1 of 2
1
New to Rose and slightly disappointed
Posted: 11 April 2012 01:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2012-04-11

Hello everyone.  I am a lurker here and this is the first time I am posting.  A few months ago I bought the Cake Bible after the flourishing reviews from bloggers, this forum, and even amazon reviews.  I was so excited to get started that I tried several recipes.. the white butter cake, yellow butter cake, mousseline buttercream, neoclassic, etc.  I was pretty disappointed with the turn out though.  Now, I know this is blasphemous considering the forum that I’m on.. but perhaps my taste buds are not that refined?  I don’t know.  Maybe it’s because I’m asian and I don’t resound with the textures and flavors?  I was sorely disappointed that most of the recipes that I’ve tried have just been so-so.  Now, after all these amazing reviews, I’m not giving up on Rose and really putting it on myself and perhaps my inexperience or errors in measurement (I do weigh my ingredients and follow the recipes pretty closely).  I’ve been baking (amateur home baker) for years and generally the recipes I try are really well received with amazing admonishments.  But these cakes that I’ve made were just “eh”.  Perhaps you all can help me?  I’ll give you an example.  I made a 3 tiered (12”, 9”, 6”) cake for my son’s first birthday with about 100 guests.  I used both the white butter cake and the yellow butter cake for the tiered and filled with mousseline buttercream.  I then covered with marshmallow fondant to decorate.  Now, there were plenty of errors on my part, such as cutting the straws too short thereby causing the middle layer to squish the bottom layer a tad.. putting too much bc as the under coat for the fondant that it oozing a bit .  But I felt the the bc was a little strong from the grand marnier.  I thought it was way too much.  And it wasn’t that firm.  Was it supposed to be firm?  It was rather soft.  I didn’t refrigerate it since I thought it could stay at room temp but under the fondant it was a mess.  I’ve made swiss buttercream before and it was much firmer than this bc.  Perhaps I didn’t bring the sugar syrup to a high enough boil?  (I did not have a candy thermometer on hand so I used a meat thermometer and it was a mistake… so I went back to the old school technique of testing in water for a soft ball stage).  The cakes were so dense.. almost like pound cake.  Not at all what I expected.  I thoguht the butter cake and the mousseline didn’t pair well together.  Too dense cake, and too soft bc.  Ok all, sorry for the long post.  I’m just disappointed that all of you seem to rave about Rose and I just don’t seem to get it.  What am I doing wrong?

 Signature 

Alice

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2012 01:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  880
Joined  2009-05-25

Welcome, Slice79.  I am glad you posted and hopefully we can help.  I don’t find every recipe of Rose’s to my taste, but I have found, and I can say this with absolute certainty—her recipes have far more detail and information than any other author.  When I am making a recipe, she provides good detail so that I have the best chance of success.  That said, I sometimes fail.  First and foremost, accurate thermometers are a must for both sugar syrups and your oven.  I find Mouselline a bit on the buttery side—I’ve made some that have a slightly higher meringue content—but Rose’s process in what gets the success—I really like her white chocolate version—word of caution—scoop out a little of the buttercream into a bowl, add the melted chocolate, then add back to the buttercream.  I have a really cool kitchen in winter and the chocolate sets up before it can blend into the buttercream.  Sometimes it’s impossible to predict all scenarios!!  Anyway, Mouselline’s texture will be fairly firm if it is in the right temperature range 75F is about right—if it’s alot warmer it will soften, cooler, it will obviously firm up.  If your syrup wasn’t correct, it will not be as stable. 

As far as the cakes go, I can say that Rose’s recipes are incredibly tender—not tough at all.  Sometimes I like this, but other times (say, when eating a cupcake) it’s not as desirable because the cake almost dissolves on me.  Did you syrup the butter cakes?  I find they stay more moist when it is syruped—I have a tendency to prefer oil based sponge cakes for their texture and butter cakes for their flavour.  I think you may really like her fruit cloud creams and perhaps try some of her sponge cakes.  She’s updated some of her mixing techniques since TCB so you may want to “search” for a particular recipe before you try it out for sure.  I love her Lemon Chiffon cake—it makes fabulous cupcakes.  The ganache is awesome!!!  Try the moist chocolate genoise (this one has an update mixing technique) and many here love the Domingo and Chocolate Fudge Cake.  I suggest giving some of her other cake styles a try as it may change your mind!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2012 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2012-04-11

Thank you so much Sherrie! I think you’re right about the syrup issue.. I wasn’t too confident when I did it because it’s been some time since I’ve done it without a thermometer.  I was wondering why it was so soft!  I even put it outside in the cold to chill for an hour and it didn’t even crust.  Is it supposed to?

