Questions about ingredients
Posted: 13 April 2013 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I?m going to add a couple questions to my old post

Should solid chocolate be considered as ?alkaline?
or dutched?
I see that almost all recipes that include chocolate
use baking powder as leavener.

It is getting more and more difficult to find sour cream
that isn?t either ?light (12% fat)?, or ?light and salted?.
I found one brand that has 18% fat, but also *a lot* of salt.
Can lighter sour cream be ?reconstituted? to a
higher fat content, or would it be OK if I add more butter
to the cake?

I decided to use mineral oil (because it doesn?t get rancid),
to season my old metal pans.  After I had done, I realized
that I don?t know what I?ll have to do, when i use them again.
Wash them and then grease them with baker?s grease, as
always? Can the mineral oil give a nasty taste to the cakes?
Or make them burn more easlily?

I baked for the first time the white spice pound cake.  As always,
the texture is velvety,and the flavour good, but I can taste the salt
in it.  I compared the
recipe with the other poundcakes. The perfect pound cake and the
chocolate bread use 1/4 tsp salt, The spice cake (the same recipe
1/3 bigger), uses 1/2 tsp salt.

Can so small a quantity make such a big difference? Or perhaps it?s
the kind of salt? I use the same kind of salt, common marine salt.
Or could it be the baaking powder?

The cake didn?t rise as expected, could an excess salt be to to blame
for it?


Thanks in advance,
Silvia

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Posted: 13 April 2013 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Silvia,
Honestly I am confused w/ your question. Is this for health reasons ? If not why make it difficult on you when you want to bake ? I have never used mineral oil. From what I know, they use mineral oil in make up and things like that. I have never seasoned my pans. I wash them every time I used it. Salt is important in baking. As we all know, it helps bring out the flavors of other ingredients. Maybe add less if that bothers you. In my opinion, worrying too much about salt or oil or fat or sodium takes away the fun in what I bake. I either bake the real thing or I don’t. I never bake w/ substitutes either. I just follow the recipe.

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Posted: 14 April 2013 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t have the spice cake recipe in front of me, but if something tastes overly salted, it could also be an excess of baking soda - which might also account for the low rise on the cake.

If you find that you really pick up the salt in things, you can try reducing it; but you do need some in there.  Without salt, things can taste flat.  If you are on a restricted salt diet, then make the changes and see if it is still to your liking or maybe go with one of the angel food cakes.

I’ve never seasoned a baking pan, just cast iron skillets; so I would imagine you’d need to wash and grease the pan for baking.  The oil might get sticky and leave a residue on the pans.  A long time ago, I read about a homemade magical cleaning goop that would get rid of the sticky on a baking pan, but I don’t remember if it was salt/baking soda/seltzer water - I don’t even know what to suggest for a search phrase to google it!  You made a paste of the stuff, spread it on the pan, let it sit for some amount of time (hours?) and then washed it. But that might be helpful in cleaning the pans…

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Posted: 14 April 2013 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Silvia - 13 April 2013 03:44 PM

Should solid chocolate be considered as ?alkaline?
or dutched?

Not sure on this one, but I haven’t seen any ingredient labels on solid bars of chocolate that say “processed with alkalai”, which is what you see on cocoa that has been dutched, so my assumption would be that bar chocolate is not dutched.  Not sure that alkalizing cocoa pushes the pH high enough to be considered an alkaline ingredient, it’s just that the cocoa is treated with an alkaline substance in order to tame the harsher elements of its natural flavor and allow some of the more mellow, round flavors to emerge.  It’s kind of like adding baking soda to a recipe, the baking soda is alkaline but it may not be enough of an alkaline substance to turn the overall batter alkaline.  When using chocolate or cocoa, you can assume that a recipe with baking soda will darken the brown color and mellow, or even dull the chocolate/cocoa flavor.

Can lighter sour cream be ?reconstituted? to a
higher fat content, or would it be OK if I add more butter
to the cake?

I would try to buy regular sour cream whenever possible.  When you do find it, you can store it in the freezer- it will separate, but you can still thaw it and use it successfully in cakes.  It won’t still be good as a topping because of the separation, but cakes will be fine.  The problem with light sour cream is that it may have a number of ingredients (salt, sugar, starch, excess water, etc.) that affect the recipe.  If you do use light sour cream, try to compensate for these by replacing a little of the sour cream with butter, decreasing salt, etc. 

