonable hypothesis because the pound cake has very little BP for a lot of butter. That makes me think I can safely leave it the same. I think I'll hedge my bets and 1.5x this recipe but 2x the baking powder only. I'll let you know how it goes!! Thanks again.

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Katie H
08/24/2012 05:54 PM

Hi Katie,
Rose discusses this in both The Cake Bible and Rose's Heavenly Cakes and you may want to check The Power Power of Flour posting on this blog which the milk instead of sour cream version of this cake is shown. Happy experimenting.
Rose & Woody

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Thanks! I'm going to multiply by 1.5 and bake in 2 9x2 pans. I'm not going to adjust BP/BS, either, because don't know how to. Reckless, I know :-)

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Katie H
08/24/2012 03:56 PM

Hi Katie,
Although the finished height is 1-3/4 inches, the sides will rise above 2 inches during baking. You would have to alter the recipe by 25% but also adjust the baking powder level as well.
We always recommend to make the recipe per an author's instructions to establish your control. From it you can adjust the recipe to your preferences.
Rose & Woody

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katie, you could, and i have, but it really needs the extra 1/2 inch. what will happen is that it will rise slightly above the sides of the pan and then sink down to 2-inches high. it doesn't look quite as attractive but it works.

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Can you bake this is a 9x2 cake pan? Or would you need to alter the recipe?

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thank you for the marvelously detailed report. this reflects kate and my experience when i traveled to devon the first time to try out the flours. yes, xanthum gum makes the results indistinguisable except that chlorine bleached cake flour has a slightly lovelier floral flavor. isn't it wonderful that thanks to kate's inspired work industry is now making good quality flour availble to the home baker!

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Thanks, that advice worked!

And can highly recommend the "Cinnamon Square" heated Treated Cake flour.

Inspired by Rose and Kate, I baked and compared 3 versions of the cake:
- one with USA Cake flour (imported via eBay at significant cost :)
- one with Kate Flour (made using UK Shipton Mills cake flour, no cornflour)
- one with UK "Cinnamon Square" heated Treated Cake flour (9.65% protein, no cornflour)

Results were all excellent. All three had good x2 rise and were tasty, moist and melting.
USA Cake Flour slightly higher in the centre (~2mm) and marginally finer texture.
Kate and Cinnamon Sq Heat Treated flour cakes were indistinguishable from each other. Just very slightly more fluffy/crumbly than USA cake flour - a tiny bit of Xantham gum would work there I suspect.

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alice, that you so much for telling us about the flour. i'm sure it didn't exist prior to kate's experiments.

i do remember her mentioning that there is a moisture loss so that she usually lets it sit for 24 hours i think to regain the moisture. do report back the results of your experiment.

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Am a recent convert to the world of baking. Thanks Rose for this recipe and your inspirational books. Am UK based and have tried baking this lovely recipe a few times using "Kate Flour" made from various different flour brands. The results have an excellent rise & flavour but were a little dry. Am using a fan oven (at 155c) so maybe need to reduce baking time a little? Or maybe this could be something to do with the "Kate Flour" - could it have lost too much moisture and therefore weigh less such that too much flour goes into my cakes? Or is this dryness an expected side-effect of the heat treating process?
FYI to other UK bakers, I found heat treated cake flour in 2Kg bags in the UK - online and in 2 Surrey/Herts shops. Vendor is called "Cinnamon Square". Not tried it yet but will do very soon.

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Okay, woody! I bought an oven thermometer last night and I will try it again today. Thank you for the input! i really appreciate it! :)

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Ella
02/29/2012 01:33 AM

hi Ella,
We think part of your problem is your oven as you stated that its temperature is off if you baked it at 375˚F and at least 15 minutes longer than it should take to bake. Your ingredients and homemade cake strips sound fine. But you can always make homemade super fine sugar by just food processing granulated sugar until it is fine.
We recommend that you test your oven with an accurate oven thermometer and then write down where you need to set your oven for various temperatures stated in recipes. All three of the ovens I used, as I have been transferred for my job to different condominiums, have all baked at a cooler temperature than their settings. I made charts for each one. Rose's butter cakes are definitely more tender than cake mixes, but should not be crumbly.
Keep experimenting and having fun.

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Thanks Charles for replying so soon, if you say I should slide something thin under it then I guess this cake I baked should be almost okay. but the thing is when you try to eat the cake, it seems lack of body and feels kind of empty. i am kind of sure this is not the texture that Rose is reaching. When i look at the video on youtube, she can cut a piece of the cake and holding it and almost swinging it with no concern and the piece of cake still holds well in her hand and she even uses a little effort to break them into two. Not like my piece of cake that breaks into small pieces when i try to transport them from a plate to plate, very carefully.. Is it because of im using a granulated sugar instead of superfine sugar that effect the aeration process? Or is it plainly brcause of the wrong baking process? I am so confuse about this caking science but sooo willing to learn to have a fully understandings of how things work.
Thanks in advance! :)

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The cake texture came out very fragile and crumbly when i tried to pick it up.

"Crumbly" is a direct result of being "tender". You shouldn't try to pick up these layers, but should slide something thin under them in order to lift. Unless something has gone very wrong, they should hold up as layers just fine.

Try eating it first before you decide that you want something less tender.

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er.. Sorry if I confuse you, but the recipe i meant is "the basic white wedding cake" from "the cake bible". I'm not sure where to post this so I just post it here. :D

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Hi Rose/Woody,

I can't thank you enough for this highly informative site and your time for putting everything together plus making it available for us! I learned a lot just by reading this site and I really spent almost 3 days straight just to absorb whatever I can get, and yet still I have a lot more to read and learn. I am in a mission of boarding my knowledge of baking a better cake and understanding the science behind it, starting from the very basic cake, yellow/white butter layer cake. And today I tried this recipe for the first step.

They taste marvelously good and the cake came out very very flat which is amazing! Since I don't have all the requirements needed for this recipe, I just use whatever I have on hand. I used bleached A.P flour (with cornstarch), granulated sugar (which is not superfine sugar like you stated), a 9"x2" pan, and an old oven which i think is not in its maximum condition that takes 50 minutes to bake single layer cake (375F, not 350F). And I also used a home made cake strap and measure everything in weight.

The cake texture came out very fragile and crumbly when i tried to pick it up. I don't think this cake i baked is suitable for stacked layer cake. And the funny thing is the cake has a dark ring on the top. My question is, which part do I need to adjust to get to a better texture? I don't mind about the taste since it is already very delicious for me.

* I baked 3 cake with the same recipe with slight differentiation just to see things work. And the one stated above is the best outcome one (this is, undoubtedly, the best butter cake I've ever had, I usually don't like butter cake but this one changed my mind!)

Thanks a lot!

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Linda
01/13/2012 04:30 PM

Hi Linda,
If you made the recipe above, did you use bleached cake flour?
We would also suggest testing baking powder.
We also ask did both cakes not rise in the middle?
If only one did not, then we recommend that you need to spoon the batter alternately between the pans so that the sometimes heavier batter at the bottom is distributed between the two pans.

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Why did my two layer yellow cake not rise in the middle. I made an angel food cake that came out perfectly, then used the egg yolks for a yellow cake, requested by a friend. What happened?

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mimi, baking a recipe calling for a 2 inch pan on a 3 inch pan, even if you up the amount of batter, will give you different results. it can still work, but the results will be different.

heat penetration, and how fast it travels is an issue when the batter is thicker. most all recipes bake at certain number of minutes, if you extend that or shorten that too drastically, the texture of the cake will differ.

both, baking the same cake on a taller pan (empty pan space) or baking a bigger amount of cake to fill the taller pan (thicker batter) creates differences.