I agree with you that I like butter cakes for the taste but sponge for the texture!  I didn’t syrup it because I thought it would be pretty moist.. but it did end up slightly on the dry side after sitting for a day (and it probably didn’t help that I put it outside for an hour).  I’ve never actually done a syrup before but I’ll have to try that next time.  Do you only syrup her butter cakes and not the others?  Thank you for the suggestions on the other recipes.  I will try the chocolate fudge cake next to see if that will work better for me.  I thought about the fruit cloud cream but didn’t think it was stable enough for the 3 tiered cake.. is it?  Should I get the heavenly cake book?  I thought about it since it seems like a lot of people on this site use recipes from that one more often (probably because it’s a newer book right)?

 Signature 

Alice

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2012 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  106
Joined  2011-09-03

Hi Slice,

Welcome!

The mousseline does not crust.

I live in Hong Kong and have baked from TCB for my local friends and co-workers. From them, I’ve received the best feedback on the Sour Cream Butter Cake. It happens to be one of my favorite of the butter cakes so far, but I haven’t tried the Country Buttermilk yet. For frostings, I’m a fan of the silk meringue buttercreams, which have a custard-y taste. For pairing with the Sour Cream Butter Cake, I’ve done raspberry version that went over very well as well as a lemon mousseline using lemon curd. I personally perfer frosting flavors like these with some acidity.

I am a fan of the chocolate fudge cake and hope you find it to your taste! It is very rich, but wonderful. The next time I make it, I’ll pair it with a raspberry coulis and lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Please do keep trying. Like Sherrie, not all Rose’s recipes have been to my taste, but I love how well written and thorough they are. Happy baking!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2012 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3132
Joined  2010-04-25

Hi, Slice!

Welcome!!! 

I, too, love the Chocolate Fudge Cake.  I was a firm fan of the Perfect All American Chocolate Butter Cake (and Torte, if I didn’t mind having leftover whites), but it has been unseated by the peerless Chocolate Fudge Cake. Give it a try!!

I am thinking maybe your sugar syrup wasn’t hot enough.  Usually, I find the mousseline (without added alcohol) very stiff, and I usually lighten it with fruit puree or, more often, cooked milk thickened with flour.  Although, as Georgie says, it does not crust. 

I don’t syrup my butter cakes, but I know many prefer it that way.  If you are a fan of the ultra-moist spongy texture of oil cakes, you would probably prefer the butter cakes syruped, but I wouldn’t think you’d ever have to syrup an oil cake!!!

As Georgie says, not all of Rose’s recipes have been to my taste, but I’d say it’s a very, very high average—both with how pleased I am with the component and how well it turns out (i.e., “works”).

We hope you will report back with your new results, likes, dislikes, questions and maybe even a photo or two!!!

—ak

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2012 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1534
Joined  2011-02-17

Hi slice79! It must have taken a lot of courage to write your post; but,  I am so glad you did instead of giving up and walking away. I think you will eventually be glad too. The members here are so talented and knowledgeable ( not me, though ) you are sure to receive the guidance you need.  If you stick it out,  I firmly believe Rose’s recipes will daze and amaze your guests.

Good luck and I hope to read about all your future cake successes.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 April 2012 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4746
Joined  2008-04-16

I’ll add one though to the other excellent suggestions:  try a chiffon cake!  The lemon is one of my all-time favorite cakes, especially when paired with whipped cream and/or fruit.

The only other thought I had was to ask about your flour- Rose’s butter cakes are quite compromised in texture if you are not using very low protein (8-9%) bleached cake flour.  The sponge cakes (like chiffon) are more forgiving with respect to flour choices.

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2012 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1153
Joined  2009-11-24

Hello Slice79, so glad you decided to post.  All feedback is welcome.  I owned the Cake Bible for years before baking much from it. I have a lot more success since I found this forum….I use Heavenly Cakes a lot partly because it is new and the entire cake is together in the book.  It also has more photos.  That helps.  Now, for many recipes I search the forum to see what folks had to say about it.  I even do it when I am repeating a recipe because my memory is short.  There are tons of good suggestions/hints/tips/experiences. 

Re: the syrup, once I got a thermometer, I found mousseline (and other frostings, buttercreams) so simple to do. 
Re: syruping butter cakes:  I sometimes syrup butter cakes and sometimes not.  That depends on how far ahead I am preparing the cake. 

