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Adapting recipe for a square pan etc…
 Posted: 18 February 2009 09:58 PM [ Ignore ]
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So many questions and so little time but I know I’ve come to right place; help please!

I have done the math (very successfully) for the Butter Cakes of various sizes but only for round cake pans.  No fear I think, I’ll search in TCB for what to do for square cakes.  I’ve read the directions and did the math once more and I think I’m on the right track but I want to verify that I understood everything correctly.  I see that a round cake pan is only 3/4 the size of a square cake pan and therefore you need to multiply by 1.33.  I did all the calculations (example 8 inch pan)  base times 3.5 then after that I multiplied the measurement by 1.33….is that right? (base of 1/2c X 3.5=1 & 3/4 c…then 1 3/4 X 1.33=2 & 1/3 c give or take a smidge).

I have another question as well, the 8” pan falls in the level 1 baking powder (which is .28 oz per base which is .28 X 3.5 = .98 oz ).  Now here’s my big question: do I take the amount of baking powder (i.e. .98 oz) and multiply that by 1.33 as well? So .98 X 1.33=1.3 oz??  I have read soooo much in the last little while in preparation for this cake that I am totally unsure as to what I should do.  When it’s a larger surface area you decrease the baking powder…right?  I’m very concerned that I could seriously goof up the cakes if I put the wrong amount of baking powder in (especially with the larger layers {12”} planned for this cake).

Now as if I haven’t asked enough questions I have a few more
For the amount of batter (by weight) for each pan; is there a way to figure out how much to put in each pan?  Do I just take the weights for the round pans given on page 490 of TCB and multiply it by 1.33 or am I making it a little too simplistic? As well, any hints about baking times?

I’m going to be using fondant for the first time and I think I’m as prepared as can be expected when it comes to reading every book and blog known to man.  The main question that remains is what type of buttercream to make.  I have made a Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Martha Stewart) and it turned out but I wasn’t crazy on the texture or taste.  This might be sacrilege but it there anything that anyone can recommend that has a different texture?  While on this topic, is there a rule of thumb for the amount of filling needed between layers of a square pan (I assume the chart on page 513 is for round cake layers).

I think that’s the end of my questions for now but I can’t say it will remain that way for very long.  I would really appreciate any and all advice!
Thanks.

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 Posted: 19 February 2009 02:51 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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WANNABE BAKER:
Good Morning. I have read your post & I would love to help you. Truthfully I am confused somewhat. I honestly believe I can help you but I cannot guarantee this wish. All I can do is try. If you post what you intend to bake in the sized pan you are thinking of & if it is a TCB recipe or if it isn’t post the recipe & it’s directions.
You can also ask for the quanities of the icing amounts….We members here then can try to help you.
Good day my friend.

~FRESHKID.

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 Posted: 19 February 2009 03:59 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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When you are making butter cakes, fill your pans no more than halfway. The batter will expand a lot.

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 Posted: 19 February 2009 06:29 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Filling the pan no more than 1/2 way is a good rule or thumb.  Actually, Rose suggests 1/2 to 2/3 full for her butter cake recipes.  If you have time, do a practice cake and see what works best for you.

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 Posted: 20 February 2009 02:05 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The 1.33 factor seems to be off a tiny bit: 8*8/(3.14159)*4*4) is closer to 1.27, not that is makes a huge practical difference. If you multiply the weight of batter by this factor, you will get the same height of batter in the square pan that you would have gotten in the round pan.

As far as levels go, I’d look for the round pan with diameter about equal to 1.13 times the side length of your square pan, (from the square root of 4/3.14159) and use the information for that size, because it will have about the same surface area. (In fact, recipes for this size round pan will fill your square. ) A square pan has a bit more edge for its surface area than a round pan, so this isn’t perfect.

Cathy

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 Posted: 22 February 2009 09:25 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Time really wasn’t on my side!  I didn’t leave enough time to do a trial run but things didn’t turn out too badly.

