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Nov 20, 2005 | From the kitchen of Rose

MONICA QUESTION

I hope you are well. I have had an interesting cupcake experience. Today I made cupcakes using your All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake, the recipe of which I have used on countless occasions for both cakes and cupcakes. I baked the first two trays of cupcakes in separate ovens at the same time and got basically the same result, I have gotten in the past. The cupcakes were mostly flat on top, especially when filled too high. (When filled lower I got a slight arc.)

While they were cooling, I ran out to the store, to get more cupcake fillers to bake the last of the batter (6 more cupcakes.) I baked these for the same amount of time, but got a much higher cupcake. It looked as if they almost erupted slightly...peaking like a volcano! I have attached a picture for you to look at...the one in the middle is from the second baking, the other two are two samples from the first baking.

cupcakes.jpg

Why did I get such a different result from the same batter? Did it have something to do with the batter sitting for more than 30 minutes before baking? Or that I used a 6 cup tray instead of a 12 cup tray? (The 6 cup tray was made of the same material as one of the 12 cup trays I used.) I would really like to be able to duplicate the result, since they looked nice frosted, but cannot understand why. Your insight would be invaluable!

ROSE REPLY

cake batter that rises up in the center during baking resembling a volcano is always due to the cake's structure being too strong. this can be the result of using a higher protein flour or of inadequate leavening which i'm fairly certain is the case in your situation. baking powder is called double acting because part of it reacts on contact with the liquid in the batter and the other part from the oven heat. since part of your batter sat a while before baking, part of the baking powder activated leaving less to tenderize the batter. if you want to simulate the result, simply decrease the baking powder and you will get a more rounded top but a less tender cake.

Comments

Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Yasmin
11/ 4/2012 09:32 AM

Hi Yasmin,
We generally do not make recommendations, because that is really up to people's taste preferences ex: maybe most of the people are chocolate lovers, the reason for the event ex: Thanksgiving one may make a pumpkin or carrot cake, and your imagination. The Cake Bible has many recipes in the Showcase Cakes section for you to adapt one of them to your plan.
Rose & Woody

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Hi Rose. I need to bake a large cake for a big gathering, and I'd like to make it by joining two 9x13 cakes together. Which of your cakes would you recommend? I have made the All occasion downy, The Chocolate fudge cake and the Checkerboard fantasy several times as 9 x13 cakes, and would like to try something new.

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Woody Wolston
Woody Wolston in reply to comment from Michelle
07/22/2012 02:16 PM

Hi Michelle,
We recommend The Cake Bible's Perfect Pound Cake page 25, which also has an Understandings section for tips and a variations section.
Rose & Woody

REPLY

Hi Rose - I recently made a pound cake which sank terribly in the center in a loaf pan. Can you recommend a good standard pound cake recipe and pitfalls to watch for? Thank you!

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I really want to make some cakes that call for using Green & Black white chocolate from your Heavenly Cakes recipes. However, I've searched everywhere but could not find any white baking chocolate from G&B. Do you know any sources? Thanks.

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Hello

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

They are not in favour of a fruit cake or one with too much chocolate in it-- the latter too hot for their November wedding.
At this staqe they plan on inviting 30-40 guests.
I persoanlly have baked cakes all my life having being brought up and lived on a sheep property.

Also Rose's cake bible has also been my bible since 1988--I love it and her regular newsletters to us who live 'down under'

Can anyone help us?

Many thanks and regards
Maggie Hughes

REPLY

Hi Maria,
Kate Coldrick has worked out converting unbleached flour to "bleached" all-purpose flour. Her website with all of the information on how to make it is "a Merrier World" is one of Rose's "Sites I Like" on our home page.
Her creation is a 'wonder flour', but do not confuse her's with General Mill's Wondra Flour which is entirely different.
Kate's method is also described in "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" pages 438-439.
Enjoy, Woody

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Hi there everyone. There was a post about two months ago..l think.

Talked about flour and that here in europe we cannot buy cake flower. Now l know Rose said the next best thing was wonder flour. But the lady that posted (sorry cant remember her name)that there was a sollution for this problum with a certain grind or mixture...gee cant even remember what exactly she said but l would appriciate if anyone can send my the post.

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Lots of Great information in your post, I favorited your blog so I can visit again in the near future, All the Best, Forrest Sulecki

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Very interesting post thank you for sharing I have added your blog to my bookmarks and will be back :) By the way this is off topic but I really like your sites layout.

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Have any of your ingredients changed, such as the flour or butter?

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I have been making Elvis Presley pound cakes for quite a long time and they turn out beautifully. I got a new oven, and it does not raise evenly. I sent the oven back thinking it was defective, got another oven and the same thing happens. I tried using a higher rack, a lower rack, lower temperature, higher temperature. It is always heavier on the bottom or in the center. I have made a minimum of 20 cakes in this and the last oven. None come out perfect like my old oven. the recipe is as follows: the first in a preheated oven, the second in a cold oven.

Elvis Presley Pound Cake
Makes 2 loaf cakes.
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
7 eggs, room temperature
3 cups cake flour, sifted twice
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Oven 350°.
Combine sugar & butter in bowl of electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in 1 ½ cups of the flour. Add whipping cream. Beat in remaining flour and vanilla.
Pour batter evenly into two buttered and floured 8 ½ x 4 ½ loaf pans. Bake until golden and tester inserted in the center of cakes comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans and cool complete on wire racks.


Pour batter evenly into two buttered and floured 8 ½ x 4 ½ loaf pans. Do not preheat oven. Put into cold oven; then set oven temperature to 350°. Bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Cool in pans 20 minutes then remove from pans and cool completely.

REPLY

Oven heat temperature could be a reason I think. I have two ovens. If I turn both ovens to 190 degrees, one of the ovens always feels hotter than the other. So, whenever I use the hotter one and I need a 190 degree temperature, I put it to 170-180 degree instead.My cupcakes turned out fine.

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Along those same lines, I always thought this problem might be caused by the moisture (steam) of the hot cupcakes not being able to dissipate quickly enough. I've never experienced the problem - what I do is remove the cupcakes from the pan immediately, and place them on an elevated cooling rack with plenty of room for air circulation around each one. My brood is usually eager to eat them quickly, in which case I will sometimes cool them even faster with a fan.

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Let me throw a guess. My regular cakes shrink when I don't remove them immediately from the pan. The extra heat.

Perhaps if you use thinner cupcake cups or of a material that would cool very fast or remove them from your pan or place on a tall cooling rack, the shrinkage is avoided?

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Rosmah Osman:
This is something that has been discussed a lot in the past on this website. If you do a search you will find a ton of information. I've noticed two things in my experience baking cupcakes...
Be careful not to handle the cupcakes too much while they are hot...That seems to make the paper separate. I take the pans out of the oven, let them cool 10 mintues. I put a wire rack over the tops and invert, then gently stand them upright to cool. I once dropped one onto the table while hot...and the paper separated immediately!...that's when I realized that trying to lift them out of the pan with a thin spatuala was causing the separation. The other thing I noticed was that if the pan was a regular (not a non-stick) pan and if some batter was bridging the paper to the pan, when the cupcakes cooled, the cake shrunk, the paper stuck to the pan, and the paper separated. So those are my suggestions: 1) don't handle them too much while hot,
2) fill the pans cleanly, and don't over fill.
You will probably find more info if you search the blog...good luck!

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Rosmah Osman
Rosmah Osman
02/ 5/2008 09:13 PM

Dear Rose,

Can you tell me how to prevent cupcakes from detaching its liners. My cupcakes always detached from their liners which makes it difficult to frost and decorate.

REPLY

Oh dear - I think we are all in the same dilemma - to go commercial or not to go! If only we lived in the same place - then we can all go in partnership and not worry abt each other having different ideals!