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when you say 3 inch pans dont give good results - do you mean that putting the same amount of batter in a 3 inch pan that would go in a 2 inch pan doesn't give a good result, that is baking the cake in the taller pan throws things off for the same amount of batter?
or do you mean not to increase the batter to accomodate the larger size pan as this doesn't work well?

thanks

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from JBL
11/17/2011 12:12 AM

Hi JBL,
We recommend reading The Cake Bible where Rose addresses splitting baking times. Yes, you can refrigerate the second layer, but most baking powders do start part of their leavening process due to the moisture of the batter. You may want to experiment with ARGO baking powder which does not react with moisture as much as others.

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My oven is too small for the 2 pans to be baked together. Is it possible to keep one of the pans in a cool place while baking the first pan?

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Linda
08/ 5/2011 11:26 AM

Hi Linda,
Just google. There are many examples and even videos on how to make most any wedding or all occasion cake a topsy turvy cake.

REPLY

Another question I know.....
I am supposed to make a topsy turvy cake soon the first time I attempted it, it didn't work out so well the angles weren't right. Does anyone have any advice on creating one of these cakes?

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Hello Woody,
Thank you so much for the advice!
Do you how long Cream chesses fillings will hold up or should they always be refridgerated, or do you have a lemon filling that is similar to curd that can be left out?
I've read that ganache even though it has cream in it can be left out for a couple of days as well, is this true?

Thanks

Linda

REPLY

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Linda
08/ 5/2011 12:00 AM

Hi Linda,
We have a couple of suggestions. From The Cake Bible and Rose's Heavenly Cakes, the Mousseline Buttercream which you have several options for flavoring and it holds for up to 2 days. The recipe was revised in Rose's Heavenly Cake and is a true winner. Fruit as a conserve like strawberries or raspberries from The Cake Bible. Either one with the cake encased with fondant should hold up nicely.
You may want to ask the bride if she is allergic to white chocolate. If not, there are many white chocolate ganache and buttercream recipes.
Good luck with your project and hopefully you have someone to help you,especially with transporting. Rose has many valuable tips in both of the above books for making your creation a success and to the reception as you planned.

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Hello,

I am making my first wedding cake, I've tried multiple different cake recipes and found a couple that I love. Normally I would fill my cakes with chocolate ganache and skor, caramel or mousse. This specific wedding the bride is allergic to chocolate and I need to fill the cake with something that doesn't require refridgeration......
Any suggestions from anyone?

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Ok, will do, thanks Woody!

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Vivian
06/24/2011 10:12 PM

Hi Vivian,
It should work, but we do not have any guidelines to how many strokes for adding the butter and sour cream and later the egg mixture. You will have to experiment adapting the number of hand strokes you do for a creaming the butter and sugar method.
We suggest make the cake with a mixer first so that you have a control sample for doing the hand stroke method.

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Hi there,

Recipe looks great, but can I make this without a mixer? I'd like to do this method the old-fashioned way...

Thanks all!

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KS, Rose is traveling, perhaps I can help. I've made cupcakes from all the chocolate butter cakes in the Cake Bible, and my personal favorite is the chocolate fudge cake. It is lighter and moister than either the Domingo or the Perfect All-American, and has a bittersweet, dark chocolate flavor that is nice with either milk chocolate buttercream or white chocolate mousseline.

Two other combinations that are wonderful are the Perfect All-American with caramel silk meringue buttercream (or one of its variations- praline, burnt orange and coffee-caramel), or else the Domingo with hazelnut mousseline (I add hazelnut paste, but you can also make it with Frangelico).

Enjoy!

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Thank u so much for your reply Rose, i will try it now :) any suggestion which recipe is best to make chocolate cupcakes?
So far i've made chiffon, genoise, ganache, mouseline buttercrream wth white chocolate, super stabilized whipped cream, and several frosting and all of them had been really really good :)

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KS, try letting the batter sit in the molds for 20 minutes before baking and that should give you slightly domed surfaces. I find i get the best shape using silicone muffin pans but not the ones with 3 rows as the center cakes don't bake as evenly. in any event, a hole in the center isn't necessarily a bad thing as it can get filled with an extra dollop of the frosting or jam or caramel!

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Hi Rose,

I'm new in baking and bought ur cake bible book 2 weeks ago and had been trying several of ur recipes and they turned out fantastic!!!!!! Thank u so much
for giving such a clear explanation

Suddenly i'm in the mood for cupcakes and tried this downy recipe (replace the egg yolks with 2 large eggs as ur instruction) but after the cupcakes cool down, some of them has a whole in the middle :( i hope you can help me to fix my problem. Tks

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Marinell, in the above recipe, if you are not weighing ingredients, you are meant to sift the cake flour directly into the measuring cup, without tapping or otherwise compacting the flour. Then gently level it. This is done to provide the most accurate measure of flour possible when using volume measures.

If you are weighing ingredients for this recipe, you do not need to sift the cake flour.

Hope that helps.

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Marinell
05/ 1/2011 11:44 PM

Hi Marinell,
We specify sifting, dip and sweep, or lightly spooned for if one measures by Volume. The beauty of weight measuring is that you can just scoop the flour into the bowl, which works fine for this recipe.
But if you want to take the extra step, you can sift as you are weighing to eliminate any possible flour pellets.
In several recipes we will state to sift the flour after measuring depending on the recipe such as a genoise or the carrot cake in Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

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Hello - sorry to be so basic, but is the cake flour to be measured before or after the sifting?

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This is the best, lightest, most moist cake I have ever had. Thank you so much for sharing it!!!!

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Thank you Woody for your reply

As suggested have placed my question in the cake question thread
Maggie Hughes

REPLY

Hi Maggie,
The question will get more replies in the Cake Questions thread.
We have no cake suggestions as eggless cakes are not our expertise. However, there are numerous recipes from bakers on the web.
We suggest multi-tiered tarts of different sizes with the filling be level with the crusts. you could even stack two tarts to have a "crust filling" layer and even frost the crusts if you were doing a chocolate theme.
Enjoy, Woody

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I am not so sure whether this is the correct place to place my request as I am not a fequent blogger!

Hello I am Maggie Hughes from Australia where I run a home catering service.
One of our brides has asked us to make her an EGGLESS wedding cake as her husband to be is allergic to eggs.

She is not in favour of a fruit cake or a cake which has too much chocolate in it.There will be approxiamtely 40-50 guests at the wedding in November hot in Australia at that time

Can anyone help us?

Many thanks and regards

Maggie Hughes

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thank you david! so sweet! and my husband is not the jealous type so not to worry.

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from David Chau
12/25/2010 11:02 PM

Hi David,
When I saw your comment "my distant sifu" about Rose, it reminded me when I started training and later working with Rose as I considered her as my sifu. I also practice T'ai Chi in the Twin Cities and the studio has two sifus with 25 plus years experience.
A rarely quoted honor you have given Rose.
Enjoy your cookie baking. Last week, I made the David Shamah Dreambars. A big hit.

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Hi Rose,

Thank you for all the wonderful and detail recipes in cake and pie making.

Over the years, I had bought and tried so many cake books and recipes, but never satisified with the results; until I found your books, and since then have made more than 10 cakes and pies in just this year, and everybody loved it.

I recently bought your Christmas Cookies, and have been trying out a few recipes with full success.