I eventually noticed that TCB only mentions that difference in batter required for a round versus square pan and not necessarily to multiply the recipe by 1.33. Oh well, that’s what I ended up doing anyway b/c I wasn’t sure what else to do.  The cake was good but I didn’t think it was as good as when I made it previously in round pans; not sure if that has anything to do about the amount of baking powder or not~

I also tried the Mousseline Buttercream; I didn’t care for it at all. I thought it was similar to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream I’ve made before and it just doesn’t float my boat.  So as it stands now I have yet to find an icing/frosting/buttercream that I really like :(

Thanks everyone for your help & suggestions.

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 Posted: 23 February 2009 08:06 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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WB, sorry to hear you were a little disappointed in your cake- sounds like it did turn out well, just maybe not to your taste.

What were the components? Cake flavor? mousseline flavor? did you cover it with fondant?  Would love to see a pic if you happen to have one!

In general, the mousseline has the lightest flavored base of all the buttercreams.  If you don’t flavor it appropriately, it can be waxy/buttery/firm in mouthfeel, and not very flavorful.  Rose does not list the liqueur in the recipe as an optional ingredient, and I must agree with her- the liqueur not only adds flavor, it also improves the texture and mouthfeel quite a bit.  For me, the degree to which I ususally enjoy mousseline is proportional to the quantity of flavorings added (up to a point, of course, it is possible to add too much stuff, then it is out of balance with the cake flavor and/or too thin).

Flavorwise, my favorite buttercream is the silk meringue, which is a little softer than mousseline and has a beautiful custard undertone.

Of course, you may just not be a buttercream person.  Perhaps try a genoise cake paired with a whipped cream-based frosting, like light whipppd ganache or fruit cloud cream.  You can also use pastry cream for fillings, though they don’t work well for frosting the outside.

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 Posted: 23 February 2009 08:06 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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wannabe baker - 23 February 2009 01:25 AM

I also tried the Mousseline Buttercream; I didn’t care for it at all. I thought it was similar to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream I’ve made before and it just doesn’t float my boat.  So as it stands now I have yet to find an icing/frosting/buttercream that I really like :(

Gasp… just kidding.  One of my family members isn’t too crazy about Mousseline either (be still my heart).  Did you use unsalted butter?

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 Posted: 23 February 2009 05:44 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I did indeed use unsalted butter, which is very hard to come by where I live.  I usually stock up whenever I cross the border; it’s also half the price there too.

I must admit that this last cake was not made under the best circumstances.  I was quite embarassed by the result and did not take any pictures of it; easier to deny that way.  When it comes to the mousseline, I gave it some thought as to what would be used as the liquor used to flavor it. It was very late at night and was trying to make due with what I had on hand b/c the liquor store would not open til 10am the following morning and I wanted to be done the cake by then.  I contemplated using Frangelico but then decided to try almond extract as I read somewhere that someone used vanilla extract successfully.  Maybe that’s the whole problem? I have the mosseline in the fridge and plan to use it in the next couple of day; waste not, want not. Another concern I have is that too much of the sugar syrup got wasted by being left in the pot, and then the glass measuring cup.  When it started to cool a bit it got thick, I was hesitant to scrape it into the buttercream incase it ruined it.  Perhaps I didn’t work fast enough.

I have never considered using the whipped cream type frosting. I’ve looked at the recipes in TCB but have been hesitant to try them; maybe I should branch out.

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 Posted: 25 February 2009 12:52 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Almond extract gives me trouble, too. Maybe I just got a very strong brand, but if I use anything like the amount called for in recipes, the result tastes like playdoh smells, not a result I’m after.

IMHO the light whipped ganache and white ganache are great frostings. The only catch is that the frosted cake has to be refrigerated to keep for days. I tend to use them with genoise layers,  which don’t suffer from the cold.

Cathy

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 Posted: 25 February 2009 08:31 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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WB, almond extract is mostly oil, whereas vanilla extract contains a lot of alcohol- alcohol has a better effect on mousseline.  Almond extract also tends to have a “marzipan” flavor- sort of a love it or hate it thing.