I love the Cake Bible for its instructions on yellow and white cakes of various sizes.  Once I learned to use that chart, I love doing butter cakes.  (I also test my cakes for doneness using a thermometer). 

I cannot imagine not having either book—TCB or RHC.  I could not handle being forced to choose. 

No, Rose’s buttercreams do not crust….. they do not contain shortening and only the cream cheese frosting variation (I believe) has confectioner’s sugar. 

I hope you return with more postings, questions, and photos.  We enjoy it and I think you will gain benefit also.

 Signature 

So many recipes - so little time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 April 2012 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  880
Joined  2009-05-25
slice79 - 11 April 2012 05:06 AM

Should I get the heavenly cake book?  I thought about it since it seems like a lot of people on this site use recipes from that one more often (probably because it’s a newer book right)?

Not neccessarily.  TCB is one of my most used books—I love the modular approach (mix and match) and it’s really a great learning book.  BUT if you want help determining the best frosting/cake combos, then RHC is a good choice too.  Many recipes in RHC are from TCB but may have a few tweaks—but some of those are posted on the website.  There are also some new recipes that are just awesome in there, too.  I personally wouldn’t be without either, but I think I would prefer to own TCB over RHC if I had to choose one—but I would want to take 2 recipes from RHC smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 April 2012 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1153
Joined  2009-11-24

Yes, Sherrie,,,,I guess if I were forced I would choose TCB also…as long as I can have a couple of recipes from RHC.

 Signature 

So many recipes - so little time.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 April 2012 01:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2012-04-11

Thank you ladies so much for your replies!  I haven’t given up yet! smile  I really do appreciate the way TCB is written.  I feel like I reread it over and over just for her techniques and rationale behind how cakes work.  Such a smart woman! smile  I am excited to try this fudge cake now that so many of you have recommended.  I’ll try all the ones you gals have said to try!

Julie.. I never even thought to look at the protein ration of my cake flour.. I go between Swans and softsilk? Or something like that brand? I always look at my all purpose flour and pick between Golds and King Arthur (because Cook’s Illustrated tells me to do so).. but I never thought to look at my cake flour! Go figure!

So I’ve been looking at the cake central forum for a while too because it seems like that’s a common place for cake decorators.. but I’ve been sooooo disappointed that most of them use boxed cake mixes to doctor up and sell.  Looking for a quality cake recipe from scratch is so hard to find!  I was really hoping to find the absolute best cakes in TCB.  I still appreciate the cakes I’ve made.. and the quality.  But I do think it’s not to my tastes.  I’ll keep trying though.  THere have been too many successes from you ladies for me to give up hope. smile

Do any of you ladies do any cake sculpting work?  Do you have a cake recipe that you would use that would be sturdy enough?  If the mousseline doesn’t crust, does it firm up under refrigeration or is it pretty much the same consistency as the room temperature consistency? Does it crust at all when refrigerated?  I’ll post my very very shotty attempt at my 2nd tiered cake here so you can see how my bottom layer is sinking. smile  Don’t laugh. smile

Image Attachments
cake2.jpg
 Signature 

Alice

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 April 2012 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4746
Joined  2008-04-16

Those cake flours should be fine- I was thinking you might not be in the U.S. and wondered what type of flours you had access to.

Beautiful cake- I’m very impressed, tiered and everything!  Keep at the scratch baking, it’s clear you’ve got the attention to detail that will make you great at it. smile

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Ultimate Cinnamon Rolls

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 April 2012 11:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  880
Joined  2009-05-25
slice79 - 14 April 2012 04:55 AM

Thank you ladies so much for your replies!  I haven’t given up yet! smile  I really do appreciate the way TCB is written.  I feel like I reread it over and over just for her techniques and rationale behind how cakes work.  Such a smart woman! smile  I am excited to try this fudge cake now that so many of you have recommended.  I’ll try all the ones you gals have said to try!

Julie.. I never even thought to look at the protein ration of my cake flour.. I go between Swans and softsilk? Or something like that brand? I always look at my all purpose flour and pick between Golds and King Arthur (because Cook’s Illustrated tells me to do so).. but I never thought to look at my cake flour! Go figure!

