What makes bakery cakes so bad? Serious question.
Posted: 22 March 2014 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2014-03-22

Having made cakes from RLB’s books for many years, I have a serious question: why are chocolate cakes from so many bakeries and at restaurants—even decent ones—so tasteless by comparison? I got a Whole Foods cake yesterday that is typical of the problem. If I closed my eyes, I wouldn’t have known it was chocolate, and the crumb had an unpleasant springiness. I’m assuming they’re extending shelf life by sacrificing quality, but in what way?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 March 2014 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2014-03-22

Yes, definitely, not buying cakes from places that don’t do them well is an effective way of avoiding bad cakes.

My question, if anyone has thoughts, is what technically are these not-disreputable-but-not-Parisian-pinnacle places doing technically that makes them bad? The ingredients I use are fresh, but only of regular supermarket brand-name quality, so it’s not that a great cake depends on THE most exclusive ingredients…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 March 2014 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2014-03-22

Agreed. Though there is a vast territory between Sam’s Club and the dozen best patisseries in the world. I have not been to those dozen, but I have ordered chocolate cake at some pretty serious places in NYC - The Chocolate Room in Brooklyn, Magnolia Bakery, etc. At those places, flavor and crumb is equivalent to my RLB cakes made with good-quality but not astounding ingredients - e.g., fresh Land-o-Lakes butter, Hershey’s dark cocoa. Take seriousness down a notch to non-famous but upscale, standalone bakeries or upscale chains (like Whole Foods), the quality drop is sharp. Why? Do they not use butter? Is there something intrinsic to making several gallons of batter rather than a several cups of batter that affects the outcome?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 March 2014 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2014-03-22

Oh ho! Thank you. I had no idea this was standard practice, but it makes perfect and disappointing sense. All the calories, none of the taste—how’s that for a slogan?

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top