Discussion in 'Introductions' started by MR.fishy, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. MR.fishy

    MR.fishy New Member

    Aug 1, 2018
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    I am developing some Christmas deserts and I need some help seeing if they are actually good

    Since I have no idea how to get measurements right when making a cake or cookie or cupcake from scratch I got some recipes off the internet here’s where I got them from:




    And here’s what I made

    Christmas present cake

    Special ingredients:

    + Red and green m&ms

    Red Fondant ingredients:

    +Red food dye

    +1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons agar agar

    +1/4 cup cold water

    +1/2 cup Glucose

    +2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening

    +1 tablespoon Glycerin

    +6 cups sifted confectioner's sugar.

    Green fondant ingredients

    +Green food dye

    + 1/2 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon agar agar

    +1/8 cup cold water

    +1/4 cup Glucose

    +1 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening

    +1/2 tablespoon Glycerin

    +3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

    Buttercream ingredients

    3 cups confectioners' sugar

    1 cup butter

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

    Cake ingredients:

    +12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room

    temperature, plus more for greasing the pans

    +2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    +1 tablespoon baking powder

    +1/2 teaspoon fine salt

    +1 cup whole milk, at room temperature

    +1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    +3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

    +1 1/2 cups sugar


    1 whisk

    1 mixer

    2 medium bowls

    3 cake pans

    Baking instructions

    Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 9-inch square cake pans with butter and line the bottom of each with parchment.

    Step 2

    Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk the milk, vanilla, eggs and egg yolk together in another medium bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium high until light and fluffy.

    Step 3

    Add about a third of the flour mixture and beat on medium low until incorporated. Now add a third of the egg-milk mixture and continue to beat on medium low until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Repeat with the remaining flour and egg-milk mixtures, finishing with the flour.

    Step 4

    Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake pans and bake until the cake bounces back when pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely in the cake pans on a rack.

    Buttercream instructions

    Step 1

    In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
    Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

    Fondant instruction

    Step 1

    Combine agar agar and cold water; let stand until thick. Place mixture on stove and boil 5 minutes, or until dissolved. Remove from stove add glucose and shortening, and mix until shortening dissolves. Add glycerin and red food dye. Cool until lukewarm.

    Step 2

    Place 4 cups confectioner's sugar in a bowl and make a well. Pour the lukewarm agar mixture into the well and stir with a wooden spoon, mixing in sugar and adding more, a little at a time, until stickiness disappears. Knead in remaining sugar. Knead until the fondant is smooth, pliable and does not stick to your hands.


    Do the same thing as you did with the red fondant except using green food dye and less ingredients

    Stuffing instructions

    Step 1

    take the bottom cake and place it onto parchment paper Then take the middle cake and place it onto parchment paper.

    Step 2

    cut a 4 inch circle in the center of the middle cake then add it onto the bottom cake. Fill the circle with m&ms and finally add the top cake on the top of the other two.

    Decorating instructions

    Step 1

    Cover the cake in butter cream until a thin layer forms.

    Step 2

    cover the cakes layers with red fondant then add green fondant to decorate as ribbons.

    Christmas cupcake

    Special ingredients:

    + 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

    +2 peppermint candies per cupcake

    + 1 candy cane per cupcake

    + 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

    + 1/2 powdered ginger

    + 1/2 clove

    + 1/2 molasses

    +1 bag of nutmeg (toppings)

    + 1 bag of red green and white sprinkles (toppings)

    Cupcake ingredients:

    + 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    + 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

    + 1/4 teaspoon salt

    + 1 stick unsalted butter, softened

    + 1 cup sugar

    + 2 large eggs, at room temperature

    + 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    + 2/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature

    Frosting ingredients:

    + 4 large egg whites

    + 3/4 cup sugar

    + 1 pinch of salt

    + 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces, softened


    + 2 whisk

    + 1 cupcake pan

    + 1 piping nozzle

    +4 bowls

    +1 mixer

    +1 grater

    Baking instructions

    Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon powdered ginger, molasses, cove, and salt in a bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to medium low; beat in half of the flour mixture, then all of the milk, then the remaining flour mixture until just combined.

    Step 2

    Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool 5 minutes, then remove the cupcakes to the rack to cool completely. Top with Frosting.


    Step 1

    Whisk the egg whites, sugar, peppermint powder and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) until the mixture is warm and the sugar dissolves. Remove the bowl from the pan; let cool slightly.

    Step 2

    Beat the egg white mixture in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer) on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 12 to 15 minutes. Beat in the butter a few pieces at a time, then continue beating until smooth.


    Step 1

    Sprinkle the nutmeg onto the frosting

    Then do the same for the sprinkles

    Step 2

    add the peppermint candy on the top of the frosting

    Step 3

    and finally cut the candy canes in half and cut off half of the tips then add them to the tops of your frosting (if needed stick the candy cane into the cupcake)

    Giant snowflake thumbprint cookie ❄️

    Cookie ingredients:

    3 tsp frosting whitener

    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

    1 stick of butter

    3 large egg yolks

    3 large egg whites

    2 tablespoons water

    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    2 cups All Purpose Flour

    1 cup blueberry jam


    Cooking Spray

    Snowflake cookie cutter

    Step 1

    HEAT oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust rack to middle position. Coat two cookie sheets lightly with no-stick cooking spray.

    Step 2

    BEAT brown sugar and shortening in medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add egg yolks, water, vanilla and salt. Beat until well combined. Add flour on low speed until well blended.