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Bill, that is a compliment.

And let me share my life experience with you all (no blunting intended):

Since I was 16 yo, I've been offered to run a business of this or that for the many things I can do, baking one of the many. Before that, my mother always let me help her baking, she was a stay at home mother of 5, and my dad was kind to bring in professional chefs into the house to teach mom how to feed us. At 15, I made my first wedding cake, was for my brother. It was a big cake that took a lot of carpenters, welders, and aunts. One day I need to recreate this cake, since I have no good picture of it!

I did not see a 16 yo as a baker at that time, so 'more traditional' college started instead. I've had a wide college path, from first wanting to become a computer programmer, but then actually enrolling in Agronomy undergrad wanting to open a houseplant nursery. But actually, getting my B.A. in Biology and having a 5 year stint at a blood lab, loved-it. Houseplants became a hobby, and computers a tool I use on everything imaginable. Then college itched again, this time getting my M.S. in Computers, somehow I reconnected to my original starts.

I always loved ALL the things I've done outside my day job, and always told myself like you... if doing it for a living, the fun can stop. The only connection I see on all above trades is science. Baking is science. A few years has passed, and I am itching to become a full time baker. I feel ready.

Story, to be continued...

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I have been approached by a friend (also an amature baker) about starting some sort of business baking business with her (details, at her request, are still a secret). I have been very reluctant. I love to bake and I love to feed my friends and family. I'm afraid that if it becomes a business...with worries and stresses...it will take all the joy out of it.

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Elicia, you sound exactly like myself! You go!

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Rose, re: gloves, it is really getting much out of hand now-days due to lawsuits extravaganzas and resilient germs panic!

I was told that in a commercial environment, you can't touch any food with bare hands that won't be cooked with heat after you touch it. For example, no bare hands on salads, on finished meals, or when assembling cake.

I prefer to use gloves only when handling raw meat, or when I want to avoid washing my hands often! Most the rest, I need to 'feel' it with my own hands!

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Rebecca, I always feel bad and somehow arrogant when I turn down all requests to make a cake copied from someone else, from TV, or from a magazine! It is such common request.

I have no cake catalog for a customer to choose from, and if a cake needs to be 'special' then they will get 'special.' Drawings help!

Baking cakes is CHEMISTRY and PHYSICS science, really is. Call it quality of the ingredients or equipment, but truly, it is down to the molecular structure and physical properties of each ingredient and what turns out when interacting with each other in the oven! One brand/type of flour, butter, sugar, etc, is different than other brands/types. A cake IS NOT a pile of sugar, eggs, and flour!

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On September 2007, my good friend Wendy told me:

"My girlfriend, Katie saw your awesome cake for the WYC. She is having a birthday party March 22, 2008 (Her 50th) and would love to hire you to make her a birthday cake. Please let me know if that appeals to you or not. It will be a really fun party…although probably not at the Paul Mitchell estate which is where she was trying to get. She is the one who throws the best Mardi Gras parties….so her birthday should be something to remember. I have no idea what kind of cake she might want…or the theme of the party yet…but would love to put you in touch with her. It is likely to be a costume party of some type. "

I just find amusing when a customer wants to "hire you" instead of "do a cake." Makes me feel that it is myself to be sold, instead of a cake!

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i once had a nouveau riche client who had pretentions to grandeur and imagined she was "commissioning an artist" when she asked me to do her son's bar mitzvah cake. she said cost was no issue until i told her what it would be. she informed me that designer gowns were that expensive.
after the event she called to tell me it "wasn't beautiful enough." lovely huh!
keep notes--you'll be able to use them in a book!

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Hi Serene!

I can understand what you've gone through with your mum. I have a dear friend of mine who keeps lamenting why is it her bakes turn out differently even though we use the same recipes. It was much later that I discovered the reasons: 1. oven not properly preheated, 2. There's disparity between the actual temperature of the oven to the one indicated on the dial and lastly but very crucial: inferior ingredients. When I'd shown her the reasons for her inferior baking, she's still very unwilling to change. Her reasoning: why should I invest so much into a mere cake!

Elicia: I have foreseen the behaviours of those customers from hell. But was still a bit taken aback but the variety of ways they 'pull their stunts'. I'm still sticking to my belief that my bakes speak for themselves. Sure we can do what the other baker has done, but does the customer want the added crisco & such in their buttercream or fondant? I guess that's the reason why I can't go commercial besides the sky-high rental. I don't compromise :(

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i went through this many years ago when baking wedding and special occasion cakes for sale. there was no way i could make my apt. conform to code so i called a few colleagues who had commercial settings and they told me the codes were so demanding they couldn't either! but ny is not the tropics and i'm sure there are special concerns in your environment.
i suspect home baking is safer than commercial bc we're not opening the frig every two seconds and we don't leave large hot mixtures on the counter which take so long to cool. food sanitation is a very important course that ppl take in culinary schools but unfortunately isn't taught in cooking schools or in cookbooks! the whole concept of kosher and halal no doubt came about in climates where the danger of food contamination was high and refrigeration non-existent.
without using gloves or any other food service type things i've never had food-poisoning from my own baking or cooking though i have from eating out!

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Hi,

am a Singaporean living in germany & can really relate to what you are going thru. Baking being my love, wanted to sell brownies & cookies online & operate a baking business here. Easier said than done as every foodie item that's to be sold has to go thru certified locally at your own cost. Demand for baked stuff is not so much so as in OZ or in any of the British (or in any of the ex- British Commonwealth countries) in the States.

Singaporeans are not only "kiasi" (not all. but some) but greed or profit-taking seems to rule the entire mentality. Whenever I give my mom a recipe she requested, I have to literally beg with her to use 100% fresh ingredients. The last time, she'd used expired baking powder & the muffins did not rise. Like what Rose somewhere in her post b4, fresh ingredients is the first step to a great tasting baked product.

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Oh Rebecca, as I've written earlier, gg commercial will definitely kill my passion! I hope to find a compromise though - maybe a small corner in a nice cafe...

I know abt those customers! I recently had an enquiry for a 1st b'day. The mom didn't want cupcakes and specifically requested for a No 1 cake. She even emailed me photos of the cake design she liked (obviously from another baker!) - it was fully covered and decorated with fondant. I know this baker charges a very high fee and her thickly fondant covered cakes don't taste great (I had a friend who paid a lot for it, and complained abt the taste).

I agreed to do it with the exception that I will use a white choc glaze over buttercream, and the fondant will only be used sparingly for the decor. She was fussy and asked a lot of questions - size, weight etc etc, and insists that buttercream is sweeter! I was tempted to tell her that she shld trust whoever recommended me to her that my cakes will be delicious! But I patiently tended to her queries... and she also had a tight budget which is strange since she is so particular abt her daughter's 1st bday cake!

Eventually, her sister (who recommended me) emailed me that the mom has decided to settle for a store-bought cake. I wasn't unhappy - it didn't matter that ppl who don't appreciate my cakes don't get to eat them! On the other hand, I wld prefer to give cakes to ppl who appreciate them even if they don't pay for them - and I do bake a lot for my hubby's clients. Haha!

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Hector: In singapore, the home / renter insurance don't cover 'accidents' by food poisoning. I'm very sure of it as over here, we're not suppose to run any food-involved business out of apartments.

Elicia: Thanks for your encouragements and advice :)

I'm taking all these in my stride as it was never my intention to go big scale. Just upset ppl will use such incident to do undercutting. I really enjoy baking and my 'customers' are mostly my own friends who appreciate my skills and effort in considering their needs (coming out with themes for parties or considerations on food allergies and taste preference). If my friends are to go to those commercial chains, it will burn a deep hole in their pockets. Sadly, people who give me problems are those attendees to these parties :P

I doubt I will go commercial as it will be a tug of war balancing passion & profit making. Commercial rentals are sky high for the moment and it's not easy to employ people who share the same passion as you. Ha ha...Elicia, if you ever go commercial, I can work for you! Don't mind having to station in M'sia.