Thank you for being my distant sifu, and inspiration. I would love to give you a big hug and kiss, but Mr. Beranbaum may not approve. So here's a big WISH to you and your family in the days to come.

David Chau

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Choddy, this chart may help, it lists the volumes of all size pans. you will need to adjust amounts of baking powder per the Rose factor chart on Cake Bible.

diameter height volume volume
2r h PI()*(r^2)*h US
in in cu in cups

3 2 14.1 0.9
4 2 25.1 1.7
5 2 39.3 2.7
6 2 56.5 3.9
7 2 77.0 5.3
8 2 100.5 6.9
9 2 127.2 8.8
10 2 157.1 10.8
11 2 190.1 13.1
12 2 226.2 15.7
13 2 265.5 18.3
14 2 307.9 21.3

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choddy--all the information is i the cake bible for different size cakes.

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Hi Rose,

I have few of yr books and I extremely treasure them as I have been using your recipe Downy Yellow Butter Cake for my cake orders. As I understand that you do listed recipe for 6" and 12" in cake bible. However, this week I will need to bake a 14" large wedding cake. Can you advise me should I double up the 12" recipe from yr book? Thanks.

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julie, for cupcakes use 2 large eggs/ 100 grams/3.5 ounces instead of the 4 yolks, fill 3/4 full and bake 20-25 min. at 350˚F. it will make about 16 cupcakes.

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fiona, yogurt (not the greek style which is thicker) usually works.

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Hi Rose,

May I know is there a substitute for sour cream?

Thank you,
fion

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Can this recipe be used for cupcakes?

How full should the cupcake liners be filled, and how long should the cupcakes be baked? Thanks!

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kathleen, i do have a pound cake in the cake bible and a larger party size version. if you like the one listed above and want it to be more dense, you could try replacing some of the sourcream by equal volume of egg yolks.

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Hi Rose,
I am looking for a white cake (or yellow) recipe that has the density close to the density of a pound cake. Any chance you can help me?
Kathleen

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Bertilla Baker
Bertilla Baker in reply to comment from Yanni
08/20/2010 08:17 AM

Hi Yanni,
Did you refrigerate your cake after it was frosted? Buttercream frosting does strange things to the texture of your cake if you refrigerate it. The last cake I made which was a large wedding cake, I simply kept it in an air conditioned room overnight before delivery. At the venue, it was again kept overnight in air conditioning, and it was perfect. I got to taste it because I was also a guest. Also, you may want to rethink the way you're making your buttercream. Shortenings like Crisco are extremely unhealthy, as is the highly processed meringue powder. Also, there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to taste. You will never find a high end cake with a Crisco frosting. As long as you're doing it yourself, why not make a high end product? Strive for excellence. There's a wonderful recipe for buttercream frosting in the cookbook "Chocolate. Extraordinary Chocolate Deserts," by Alice Medrich which involves whole eggs which become cooked when the cooked sugar syrup is streamed into them while beating them, so no worries about bacteria. It's a little bit scary at first, but it has never failed me. If you're going to do it for income, why not do it in a way that has people banging down your door for more?

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I have decided to get into cake decorating as a second means of income. I have baked 3 cakes for family birthdays & the cakes have come out very tasty and fluffy. I ice and decorate with buttercream only using shortining, Confec. sugar meringue powder, water & flavoring. When we cut into the cake (the top layer of cake) next to icing has become very dense and as if i used a syrup prior to icing. What could be causing this. Cupcakes were made from same batch and stayed fluffy but no icing was placed on top of them.

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no, when i saw replace 2 yolks with 1 egg i mean an egg weighing 50 grams out of the shell.

yes, the cream has much higher butterfat so it will weaken the structure. every change you make to a recipe will change the outcome!

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Hi
Rosy,

Yellow butter cake

I use cream instead of milk.
And the cake sink in the middle.

Is it because of the fat count difference?

Thank you for the recipe. I really enjoyed watching your Demo in youtube. You were great.

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Hi Rosy...

all-american chocolate torte

You suggest that for every 2 yolks You can use a whole eggs.
4 yolks equal to 74g
So when I use 2 whole eggs should the weight be 74g 0r 120g.
( one large egg 60g)

I bake the cake with 2 whole eggs and it turn out well but crack in the top. I was wondering whether was it the oven or eggs?

Thank you for the great recipe with totally new technic.

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wow kevin! you do go far back. probably my very first article in a food magazine was cook's though i did work at ladies' home journal in the test kitchen about 34 years ago! yikes!!!

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Rose,

Thanks for the response. [I've been a fan since "Romantic and Classic Cakes" and Bon Appetit in 1980 (my first taste of Lemon Curd).]

This is a testament on the robustness of your recipe since increases in fat are often accompanied by increases in flour or egg whites.

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kevin, this is not a misprint--it's a variation and it's in my newest book as cupcakes.

you are correct that unbleached flour is one of the culprits when cakes fall in the middle (and solutions to dealing with this are on the blog under the power of flour and also kate flour where the flour gets heat-treated. but if it is bleached flour that is being used here, then lowering the butter and/or the baking powder will also strengthen the structure and prevent dipping.

as for how much baking soda is needed for 1 cup of sour cream you can extrapolate that from the recipe, i.e. this uses 2/3 cup sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. so 1 cup sour cream would use 3/4 teaspoon baking soda.

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Bertilla,

This cake is absolutely delicious. Try making it with 8 Tbsp. of butter instead of 12, in which case it will be much like Rose's All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake from "The Cake Bible", only 2/3 as much.

On a personal note, this is my favorite yellow cake although the scientist in me can't help playing around with the recipe. Lately I've been making 3/4 of the recipe: using only 6 Tbsp. of butter, and baking it in a small (6 cup) Bundt pan. I include the zest of 1 lemon and reduce the baking soda to 3/8 tsp. and keep the baking powder the same (the shape of the Bundt pan may make it less susceptible to rising -- and falling -- issues). I've also made it with yogurt and substituted 1 Tbsp. of oil for 1 Tbsp. of butter, all with success.

This recipe seems to be a very solid platform for experimentation. Good luck.

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Other than the use of sour cream instead of milk (and the adjustments in the leavening) this cake is identical to the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake EXCEPT ... for the use of 50% more butter (in addition to the increased butterfat provided by the sour cream).

Is this a misprint (the A-ODYBC also uses 12 Tbps of butter, but all other ingredients were 50% more) or does the use of sour cream allow for such a dramatic increase in butter without throwing the recipe off balance?

(Also, just how much baking soda is necessary to neutralize 1 cup of sour cream, and how much baking powder leavening does this equal?)

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Hello,

I am an American living in Germany and finding the right flour for cake recipes has not been easy. I end up going between the 405 and 550 types but not really liking the results with either. If a recipe calls for cake flour should I just use the 405 and then add 2 T cornstarch as a replacement for 2 T of the flour? I fear the structure will be very weak with this substitution. Or would the 550 type be better? Should I skip the cornflour altogether?

Thanks for your help!

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Bertilla, this cake is delicious, and worth mastering.

Dipping in the middle could be from unbleached flour, underbaking (oven too cool or too little time), or pan too large or too deep.

As Charles asks, are you weighing ingredients?

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Are you using *bleached* flour? Are you weighing your ingredients?

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This seems like a fantastic recipe (Rose's Favorite Yellow Layer Cake), but I've tried it twice so far, following the recipe to the letter, and the cake falls in the center each time. what I can taste of it around the edges is more delicious than any yellow cake ever, and I want to make it work for my Niece's wedding, but HELP!! Why is it falling? It seems to do so after I test it with a toothpick for doneness.