    Step 3

    Measure about 1/2 a cup dough for each cookie. Form into balls by rolling between your palms. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Using the back of a 1/2 cup measuring spoon make a rounded indentation in the top of each cookie until the cookies are flat and round with risen edges to form the bottom of the cookie.

    Step 4

    Flatten half of the cookies to make a thick circle. use the snowflake cookie cutter to cut a snowflake shape out of the cookies. place the round cookies on the prepared cookie sheet to create the top of the cookies.

    Step 5

    BAKE 15 minutes. Remove from oven Place blueberry jam as needed into the indentation of each of the bottoms of the cookies. Place the tops of the cookies onto the bottoms of the cookies. Cool on baking sheet for several minutes.

    Sooo are they any good? Sorry for the change in format I tried to make it as uniform as possible!
    MR.fishy, Aug 1, 2018
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  2. MR.fishy

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Northern California
    @MR.fishy, hello and welcome to the forum.
    When you ask whether any of the recipes are "actually good" I assume you are asking whether the recipes can be successfully reproduced, rather than opinions on the quality of the recipe.

    Since baking is all science, reproducing a recipe is always problematic. Difference in brands has a profound effect on the finished product. Beginning with flour, the differences in protein content and whether or not the flour is bleached and malted will effect the texture, color, rise, and taste of the finished product.

    Since many recipes do specify brand, there are some general practices you can adopted to minimize the failure.

    Flour -
    • cakes: unless the cake/cupcake recipe specifies a flour type, use a low protein all purpose flour bleached flour. In the US the brands to look for are Gold Medal and Pillsbury (approx 10% protein and bleached). King Arthur all purpose flour is very high in protein at 11.7% and it is unbleached. It makes horrible cakes and cupcakes.
    • cookies: delicate cookies like shortbread are better with lower protein all purpose flours. Cookies like chocolate chip and oatmeal are better with higher protein and unbleached flours like King Arthur Flour.
    • Chiffon and Angle Food Cakes: you absolutely have to use cake flour for these cakes.
    • Muffins and quick breads: any all purpose flour will generally work in these products
    • Biscuits: White Lily self-rising flour is the standard for a good biscuit

    Sugar: sugar beet sugar and cane sugar do not perform the same. Where caramelization is key, use sugar specifically labelled cane sugar. As a rule, I only use cane sugar in all my baking.

    Leavening: to avoid the possibility of bitter clumps in finished goods, use aluminum free baking powder. I only use Rumford brand baking powder

    Butter: the water content varies greatly by brand. Land O Lakes is a good all around butter for baking. But for buttercreams a lower water content works best. Use Plugra or butter labeled "european" style for butter creams as they have 83% butter fat or higher.

    Measuring ingredients is another key to success. Advanced home bakers bake with weight, not volume. 300 grams will always be 300 grams. But use of a measuring cup can vary by up to 25%. A cup of flour may be anywhere from 120 grams to 150 grams depending on how you fill the measuring cup. That is so significant the finished product will be affected.

    Spoon and level method: 1 cup flour = approximately 120 grams
    Stir the flour with a fork to loosen
    Spoon flour into the measuring cup until its an 1" above the rim
    Level flour even with the rim of the measuring cup with a straight edge like a table knife

    Dip and level method: 1 cup flour = approximately 140 grams
    Stir the flour with a fork to loosen
    Dip measuring cup into flour and scoop out flour above the rim
    Level flour even with the rim of the measuring cup with a straight edge like a table knife

    Recipes from the following sources generally use Spoon and Level: 1 cup = 120 grams
    • King Arthur Flour
    • Brave Tart
    • Sally's Baking Addiction
    • Handle the Heat

    Recipes for the following sources generally use slightly different equivalents
    • Dorie Greenspan 136 g = 1 cup
    • Smitten Kitchen 126 g - 130 g = 1 cup
    • Anna Olsen 150 g = 1 Cup

    Recipes for the following sources generally use the Dip and Level Method: 1 cup = 140 grams
    • America’s Test Kitchen
    • Cook's Country
    • Chris Kimball - Milk Street
    • some earlier Stella Parks on Serious Eats 140 g = 1 cup
    • Joy of Baking
    • Serious Eats (EXCEPT where noted and most of the recipes by Stella Parks)
    • Older Betty Crocker recipes (1970's and earlier)
    • Older Fanny Farmer recipes (1970's and earlier)
    • Ina Garten
    • Anna Olsen
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 1, 2018
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  3. MR.fishy

    MR.fishy New Member

    Aug 1, 2018
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    I spent a good 5-10 minutes reading that response I simply want to know weather or not the recipes will work
    MR.fishy, Aug 1, 2018
  4. MR.fishy

    Becky Well-Known Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Likes Received:
    You have joined this forum, made a lengthy post asking for help, and @Norcalbaker59 gave you all the advice you needed to analyse the recipes yourself. Rather than thanking her for the time she spent trying to help you, you complain about her detailed advice and demand we work it out for you. That is incredibly rude.

    Advice is given on forums for free, all that we ask is common courtesy.
    Becky, Aug 1, 2018
    Norcalbaker59 and Ian like this.
  5. MR.fishy

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Northern California
    That’s my whole point, there’s no way to know whether these recipes will work because the methods used in home baking, and in particular American home baking, is inherently flawed.

    Baking is all science, so a recipe will fail if one variable is off.

    Commercial and advanced bakers can successfully reproduce consistent results a thousands times over because they use completely different methods than the methods used in these recipes. They use formulae written in baker’s percentages with notations on ingredients’ specifications, scale, and mixing method. All the variables are considered and controlled.
    Norcalbaker59, Aug 1, 2018
    Becky likes this.
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