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Rebecca, I think I know what you are talking abt in terms of how S'poreans behave! It is a good scapegoat for them to demand a price cut from you homebakers. You shld remind them that it was a commercial eatery that was involved, not a homebaker!

Hector's pretty thorough on the 'kitchen rules'! I believe a separate dedicated work station (and utensils) is necessary (I even have separate food processors for meat!). Also lots of hand washing in between and refrain from licking your fingers! I've also started using disposable gloves since the business grew ... and if you are leaving your fondant decor out to dry - do cover them to keep pests/insects away!

In Malaysia, we are more concerned abt the 'halal' status, so although I don't use the same equipment/utensils to cook pork and use 'halal' cake ingredients, I generally don't do Muslim sales! There are a lot of Muslim homebakers though and they do very good business.

I don't think any non-Muslim homekitchen wld pass the 'halal' certification here, so if I ever go commercial, I will definitely have to set up a commercial kitchen elsewhere!

I hope it is just a phase for you. I think everything will be back to normal after a while!

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Rebecca, home baking is an ODE TO BEUTY, and a old near lost trade!

I believe Rose insterest is bringing home cooking to a professional -not commecial- level. Once I've read "The Cake Bible is the first time professional cuisine information is made available to the home cook!"

I believe your home owners or renters insurance will cover if anyone gets sick or injured at your home =)

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Elicia, Hector & Bill: Once again, thank you very much for your advice :)

Even though I'm a s'porean, I have to say this, s'poreans are very kiasi (colloquial term use to describe fear of death or sickness). My sales hasn't been much affected but I have a few interested parties who unscrupulously wanted to use this episode to bargain on the quoted price. I simply refer them to the commercial establishments. A few of my friends who are homebased bakers have reported a slight dip in sales.

I'm not surprise the recent episode occurs in a commercial chain. After living in Australia for a couple of years, I must say s'pore still has a lot of catching up to do in terms of food cleanliness and hygiene. The only time we'll be fearful and vigilant is when such an episode occurs. Give it some time, and standards start to drop. It's not consistent. This is what I'd observed after doing short stints (whenever my previous job allows) in food industry. I had witnessed a few horror episodes that droved me to rely more on home cooking and baking.

Currently I'm practising what Hector has advised, including having myself as a guinea pig (funny that I've lost a pound or two after embarking on this 'career' :P). It's my belief not to compromise on the hygiene standard even though I'm doing the baking from home.

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I believe that in New York we are not allowed to sell products cooked in a home kitchen. I don't really have the time for a baking business (although I would love it) so it isn't really a concern of mine. I will be doing a wedding cake in the future...but it is a gift for one of my dental assistants...so technically not sold. One day she said "Doc, when Mike and I get married, I want you to make the wedding cake". I said to her"I'm waiting for the ring on your finger". She said "you and me both, doc, you and me both." But it looks like the engagement is happening soon...so I guess I'll be spending a lot of time with a pastry bag!

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Actually, I only sell to friends w/o soliciting. Friends come to me, I tell them free, but they tip me generously. The bigger cakes, were donations, unsolicited also.

I worked at a national US chain pizzeria for years, and follow basic Dept of Health and NSF guidelines. I have thermometers in all my freezers and refrigerators, which I read 2 or 3 times a day. I also store and cook foods at/to the correct temperatures.

I have a pest control program.

I don't cross contaminate, wash hands and surfaces each time a different food group is handled. I have dedicated cutting boards and cutlery per food group.

Every ingredient, in the freezer/refrigerator/pantry/cool room, are sealed tight, mostly by vacuum bags. Also dated and rotated (use oldest first).

Besides that my kitchen is a normal household kitchen.

I also have a real person guinea pig, myself, which will eat everything first before going out the door!

There are MANY more guidelines and building construction requirements (room temperatures, flooring, steel/sanitize able surfaces, etc) that I will need to comply before getting a commercial kitchen permit.

Check with your local law, there can be some flexibility for home cooks. In Hawaii, if you sell baked goods at the swap meet, you don't need any special commercial kitchen permit.

Please read specific guidelines for Salmonella, since this is the concern you list. In the US, salmonella strikes mostly fast food chains that handle processed food and that constantly handles the same type of food. My food is barely processed (baking and cooking from scratch for example), and I hardly cook/bake the same thing day after day. I haven't heard anyone to be reluctant to buy something from a home baker!

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Rebecca, I think we just go about as we would if we were baking for ourselves - hygiene is important regardless! Even in the days when I was not selling my cakes, I wld still observe hygiene and tidyness in the kitchen. I wld imagine that the opinion wld be that homebakers are more hygienic than commercialised bakery chains.. after all, homebakers most often operate from a well-equipped kitchen in their own homes which shld be clean? Moreover, we ourselves are the cooks, not some hired employees.

It is sad that S'pore has an experience with salmonella poisoning. Here in M'sia, we don't have any particular regulations on homebakers although I the authorities have a set of rules for commercial eateries. Homebakers here are a pretty small community and we have not had any incidents to date fortunately.

I hope you are not affected as a homebaker. Singaporeans shldn't react that way towards homebakers since it is a commercial chain that was involved in the poisoning!

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Hector & Elicia: May I know how both of you maintain the cleanliness of the kitchen since you're selling your homebaking? Cos about a month ago, a major bakery chain in singapore was involved in salmonella poisoning. A lot of singaporeans freaked out and have casted doubts on homebased bakers. Even the NEA (National Environment Authority) has warned floggers to stop putting their bakes for online sale. Would appreciate your advice :)

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Nushera, THANK YOU!, yes THE YELLOW KITCHEN. And it will have pictures of blog people that hopefully will stop by!

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I totally agree Hector - homebaked goodness it is! I didn't quit my corporate life to plunge myself into another one where $$$ matters above the passion of doing things!

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Don't need to get rich, but a nice house in Hawaii will sufice! So many big brands out there, I think people are starting to appreciate the small Mom/Pop bakery next door or baked products from home bakers!

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Wish I have access to home-use vacuum seal equipment here! Hector - if only I live in Hawaii - then we can open a restaurant/bakeshop together, haha!

Imagine my horror when an ex-colleague suggested that she wants to invest in a business venture with me - she wants to write out a business plan that includes expanding the business to a huge franchise! I have to remind her that one very successful bakery/cafe franchise here, which has abt 100 outlets now, seem to have lost the magic touch with their cakes - the cakes from their central kitchen tastes dry and stale to me!

She actually says it doesn't matter if we can create a brand so popular that it will make us rich! Aargh!

Still looking for a 'partner' who understands the level of quality I want to maintain, not to mention the personal touch, and the ability to be flexible with the menu! And who is willing to make less $$ for the passion of doing it!

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Oh Hector- i wish i could be a lucky assistant or at least a customer at your dream (Yellow?) Restaurant.

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Oh Hector - I can definitely understand why you needed to devise a micro-thaw procedure for all the mousseline you made for your 11-tier cake :).

Thanks for the freezer-to-counter tip when using vacuum sealed bags!

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Elicia, re going commercial, I know what you mean! Once I told my bussiness people that if I run my own commerce, it will need to look exactly like my kitchen and dining room, and it will need to be a one man operation (me) who will do all the cooking and serving! but of course, I could hire help to do the prep work and cleanup!

My bussiness plan is to have a very small restaurant where I will cook everything behind a counter or low glass wall where people could see me and interact just like at home, only a few things on my menu and always changing. It can work if your lease and expenses and waste is minimum. You may not get as rich as Roy Yamaguchi, but at least you will be happy to no longer cook/entertain for free!

