Missing quantity - can anyone guess the amount in this carrot cake recipe?


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Hello. I am looking through the tattered recipe booklet that came with my mother's old Robot chef food processor from the 1970s/80s. In it there are some great simple recipes that I thought I would try to learn and improve my baking. There is a recipe called 'Carrot Cake (Canadian)'. Please see the photo below. the ingredients list. As you can see, the quantity for the oil is not there - seems to have faded with time. Can anyone work out what the amount of oil would be in this recipe? 1/2? 3/4? I just have no idea. While we are on it, can anyone tell me what a breakfast cup is? Thank you in advance for all your knowledge and/or detective work. I searched everywhere on the net and could not find this recipe. Let me know if you need a photo of the method.
Canadian Carrot Cake.jpg
 
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Hello. I am looking through the tattered recipe booklet that came with my mother's old Robot chef food processor from the 1970s/80s. In it there are some great simple recipes that I thought I would try to learn and improve my baking. There is a recipe called 'Carrot Cake (Canadian)'. Please see the photo below. the ingredients list. As you can see, the quantity for the oil is not there - seems to have faded with time. Can anyone work out what the amount of oil would be in this recipe? 1/2? 3/4? I just have no idea. While we are on it, can anyone tell me what a breakfast cup is? Thank you in advance for all your knowledge and/or detective work. I searched everywhere on the net and could not find this recipe. Let me know if you need a photo of the method.
View attachment 3874
Hmmm, well your sugar and bicarb are 3/4, not 1/4. The oil is usually roughly half the amount of flour. But it looks like the measurement is in eighths. So maybe 3/8 or 5/8? It’s a really odd recipe, where’s it from? It seems pre-decimal British as it talks about bicarbonate of soda and ounces but it’s unusual for a British recipe to use cups as a unit of measure, and it doesn’t seems to be US cups as it doesn’t differentiate between dry and liquid cups. The pineapple sounds like a nice addition though, like hummingbird cake.
 
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I agree with @Emmie the sugar is 3/4.

A breakfast cup = 283 g / 10 oz.

Can’t make out the measurement for oil. But I know the percentage of oil to flour in a carrot cake is normally 50%.
If I breakout the baker’s percentages and convert to grams, this is what I come up with:

283 g plain flour 100%
212 g granulated sugar 75% (sugar is a bit on the low side)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
141mL cooking oil 50%
100g (2) large eggs 35%
283g grated carrots 100% (note: 75% is usually the standard)
226g canned pineapple 79% (that’s in the norm)

so let us know how it turns out
 
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Hmmm, well your sugar and bicarb are 3/4, not 1/4. The oil is usually roughly half the amount of flour. But it looks like the measurement is in eighths. So maybe 3/8 or 5/8? It’s a really odd recipe, where’s it from? It seems pre-decimal British as it talks about bicarbonate of soda and ounces but it’s unusual for a British recipe to use cups as a unit of measure, and it doesn’t seems to be US cups as it doesn’t differentiate between dry and liquid cups. The pineapple sounds like a nice addition though, like hummingbird cake.
Ahh yes what I've written there in pencil is wrong, I didn't see the 3 in the 3/4. Thanks for that. How do we measure eighths of oil? It is a very odd recipe yes. I will photograph some more of the method for this recipe and the rest of the booklet when I get a moment. Robot Chef was a French company making these cream and brown food processors in the 70s and 80s. The recipe booklet is from about 1976 and is full of all sorts of recipes - French, English, Scottish, and Canadian. I will tell you more when I get it out again I don't know where I put it after I took this photo! I think it is normal for English recipes to talk about ounces and bicarbonate of soda, isn't it? But the 'breakfast cup' aspect is really weird. Overall I am not sure whether to try this recipe or a carrot cake recipe I have in another book where I can actually read the ingredients.
 
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I agree with @Emmie the sugar is 3/4.

A breakfast cup = 283 g / 10 oz.

Can’t make out the measurement for oil. But I know the percentage of oil to flour in a carrot cake is normally 50%.
If I breakout the baker’s percentages and convert to grams, this is what I come up with:

283 g plain flour 100%
212 g granulated sugar 75% (sugar is a bit on the low side)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
141mL cooking oil 50%
100g (2) large eggs 35%
283g grated carrots 100% (note: 75% is usually the standard)
226g canned pineapple 79% (that’s in the norm)

so let us know how it turns out
Thanks for this detailed work. Can I ask how do you know that a Canadian breakfast cup is 283g? How is this different also to a US cup?And that seems a bit of a high amount for the flour and carrots? When you are saying 75% of carrots is usually standard what do you mean? Do you mean standard for a carrot cake? What do you mean about the pineapple too? Are you talking about the usual carrot cake ingredient proportions?
 