For the mousseline you have left over, if it’s flavored with almond extract, I would just try to add something to round out the flavor a bit.  If you want to keep the almond flavor, I like balancing almond extract with the flavor of toasted nuts- you can mke your own “toasted nut” liqueur by toasting and chopping/grinding almonds, then soaking them in a little boiling water, then adding vodka (about half water/half vodka).  Let it soak for a day or so, then strain to use.  For me, the mousseline is sweet enough without adding sugar to the homemade liqueur.  Or, you could also add toasted almond oil, either skimmed off the top of a jar of almond butter or purchased separately (La Tourangelle makes a nice one).

Your idea of using Frangelico is a nice one, too, you could even add it to the almond-flavored base.

You could also use melted cooled chocolate (according to proportions in recipe), which is nice with almond.

As for the problems with incorporating the syrup, it does seem to take a little practice.  I usually turn down the heat under the syrup as it approaches 248, skip the glass measuring cup, and immediately pour it into the whites in a steady stream with the beater running.  I scrape out the pan with a spatula.  You do have to work quickly or the syrup hardens.  And I also leave the thermometer in the syrup the whole time so I can make sure it isn’t climbing above 250 (having skipped the glass measure).

I thought mousseline was one of the hardest things I’d ever made the first time I tried it.  Now, I whip up a double batch whenever my freezer stock runs out and I must admit, it seems almost easy after getting some practice!

Good Luck!

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 Posted: 25 February 2009 12:41 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Julie, I love your idea of the “toasted nut” liqueur. Thank you!

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 Posted: 25 February 2009 01:22 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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oh all this science and math! i just can’t follow it! if i had come along earlier in this thread i would have said, double the batch and make a smaller cake with the leftover, you can always freeze it! lol

an easy way to find out how much batter goes in a pan is to fill it with water and measure that, instead of using weight….or the square root of pi!

if you like chocolate, then you can’t go wrong with a ganache. chocolate and cream may be the best flavors ever married.

my second favorite birthday cake (which i have to make myself, of course) is chocolate butter cake, whipped chocolate ganache with choc curls and leaves for decor. the lightness of the ganache just melts in the mouth.

jen

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 Posted: 10 March 2009 05:08 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I too am confused about using the charts in TCB in order to adapt the base recipes for use in square cake pans. I am making a 3-4 tier square wedding cake (for the first time) and though I have searched the site pretty intensely I have not found much help in doing this. I am not positive what size pans I will be using but is there a foolproof way to do this? I made a practice two tier cake for a shower last weekend and based on the info about the volume of a round pan being 3/4 of that of a square pan I figured out the volume of the 6in and 8in square pans I was using and then made the batter for the round cake pan that most closely corresponded to the volume of said square pans (which ended up being the 7 in and 10 in round sizes).  I have a feeling that was the wrong thing to do although the cakes did not turn out badly at all… they were quite good actually. However, the 2 six inch layers did sink in ever so slightly in the middle, but not to the detriment of the cakes themselves. Also I had a good amount of batter left over from the 10 in recipe. Plus, I got some really really weird measurements like 6 and 2/3 tsp of baking powder. I don’t think a 2/3 tsp exists. Anyway, I just want to be sure I am doing this correctly since this is a big undertaking. How do I make sure I am using the right amount of baking power etc…?? Am I completely off? Thanks for your help.

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 Posted: 11 March 2009 01:18 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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JOEL:
Good morning to you. Welcome to our culinary club. Joel, In the event you do not get anyone to furnish you with the answers you are seeking ( I am certain you will find expert help) to your satisfaction, If you just post the recipe(s) you will be employing (If they are from the TCB) no need to post as I have a copy. Post the pan sizes you intend to bake the recipe in, I will adjust the ingredients of the recipe to fit in the pans.
Joel just one thought about baking leaveners in the odd sizes that you questioned… this is simply baking science not ROCKET science. If you have a scale & it has a GRAM feature in it we can use that it is a finer weighing increment.
Good luck & enjoy the rest of the day.

~FRESHKID.

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 Posted: 11 March 2009 07:17 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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freshkid makes a good point. converting everything to weight is much easier to increase or decrease.

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