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we must be twins. I use my under-cabinet halogens to bring butter to room temp, too! noticed this when playing with my infrared thermometer, the halogens were registering 10 to 20 degrees warmer than 'room temperature'

yes, I have over microwaved frozen mousseline, but after a few trials, you get the method right, and really, having to plan ahead and bring it down from the freezer to refrigerator overnight can be unpractical when you are making a cake with near a dozen tiers and a dozen different flavors of mousseline! the number of microwave minutes depends on the volume/weight of frozen mousseline and the frozen tempererature, so you could make your own foolproof microwave chart.

one last cent, when my mousseline is frozen vacuum packed, I do bring it out to room temperature directly from the freezer. any condensation happens outside the vacuum bag! this is such a time saver that often I tell myself why use the microwave at all (I still do, to bring things to speed faster)

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I'm a bit like Elicia when it comes to thawing buttercream... I'm too chicken to do it in the microwave so I always place it in the fidge overnight, then transfer to the counter first thing in the morning so it's at the perfect temp by the time I'm ready to use it.

For cold butter, I slice a stick into pats, line a plate with all the little pats and then place the plate directly under my under-cabinet halogen lights... the butter is room temp in no time flat. If I'm in an even bigger hurry, I beat chunks of cold butter in my KA, using the flat beater, just until the butter is schmeared all over the inside of the bowl, then I place the bowl under the same halogen lights for a few minutes until all the butter is soft (no little pea-size pieces of cold butter remain).

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I'm a bit afraid of microwaving my buttercreams. So overnight defrosting in the fridge (plan in advance!), and a couple of hours at room temp will do it!

Rebecca - I'm sure your cakes are lovely too.. all my training is from TCB and the wonderful encouragement and advice from the bloggers here! Both the white choc cakes (golden luxe n whisper) goes well with lemon. It won't be overpowering I think. Try out and let us know!

Hector dear, you are funny as always! My first new year achievement was baking for an order of 320pcs cupcakes - my largest order yet! Try piping the same delicate design 80 times over! Haha! Oh yes, they (the pics) are all uploaded on www.flickr.com/eliciak as usual.

My hubby and friends are already talking to me abt 'commercialising' the whole thing - ie open up shop. I'm still skeptical though as I do not want to compromise on quality and lose that personal touch!

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On my microwave, power 3 for 1 minute 10 seconds takes tablespoon-sized slices of butter from fridge to room temperature without melting it. I had to experiment a bit to find the right power and time and it will be different on every machine. I use that power for butter cream too, but the short bursts also work as Hector said.

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Straight from the freezer, high power, 10 second intervals. When it is soft enought to break in pieces, then 5 second interval.

Microwave power vary a lot between microwaves, and it is 'still cooking' after the microwave oven has stopped, so the point is to microwave only until the frosting have just started to thaw. I only thaw until the mousseline is near room temperature, but still somewhat hard-cold. I let the final room temperature reach naturally at room temperature outside the microwave, of in a rush, do 2 second microwave intervals!

You need to rebeat a little (hand whisk is sufficient), but do so only when the mousseline has reached room temperature. If too cold it can separate.

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Bill, Hector & Elicia: Thank you so much for the suggestions! I'm so glad I've bought TCB & discovered this site last year. It's like a treasure trove with lotsa experts all ready to help.

Bill: Initially I was thinking of using the white chocolate whisper cake until my cousin insisted on a lemon-based cake. I keep having a nagging feeling that all three components based on lemon is too overpowering. Will give your suggestion a try.

Hector: I read somewhere in this thread you'd successful defrost the mousseline buttercream using the microwave oven. May I know at which setting you'd used for defrosting? Low, medium or high?

Elicia: I'm very impressed with your lovely cakes. You are such an inspiration to me.


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The queen has spoken:, Elicia that is for cupcakes. Well... at least recently since she has been cupcake-busy =)

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Maybe pick your fave yellow cake base, remove the vanilla, add lemon rind... then moisten the baked cake with lemon syrup (as per Rose's lemon poppyseed pound cake) - that will make it real lemony!

As for butter vs genoise - am happy to say M'sians are exposed to cakes from both sides of the continents - so we have everything from sponge/chiffons to dense butter cakes! French style mousse cakes are regarded as 'high class' n we love cheesecakes too!

So for me, when I get bored making genoise with mousse filling, I will bake cheesecake, or butter-based cupcakes! Keep me busy!

But I think that most ppl are leaning towards 'lighter' cakes - lighter texture and lighter/less sweet fillings. Like Hector, I too prefer the lighter layer cakes in TCB for my cupcakes as the frosting is a lot in proportion to the cake. Also, I find the mousseline with tangy curds/preserves flavouring further create an illusion of lightness!

When I use typical French buttercream (heavier and sweeter texture) - I like to use it to frost genoise layers - the combination is quite interesting!

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Hi Bill, I am sure you get the reverse opinions, too. And I am sure, this isn't new news!

The few times I hang out with non-USA citizens, which is many since I am tri-quad-or-more multi-cultural, I hear that USA ppl know nothing about cakes. And vice versa as your friend was saying when in Amsterdam.

I get the same about cheese and wine!

What I try to do, is love everything of the country I am at, trying 'my best' not to speak about comparison... it is hard to do........

Also, sometimes, when you bring a food outside its native country, it tastes differently. I can attest this when trying to have California wine in Italy, or vice versa. Yuck.

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I like genoise very much. A lot of the poeple I bake for don't really like it. I find, however, for cupcakes, that I prefer a dense cake. They are small and eaten with the fingers, so for me, a butter based cake works better.
My best friend is an american who has lived in Amsterdam for the last 25 years...still says that the Europeans don't know anything about cake lol...just loves butter cake and hates sponge!

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I've read on several books and I have proved it with a few actual native people:

In the USA is preferred: heavy butter based cakes sans moistening with syrup.

In EUROPE (Italy, France, Germany, that I've seen with my own eyes) is preferred: light sponge cakes moistened with syrup, most sans butter.

I lean towards the second and try to push my customers to agree with me! The Genoise is in my opinion a good compromise of a light sponge cake that has butter! Most customers like to hear that the sponge cake is made sans chemical leavening, too!

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I've done that too...don't like genoise for cupcakes

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How about a golden genoise and then soak it with limoncello!

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Rebecca:
Hope this helps: I also love Rose's Lemon curd and Lemon Mousseline buttercream. I would suggest, if you want to make lemon cupcakes, that you use the white chocolate whisper cake. With a lemon curd filling, and lemon buttercream, you hardly need the cake part to be lemon as well...a cupcake is so small, and that's a lot of lemon. The white chocolate whisper cake has a very subtle flavor and it blends well with the lemon flavor in the curd an butter cream. Give it a try. I have made the white chocolate whisper cake as a layer cake, filled with lemon curd and iced with lemon mousseline, and it was a big big hit...and very lemony!

Bill

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Hi :)

Would like to know if there's any other of Rose's cake, apart from the buttermilk cake, that can be converted in lemon cupcakes? Was approached by my cousin to bake cupcakes for her up-coming feb wedding. She requested for lemon cupcakes with lemon curd stuffing topped with lemon buttercream. She loved Rose's lemon curd and mousseline buttercream but didn't like my redition of the buttermilk cake. I've used Elicia's suggestion of adding 2 tbsp of lemon curd plus lemon zest. All help is greatly appreciated :)

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Patrincia...thanks! Happy new year to you too! Hope you had a good one

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Congratulations Bill - Happy New Year!