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Here is a photo of the method - sorry about the quality of the photo, crap on the page, and the shadow. If I am actually going to make this, I am inclined not to use my food processor but use the electric hand whisk for the batter and then the stirring bit as instructed. Also sorry but does anyone know what is Canadian about this? Was carrot cake originally American (US) and the Canadians have a different version? And another question what kind of oil is preferable if we ever figure out how much to use?
Canadian Carrot Cake Method.jpg
 
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Thanks for this detailed work. Can I ask how do you know that a Canadian breakfast cup is 283g? How is this different also to a US cup?And that seems a bit of a high amount for the flour and carrots? When you are saying 75% of carrots is usually standard what do you mean? Do you mean standard for a carrot cake? What do you mean about the pineapple too? Are you talking about the usual carrot cake ingredient proportions?

There were old standards that were set for household cups:
  • coffee cup 3 oz
  • tea cup 5 oz
  • breakfast cup 10 oz
a oz does not fully convert to a gram for gram. 1 oz is roughly 28.25 grams. grams are much more accurate than ounces, that’s why bakers always use metric weight when baking. So we always convert everything in ounces to grams. so you multiply the ounces by 28.25

10 x 28.25 = 282.5

And I just rounded up to 283.

Insofar as the carrot amount in professional baking there is a standard for every baked good. and the standards are set because Baking is based on science. in most cases when you deviate from those standards you’ll have a catastrophic failure. too much of one ingredient can cause a cake to collapse, a cake to be too dry; a cake to crack; a cake to under-bake, etc, Now there is some leeway to deviate in ratios with some ingredients. And change and add ingredients. Carrots contain an extraordinary amount of moisture, it’s a high water vegetable. win anything is cooked it releases its water. With 25% more carrot that could be a significant amount of water. And usually when we measure carrots, we pack the cup, so that is a lot of carrot.

283 g is 2 cups or 2 1/3 cups of flour depending on the way you measure. In the 1970s the standard way to measure flour was to dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, then level it off with a butter knife. With a measuring cup that we use today, this yield 140 g of flour. So this is the equivalent of 2 cups flour.

If the flour is spooned in the measuring cup, and then leveled off, it will yield about 120 g flour. So 283 g would be 2 1/3 cups flour.


If you stir the flour in the bin, gently scoop the flour in, take care not to pack the flour in tight, then level it off, it will be about 140g flour.
48EC2E0D-796B-40F3-96A8-4D2CC12B92E5.jpeg
 
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Here is a photo of the method - sorry about the quality of the photo, crap on the page, and the shadow. If I am actually going to make this, I am inclined not to use my food processor but use the electric hand whisk for the batter and then the stirring bit as instructed. Also sorry but does anyone know what is Canadian about this? Was carrot cake originally American (US) and the Canadians have a different version? And another question what kind of oil is preferable if we ever figure out how much to use? View attachment 3878
For your oil, you need something neutral, like vegetable oil. I think I’ve used groundnut oil before. Just definitely not olive oil.

When Norcal is talking about % it’s bakers percentages. It’s a really helpful way of scaling up and down a recipe by looking at all the other ingredients as a proportion of the flour. Flour is always 100%. Say you have 200g flour. If you had 200g sugar, that’s 100% sugar as it’s the same as the flour. 100g sugar is 50%, 150g is 75% and so on.

So if I know my percentages but need a bigger cake, I can increase the flour but the other ingredients will always be the same percentage of the flour so you can work out how much they need to increase too. Norcal is much better at explaining than me.

Yes, Norcal is saying the amount of pineapple is about right, but the amount of carrot is a bit more than you’d normally get in a carrot cake - it’s normally about 3/4 of the amount given in your recipe. But you could always try it - it might work, I might not. If you want a ‘safer’ recipe that’s more likely to work, try a more modern one that’s been developed with modern ovens, ingredients, measurements and equipment in mind. Preferably one in a book rather than the internet - there are some great internet recipes about but they can be hit and miss whereas published recipes are usually tested by a home economist first.
 
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For your oil, you need something neutral, like vegetable oil. I think I’ve used groundnut oil before. Just definitely not olive oil.

When Norcal is talking about % it’s bakers percentages. It’s a really helpful way of scaling up and down a recipe by looking at all the other ingredients as a proportion of the flour. Flour is always 100%. Say you have 200g flour. If you had 200g sugar, that’s 100% sugar as it’s the same as the flour. 100g sugar is 50%, 150g is 75% and so on.

So if I know my percentages but need a bigger cake, I can increase the flour but the other ingredients will always be the same percentage of the flour so you can work out how much they need to increase too. Norcal is much better at explaining than me.

Yes, Norcal is saying the amount of pineapple is about right, but the amount of carrot is a bit more than you’d normally get in a carrot cake - it’s normally about 3/4 of the amount given in your recipe. But you could always try it - it might work, I might not. If you want a ‘safer’ recipe that’s more likely to work, try a more modern one that’s been developed with modern ovens, ingredients, measurements and equipment in mind. Preferably one in a book rather than the internet - there are some great internet recipes about but they can be hit and miss whereas published recipes are usually tested by a home economist first.
Thank you. I will reply again tomorrow with some further questions but I just want to say thank you for explaining. Also yes I think the advice to try a different recipe for the reasons you state - modernisation, etc is a good idea. I have a kindle book BBC Good Food 101 bakes and cakes. Except for the chocolate cake I made on NYE (that was from Scandilicious Baking)...the Good Food 101 Bakes and Cakes is what I've been using since Jan for my weekly bakes and everything I have made so far has worked really well with very minor issues. I really like that recipe book, all the recipes are triple-tested and some of them are on the BBC Good Food website and you can see other peoples' comments, tips and questions. There is a carrot cake in there so that might be a good one to try.