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Hello. I wished to tell you that some parts of your website are difficult to read for me, as I'm color blind. I am afflicted by deuteranopia, however there are other varieties of color blindness which will also have issues. I will read the largest part of the web page Okay, and the elements I have problems with I can comprehend by employing a special browser. All the same, it would be cool if you would remember we color-blind types while carrying out your next site re-working. Thanks.

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Very good post. I've found your site via Yahoo and I'm really happy about the information you provide in your posts. Btw your sites layout is really messed up on the Kmelon browser. Would be cool if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the good work!

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gloria, the recipe for whole egg yellow cake is in my new book "rose's heavenly cakes." there is only one cake in this book that works better with the old style creaming method so i would hazard to say that most cakes work best with the two stage. (obviously not cheese cakes or sponge cakes of course)

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Gloria Galindez
Gloria Galindez
11/18/2009 10:37 PM

Thank you very much for answer me, I have two more questions: do you have a recipe for a vanilla butter cake with whole eggs, instead of only whites or yolks? Can I use the two steps method in any cake recipe?
Sincerely,
Gloria

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6 yolks = 3 whole eggs/150 grams. it will be lighter in color and less rich in flavor. also a little less tender and slightly more domed.

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6 yolks = 3 whole eggs/150 grams. it will be lighter in color and less rich in flavor.

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Gloria Galindez
Gloria Galindez
11/15/2009 03:24 PM

Rose, if I use 5 whole eggs instead of the 6 eggs yolks on the recipe for the All-occasion Downy yellow butter cake what should I expect the cake to be?.
I love your book and I have made many of your recipes.
Thank you

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Cake flour is a bleached flour, finelly milled from soft wheat, does not have leavening (non self rising)

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Hi there,

I'm from Australia, and sm really enjoying your site.

Could you please tell me, if "cake flour" is plain or self raising flour? Our recipes use slightly different terminology.

Cheers!

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Claudia, sorry, I haven't really used the wedding cake chapter, the largest layer I have baked is a 10", and that was genoise, not butter cake.

I was just trying to help out as best I could with your question regarding eggs and dryness. The only other factors I can think of for the white cake problem is perhaps you didn't weigh the whites? Eggs have changed since these recipes were developed, so that yolks are now smaller and whites are bigger. Too much egg white could dry out a cake.

Good Luck!

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Julie,

Thanks for answering me! First off, yes, I am weighing everything. Just bought my scale. This isn't the recipe I'm using. It's the Basic White /Yellow cakes that you would use the Rose Factor with. They don't have sour cream. This is for my daughter's Wedding Cake. From what I'm reading aren't these Basic, White, Yellow, and Chocolate cakes the ones used for the larger specialty cakes? Do you use the Rose Factor on other cakes in the Cake Bible? Thanks, again, Claudia

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Claudia, Rose uses the above recipe with whole eggs as a base for the cinnamon surprise loaf cake in the Bread Bible. She uses whole eggs there in order to give a rounded, rather than flat, top to the cake. I have made the sour cream butter cake both ways, with whole eggs and with yolks only, and the yolk-only cake is tastier and more finely grained. I have to be honest, I don't recall either being more moist than the other.

Rose's cakes are not usually dry unless there's a problem. A dry cake could be caused by overbaking (either minutes or temperature), by too much flour (did you weigh the flour?), by too little sugar (again, did you weigh ingredients?).

Good Luck!

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I've bee making practice cakes for the last week and have been experiencing problems with the white butter cake. It looks great , rises beautifully, is level, but is dry. I am not over baking it. My ingredients are at room temperature. What do you guys think? Also, do you think Rose's yellow cake would be more moist because of the egg yolks? I just finished trying another yellow cake recipe by Dede Wilson. She uses 2 whole eggs vs. 2 egg yolks for Rose. All other ingredients seem the same. The cake didn't rise as well...perhaps because the difference in mixing styles; or could it be the whole egg? It definitely tastes better...more moist...could this also be attributed to the whole egg? Has anyone ever tried to use whole eggs in Rose's Yellow Butter Cake?

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I am attempting to make a 3 D Yoda cake for my son' bday and i was looking for a good recipe for a delicious but dense yellow cake recipe and chocolate cake recipe (making 2 layers). I say dense as I hear a dense cake will stand up better to carving and fondant. Any advice I can get will be great. It is the first without a mold 3 d cake I am making.

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Thank You Julie

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thank you very much

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Donika,

The All-Occaision Downy Yellow Cake is indeed on p.39 of TCB and the recipe is as you mention. The recipe listed above is a different recipe, it is the Sour Cream Butter Cake from p.35.

If your All-Occaision Downy was dry, it could be for several reasons. On p.476 of TCB there is a short section on troubleshooting, and it lists overbaking or using a pan that is too large as a possible cause for the problem (assuming, of course, that you are using accurate amounts of all ingredients, with no substitutions).

Hope that helps,
Julie

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In my Cake Bible the cake the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake is on pg.39. The recipe in my book is different, it uses 6 eggs yolks and has no sourcream instead 1 cup milk,and 3 cups flour, is that why my cake was dry?

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Donika Aktas
Donika Aktas
08/29/2008 02:52 PM

yes its on page39

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That makes a lot of sense. I grew up speaking "British English" and when I came to Canada I had to get used to different terminology.

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in the UK there are many different terms such as tin instead of pan and i think my editor thought people would relate better to that name!

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Interesting.....I wonder why Rose changed the name of the cake.

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Thank you.

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in the UK version it's the "yellow butter cake" page 28

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I thnk I have the UK version,the first natural thing i did was to look up the index, it was not listed. I flip the whole TCB page by page, there is no such thing as All occasion downy yellow.:-(

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Whichever edition you have, you could just look it up in the index at the back of the book. It should list it together with the correct page.

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Which edition of the Cake Bible do you have? Is it the UK edition? In the US version it is on pg 39 as geejay mentioned.

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I am sorry to find that In my TCB, pg 39 is the second page for white velvet cake??? I can only find the yellow layer cake , are they the same?

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All Occasion Downy Yellow is on page 39 TCB

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help. i cannot find the all occasion downy yellow butter cake which so many rave in the Cake Bible. Can someone tell me the page? Does it bear another name?
Thank you.

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I haven't made any 3D cakes, but I can tell you the flavor of the chocolate fudge cake is FABULOUS!!!!

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Amy, I have made several 3D cakes for my kids using Rose's Chocolate Fudge cake recipe. It is on page 60 of the Cake Bible (US edition). I wrap the cake pan in wet paper towels and then in foil when I bake it. It helps protect the cake from drying out and being overdone.

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Hello,
I love to bake, and I am trying a 3-D cake next weekend for my sons 3rd birthday. It will be a dinosaur. The problem is the directions say to use a dense homemade cake. I need a suggestion or two for a recipe that is dense enough to hold shape, but still tastes good enough for a birthday cake. I will be using butter cream frosting. Thank you for any advice or help.
Amy

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Thanks for your quick response Patricia, I know Rose is on vac, you guys are God's gift. Keep up the good work.

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Cakeroyale - Rose is on vacation, but welcome. You'll LOVE the cake bible. The new cake book is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2009.