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In continuing my search for the perfect yellow cup cake, I gave it another shot. I know Elicia likes the golden lux, but the flavor of the white chocolate, although yummy, wasn't exactly what I was looking for. This time I tried the Yellow cake with the sour cream (don't remember the exact name of the recipe)...I scaled the cupcakes at 30 grams each for a standard muffin tin. I got exactly 24 cupcakes (with just a little batter left over) and the rose perfectly flat, exactly to the top of the liners, and were delicious! My search is over, Yeah!

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I remember that there was lengthy discussion of this issue on baking911. Several people even tried running experiments and doing surveys, but I don't think anyone reached any firm conclusions about why this happens or how to prevent it. Still, you might check the forum threads there for ideas.

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and you're using cake flour? try a small batch mixing less--that will develop less gluten and help. i've never had this problem so it's really hard to know exactly what you are doing to cause this. always the cake STICKS to the paper liner.

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Hi
yes myingrediants are all atroom temp
im baking for 15-18 mins max
HELP!!! im struggling! they due today!
Thanks
SAdia

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it's absolutely fine to post a recipe on this blog that's not mine. i do want to point out that my cake recipes use double the flour to sugar so this one is going to be quite a lot sweeter.

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Lori - thanks for sharing your recipe. Quick question: are your ingredients room temp (butter? eggs? milk?) and how long are you baking your cupcakes for?

Thanks!

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Batters based on pound cake ratio (high amts of butter/margarine/oil) will almost indefinitely shrink from the paper - especially if you are using foil or the harder muffin-type cups.

If you notice your large cakes shrink quite a bit on cooling (as with rich butter cakes), they will most probably shrink off the cupcake liners when baked as cupcakes!

I have been baking a lot of cupcakes lately (and not finding enough time to blog here!) and have tried many recipes and cupcake liners! Try Rose's layer cake recipes - they all don't shrink from the cupcake liners. They are also fantastic as they only take a very short time to whip up (no creaming of butter and sugar) - and this is a lifesaver when you are preparing large quantities of cupcakes!

Most ppl like to use the 'nut n party cups' nowadays - muffin type cups with a rolled rim like paper cups. Most of the time, the cake will shrink off these cups (as unlike pleated cupcake liners, the paper is not flexible enought to adjust to the shrinkage!). This can be camouflaged easily with frosting.

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Everyone, the issues of shrinking sides, volcanoes, and/or extended baking times has been discussed on this blog. Please do a search for answers.

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Thank you Lori,, so are u saying, it’s the shrinking of the cupcake that causes it to detach from the cup?

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Thank you Lori,, so are u saying, it’s the shrinking of the cupcake that causes it to detach from the cup?

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I've struggled with the same problem (shrinking from papers) and after MANY experiments (i.e. ruined batches) I've found a recipe that makes great vanilla cupcakes that have perfect texture and don't shrink. I hope it's not bad manners to share a recipe on here (I am, I swear, a Rose devotee!) but I had to sort of improvise and come up with something consistent to work with.

Makes about 36 standard size cupcakes.

Vanilla cupcakes

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp. size pieces
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat to 350°, prepare pans with papers. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in mixer and mix on low for a couple of minutes... add butter cubes and mix until crumbly looking. In large measuring cup whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients in two batches, scraping bowl after each. Beat until incorporated.

I use a #20 scoop to portion these out and they bake up perfectly without overflowing and without shrinking from their papers.


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HI Rose
I have a big cupcake dillema!!
been baking cupcakes, a basic vanilla sponge with oil, muffin wrappers (basic white paper) started detaching, told by a home economist it was probably due to the Oil,so i changed the recipe TWICE, to a different cupcake recipe composed of Margarine instead of oil, and am experiencing the same problem. BAKING for a Wedding on THursday!! IM WORRIED!! any Suggestions!? this happens with both vanilla and chocolate recipes....

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I have tried to make croissants twicie - the first time a disaster, the second time- it all looked like it was coming together nicely until the rising right before baking - when the croissants are shaped - I had put them in an oven with steaming water to rise as suggested by the recipe I used but they did not rise and ended up quite flat when baked them My guess is that the steamin water made them too wet to rise - anyway, any thoughts about what went wrong before I try again?

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Maffy- Hector is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. i tried at least 6 buttercake recipes from The Cake Bible for cupcakes and each showed its own baking-characteristics. the sourcream buttercake recipe is the one i liked most as cupcakes. the smoothness of its top is uniqe. i think i made half (or one-third?) of the recipe for 12 cupcakes but didnt alter the ratio of leavening. another interesting point is they took much longer than cupcakes from other buttercake recipes i tried.

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Maffy, do a search on this blog, it has been discussed. For the most part, any cake recipe makes cupcakes. You may need to work fast filling the cupcakes if your cake batter is prone to deflating. Also, reducing the amount of baking powder is suggested.

And the baking time, can be as short as 1/3, so watch that. No rules on this, depends on your type of cake.

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Question:

Maybe this is in your book, but I thought I'd ask:

I have a recipe for a cake, but I'd like to make cupcakes. Do I need to change the recipe? If the cake takes 25 minutes, how long should I bake cup cakes?

Thanks!!

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Good tip Nushera. I like to use a handled bowl too, makes working alone a little easier.

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hi Beth- this may sound funny but true indeed: get someone to assist you by holding the mixing bowl at the desired angle over the pan and you can do the scraping job faster!

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Beth, I really like to use silicone spatulas and spoonulas because they are soft and flexible, heat resistant, stain resistant, and get ever bit of batter from the bowl.

Have you tried the new "spoon" shaped ones? They're not exactly like a spoon, but they are somewheat "cupped" and are perfectly symetrically shapes with straight sides and a straight bottom (unlike the traditional rubber spatulas). I love the Pampered Chef ones... the handle and head permanently are fused together and they are dishwasher safe. I believe they are called "Mix N Scrapers" (available in 2 sizes).

I also like using ice cream scoops (sometimes called dishers). This is especially helpful for filling muffin tins, portioning cookie dough, portioning waffle batter, making meatballs, etc.

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I have a rather "particular" kind of question. I'm not sure if it's been addressed on the blog, but reading about the "volcano" cupcakes brought the question to mind.

When I am baking I find that it takes me much too long to get the batter from the bowl into the cake pan. I'm sure this is not a good thing! The one tool I have that I find helpful is a scraper that looks something like an artist's palette - that works quicker for me than a rubber spatula. For scraping mixtures out of saucepans, however, like the pumpkin pie mixture, I can't use that rounded tool. Can anyone give me tips on becoming a more efficient scraper? I should say that I've been baking for over 30 years, and it's always been a problem. I have many different spatulas - perhaps I don't use the right sort of motion.

Thanks,
Beth

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what a wonderful idea! where was my thinking!

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you could use paper or foil liners and then set them in the metal muffin pan.

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Hector:
I use a standard metal muffin tin...I think it's chicago metallic...can't remember for sure. I just can't buy more kitchen stuff until I have a bigger kitchen...not likely to happen any time soon lol. I'm not a big fan of the silicone pans in general. I was given a silicone bundt pan as a gift...I baked in it a couple of times and was unhappy with the result

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I really like using the scoops for muffins (and meatballs, and cookies, and waffles, and pizzelles, and mashed potatoes, and...).

I have a total of 5 so far. Did you know most cookie scoops have a number printed on the little sweeper arm thingy. I think the number indicates how many scoops equal a quart (a quart of ice cream will serve 20 #20 sized scoops).

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Bill, Elicia, are we using the single cup silicone baking cups? I find them much easier and less messy to fill than a traditional cupcake tray.

A large piping bag would be the way to go instead of a scoop. Give it a try.

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Elicia:
Thanks for all your information. I will try raising the temperature for the yellow cupcakes. I will also try purchasing a smaller scoop. I usually mix only as much batter as I can bake in one batch...therefore, nothing sits around. I just found that the scoop that I used for the chocolate cupcakes (which were perfect) gave me overflow with the yellow. If raising the oven temp doesn't work, a smaller scoop definitely will.

