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Everything posted by shaloop

  1. Thanks. I googled it today and found answers ranging from too much baking soda to carrot peels left on to oxidation. I don't use butter, I use oil and I first beat whole eggs with sugar and then add oil. I'll try adding the baking soda at this point and see if it helps.
  2. So I've been using the same carrot cake recipe for over a year. I sell these to restaurants and coffee shops. About 3 of the carrot cakes I've made recently have had the carrot shreds turn green by the next day. I use pineapple, baking powder and baking soda, oil, brown and white sugar, eggs, flour, cinnamon. I haven't changed anything about the recipe and am using the same ingredients. I have begun using a convection oven instead of a conventional one, but this hasn't happened on all of the cakes made in it, only a few. Any thoughts?
  3. Well, today I dropped a hot from the oven full hotel pan with two cheesecakes in a water bath completely upside down onto the floor. Hot water splashed onto my feet and half-cooked cheesecake batter (mixed with water) went everywhere including under the oven, proofer and range. I'm so glad I was finally able to contribute to this thread. The only good thing about the whole incident is that they were "extras" and weren't for an actual order due today or tomorrow.
  4. I second that. Never used a Duke, but previously had convection with one fan speed only, super duper high. I could never bake layer cakes in there. Learned to make cheesecakes, but had to cover part of the time. Now I have a convection oven with low speed and it bakes cakes great. Also cheesecakes, cookies and anything else I might want to bake.
  5. I make a lot of cheesecakes and I use solid 9 x 3 pans. spray with nonstick spray, pat in my crust (kind of a sable cookie crust) and bake and then pour in my filling. bake in a water bath. Cool. Chill thoroughly or even freeze. Place briefly (like 10 seconds) in a sink or larger pan filled with hot water. Invert onto something and out it slides. Reinvert onto cardboard circle. Voila! Also easier to slice when almost or partially frozen.
  6. Yes. I use semisweet chocolate. Haven't tried it with white.
  7. So, after all the suggestions, where did you end up getting the recipe from, and why this one instead of the ones posted? ← I basically adjusted the recipe I was already using to add more butter and use more ganache in general. This was based on the above suggestions.
  8. Since I started this thread and used the great suggestions I thought I'd update on how things turned out. This is the recipe I use: 12 oz chocolate 8 oz heavy cream 4 oz butter This covers a 3 layer 9" chocolate cake with some to spare. I chill the cake well, and cool the ganache to almost room temp. Works great. Covers smoothly and evenly. Save the excess, rewarm and add to next batch. Thanks for everyone's help.
  9. I use chocolate chips for ganache all the time. I use the least expensive, store brand chocolate chips. However, when I used Nestle, the resulting ganache was thicker and I didn't like it as much. Although this is a store brand (buy it at Walmart in the orange bag) I think it's made by a better known chocolatier. All brands don't work the same and I'm sure it's due to cocoa butter content and other ingredients. All creams don't work the same either due to fat content I suspect.
  10. shaloop


    Hummingbird cake.
  11. The thread on Hot Milk Sponge Cake got me thinking about what to do with my strawberries. This was dessert a couple of days ago.
  12. Deformed or not, they look delicious. Do you mind sharing the recipe?
  13. Maple Pecan Pie or Maple Granola. Two of my favorites, though I'm sorry I don't have the recipes handy right now.
  14. I've noticed that the recipes on Epicurious' website are different from the recipes on Martha Stewart's Website. I plugged them both into Mastercook and scaled them based on flour amounts and they're different, for both the cake and the filling. Also, Martha Stewart's calls for simple syrup which could account for moisture issues. I've had the best success with using the recipes for the Shubox Coconut Cake and frosting found on Epicurious Website paired with the Peninsula grill filling. Both cakes and frostings are similar but the addition of cream of coconut to the Shubox cake and frosting are what put it over the top IMHO. Also, the Shubox cake is a little lighter due to whipping and folding in the egg whites.
  15. I'm coming up on a year (March 1st) since I officially opened. (Still commercial kitchen rental only, no storefront.) Business has picked up and I've been trying to get into my own kitchen by March 1st but the Health Dept still has my application (3rd week now) and I'm just beginning to hope it even happens at all. Anyway, what I"ve learned so far... Fixed costs are VERY important. That determines how busy you have to be to make a profit. Whether you pay $500 rent per month or $1000 rent determines how many cakes you have to make in order to break even. Every time I looked at a potential place to rent I considered how many cakes I'd have to make to pay that (considering about 30% food costs.) Someone (I think Sugarseattle) mentioned targeting 30% food costs, 30% labor costs, 30% fixed costs and 10% profit. At first, I thought that was unreasonable, but now, I think it's right on, for me at least. You also have to factor in miscellaneous items (or else categorize them). Plastic wrap, cake circles, parchment paper, tape, dish detergent, garbage bags, smallwares, etc. Gasoline and insurance. Website design, yellow page listings, so many things. I'm glad I started small and rented this first year because I'm just now starting to get the hang of what I'm doing. Which is good, because it's going hand in hand with growth. As far as costs, I agree with above. It's a combination of food costs (and packaging costs included in that), percentage markup the customer is aiming for, what they've been paying and are willing to pay and quality of the product. I bake from scratch and use good quality ingredients and have no direct competition. But, my customers' alternative is foodservice (Sysco or Sams) which are both much cheaper than my products. I've found enough customers to support my business, however, it's not for everyone. I lost one great customer when the owner died and a new owner took over. They weren't willing to pay my prices. Figure out what you need to make to be profitable and find out if there are enough customers willing to support you before you begin. I'm rambling now, but you get the idea.
