I've fallen in love with dense, moist carrot cake. So much so that I want to....


Wani

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Hello everyone. I am a complete novice about baking so I really need your help, especially if you are a professional.

I do not have a sweet tooth and do not care for a lot of sugary stuff. But there is one cake that for me was love at first bite. It was at a friend's birthday party and they called it a carrot cake. I had no idea where that name was coming from since I couldn't taste the carrots. Never mind that. All I knew is that the not-too-sweet, somewhat dense and moist texture was the perfect taste and I dare to say "comfort" for my mouth--even without the icing. That was more than 50 years ago.

Fast forward to my life as it is now. I'm a small apple grower and I use those apples to make apple sauce and apple butter in a country where applesauce is unheard of. We sell the apple sauce in 2.75 oz plastic see-through cups. Invariably, customers ask "How do you eat it?" Needless to say, I'm having trouble increasing sales.

I recently came across a carrot cake recipe that called also for crushed pineapple. That's when I thought about substituting the pineapple for applesauce. I have been tweeking the recipe and experimenting to the point where I think I'm close to that carrot cake that I fell in love with so many years ago. I could introduce applesauce as an ingredient for baking and try to increase sales that way, too.

Well, my idea has since blossomed and now I'm thinking about developing a recipe for a carrot cake, (bread?), using applesauce, of course, that I could bake in tin cans and can commercially for increased shelf stability. I've been doing a lot of research and found this
https://newengland.com/today/food/new-england-made/bm-brown-bread-in-a-can/
I've never had this bread before but it seems close to what I'm aiming for. I would use a much smaller can, though.

Does anybody know the science behind commercially baking in a can? What would I need to know or consider before attempting anything like this. By the way, I am in contact with a canner who is willing to do small projects but they have never done anything like this before.

I would very much appreciate your help or feedback.
 
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Norcalbaker59

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Hello everyone. I am a complete novice about baking so I really need your help, especially if you are a professional.

I do not have a sweet tooth and do not care for a lot of sugary stuff. But there is one cake that for me was love at first bite. It was at a friend's birthday party and they called it a carrot cake. I had no idea where that name was coming from since I couldn't taste the carrots. Never mind that. All I knew is that the not-too-sweet, somewhat dense and moist texture was the perfect taste and I dare to say "comfort" for my mouth--even without the icing. That was more than 50 years ago.

Fast forward to my life as it is now. I'm a small apple grower and I use those apples to make apple sauce and apple butter in a country where applesauce is unheard of. We sell the apple sauce in 2.75 oz plastic see-through cups. Invariably, customers ask "How do you eat it?" Needless to say, I'm having trouble increasing sales.

I recently came across a carrot cake recipe that called also for crushed pineapple. That's when I thought about substituting the pineapple for applesauce. I have been tweeking the recipe and experimenting to the point where I think I'm close to that carrot cake that I fell in love with so many years ago. I could introduce applesauce as an ingredient for baking and try to increase sales that way, too.

Well, my idea has since blossomed and now I'm thinking about developing a recipe for a carrot cake, (bread?), using applesauce, of course, that I could bake in tin cans and can commercially for increased shelf stability. I've been doing a lot of research and found this
https://newengland.com/today/food/new-england-made/bm-brown-bread-in-a-can/
I've never had this bread before but it seems close to what I'm aiming for. I would use a much smaller can, though.

Does anybody know the science behind commercially baking in a can? What would I need to know or consider before attempting anything like this. By the way, I am in contact with a canner who is willing to do small projects but they have never done anything like this before.

I would very much appreciate your help or feedback.
Well you’re number one concern is going to be botulinum. And if you don’t know how to do this I would strongly advise you not to do it. It was a fad a while back of baking and “canning” cake in canning jars. And it was strongly discouraged by canners, food scientist, and most professional bakers for the obvious reasons— Potential for botulism.

seriously if you have no idea what you’re doing, and you are not a professional baker you need to let this one go.
 

Wani

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Norcalbaker59, thank you for taking time to reply to my post. Yes, I do know about deadly botulism and that retort temperatures are necessary to kill spores. I've read a lot about how risky it is to do home canning of cakes, breads. I would never attempt to do that.

I am talking about commercial canning where I would eventually have to pay for food scientist consulting services, testing, process validation, etc. The reason I'm asking here is because I'm the type of person who always likes to do my homework before approaching professionals. That way I get an idea of what I don't know and what questions to ask.

The link that I provided shows that commercial canning of bread is possible. With the ingredients I have in mind, though, and so many other variables, it might not be possible. At this stage I'm just exploring and learning at the same time.

Other professional bakers or food scientists out there, please feel free to chime in with any form of input. Thanks again!
 

Norcalbaker59

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Norcalbaker59, thank you for taking time to reply to my post. Yes, I do know about deadly botulism and that retort temperatures are necessary to kill spores. I've read a lot about how risky it is to do home canning of cakes, breads. I would never attempt to do that.

I am talking about commercial canning where I would eventually have to pay for food scientist consulting services, testing, process validation, etc. The reason I'm asking here is because I'm the type of person who always likes to do my homework before approaching professionals. That way I get an idea of what I don't know and what questions to ask.

The link that I provided shows that commercial canning of bread is possible. With the ingredients I have in mind, though, and so many other variables, it might not be possible. At this stage I'm just exploring and learning at the same time.

Other professional bakers or food scientists out there, please feel free to chime in with any form of input. Thanks again!
Yes of course it’s possible I didn’t say it wasn’t possible to do it commercially. But you don’t have professional training as a baker number one. So you don’t have any training on safe food handling and packaging. You don’t know how to create a recipe. Right now you’re baking what with the home recipe. That’s not how you bake commercially.

There’s a world world of difference between a home recipe and commercial production. The ingredients that you use in commercial production are completely different, the preservatives required and used you can’t even gain access to if you don’t even have a relationship with a supplier. And then of course you need to know what those different preservatives are and which ones to use how to use them what percentage to use. I don’t think you realize just how complicated commercial baking is creating products for long shelf life. Heck even commercial baking for standard shelf life is complicated. The link below just touches on the categories of preservatives used in commercial baking. This is way above your knowledge and skill


And I don’t think you realize just how expensive it is to set up a production line. Just because you identify someone that will do small runs does it mean it’s affordable. Paying upfront for all that product and and not have a buyer for all that cake Is a sure fire way to lose money.

You would be better off just making a regular carrot cake with applesauce
Freeze it and ship it. to order. Cake freezes reasonably well. Tin cake is horrible cake. Tin cake is not something you’re going to find much of a market for because we love fresh cake just like we like fresh bread. And fresh cake is readily available. There’s no reason to buy cake in a tin

 
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Wani

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Your post is just what I was looking for.....something that let's me know what I don't know. Not that I haven't thought about some of the things you mentioned, though, like suppliers, costs, the market. The market in my country is not saturated with fresh cake so there may be a reason to buy cake in a tin. The primer on preservatives....I'll read and re-read. Thank you!
 

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