Can please tell me if this follows the rules you have said? I am too tired to do the working out. How do you know what the ratios are supposed to be?
I've just checked it and it has:
175g/6oz SF flour
140g/5oz carrot
175g/6oz sugar
175ml/6 fl oz oil

also 100g/4oz raisins (is this really required?)
and a few other things, no walnuts surprisingly. I thought it would have walnuts? It also has orange zest? Is this normal for a carrot cake? So no pineapple or walnuts which I thought was quite common but orange zest, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. Am having second thoughts about this recipe while typing. Won't all these other flavours overpower the carrots? Sigh......
 
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Thank you. I will reply again tomorrow with some further questions but I just want to say thank you for explaining. Also yes I think the advice to try a different recipe for the reasons you state - modernisation, etc is a good idea. I have a kindle book BBC Good Food 101 bakes and cakes. Except for the chocolate cake I made on NYE (that was from Scandilicious Baking)...the Good Food 101 Bakes and Cakes is what I've been using since Jan for my weekly bakes and everything I have made so far has worked really well with very minor issues. I really like that recipe book, all the recipes are triple-tested and some of them are on the BBC Good Food website and you can see other peoples' comments, tips and questions. There is a carrot cake in there so that might be a good one to try.

Can please tell me if this follows the rules you have said? I am too tired to do the working out. How do you know what the ratios are supposed to be?
I've just checked it and it has:
175g/6oz SF flour
140g/5oz carrot
175g/6oz sugar
175ml/6 fl oz oil

also 100g/4oz raisins (is this really required?)
and a few other things, no walnuts surprisingly. I thought it would have walnuts? It also has orange zest? Is this normal for a carrot cake? So no pineapple or walnuts which I thought was quite common but orange zest, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. Am having second thoughts about this recipe while typing. Won't all these other flavours overpower the carrots? Sigh......

everything looks within the ratios except the oil. That seems kind a high at 100%. The standard is closer to 50%. But you’ll see recipes somewhere between 50% maybe 75% at most.

yes orange zest it’s a common addition. It gives a very nice flavor. Rub the zest into the sugar. that is if you like the flavor of orange.

Be sure to squeeze excess water out of the carrot after you grate it.

you can add some crushed pineapple to the batter if you like. But definitely scale back on the oil.
 
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I forgot to ask if there was any other fat? Butter in there? Let me know. I got a head out so I probably won’t get back to the forum today
 
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So I’m back home… While I was out walking another thing occurred to me. The recipe from your mother’s book is from Canada correct? You’re in the UK though yes? Eggs in Canada are smaller than eggs in the UK. So when you make the cake from your mother’s book, if you are in the UK, use medium eggs, not large eggs.
 
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Thank you. I will reply again tomorrow with some further questions but I just want to say thank you for explaining. Also yes I think the advice to try a different recipe for the reasons you state - modernisation, etc is a good idea. I have a kindle book BBC Good Food 101 bakes and cakes. Except for the chocolate cake I made on NYE (that was from Scandilicious Baking)...the Good Food 101 Bakes and Cakes is what I've been using since Jan for my weekly bakes and everything I have made so far has worked really well with very minor issues. I really like that recipe book, all the recipes are triple-tested and some of them are on the BBC Good Food website and you can see other peoples' comments, tips and questions. There is a carrot cake in there so that might be a good one to try.

Can please tell me if this follows the rules you have said? I am too tired to do the working out. How do you know what the ratios are supposed to be?
I've just checked it and it has:
175g/6oz SF flour
140g/5oz carrot
175g/6oz sugar
175ml/6 fl oz oil

also 100g/4oz raisins (is this really required?)
and a few other things, no walnuts surprisingly. I thought it would have walnuts? It also has orange zest? Is this normal for a carrot cake? So no pineapple or walnuts which I thought was quite common but orange zest, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg. Am having second thoughts about this recipe while typing. Won't all these other flavours overpower the carrots? Sigh......
BBC Good Food have some great recipes. The odd few are quite poor but mostly you can rely on them. I actually think I’ve made this recipe before as I have a friend who is allergic to nuts. The raisins are a nice addition. UK recipes for carrot cake are much less likely to include pineapple, so I guess it’s sort of in lieu of that. But if memory serves me correctly it was a bit oily, which is in line with Norcal’s view about the oil. I might have an old Mary Berry carrot cake recipe I can look up for you? I can’t quite remember whether it’s a regular cake or a tray bake though. I’ll have a look.
 
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This is the exact cake recipe that’s in my Mary Berry book:


The only difference is my recipe uses the more traditional cream cheese and icing sugar topping but mascarpone sounds like a lovely alternative. Don’t use low-fat cream cheese though, it doesn’t work as well because of the higher water content.
 

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