  16. Not the original poster, but I would like it.
  17. Cancer mortality rates may go down, we've got great doctors and scientists, they get paid for something. However, incidence of cancer is rising. I'd rather not have cancer to begin with than to know that there are some great doctors that can remove a couple of your body parts, radiate the rest and probably keep you alive. I don't mean that to sound snotty, but I also believe many of our recent (past 50 or so years) health problems including increase in cancer are due to environmental and food polutants and chemicals. I understand why they're used, but I don't think our bodies can handle them. I don't think there's an easy answer. Everyone can't have their own farm and produce all of their own food, process it and cook it. So, manufacturers have to make cookies that will last for 6 months without spoiling. They are still as soft and chewy as the day they were baked. That's just not natural. That's why I cook as many of my families meals and goodies from scratch (besides that I enjoy it) as I'm reasonably able to and hope for the best on the rest. Well, I feel differently about this. I tend to buy plenty of fresh fruit, 100% fruit juices, ingredients to make my own cookies and goodies (thereby adjusting the sugar and fat content to my preferences) making my own hamburger patties, etc to control what my growing children injest and reduce the amount of "artificial" stuff they eat. But when work is slow for my hubby and my dollar has to stretch farther, it's easier and cheaper to buy a box of Oreos than to buy flour, sugar, butter, eggs, cocoa powder, etc. Compare the price of a bottle of off-brand soda to a container of real fruit juice. Or the price of a huge loaf of squishy, fluffy white bread with 0 fiber content compared to a loaf of multigrain 4g fiber per slice bread. Or even a box of cookies compared to a bag of fruit. Also , my mom was a stay at home mom as I was and she taught me to cook. Many who come from poorer or single parents families aren't taught what used to be basic kitchen skills in order to provide healthful meals for their families and so they buy prepared foods that are easy to put on the table. Or they themselves are single parents and don't have time to cook from scratch, to shop at the farmer's market, or access to higher quality ingredients. Stores in poorer neighborhoods don't usually carry the same type or quality of products as those in more affluent neighborhoods. If you were riding the subway to buy groceries as opposed to driving your own car are you more likely to buy 10 bags of whole foods to prepare a week's worth of meals for your family or 2 bags of frozen dinners? Also, lower income housing is often in less desirable areas even in terms of environmental polutants. Even middle class folk may have a choice not to live near the landfill or power plant substation. And as a fact of life in the U.S., more African Americans fall into the lower economic bracket. Some things may fall into heredity or traditional type of diet, but I believe much is directly related to economic status which leads to lack of choices in healthful eating and environment.
  18. I have found THESE Chocolate white chocolate (or I use chocolate chocolate chip) by Ina Garten to be very good.
  19. I'm looking for a good all-purpose chocolate to use in baking. Around here you can only get Hershey's or Nestles. I'll have to order online. I'm looking for a semi-sweet to use in cakes, brownies, frostings and ganache. Not too expensive as I'm not ready to raise prices right now. Mind you, my customers don't seem to mind the Hershey's and Nestles and there is only one other pastry shop that actually sells quality cakes and pastries within probably a 50 mile radius. I'd just like to step up my game, lol.
  20. I use White Lily for cakes with great results. Not quite as light as other cake flours but definitely makes lighter cakes than those made with other all-purpose flours. It's my flour of choice for cakes as its also more affordable than store-brand cake flour. However, it's not as great a choice for cookies or pound cakes as it's a softer wheat flour and may not add enough structure.
  21. That's one of the places I actually bookmarked. I currently use a 10x10x5 1/2" box for layer cakes and the tallest 10x10 I saw at Uline for literature mailers was 4" which I don't think is tall enough. {It's interesting that I had found exactly the box you mentioned.} But I'll keep looking. I ordered some samples today from Unger which someone mentioned upthread and hopefully that may work out.
  22. I have to add my agreement to pound cake. I have a good friend that makes the lightest, most tender, melt in your mouth poundcake I've ever had. And it uses a full pound of butter. She's a genius. I also have to add a light, crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, waffle. (With butter and maple syrup of course.)
  23. One of my customers has requested sturdier packaging. Right now I use standard bakery cake boxes that I get from a local paper company. About $.30 each, one piece, windowless boxes. They get cheesecakes and layer cakes. They are stacked in a dessert cooler and are handled by all of the waitstaff. After being opened and closed and restacked a couple of times the walls of the boxes become bent and sometimes crushed and no longer close properly and the product starts to dry out. Any ideas or place to order better, but not extremely expensive packaging. I've seen what some of them get from their foodservice suppliers. They are lightweight corrugated one piece box with self-closing flaps. Anyone know where to find that?
  24. My friend makes a wonderful apple cobbler based on her grandmother's recipe. She said it uses a hot water crust and there's a layer of dough on the bottom, in the middle and on top. The bottom and middle crust are not crisp, but not soggy either. I believe they are layerd with the raw apple filling. I haven't managed to wrangle the recipe out of her yet, despite my multitude of hints.
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