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Oh Rose, You are such a wonderful creature, I was directed to this site last week and ever since ive fallen in love with your site. Although ive no gotten a copy of the Cake Bible but it is a must for me to get a copy now cos seeing all the people expanciating on the cake bible, i dont think I can do anything without it. Im a homebaker and i got all my recipes online and ive gotten so much raves on my cakes although I do it as part time and I love baking as well. I baked your favourite yellow cake last weekend and its whao. My children finished it immediately, I will bake it again and again. Thanks Rose for giving your time to do this. And Rose, I read you bio saw ur pic and I fell in love with you immediately. Dont think I can do without ur site again. Thanks again for ur time. Learnt your new book is coming out this year, when exactly?

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Belmari, I hate to be the one to tell you but you need to get 2" pans if you want your cakes to turn out well. A lot depends on the correct size of pan.

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Belmari Bauer
Belmari Bauer
02/27/2008 02:18 PM

All my cake pans are 3". Will be starting to bake the recipes in the Cake Bible. Should I start getting the lower 2"pans. I have a collection of rounds,rectangle, and square. All 3 inches.Ups!!! Please let me know. Thanks, Belmari

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peggy, not all cakes have a good texture when made in a larger size. it sounds like this is one that won't. if it were simply dense i would recommend increasing the leavening but dense and dry does not sound promising. i do have two sour cream bsaed cakes in the upcoming book that are really terrific and work for wedding cakes. (fall 09)

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Hello Rose,
I absolutely love your sour cream butter cake. I tried making a large batch to fill a 6'' 9'' 12'' and 15'' round pans but did not get the same texture as the small batch. The cakes had a very dense, dry and chewy texture. I would love to know how I can make larger batches. I tried the formular for making larger butter cakes from the cake bible but was confused by the difference in ingredients when compared with that of the sourcream butter cake. Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated. Thank you

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Hi,
i'm so glad a came caross ur site and i would be very happy if u could explain why i keep having heavy, pudding-like and dense cakes all the time. i would prefer lighter, airy cakes. please help

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i appreciate your appreciation!

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Rose, I had your Cake Bible for years and suddently it disapeared from my culinary book collections. Of course I'm purchasing a new one (I can't bake well without it) but I wanted to thank you for having the Yellow layer cake" recipe and others online for your dearest fans. Jocelyne

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how please i am that you have asked as it inexplicably pains me to hear genwah (though i don't expect everyone to know how to pronounce french words but at least pastry people...) so you're right--it should be--well let me copy from my own book where i gave the pronunciation for all french terms: JenWAHX ClassEEK (by the way as a pastry chef it would be a great asset to have the cake bible and the pie and pastry bible--at least take it out of the library).
you're right about terrine--long e.
i'm sure you will be a wonderful pastry chef as you concern yourself with details that many ignore and that is the soul of a pastry person!

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To Rose the expert in many delectables!
I recently got a job as a pastry chef (after 20 years of doing wedding cakes out of my home!) at a 4 star hotel in town. I heard people at work calling Genoise (Gen-wah)verses what I think the correct pronunciation of: Gen-waz. I looked it up on dictionary.com and a couple of others and they all post it the "waz." Meaning the z is sounded like Z in Zone. Am I crazy? How would you pronounce this?
Another pronunciation question is terrine. Long ee sound at for ine? een?
I hope you can clear this up so I learn the right way now that I am in the pastry industry!
Debbie

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To Rose the expert in many delectables!
I recently got a job as a pastry chef (after 20 years of doing wedding cakes out of my home!) at a 4 star hotel in town. I heard people at work calling Genoise (Gen-wah)verses what I think the correct pronunciation of: Gen-waz. I looked it up on dictionary.com and a couple of others and they all post it the "waz." Meaning the z is sounded like Z in Zone. Am I crazy? How would you pronounce this?
Another pronunciation question is terrine. Long ee sound at for ine? een?
I hope you can clear this up so I learn the right way now that I am in the pastry industry!
Debbie

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there are two cakes in the upcoming book that have a combination of butter and oil but some others i have tried have not been successful, particularly the yellow cake which was more moist but less flavorful, coarser but lower in height.

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Rose, have you ever experimented with Shirley O'Corriher's method of combining fats for a moister cake? It's my habit (after reading Cookwise) to substitute a couple of tablespoons of oil for the butter in a classic butter cake recipe. It seems to work, as I like a very moist cake. I haven't yet tried your recipes (I am working on Pie and Bread right now), but I was wondering what your thoughts were on the subject. I know you mentioned the new Cake Bible was going to have some cakes made with oil.

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you could just put the commercial baking powder in hot water to see if it fizzes and is still active or get smaller cans. the rumsford i like so much comes in really small cans and is available in health food markets and places like whole foods.
in theory you can make your own but you need to do it just before using it as it lacks the starch stabilizers of the commercial.

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Perhaps I don't bake enough to use a full container of baking powder, so I find I have to throw it out and buy a fresher container. Can you make baking powder from 1 part cream of tarter to 2 parts baking soda, and if so, will it work in your recipes?

Thanks

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thanks for your kind words!

i think it will be pretty much the same. of course use the appropriate amount of batter for volume of the pan!

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Dear Rose, I would like to say "thank you" for all your wonderful recipes. My family just adore your cakes. Lately, I have been getting request for birthday cakes for children. My recent one is for a Hello Kitty face cake which requires me to pour in a 9X18' pan and cut out the design. Do you think that pan will change the texture and moisture of the Downy Yellow Butter cake?
Thank you for you help.

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Jeanette Pennels
Jeanette Pennels
07/15/2007 06:27 PM

I am a fairly proficient Australian Cake maker, Cake Decorator but want to produce an American Layer Cake for a Church Function. I would still like to decorate it with fondant. I have the cake bible but no time to experiment. Can someone help me with a suggestion for a non chocolate cake and suitable filling which will cut reasonably well. Should I make only two layers to enable easy cutting? Many of our cakes of course are fruit cake but we are now asked for many different kinds together with chocolate mud. I want this cake to be acceptable to both adults and children. Thank you in anticipation

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sundee--please continue to post questions directly on the blog. the answer to your last ? re vanilla is you're absolutely right--i only seem to have used it in the whipped cream. i now use it far more. i would start with 1 teaspoon for 4 cups buttercream and add more to taste.

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it is not neoclassic without the corn syrup--it is classic and you need to use a thermometer for the finished temperature of the syrup. the amounts of vanilla and many variations are listed after the neoclassic recipe. or you can do it to taste.
for space between the layers you need to purchase cake separators from a store such as sweet celebrations.

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Sundee Wislow
Sundee Wislow
05/11/2007 09:25 AM

We're struggling with layering cakes so that there is a slight space (or lift) between each layer on a 4 tiered wedding cake. We've tried dowels, and drinking straws and dowels, but when we leave a slight lift, the top layer of cake is not stable and tends to lean - which moves the dowels to an angle in the cake below. Any suggestions for a more stable cake - with slight spaces between layers? Thanks.

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Sundee Wislow
Sundee Wislow
05/11/2007 09:19 AM

I'd like to flavor the buttercream frosting with vanilla. We're using the neo-classic buttercream frosting but with a slight alteration (eliminating the corn syrup). Can you suggest how much vanilla extract to use, and if there is anything else to add other than vanilla extract? Thank you.

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thanks,
I was trying to figure it out but wasn't sure how. thanks for your help!

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no--too much batter. to assess this for yourself in future turn to page 455 of the cake bible. you will see the volume of each pan size. assume the batter is between 1/2 to 2/3 the volume of each pan. in this case half full would be 9 cups for each pan and 18 cups total which is 4 1/2 quarts. your mixer is 5 quarts.