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Rose:
I'm glad that you obsess about cupcake size as well...at least I'm not the only one. My significant other has given me the eye roll on many an occasion...usually when I'm pulling cupcake tins out of the cabinet at 11 PM. (I seem to enjoy baking late at night). I don't think that I can put the cupcake tins on the scale I have, It is poorly designed and the platform is some what small and equal in level to the digital read out, which gets in the way of larger things being weighed. Any way, the chocolate cupcakes were perfect with the ice cream scoop. I'll just get a slightly smaller scoop for the yellow cupcakes. I do try to minimize the gear I keep in the kitchen...but alas, evenly sized cupcakes are more important !

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i would worry about that as it's not going to be in the pan that long and of course wash it as soon as it's cool enough to handle.

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That just tells me to start using this bag of locally grown lemons I was given by my neighbor and just forgot them sitting in my fridge for days!

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Would one have to worry about the lemon curd reacting with aluminum baking pans?

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elicia i never would have thought to put lemon curd in cake batter! if you ever try a larger cake do let us know!

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Oh, just a quick note, I've been baking cupcakes with Golden Genoise. A challenge to work quickly to fill those cups w/o deflating the batter, but the end result I LOVE: bite size Golden Genoise!

I will try to find beauty with the uneven, sizes of cupcakes that is.

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Elicia, extraordinary cupcakes reference notes!

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Hi Rose - thks to the way you wrote your Bibles - we've also become adapted to scientifically 'analysing' recipes and techniques!

FYI - I've been trying to achieve another lemon poppyseed cupcake recipe since my original recipe (utilising pound cake formula) causes the cupcake paper to separate. I've tried adding lemon juice to the All-occasion Downy Cake but the acidic lemon juice curdles the batter resulting in a coarse textured cake!

My latest experiments seem successful - I used the Buttermilk Cake recipe, add lemon rind and approx 2 tbsp lemon curd. The result is lemony and tender. It also works with 2 tbsp lemon juice but I think the acidic juice causes the cake texture to be slightly tougher. However, it seems to be ok with lemon curd (I suppose the tenderising effect of the egg yolks in the curd helps).

Since the curd concentrates the lemon flavour - just 2 tbsp is sufficient for a lemony tang without having to add lemon syrup after baking. Of course, it may not work if the cake is baked as a whole layer or loaf - but I believe cupcakes (being smaller sized) are more forgiving!

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elicia, that's excellent info.

you may be reassured to know that i feel the same way about equal size cupcakes to the point where i weigh the batter for each one! i seem to remember 45 to 50 grams but whatever works for yuo as long as they're all the same size.

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Hi Bill - here's my 2 cents - since I've been drowning in cupcakes of all kinds. The yellow cake has less structure (no whites) - thus a higher rise, and flatter top, maybe even overflow. You can adjust by increasing your oven temp slightly.

I've experimented with the choc fudge and golden luxe - and I realised that eggs and temp makes the most difference. You will see a marked difference between using whole eggs and either a combination of whole eggs and yolks or all yolks. Lowering the temp will produce a higher and flatter top - but too low a temp will result in some overflow (due to structure not forming fast enough).

As you bake batches, you will also notice more doming towards the end as the batches sit longer before baking - but the difference is minimal (unless you let it sit more than 1/2 hour!).

In any case, the golden luxe gives me the highest rise of all - I only need to fill 1/2 full (so that I get a nice rim space for frosting/glazing), whereas all other batters need to be filled 2/3 full!

BTW, try filling with a piping bag to minimise spills - but it is easier to measure qtys with an ice-cream scoop!

Oh - I also realise that cupcakes work best with layer cake recipes (requiring less butter). If you use pound cake type recipes (equal weights of butter/flour/eggs/sugar), you risk the cupcake liners separating from the cakes! I initially thought it was acidity - but after many tries - I now conclude its the amt of butter!

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Bill, I feel your pain. I don't have a thing about the cup cakes needing to be the same size, but I do have a preoccupation over batter drips on my cupcake pan and on the sides of the liners. I'm not sure if it is the messy look that gets me or if it is the hard-crusted drip after baked that does it...either way, I like your ice cream scoop idea and will try it next time. Thanks! :)

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Hmmm... there goes that theory. I guess you should stick to one flavor at a time :). Happy baking to you!

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I baked everything right away...nothing waited

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Bill - you're a character :). Did you make the yellow batter just before baking, or did you allow it to sit out for a while before baking?

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I'm going to chime in with a cup-cake question as well. I have an obsessive need for all the cupcakes in a batch to be exactly the same. So I've bought an ice cream scoop that seemed to be about right in volume for the standard cupcake pan with a paper liner. So I mixed up a batch of Rose's yellow cake and a batch of chocolate fudge cake and made about a million cup cakes. The chocolate ones were perfect...slightly domed and just to the top of the liner.
The Yellow cupcakes overflowed slightly. I used the same ice cream scoop to fill all the cupcakes. Does the yellow cake rise more than the chocolate fudge cake? Should I use less baking powder or buy a smaller ice cream scoop for the yellow cake cup cakes?

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Wanda:
I will definitely post the result of the carrot cake experiment. It will problably be on the cake questions section of the web-site. I'm really looking forward to trying it.

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Wanda LaLoggia
Wanda LaLoggia
10/ 9/2007 09:00 PM

Bill, Can you let us know how the carrot cake turns out with the clarified butter? I love carrot cake and the last time I made it I used the White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream. That frosting is perfect for Carrot Cake in my opinion. I'd like to try it with the clarified butter if it turns out for you.

Thx

Wanda

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Jae, do you bake 3 separate layers or one layer and splice them? If you are placing 3 pans in the oven at the same time, most likely one pan will be lower/higher than others. You really can't do much about this, but perhaps bake only 1 or 2 pans at a time. Or bake everything a bit extra, and use a cake saw or serrated knife to even up your layers. THAT is THE trick!

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i make 3 layered red velvet cake often..
admitedly i am a novice but everyone looooves this cake..and i must say it pretty good..
but i have been asked again and again to make this cake for different occasions ans i do but to me it ust doesnt look professional because when i buy it from most bakeries each layer is flat or so it seems...and when i make it at home the layer a a bit higher in the middle..which has always been my experience and is fine for family..
but i feel that if i am selling it..it should look more professional...
any tips on how i can make flat layers?

thanx in advance

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there are many factors involved--the type of pan, the type of liner, the preparation of the liner--greased or not, greased and floured or not. in my experience i get more doming when i allow the to stand. my tester has reported the same as did the fist person who posted on this thread. but others did not experience this so i really can't explain unless everyone were in the same kitchen together using the same exact equipment and timing--like a lab experiment.

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Rose, could you please clarify something for me when you have a moment. You mentioned that when the cupcakes are left out they dome but whenever I have left them out for a while they come out flat. Is there a reason behind this? Am I doing something wrong?

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Thks Cindy & Rozanne! Oh Rose, I will definitely do more test runs! I do think the oven temp trick wld work - my lemon poppyseed version is baked at 325 degrees and it is flat! I also realise different paper materials may result in the wrapper coming off the cupcakes! Eg foil will almost always peel off, as well as the more 'oil absorbent' types.

BTW, I have to sing my praises for the creme ivoire glaze again. It really keeps the moisture in the cupcakes, and is neutral enough to go well with most flavours. Definitely more delicious and less sweet that icing sugar glaze!

I pick up 2kg of Varlhona white choc from the gourmet shop every month or so, and they are always puzzled as to why I use so much white choc!

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please note that i and some others have found that leaving it out bf baking makes it more domed! bottom line--whatever works for you.

