Scaling carrot cake
Posted: 20 January 2011 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am baking Shirely Corriher’s carrot cake for my friend’s birthday next week. (http://books.google.com/books?id=b-iwjIb2RxwC&pg=PA72&lpg=PA72&dq=carrot+cake+shirely+corriher&source=bl&ots=uw6P5q0wye&sig=lN-jms-gW5ruzV_gs4w12OWdZxA&hl=en&ei=HkQ1TeLjM4bCsAOmytH_BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f;=false)

The recipe (for two cakes) calls for two 8x2 pans, but I am planning to do only one cake in a 9x2 pan. The 9x2 pan is 1.24 times bigger than the 8x2, and since I am halving the recipe, my scaling factor would be 0.62. I also don’t have self-rising flour, so I plan to use a mixture of all purpose and baking powder + salt.

My concern is how I scale the baking powder. The original recipe uses 2 1/3 c. self rising, which would be equivalent to approximately 2 1/3 c. all purpose, 3.5 tsp baking powder, and 0.6 tsp salt. Do I just scale the baking powder with the 0.62 factor, or is it handled differently?

My calculations for one 9x2 pan are as follows (with rounding). Does this look right?

1.25 c. nuts
1.25 Tb butter
0.5 tsp salt
1.5 c all purpose + 2.25 tsp baking powder + 0.4 tsp salt
cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk + 1 tsp.
1.25 c light brown sugar (I only have dark brown…so…. 1/2 c. white + 3/4 c. mixture of dark brown sugar containing 2 Tb white sugar)
1/2 c. + 2 Tb canola oil
3/4 tsp vanilla
2.5 Tb orange juice
2 c. finely grated carrots

Also, I will not be baking the cake at my house. Will it be ok to pre-mix the dry ingredients in a ziplock bag for a couple of days? I am concerned that the leavening might lose its activity.

Thank you for the help!

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Posted: 21 January 2011 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I was just looking around on the blog and read that one should decrease leavening when increasing pan size, since the cake will need more structure. How much exactly should I decrease in my situation? I am going from an 8x2 to 9x2 pan. I am guessing decrease 2.25 tsp to 2 tsp. Can someone give me a more definitive answer?

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Posted: 21 January 2011 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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michaelnrdx - 21 January 2011 09:00 AM

I am guessing decrease 2.25 tsp to 2 tsp. Can someone give me a more definitive answer?

There are too many variables to give a definitive answer, and perfecting leavening tends to be a trial-and-error process anyway.  There’s the increased pan size, the sugar substitution, and the two-day storage of the mixed dry ingredients.  If it were me, I would try 2 tsp and be sure to keep acidic ingredients (brown sugar, carrots,) away from the baking powder/dry ingredients during storage.

Also, be sure to thoroughly mix the leavening and salt in with the flour, one of the hallmarks of self-rising flour is that it has very even distribution of leavening.

I haven’t tried this cake, but in general Shirley Corriher’s desserts are sweeter than Rose’s, hopefully that suits your tastes.

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Posted: 21 January 2011 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you, Julie! I suppose I can keep the baking powder separate from the flour and sift it together with the flour after mixing them thoroughly.  I think I also might look for a 9x2 carrot cake recipe instead to avoid these awkward scaled amounts and fudging with the baking powder.

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Posted: 21 January 2011 06:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I like Rose’s recipe in RHC.  Turns out level and tastes great!  As far as adjustment of leavening—I usually just scale for an 8” round to a 9” round as they are pretty close in size.  More adjustments are necessary for larger scaling.

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Posted: 21 January 2011 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I guess I wouldn’t have to worry too much about the baking powder for an 8” vs. 9” pan. I don’t own RHC though. I only have TCB and Pie and Pastry Bible. I found a 9x2 carrot cake recipe on Joy of Baking, and I think I’ll just go with that one.

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Posted: 10 July 2011 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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michaelnrdx - 21 January 2011 06:21 PM

Thank you, Julie! I suppose I can keep the baking powder separate from the flour and sift it together with the flour after mixing them thoroughly.  I think I also might look for a 9x2 carrot cake recipe instead to avoid these awkward scaled amounts and fudging with the baking powder.

Yikes—I have pre-mixed all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) one week ago for baking I will do today. Another bit of leavening in the recipe includes buttermilk and beaten egg whites (folded in at the end of mixing.) Is it problematic to that my dry mix has been stored one week ahead?

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Posted: 10 July 2011 09:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Probably not, as your dry ingredients don’t list an acid to react with the baking soda (like brown sugar).  Let us know if it works!

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