So I’ve been looking at the cake central forum for a while too because it seems like that’s a common place for cake decorators.. but I’ve been sooooo disappointed that most of them use boxed cake mixes to doctor up and sell.  Looking for a quality cake recipe from scratch is so hard to find!  I was really hoping to find the absolute best cakes in TCB.  I still appreciate the cakes I’ve made.. and the quality.  But I do think it’s not to my tastes.  I’ll keep trying though.  THere have been too many successes from you ladies for me to give up hope. smile

Do any of you ladies do any cake sculpting work?  Do you have a cake recipe that you would use that would be sturdy enough?  If the mousseline doesn’t crust, does it firm up under refrigeration or is it pretty much the same consistency as the room temperature consistency? Does it crust at all when refrigerated?  I’ll post my very very shotty attempt at my 2nd tiered cake here so you can see how my bottom layer is sinking. smile  Don’t laugh. smile

I’ve used Mouselline under fondant and it will firm up upon refrigeration and stays that way at cool room temperature. 

That is a fine looking cake you have there—especially since it’s only your 2nd attempt.  Is the rest of that spread your doing, too?  It looks like a pretty spectacular birthday party and if you are making all of those other fine confections, you will have many successes ahead of you!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 April 2012 10:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2012-04-11

Thanks Julie and Sherrie for your compliments!  Sherrie, yup, I made all the cookies.. it was a little insane.  400 cookies in one night.  Chocolate French Macarons with Chocolate ganache, Lemon cookies, Jam Thumprints, Caramel Chocolate cookies, Snickerdoodles, Chocolate Chip, Sugar and Chocolate covered Oreo Pops.  It was for my 3rd child’s 1st birthday party and it was a milk and cookies theme.  I went a little overboard with the cookies I think, but they were wipe out by the end of the party.  I didn’t even eat one! haha.  Cookies come a little more naturally to me.. but cakes.. man, that’s a whole other beast.  There’s so many different textures, densities, moistness, crumb, level of sweetness.. I feel like I have yet to find the “perfect” cake.  Is there such a thing or am I too much of a perfectionist?  I’m still on the hunt!

 Signature 

Alice

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 April 2012 12:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Newbie
Avatar
Rank
Total Posts:  20
Joined  2012-04-11

Ok ladies… After all your coaxing I made the chocolate fudge cake and the silk meringue bc.  Ok all… SUCCESS!!  I love the cake!  It had a fabulous taste and wonderful texture.  My only fault was to leave it out too long on the counter ( I went out to dinner and stayed out too long).  I think it’s a little too dry around the edges now.  Would a sugar syrup work at this point?  I stuck it in the freezer to save for this weekend. Can I sugar syrup after its defrosted? 

The silk was truly awesome.  Its custards taste I love.  Now I did have one problem in that I have itty bitty chunks of sugar crystals in the bc,  is it bc the sugar got too cool before incorporating into the egg whites?  I stuck to the temp to the T. But then it was cooling so fast that it was hardening in the measuring cup.  Can I skip this measuring cup step and just start pouring straight into the egg whites?  I liked this a lot. It it was a lot of work.  I accidentally used a whip to make the cream.  It wasn’t until later I read she said. It to use the whip.  I was surprised that it was getting so foamy. When u put it through a sieve are you supposed to toss the chunky stuff?  I just smashed it through the sieve but maybe I wasn’t supposed to do that? Haha. Trial and error I guess huh?

Thanks ladies for the encouragement. I have an anniversary’s cake for our church this weekend so I’m going to use this cake for the middle tier and fill with the silk bc.  I’m going to try the sour cream cake next for maybe the bottom and top layer.  Would the milk chocolate bc be too much to fill with it?  I’m looking to try a lot of recipes but pairing them accordingly.  I’m glad to turn is corner of experimentation!  Finally it’s working for me! smile

 Signature 

Alice

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 April 2012 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3132
Joined  2010-04-25

Hi, slice!

Congratulations!!!

I don’t do much syruping myself, so I can’t answer your syrup questions.  After freezing, though, as the cake thaws, the moisture might equalize.  My guess is the edges aren’t dry to taste, they just firm up a bit on the absolute exterior.

You can definitely skip the measuring cup step in all of the boiling-sugar based frostings! 

Your anniversary cake sounds like fun.  I wauld suggest, however, NOT using the milk chocolate buttercream.  It is amazingly delicious, but, if you have to refrigerate or freeze the cake after making the frosting, don’t use it.  It gets hard as a candy bar and never “thaws” or gets fluffy again. On the other hand, if you’re going to use it the same day as frosting it, it’s amazing!

You know what is incredibly delicious?  The white chocolate mousseline!!!!

Also, any of the ganaches are fabulous.  My personal favorite is the RHC midnight ganache.  It says it takes about 6 or so hours to set, but I’ve had it take 14 and more, so be sure to make it the day before you need it. 

—ak

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
Back to top