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Elicia, the cupcakes look great, I love the swirls. I can just see Giselle eating the glaze and buttercream, my kids do the same thing. They love eating it off the spatula.
Re the cupcakes, leaving it out for a while before baking it works as Rose suggested. I have done it and it has turned out nice and flat. Good luck. Do keep us posted.

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Elicia, very lovely hearts and conserve swirl.

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Thks a million Rose! Yes, cupcakes is a study on it's own. Getting the right height and dome to suit the frosting is also a challenge! For instance, I have another lemon poppyseed recipe that's quite good but the cupcake liner always separates from it! Maybe coz it contains lemon juice!

I kinda like the open and fluffy texture but also miss that velvety fine crumb I achieved with the recipe on a whole cake.

Another thing I discovered was that for those that I cut off the tops - they were deliciously moist after a few days as I think moisture from the glaze has seeped into the cake (I didn't moisten the cupcakes with syrup) - maybe I shld still poke some holes on the cupcakes before glazing, even with a flat top!

BTW, my little princess loves to eat the glaze and mousseline - especially when it's in a shade of her fave pink!

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i forgot how adorable your little girl is! your cakes are also beautiful.
normally for a flatter top you would increase the baking powder but since your getting a more open crumb you definitely need to lower it. i think lowering the oven temp. will defnitely help to flatten them. funny how complicated simle cupcakes can be--most ppl are having trouble getting them to be gently rounded instead of flat! i really suspect it has to do more with oven temp. and how long they sit before baking.do let us know if this helps.

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Hi Rose, I got a slew of requests for cupcakes (yes, these retro stuff seems a new fad now!) and for an upcoming small wedding - I suggested my fave Golden Luxe Butter Cake!

Made a few trial pcs - had wanted a flat top for the creme ivoire glaze - however, the cupcakes domed quite a bit and I have to cut off the tops! I also noticed that the crumb was less dense and more open, and some tunneling in the middle.

To achieve a flatter top, shld I lower the oven temp by 25 degrees and adjust the baking powder (I had initially increased it a little bit - just a 1/4 tsp more)?

Here's a pic!


cupcakes

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yes if you use a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil around the pans.

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I want to make multiple cheesecakes and do not want to tie up the pan bottoms. Can I use a cardboard in the bottom of a springform pan and still place the cheesecake in a waterbath?

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p.s. with brioche and sticky buns you could do the final rise overnight in the frig. and then wake up early and bake them morning of....

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you guessed right--bakers who want freshly baked croissants etc. do have night shifts. they say in france that fewer and fewer young people are willing to do this.
perhaps the best compromise is to bake them a day ahead and then reheat them to crisp the outside and freshen the interiors.

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Dear Rose,

Thank you so much for your wonderful cookbooks. I have learned so much, and continue to learn every time I try a new recipe! My children get very happy when they see me looking through the Pie and Pastry Bible or the Cake Bible, bcause they know something good is coming!

My question is about croissants, brioches, and danish. Is there any way, other than making and freezing ahead, or getting up at 3am, that I can serve fresh-baked brioche, croissants, or danish to weekend houseguests? Is there any way to have everything prepared ahead of time except for an hour rising or so? In all of these recipes, the last step seems to require several hours of rising time. I was wondering in particular since these are traditionally considered breakfast items: do French bakers bake all night?
What is best schedule to have croissants or brioche coming out of the oven at 8am?

Thanks for your guidance.

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Hi Rose,

I would like to know if your white chocolate cream cheese frosting will work well with a chocolate cake? My concern is the lemon juice in the frosting. Does this frosting have a lemony taste? Should I replace the lemon juice with some vanilla extract? How much?

Thank you in advance for your help.
Jo-Ann

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thank you Patrincia. will try that

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Anne - Rose suggests pouring unused batter directly into a prepared baking pan and then place it in the refrigerator until you can bake it - this method will preserve as much "leavening" as possible.

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Hi Rose,

I have recently bought both your Cake Bible and Pie and Pastry Bible. Both books are tremendously informative.

I do have one question about baking layer cakes in an oven that is too small to bake them at the same time.
I remebered reading something about baking in batches in your book, but could not locate it again to double check the instruction. Please help.

Thank you
anne

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Pl. give me receipe for liquor cakes and how to go about it

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I have an order for 100 cupcakes for a wedding that are fondant covered square shaped. Does anyone know if square cupcake liners exist and where I can purchase square cupcake pans?

I have also had issues in the past with cupcakes separating from the liners as they cool. Any comments there?

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with such a high cooca % i'd use only the milk choc.

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Question on Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Dear Rose,

I am going to make a cake with the milk chocolate buttercream from the Cake Bible (p. 250 in revised ed.), and have a quick question. I am going to use Pralus Melissa 45% cocoa milk chocolate. Should I use semisweet chocolate in place of 8 oz. of dark chocolate, or change the proportion of milk chocolate to dark chocolate because I'm using a milk chocolate with a higher cocoa content?

Thanks very much for your help,

Pam

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Erm hi,i heard that you cooked the cake for Marilyn manson and Dita Von Tesse? I would very much like that recipe and pictures if possible?

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since it worked for you before you are doing something different. try to think what that is. only you can know.

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clotilda paganucci
clotilda paganucci
01/25/2007 05:01 PM

I HAVE JUST BAKED FOR THE SECOND TIME TODAY A CREAM CHEESE POUND CAKE. AND BOTH TIMES THE CAKE HAS COLLAPSED. I HAVE BAKE THIS MANY TIMES BEFORE THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. WHAT HAPPEN?

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Elizabeth H
Elizabeth H
01/20/2007 05:51 PM

Wanda, I live in an area where really good quality ingredients are hard to find but I did use Rose's wonderful White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream on a winter wedding cheesecake and used Baker's (brand) white baking chocolate bars. I'm sure that the buttercream would have been better with a higher quality chocolate but it got rave reviews using the Baker's. Hope this helps.

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thanks wanda. you will have great success with that cake--many chefs use it as their basic cake for every size.

yes--i mean with cocoa butter. it will work with the other stuff but not taste nearly as wonderful. you should do a little batch of each just to compare. then you can decide if it's worth the expense.

good luck and do give feedback!

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Wanda LaLoggia
Wanda LaLoggia
01/20/2007 04:01 PM

White Chocolate Buttercream Question
Rose, I have a question re: your White Chocolate Buttercream recipe. You say to use 'good quality' chocolate. I'm not sure what you mean? Can you clarify? I think you mean White Chocolate that has cocoa butter in it in lieu of Corn or Palm Kernal Oil? My cake supply store sells White Chocolate Candy Melts that have Corn & Palm Kernal Oil and I'm wondering if that will work in the Buttercream recipe?

Also, thank you so much for the information re: the 3" cake pans. I am making a wedding cake in May for my neice and am very nervous, so I am making LOTS of cakes ahead of time. I have decided on your White Velvet Cake for the wedding and my next practice cake I will try the 2" pans instead of the 3". I will let you know how the next "practice" cake turns out. Thank you.. I LOVE your Cake Bible...

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prot i answered your question on another thread--you must have posted it in two places.

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serena--i know i just answered you about the metal pans but i dono't think i did aout the lékué. i adore their financier, madeleine, la bomba for melting chocolate, the new springform pan,the heart-shaped pan and the fluted tue pan but only for chocolate ckae and it must be set on a rack and then on a pan and cooled completely before unmolding. they don't have a 9 x 2 inch layer pan at least it doesn't measure that. oh and the cupcake pans are fantastic.

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Prot Srimekhanond
Prot Srimekhanond
01/18/2007 04:37 AM

hello Rose. i live in Bangkok and i recently Purchase you cake bible. i really love it and i've try lots of you recipe already. my favorite is the Sour Cream Coffee Cake. (although i don't understand why you nake it "Coffee" since there is no coffee in the recipe.

i have a qustion. i love liquor so much and i love to add it in to recipe. i wonder if there is any formula in how you put liquor in the recipy?
Should i put liquor into cake batter and bake it or sprinkle the liquor on the cake later?
what's the effect of liquor that will do in the batter?
do i need to add any special ingredient to the batter if i put liquor?