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I am about to make 2 13" round cakes (RF 9) so the recipe requires 18 egg yolks and 9 cups of flour. can i do this in my kitchenaid mixer in one batch? i have the smaller mixer, not the one with the arm things on the side.
Thanks!

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if using a hand-held electric mixer you need to beat much longer on high speed. yes a more powerful mixer and cake flour will give more moisture and lightness but the cake will be very tender until the day after baking. good you're doing practice cakes! then you can get just what you want. be careful not to over-bake and if you want more moistness you can always sprinkle with a little simple syrup.

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Sundee Wislow
Sundee Wislow
05/ 9/2007 03:59 PM

I'm baking a wedding cake for the first time and find your book extremely helpful! The all occasion downy yellow cake turned out denser and more crumbly than we had hoped for during practice. We used a hand-mixer instead of a kitchen-aid, and sifted all-purpose flour instead of cake flour - but otherwise followed your recipe quite precisely. Would a more powerful mixer and/or cake flour increase moisture and lightness?

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so glad to hear that you now know exactly what i meant this cake to be!

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Rose, I made this cake for the first time yesterday. (I've made many of the chocolate cakes and toppings but never this recipe) Anyway... I was so pleased with the way it turned out. It is the best yellow cake I have made. I was able to make the cake because my friend brought American cake flour over to me. The cake graced the Bluebell Sunday Tea and Cakes at the village hall.(see my blog) I could hear people saying what a wonderful cake it was, and lots of yummy sounds. I'd like to take the credit but I know it is all because you worked hard to perfect the recipe.
Cheers!

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thank you very much for your lovely comments. jessica's biscuit which has an 800 #--just outside of providence r.i. has all my books as does amazon. the bread bible has my best recipe for pizza and i know you'll love the recipe plus all the other bread recipes.
i'm writing this from my nephew's home in frankfurt germany! i'll be returning to ny tomorrow.

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Dear Rose, I must tell you that I'm a BIG fan of yours. Every single cake or cookie I make from your recipes are a huge success and the only desserts at the table that actually get eaten. The ones bought at the gourmet shops are always left on the table and barely eaten! Because of you, I have turned into a gourmet baker. I have your Christmas Cookie Book and your Cake Bible and absolutely love them. I also love the fact that you offer the recipes is every measurement possible and offer the different methods for whatever machine one chooses to use. I intend to buy your Pie & Pastry Bible (now that I know it exists). Are there any other best sellers I should know about? Any recipes on pizza dough and bread? And for the last question, where is the best store to find your books? I had some trouble finding the cake bible.
Thanks for being such a phenominal teacher! Regards, Susan R.

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start with the all occasion downy yellow cake and see if that's airy enough for him--it sure is delicious!

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I'm really new to the world of baking. Who knew baking a cake was so hard? I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject, and just bought your book because after 10 cakes I am still far from the prize. It's a good think my FIL doesn't mind "cake bread" as I call it. My cakes are notoriously dense and call for a lot of milk (to wash them down). Very pound-cake like. All I've tried to make thus far has been butter cakes. My hubby loves the "light airy cakes" from a box and doesn't hesitate to tell me that mine are dense, heavy, etc. Is there a from-scratch cake that mimics that light airy texture, but still has the flavor of butter? Should I really be baking a chiffon cake? I'm up for another trial this weekend. Any advice would be appreciated!

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definitely not! room temperature means between 65 and 75. if it's hotter it will not have a good texture. but if it's colder (unlikely from what you're saying) it won't either.

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Thank you for your quick response. I usually leave the butter out and bake with it at room temperature. Should I be going beyond that and putting it in the microwave?

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if you're using the same measuring cups then it's the butter. if too cold or too warm it will indeed affect the texture.

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Hi Rose,

I've been using your recipe for the yellow downy cake but i run into problems. When it comes out right, the cake is out of this world, but then there are times when I bake, the texture is dry and dense. I've tried the recipe many times to troubleshoot but I can't seem to find the answer. Is it the amount of liquid that's making it dense? or the softness of the butter? Any help would be much appreciated. I use the measuring cups, not the weight. Not sure of that would make a difference.

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it was a preview from my upcoming book due out fall of 2008. i'm sorry, it's a major break through and took years of effort so it cannot come out in advance of the book.

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Hi Rose,

Chocolate Madness! It's me again asking about chocolate cake recipes. I am still looking for a chocolate cake recipe that will feed 125 wedding guests. The bride would like it to be deep dark moist chocolate. I am not planning making it a tiered wedding cake (though it still needs to be frosted with a white chocolate ganache). We were thinking about arranging the different sizes (6", 9", 12") on clear acrylic cake stands (in descending heights) and decorating them with fresh roses.

Is there a recipe available for your Deep Chocolate Passion Cake? The one pictured in the blog that you did for the wedding. It looks fabulous. I have the Cake Bible but do not see it in there.

Jo-Ann

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when replacing butter with oil you have to keep in mind that oil is 100% fat and butter only about 83%. too much oil will result in too tender a crumb.
i'm working on doing this for my upcoming book but only for cakes that have other flavors such as banana or carrot or nuts because a butter layer cake made with oil seems pointless as there is so little flavor. if for some reason you still want to do this you will have to experiment--you could even try adding some powdered milk to replace the milk solids. the cake bible will list how much is contained in butter in the ingredients section under the paragraph about butter. i've never tried this.

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Hi rose I would like to tell you I tryed your formula for your favorite yellow layer cake. I tryed it using oil instead of butter, it came out ok but I would like to tighten up the crumb texture, its a bit corse. I need to do the formula with oil so it stayes soft when its cold any ideas on how I can inprove the crumb texture and keep the moisture and tenderness???

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marty givens
marty givens
02/15/2007 10:16 AM

Hi rose, I love your book the CAKE BIBLE it has been very helpfull to me in the past few years, helping me develope new formulas but the problem im having now is im trying to develop a vanilla cake using oil instead of butter i n

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston
02/13/2007 02:36 PM

Jack, may I ask what recipe are you using. The fact that the batter is running over indicates too much batter and/or too much leavening. Typically, the batter should only fill the pan no more than two-thirds full.

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Rose, I love to bake and usually have good results, however recently i baked a birthday cake for my grandaughter, everything seemed to be ok but after about fifteen minutes the batter started running over the pan. I was very upset. The reciept recommended a 9x18 inch pan, which I used. I followed the instruction with no altererations. Please Help.

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whew--what a relief! i knew how wonderful it could be and was hoping yo'd find that out too!

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Rose,

I baked this again today and weighed the milk this time - big difference - I would say at least 1/8 cup. I also baked one layer for 29 minutes and one for 31 just to see the difference. The result - both layers were better than the ones from last week (I think the 29 minute was the better of the two). I definitely think the milk helped and I think I did overbake a little last week. The cake was not crumbly and was not dry (although I am going to get some magicake strips to try them out because the outer edges were a little overcooked).

Thanks for your help!

Brian

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Rose,

Thank you so much for your help. I will try experimenting again over the weekend and make it using weight for the milk as well.

Between the cake and the bread experiments, I'm keeping pretty busy!

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it really sounds like you did everything right except maybe your measuring cup for the milk was off. it doesn't sound overbaked. it could be that this style of cake is not to your taste as it is supposed to be a downy soft cake and it's impossible to be soft and moist except if syrup is added afterwards as in a génoise.

