How to change the flavor of a shortcake please.


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I love the texture I get out of my original recipe. But I've grown tired of the ginger flavor. I'd like to go very vanilla instead. How much vanilla extract would you substitute for the ginger? Also, when I eliminate the ginger ale, I'll lose my liquid component. Is water my only option?

Original recipe:

2 cups flour

6 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 oz chilled butter

¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger

4 oz ginger ale

2 tbsp heavy cream
 
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I love the texture I get out of my original recipe. But I've grown tired of the ginger flavor. I'd like to go very vanilla instead. How much vanilla extract would you substitute for the ginger? Also, when I eliminate the ginger ale, I'll lose my liquid component. Is water my only option?

Original recipe:

2 cups flour

6 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

4 oz chilled butter

¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger

4 oz ginger ale

2 tbsp heavy cream
You cannot simply eliminate the ginger ale because it is your hydration. eplace the ginger ale with sparkling water.

Mineral water contains calcium. Calcium has a strengthening effect on gluten. Sparkling mineral water is fine if you use a very low protein flour like cake flour. But do not use sparkling mineral water if using all purpose flour as it could create a tougher crumb.

Just an aside, mineral water is good for bread making since it helps strengthen gluten.

As for the vanilla there’s so real rule. You can use up to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract for that amount of batter. Vanilla flavor does not come through very strongly when baked since the heat breaks down the vanilla extract. For the best flavor use vanilla paste or imitation vanilla. Imitation vanilla is indistinguishable from real vanilla in baked goods. It’s actually used frequently in commercial baking because it holds up better in high heat and the flavor of imitation vanilla is often more detectable in baked goods. Experts can’t even distinguish the differences between real and imitation vanilla in baked goods.
 
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Sparkling water makes total sense. If I can find vanilla paste here I'll go that way. If not, imitation vanilla is everywhere.

Last year you steered me right on a recipe. I'm sure it will be the same this time. Much thanks.
 
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Sparkling water makes total sense. If I can find vanilla paste here I'll go that way. If not, imitation vanilla is everywhere.

Last year you steered me right on a recipe. I'm sure it will be the same this time. Much thanks.
You’ll definitely notice a marked difference in flavor because ginger is pretty potent and you’ve been using quite a bit of crystallized ginger. There will also be a slight difference in overall batter volume because you’re going to eliminate that ginger. But since you’re eliminating all that ginger, which adds weight, you might get a little bit of rise
 
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I ended up finding and using vanilla paste. Gave me just the right amount of flavor.

I forgot to add in the sparkling water before mixing the batter. I knew there was a problem when I tried to portion out six individual rounds for baking. Then I saw the sparking water and mixed it into the already combined batter. I ended up with less rise than usual. Out of curiosity, was the rise less because of the late addition of the sparkling water?
 
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Joined
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I ended up finding and using vanilla paste. Gave me just the right amount of flavor.

I forgot to add in the sparkling water before mixing the batter. I knew there was a problem when I tried to portion out six individual rounds for baking. Then I saw the sparking water and mixed it into the already combined batter. I ended up with less rise than usual. Out of curiosity, was the rise less because of the late addition of the sparkling water?
I;m glad you got the flavor worked out. Yeah, mixing out of order will definitely mess up your rise. There’s no reason for the cakes not to rise with the changes you are making. There will be a small difference is overall portion due to the elimination of the ginger. But from a chemistry point of view, there isn’t any reason for the recipe to fail.
 
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