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Hi Rose,

Am a Singaporean reader who has had your cake Bible after begging my Dad persistently in 1990 when I was 16 years old & its really marvellous. I live in Germany now & would appreciate your opinion on the best type of equipment for layer pans (am thinking of buying them). I read your blog on silicon & we can get lekue stuff here easily. Shouly I invest in silicon or go by the traditional nonstick steel pans?

Thanks!

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no diane, layer cakes don't bake well in pans over 2 inches high.

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Hello,

I have a question about baking, pans subsitute.

if the recipe calls for two 9x2 inch pans and I have only one 9 inch springform, can I just pour all batter into it? How this will affect the cake, the baking time?

Thanks you.

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Thanks for explaining this phenomenon. I always enjoy learning the science behind cooking.

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it does effect the texture adversely when the pans are too large for the batter. i would increase the batter proportionately. an 8 x 2 inch pan is 7 cups capacity, a 9 x 2 inch pan is 8 2/3 cup capacity.

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I have been asked to bake four three layer cakes for a friend's get together. Several recipes call for 8 in pans, however, I have to use 9 in pans. I know that I need to decrease the baking time, however, do you think that it will alter the texture? Thanks!

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marc it could be the flour you're using or the amount of flour. this is not a heavy bread. and i find that it rises so vigorously i have to deflate it several times before it calms down in the frig. could be it's rising too much overnight and the yeast has exhausted itself.
i like to let it at least double before baking so that it doesn't rise too much in the oven avoiding the two toned appearance. of course if you let it rise less before putting it into the oven it will rise more with the intense heat.
i suggest you try my new version posted on this blog which has a little more liquid and some old starter as it will be lighter, more active, and also more easy to braid because the starter makes it more elastic.

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marc reynolds
marc reynolds
11/15/2006 09:40 PM

I bake Challah using your recipe in the Bread Bible. The challah does not rise much during final baking and is heavy. Taste is great, but texture is heavy.
I also follow your Ultimate Flavor Variation and allow the sponge to refrigerate overnight. After letting it get to room tempreture I add in the dry ingredients, let it stand for 3-4 hrs, then using a stand mixer mix in wet and mix for about 4 min. I then knead, add washed raisins which we like, do business turns, wrap in plastic, bag the dough and refrigerate over night. I then make braids and let it rest for about 1 hr. During this last stage it does not rise much, certainly not double. How can I get better rise and better rise while baking?

Marc

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marc reynolds
marc reynolds
11/15/2006 09:37 PM

In baking Challah,I follow your recipe in the Bread Bible. The challah does not rise much during final baking and is heavy. Taste is great, but texture is heavy.
I also follow your Ultimate Flavor Variation and allow the sponge to refrigerate overnight. After letting it get to room tempreture I add in the dry ingredients, let it stand for 3-4 hrs, then using a stand mixer mix in wet and mix for about 4 min. I then knead, do business turns, wrap in plastic, bag the dough and refrigerate over night. I then make braids and let it rest for about 1 hr. During this last stage it does not rise much, certainly not double. How can I get better rise and better rise while baking?

Marc

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It seems you two are speaking of different things. Generally speaking the amount of baking powder will not affect the mass of the cake, since baking powder is typically a very small amount of the total cake mass. So neglecting the additional mass of baking powder a cake made with extra baking powder will have the same mass as a cake made with the called for amount. But you may see a substantial increase in volume due to the extra baking powder. But if you use to much baking powder the cake may collapse as rose said.

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yes--it gives it more volume by expanding and opening the cell space. too much and the cake will collapse as the foam structure may not be able to support it. if you need more detail do read about cakes in the cake bible.

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I am doing a science project and i need to know if baking powder affects the mass of cake and if it does how. i would really appreciate a reply thankyou. woops spelling error

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I am doing a science project and i need to know if baking powder affects the maxx of cake and if it does how. i would really appreciate a reply thankyou

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1 3/4 teaspoon bp per half recipe of 1 1/2 cups flour should be perfect! please let me know.

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IGNORE THAT!

*sigh*

The crumb is off... somewhat dense and chalky.

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Just wanted to post a note here... success with the fourth and final batch! I used 1 1/2 tsp baking powder in the Downy Yellow Butter Cake recipe and my cupcakes turned out perfectly... ever-so-slightly rounded tops, no overflows!

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how delightful to hear this. i suspected these cupcakes were for a "higher purpose"!

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Thank you for the unbelievably prompt response... you are amazing! While I momentarily have your ear, I want to thank you for your work and your books. I was raised on box mixes and thought they were 'it' until I ventured into scratch baking years ago. I struggled with countless recipes... they were never quite right... until I found the Cake Bible. I threw away all my other recipes! I now run a cake business out of my home and I routinely turn people away I'm so busy. Thank you, thank you, thank you for turning me into the local Cake Maven! I'll anxiously await your solution to the cupcake quandry.

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in my new cake mix i've found that i need a lot less baking powder than i thought.i'll have to get back to you with a suggestion as the one i'm using also has baking soda.
the reason is that though normally the smaller the cake the higher the proportion of leavening to flour but the shape of cupcakes being larger on top than bottom seems to contradict this!

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Ack! Ok, I'm using this same recipe - the Downy Yellow Butter Cake - to make cupcakes. I've followed the recipe to the letter and scaled out batter into cupcake papers in a cupcake pan - two thirds full. I've tried twice and both times the tops blew out, up and over and the whole top of the pan was virtually one big cupcake. I searched for 'cupcakes' in the index, and found that when you make a half batch you use 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder... so, for the full batch I doubled it on this third attempt, using 1 Tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder. I'm watching them bake now... same result, up and over the tops... what am I doing wrong? Any help would be really, really appreciated.

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Marilyn Leahy
Marilyn Leahy
08/28/2006 10:46 PM

No, not identical. Most people seeing them together don't see any family resemblance. Yes, they are a lovely blessing, but their youngest sister would be hard pressed to agree.

Ok, so I will make two separate batches of 6 cups each. Then I will load the cakes up with extra Grand Marnier before I send them. BTW, the cookies-to-mail section in your Christmas book make great college care package material. I find caramel corn makes great edible packaging.

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marilyn! you are so blessed!!! are they identical triplets?
re the grand marnier, i wouldn't go larger in a bundt type pan because i think the texture would suffer.
the best thing would be to make two separate batches in the mini bundt. you can't hold batter unless it's poured into the pans and refrigerated until ready to bake. you'd lose to much leavening power.

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Marilyn Leahy
Marilyn Leahy
08/28/2006 08:06 PM

Dear Rose:

My darling triplets will turn 21 this January. They will all be away from home on their birthday, but of course, I am still required to provide the cake--it wouldn't be a celebration without one! Or three, in this case. I think I will make them each a Grand Marnier cake from your Bible, but I need help on conversions. My bundt pan holds 12 cups, and the cake doesn't bake well in it. Should I increase all quantities by 1/4? I also have the mini-bundt pan, with six cavities but if I use that one they will not have much to share with friends unless I double the receipe. If I do that, I have to hold the batter thru two baking periods. Please advise.

I think it would be simpler to have them all come home.

Marilyn

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yes! page 525 in the cake bible has the recipe--enough for a 3 tier cake. it also has white chocolate in it.

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Do you have a recipe for cream chese frosting that won't melt down and pipes beautifully? i like a pronounced cream cheese taste rather than an overly sweet frosing. i have to make a three tiered wedding cake next week covered with cream cheese frosting.

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