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Rose,

I made your All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake today for the first time. I finally got some true 9 x 1 1/2 cake pans (which I found in the back of my mother-in-law's pantry and which she kindly donated to me). I am very precise when following your recipes, so I weighed almost everything (I think the only thing other than the small measures - like the baking powder - that I didn't weigh was the milk, which was an oversight). I looked in on the cake after 20 minutes - nicely raised slightly above the pans. I went to check after 25 minutes and the center was very jiggly and the tester came out wet. I checked again at 30 minutes and wasn't sure it was done, so I baked it until 32 minutes. It had not yet shrunked from the sides of the pan. The layers looked good - when they cooled they were nice and flat along the top, not sunken or raised.

I'm not happy with the texture, however. When I cut a piece, lots of crumbs fall from the side it where I'm cutting the slice and in the center it almost turns into crumbs when I slide out a slice. It also seems a bit dry. The grain isn't course and it doesn't have holes or tunnels, I just think it should be more moist.

Do you think I overcooked it? My oven temperature is pretty accurate, although it fluctuates about +/- 7 degrees at 350.

Thanks for your help.

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Thanks very much, Rose.

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i'm sorry to hear that but yes--there will be some wonderful ones that are flourless!

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Hi Rose,

Will there be any flourless cakes in your new book? I've been told that I am gluten-intolerant but I really like your cakes.

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yes--tunnels are usually from too developed a structure.

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Hi Rose,
I baked your banana cake using buttermilk instead of sour cream. It looked normal from the outside: neat and evenly brown; but when I cut into the cake after it cooled down, I noticed that some places had big tunnels in them. Where did I go wrong?

I have a tendency to overbeat because I use an electric hand beater. Everytime after I put it down to add an ingredient, I beat the batter a little longer to compensate for the break in time. Could overbeating have caused tunnels in the cake and small cracks on top?

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measure the volume of the springform you use and then measure the volume of the pan the rules say you can use. then do that percentage of the cake recipe in it OR make the usual amount and fill the pan only as full as you normally do--half full, two thirds full...whatever it usually is in the springform.
good luck with the contest!

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I plan to enter my chocolate cake in the county fair on saturday. I usually bake it in a 9" sprngform pan.
I just noticed that the "rules" say to use and 8 or 9 inch pan and all all cakes must be a single layer.

Thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

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Thanks for explaining, Rose.

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most springforms used to be 2 1/2 inches and i used them for cakes that would rise slightly higher than the 9 x 2. now they're available in 2 3/4 inches and 3 inches and mostly i use them for cheesecake!

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Thank you so much for your explanation. I'll go read your book in greater detail.

I do notice that the springform pans that you mentioned in the book are not 2" though. They look more than 2" high in the diagrams, and they are even used in the recipes for buttermilk country cake, chocolate domingo cake, perfect all-american chocolate torte, and cordon rose banana cake. Do springform pans work differently?

Thanks.

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i'm so glad you took the leap and got the 2 inch high pans.

do read about these cakes in the cake bible as the structure is explained in great detail. you will see that a cheesecake doesn't rise hardly at all and that a genoise's structure comes primarily from eggs. a layer cake has much less egg and solid butter as opposed to melted butter. the bleached flour holds the butter evenly in suspension. if the structure is weakened say from too much leavening or the smooth particles of unbleached flour that allow the butter to drop to the bottom the cake will fall. a higher pan changes the way the batter sets, slowing it down and therefore weakening it as well. a slowly setting structure also results in larger, less even, and more open crumb.

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Hi Rose,

I went to buy 2" high cake pans and baked your banana cake using buttermilk instead of sour cream. The result was a wonderfully moist, soft and yummy cake. Thanks for your advice.
I really love your recipes.

After comparing the results using a 3" deep pan and a 2" deep pan, I can understand what you mean by the differences in quality.

The layer cakes baked in a 3" deep pan do not bake as evenly as those in a 2" deep pan. The cakes baked in the former often come out with one side slightly higher than the other, or with one side browner than the other. All along I thought that it was due to an oven defect -- that one side of the oven was hotter than the other -- but now I realize that the depth of the cake pan had a greater role in the quality of the cake and it probably aggravates any pre-existing problems in the oven.

I'm curious why 3" deep pans are o.k. for genoise cakes and cheesecakes. Is there some scientific reason why it works for these 2 but not for layer cakes?

Thanks.

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Thanks Rose. I'll just have to go and get 2" high pans then.

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3 inch high pans are good for cheesecake and génoise. they are not good for layer cakes and there is no way to make them better that i personally know of and believe me i have tried.

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Sorry Rose,

I forgot to fill in my particulars before sending. The above question was sent in by me.

Thanks.

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Hi Rose,

I read your reply to Daphne's question about using a 3" high pan instead of 2 2" high pans.

Is there any way to use a 3" high pan at all and still maintain the texture and crumb? Can I, for instance, multiply a one-pan or 2-pan recipe by a certain factor? Otherwise, I would have to go and buy 2" high pans just to achieve the desired results.

Why do they make 3" high pans anyway?

Thanks.

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it might help to spray the pans and chill the layers while working on the next ones. but if you don't like the recipe it's probably not worth doing it in my opinion.

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Thanks for your feedback on the checkerboard cake. I was given a set of Wilton checkerboard pans and insert and used the recipe on the box for the pans. The chocolate portion was not dark enough and I thought the cake was a bit dry. Do you think it might help if I spray the insert with Pam before using it or maybe slightly chilling each layer before I move on to the next one? I can't justify buying new pans right now.
Elizabeth H

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it's a function of the pan. you will never get perfectly even squares but it should come close. the best is chicago metallics.
i hope you're using my recipe from the cake bible because it's a thicker batter that doesn't flow as much so keeps the checks more even.

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Rose, I just made a checkerboard cake and was very disappointed with the outcome because I did not get even "checks". They were off a bit. Any suggestions as to how I can get a perfect checkerboard the next time I try this? Thanks
Elizabeth H

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I have your strawberry neclassic buttercream in the refrigerator (absolutely delicious). I am making poundcake sandwiches with fresh strawberries in the morning, for an afternoon tea. If I want to use it in the morning, around 8am when should I take it out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature? In the middle of the night? The kitchen is 70 deg F.

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janet, i just love what you said about the right taste, look, and feel of the downy yellow cake. do try the sourcream butter cake. it's less light and downy but very tender and the flavor of the sourcream is fantastic. i'll be really interested to have your comments!

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thanks for the feedback may. i think you'll find in the regular checkerboard pans the recipes is tender and velvety! glad it worked though.

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Hi Rose,
I made the checkerboard cake and I was very happy with it. It was very tasty but a bit dense, which was expected due to the height of my pans, nonetheless, will definately keep making it....will try it out again on regular 1-1/2 or 2 inch pans.

Thanks for all your input.

Regards,
May

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Rose, I made your All Occasion Downy Yellow Cake yesterday for the first time, and I am in love. This is the ideal for me as to what a layer cake should taste and look and feel like in your mouth. Just wonderful!

I love your Christmas Cookie book as well. I am especially grateful that you list weights in your ingredients, rather than just cups/spoons. A much better way to bake, IMO, weighing ingredients. Thank you so much!

Janet

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Rose, I just made the All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake and was very happy with the results. Moist, tender crumb and the buttery taste was amazing.

Can I make buttercream frosting using whole eggs, that is if a recipe calls for 6 yolks, can I substitute 3 whole eggs instead?

