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Adjusting ingredients for pan size
Posted: 11 June 2008 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was delighted to receive The Cake Bible recently, especially after seeing so many positive comments/reviews on this site and Amazon. In looking through the recipes, they all look so fabulous that I couldn’t decide which one to make first. However, when I looked at some closely, I saw the notation about adjusting the ingredients to fit 2” cake pans if you want two layers; otherwise make one layer with cupcakes. So in order to get a 2 layer cake I need to figure out how much is one and one-third of 4-1/2 large egg whites, 1 cup + 3 T. sugar, and 1 T. and 1-1/2 t. baking powder, for example? I’m an experienced baker, but that’s just plain crazy. I can’t fathom that this book was revised not too long ago and the recipe ingredients weren’t recalculated so they would work with 2” pans, which is all that is available now. Or is it really not necessary to adjust the recipe (meaning make it as written, but using two 2” high pans) unless one is a total purist? I’d appreciate any feedback on the subject!

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Posted: 11 June 2008 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Emdh,

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Cake Bible and all the treasures that lie therein!  I think you’ll find that the best way to deal with your question is to weigh your ingredients.  A scale is not too expensive and you can use ounces or grams but using grams is the most accurate.  Then scaling will never be a problem again.  It also works ‘backwards’ in that you can adjust some recipes (generally not cakes) to use up the amount of ingredient you have.  For example, I made Passion Fruit Curd the other day and had 16 passion fruit.  I weighed the puree and then scaled all the other ingredients to get the correct proportions.  If you need more exact examples or more detail, I’d be happy to help.

As for eggs, break then into a measuring jug (separate them first if you need yolks and whites) then exactly weigh out the amount you require.  You may use the remainder for glazing or add to the next omlette or…

Hope this helps,
Annie

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Posted: 11 June 2008 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks so much for the reply, Annie. Actually I have a great Soehnle and use it to scale most of my ingredients. It’s basically the time required to refigure each recipe that is an obstacle to me. I’m usually trying to accomplish more baking/cooking than any normal person would in the amount of time available. It just seems wild to me that this isn’t an issue for other people. Obviously it’s just me! I’ll give the White Chocolate Whisper Cake a try and hopefully it won’t be the pain that I envisioned it would. Thanks again, Emilie

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Posted: 11 June 2008 06:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Not just you, Emilie!  I tend to sit down when I’m having a coffee break or even breakfast and write things out in pencil all over my books or on scraps of paper.  I bought a calculator a few years ago from The Baker’s Catalog called KitchenCalc Pro which does scaling and conversions very painlessly.  Don’t know if it’s still available.  Let us know how the cake turns out.

Annie

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Posted: 11 June 2008 06:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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That calculator sounds perfect! And I order from the Baker’s Catalogue all the time. I’ll check it out. Thanks again!

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Posted: 11 June 2008 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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p.s. I found it at Amazon for $30 ($10 off retail) with free shipping. Can’t wait to get it!

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Posted: 11 June 2008 07:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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That’s great Emilie.  I’m sure you will get your money’s worth out of it.  Let us know about the cake!

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Posted: 11 June 2008 11:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Welcome to you both!

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Posted: 12 June 2008 12:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi, all-

I know this is really obvious, but it took me embarrassingly long to figure out: when you’ve done the calculations to adjust a recipe, write the new measurements in the cookbook with a note about the pan size. This is also handy when converting recipes that give only volume measures to weights.

There’s a sense of satisfaction in opening the cookbook, calculator at the ready, then finding you did the work already.

Cathy

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Posted: 12 June 2008 12:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Good tip. My natural inclination would be to scratch them on the nearest scrap of paper and then have to hunt (and hunt, and hunt) to find them the next time I want to make it. Thanks!

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Posted: 12 June 2008 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I’m with Emilie when she wrote: “I can?t fathom that this book was revised not too long ago and the recipe ingredients weren?t recalculated so they would work with 2? pans, which is all that is available now.” I thought it was just me being picky, so I chose to remain silent until now.

Great lead on that calculator. Unfortunately, shipping to Australia is on the restricted list by Amazon. Available on ebay, but shipping cost will almost double the price!

Has anyone seen it in retail shops in the major east coast USA cities? If so will pick it up next time there. Thanks.

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Posted: 12 June 2008 10:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Good to know it wasn’t just me! There’s a shop called La Cuisine in Alexandra, Virginia, which is just a few minutes outside of Washington, D.C. I don’t know if they carry it but Rose mentions it in the book as somewhere that has tons of kitchen equipment. You could email them through their website and inquire, http://www.lacuisineus.com Also,. cooking.com has it for $5 more than Amazon. Don’t know their international shipping costs, but maybe it would be more reasonable than ebay. Good luck!

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Posted: 12 June 2008 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I used to write down the amounts for the different pan sizes in the margin of my Cake Bible. One day I made it a point to find the time and transferred it all to an Excel spreadsheet and inserted it into the Cake Bible. So if you can find the time it is really worth it.

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Posted: 12 June 2008 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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But then I’d have to actually learn Excel. I know just enough to be dangerous! Seriously, thanks for the idea.

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Posted: 12 June 2008 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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My copy has many years worth of scribbles and notes in variously colored inks and highlighter marks throughout, both on the pages and on separate pieces of paper that I have tucked into it here and there. 

Geejay - maybe you could find a copy in a used book store?

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Posted: 24 June 2008 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I’m curious what would happen if you made the recipe as written but baked it in a 9x2 pan? 

Would the cake turn out poorly?  If so, would adjusting the oven temp and baking time help?

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