Can the mineral oil give a nasty taste to the cakes?
Or make them burn more easlily?

As Jeanne says, just wash them and then grease/flour as usual.  If you used food grade mineral oil (they sell it in kitchen shops for treating cutting boards, oiling soapstone counter tops, etc.), it will be tasteless but in larger quantities can have digestive issues.  If you didn’t use food grade, you might want to take extra care in washing them to avoid any off flavors or residues.

The cake didn’t rise as expected, could an excess salt be to to blame for it?

Is it possible that you added salt in place of the baking powder?  i.e., added the salt as specified, but then added more salt in place of the baking powder?  That’s the only thing I can think of that would produce an overly salty cake that didn’t rise.  Yes, the cake is a little more salty than the other two pound cakes but I would not expect that level of salt to be noticeable, there are many cakes and baked goods that use more.

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Posted: 14 April 2013 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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<If you find that you really pick up the salt in things, you can try reducing it; but you do need some in there.  Without salt, things can taste flat.  If you are on a restricted salt diet, then make the changes and see if it is still to your liking or maybe go with one of the angel food cakes.

I dont think I?m (and my daughter) are specially “sensitive” (sorry, if this word is not the adequate) to salt. Rose says that the spice cake is 1/3 larger than the other pound cakes.  For me,  and the perfect pound cake, as well as the chocolate
bread have the perfect amount of salt.
I was wondering if 200% more sal, instead of 133%, can make a difference.  I mean, we?re talking about fractions of grams.
I also wonder, if some kind of salts are saltier, or heavier than others, although i use always the same kind of salt

<I’ve never seasoned a baking pan, just cast iron skillets; so I would imagine you’d need to wash and grease the pan for baking.  The oil might get sticky and leave a residue on the pans.  A long time ago, I read about a homemade magical cleaning goop that would get rid of the sticky on a baking pan, but I don’t remember if it was salt/baking soda/seltzer water - I don’t even know what to suggest for a search phrase to google it!  You made a paste of the stuff, spread it on the pan, let it sit for some amount of time (hours?) and then washed it. But that might be helpful in cleaning the pans…

These pan are my granny’s pans, that I love to use. I didn?t notice that the place where I keep them is too humid, and the result was rusty spots.
Isn?t all the mineral oil for human use ( for digestive or skin ailments)  always edible?! I am worried that it could cause an off-flavour or smell.

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Posted: 14 April 2013 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Julie - 14 April 2013 01:06 PM
Silvia - 13 April 2013 03:44 PM

Should solid chocolate be considered as ?alkaline?
or dutched?

Not sure on this one, but I haven’t seen any ingredient labels on solid bars of chocolate that say “processed with alkalai”, which is what you see on cocoa that has been dutched, so my assumption would be that bar chocolate is not dutched.  Not sure that alkalizing cocoa pushes the pH high enough to be considered an alkaline ingredient, it’s just that the cocoa is treated with an alkaline substance in order to tame the harsher elements of its natural flavor and allow some of the more mellow, round flavors to emerge.  It’s kind of like adding baking soda to a recipe, the baking soda is alkaline but it may not be enough of an alkaline substance to turn the overall batter alkaline.  When using chocolate or cocoa, you can assume that a recipe with baking soda will darken the brown color and mellow, or even dull the chocolate/cocoa flavor.

I didn’t explain myself well, sorry.  I am curiose to know, why there are two kinds of cocoa, but not of solid chocolate.

Can lighter sour cream be ?reconstituted? to a
higher fat content, or would it be OK if I add more butter
to the cake?

I would try to buy regular sour cream whenever possible.  When you do find it, you can store it in the freezer- it will separate, but you can still thaw it and use it successfully in cakes.  It won’t still be good as a topping because of the separation, but cakes will be fine.  The problem with light sour cream is that it may have a number of ingredients (salt, sugar, starch, excess water, etc.) that affect the recipe.  If you do use light sour cream, try to compensate for these by replacing a little of the sour cream with butter, decreasing salt, etc. 

Unfortunately, these days you can also buy “light” (12% fat) sour cream, or 18% fat, with *too much* salt added. That?s why I asked if there?s a way to compensate
for the 6% fat less. I?ll experiment using more butter.

The cake didn’t rise as expected, could an excess salt be to to blame for it?

Yes, it?s al ways possible that I used salt instead of baking powder!

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