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Thank you for your reply. I plan on using the recipe but making the cakes 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla in a regular 8 x 3 pan and a 10 x 3 pan.This is because the customer wants 1/2 vanilla 1/2 chocolate cake.
Thank you again,
May

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i've never seen checkerboard pans those sizes--they're always sold in sets of 3 that are about 9 inches with the dividers. so i can't imagine what recipe you're using bc mine is for these pans.

you'll need to do the math! measure the volumes of the pans or consult the chart in the cake bible and go from there. i assume you're using my recipe and if so, all the amounts of batter for every size pan is are listed in the charts. if not, then most other people's recipes need to fill the pan about 2/3 full. make extra batter to be sure you have enough and bake cupcakes with the elft overs.

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Hi, I plan on making the Checkerboard Cake for this Friday for a 1st Communion Cake. I will be doing it as a stacked 8 x 3 and 10 x 3 layers. One layer chocolate and one layer vanilla each. I am concerned about how many recipes I need. Could you please give me guidance?
Thank you, May

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josh, i don't make this type of frosting so i can only guess that adding the cocoa at the end will not make much difference. if you use chocolate, the cocoa butter in the chocolate will indeed thicken the frosting which can be a good thing if the frosting is very soft.

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daphne, i plan to do just that (show close ups of the cake crumb) in my upcoming book. to do it effectively it requires a professional photographer. if you are getting the same height as i indicate in the recipes the odds are very good that you are getting the same texture.

re baking cakes in higher pans, you will need to decrease the leavening to strengthen the structure which will prevent the batter from falling. even by doing this, the texture will be coarser and never as good as a 2 inch high cake. i don't recommend it.

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Hello Rose,

I am making your All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake into cupcakes.

I'm making a vanilla buttercream (not the Classic Buttercream) to frost the cupcakes.

I want half of them frosted with a raspberry "buttercream" (which I've done before) and the other half with a chocolate frosting so I'm planning to split the "base" vanilla frosting and add the raspberry puree to one half and chocolate to the other.

For my chocolate frosting, I use Droste cocoa but I've always added the cocoa in with the confectioner's sugar, then the butter and a little milk and pure vanilla extract. By adding the cocoa last (in this case) will it mix in perfectly or should I use melt chocolate instead? (chips, for example)

I'm thinking that adding melted chocolate to the frosting might tighten the frosting. Well, adding the cocoa last might do the same.

I don't want a mess, so I thought I'd run this by you first. What would you do (or use...cocoa or melted chocolate)?

Thank you very much for your help.

Peace,

Josh

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Hi Rose

Would you be able to post close-up photos of a slice your cakes (e.g. the butter cake, the pound cake, a chiffon, a genoise, etc.) so that we can see the ideal texture we're aiming for? e.g. my Downy yellow cake yesterday looked and tasted fine to me but I wasn't quite sure if the texture was exactly what it should be.

Another question: in your recipes for layer cakes, can 2 x 2" high pans be substituted with a single higher pan and simply baked for slightly longer?

Thanks!
Daphne

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thank you for explaining. the white chocolate cake is more moist because of the cocoa butter and lecithin. but most of the other layer cakes are soft with a velvety dense crumb. the batter should be thick as you describe it as a thin batter will result in a denser cake as the liquid closes up the open spaces in the cakes structure.
sounds like you're doing just fine but if your goal is to have a moist, light cake the ones to try are the chiffon, genoise and biscuit.

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Sorry about being so vague. I always use swansdown cake flour and I have tried the whisper white cake and the white cholate white cake and the perfect pound cake and a yellow downy cake also. To be honest I've only had success (meaning light and moist) once on the white chocolate one. I do notice however that the batter is always so thick. It never pours. Is that a problem or is it something else?

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babs, avoid 3 inch high pans for wedding cakes--they bake quite differently requiring less leavening in proportion to the flour and the texture even after this adjustment is not as fine. i'm not talking about a flourless type of cake such as cheesecake by the way. metal 3 inch high pans with center tubes work much better bc the heat is conducted to the center.

i love removable bottom pans for cakes that i'd rather not invert such as a coffee crumb or streusel cake. they're great for a cheesecake as well as long as you are sure to use a double layer of heavy duty foil to wrap around them to keep out the water. another great trick i'm using is to set the pan in a slightly larger silicone pan before putting it in the water bath!!!

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marelene, i'm afraid your question is too vague.since you didn't mention which cakes came out that way i also wonder if you're using all purpose instead of cake flour or even UNbleached flour which could explain a lot. also i don't know if you're weighing or measuring. if you're measuring you may be using too much flour.
many cakes in the book are by their very nature moist such as a chiffon. you have to be more specific in order for me to address your concern which i would be happy to do.

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Hi Rose, I would like your opinion, please, on using loose bottom/removable bottom cake pans. Are there certain types of batter that the cake would be improved by using a loose bottom cake pan? Also, I'm considering getting cake pans with 3-inch depth. Could I justify the expense, or should I just stick with my 2-inch deep pans? I would like to start making wedding and other celebration type cakes. Thanks very much.

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Marlene Pereyda
Marlene Pereyda
04/21/2006 11:57 PM

Dear Rose,
I have had your cake bible for years now but my success is about 20%. My cake always comes out dry and alot of the time dense. The batter is usually very thick instead of pouring I have to scoop it out. Is this how it should be? What am I doing wrong? What is the right consistancy for batter? Should it be like the cake mix? Please help...

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thanks for the feed back jo-ann. yes, it is recommended to lower the temp. 25 degrees when using glass as the heat gets transmitted quickly through the clear glass. i agree that it is better to use standard pans and trim for best texture. the deeper the pan the more the contrast between outside and inside.

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Hi Rose,

I'm following up on my previous question regarding using different pan sizes. I did bake the All American Yellow Downey Cake in a 1 and 1/2 quart pyrex bowl, decreasing the leaving by about 1 tablespoon. This was unsuccessful though. Glass bowls are the best cake baking tool. The top of the cake domed and the outside of the cake baked at a rate much quicker than the inside. The result was a dark crust. I'm sure I should have reduced the temperature by 25 degrees but I'd rather forgo using glass bowls for baking cakes in the future. On the second try, I baked the White Velvet Butter Cake, which has the same measurements as the Yellow Cake except for the eggs. This time, I did not change the leavening and baked it in a disposable 1 and 1/2 quart shiny tin pan and this worked out very well. Note that I only filled the pan halfway both times that I baked. If I had to do it again, I would just use the recommended pan sizes and hand cut the desired cake design because this produces the optimal cake texture and color. Thanks for your help Rose!

One more question, are there any revisions to the two cakes I baked in your new book?

Thanks again,

Jo-Ann

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my carrot cake in the cake bible uses butter but the one in my upcoming book will use oil. while i adore the flavor of butter, when the cake is refrigerated it becomes unpleasantly firm and the cake has to come to room temperature to enjoy, but when making the cake with oil, the oil stays liquid in the frig so the cake can be eaten cold. and additional advantage is that you can use whipped cream frostings that require refrigeration.

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Is there a preference/difference in baking cakes with oil vs. butter? For example in searching for a carrot cake recipe I have found recipes that use oil and some use butter. I am confused and would appreciate clarification.
Thank you!
Novice Baker

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linda, my simplest icing is "neoclassic buttercream" in the cake bible and also on the site: www.bakingmagic.com

i prefer the softness of the cake without syrup but a little simple syrup (page 120 cake bible) would be fine.

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linda mckee
linda mckee
11/ 9/2005 08:48 PM

What kind of simple icing could be use with cake?
Also, will you make a syrup for this cake to make it more flavorful and moist?

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