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SweetSide

Multiplying Cake Batters

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When making wedding cakes, you often need a large amount of batter but don't have a recipe that makes the quantity that you need. Often 6, 8, or even 10 times the amount of a normal recipe to get all the tiers done.

As you know, multiplying a cake batter to that quantity often doesn't work. What adjustments are necessary when trying to make large batches?

Would it help if there is a particular recipe to look at?

Of course, the alternative is to make it in small batches, but that takes so much longer...

Thanks!

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I've never had a problem increasing recipes for cakes except for ones that call for folding in beaten egg whites. I'll only increase them to folding in about 40 whites because with more you loose the air too much. As far as other ingredients go I just increase them in the same ratio as the original recipe.

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I agree with pastrymama - I generally multiply without a problem. And I'll do up to 48 egg whites per batch :wink:.

Bigger question is how large a batch can your mixer handle in one go?

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Hello Cheryl,

In my experience, it is far easier to "go up" and increase, than to "break it down" into something smaller. I have done some research and development along with consulting over the years and to be honest, where as I excell at physics I really don't have the patience for fractional or proportional math, to me it's like a stupid little game. but to "size up" a formula here are some key notes you may find usefull:

"convert" your formula to gravametric weights-and I mean all ingredients including those teaspoons, tablespoons, and liguid "quart" measurements IE. if a formula calls for 10 whole eggs, convert this to a "scaled weighed amount".

now this is where it gets a little tricky, you have the option of a conversion on a percentage basis of:

a true percent based on the weight of ingredients calculation

a baker's percentage based on the weight of flour

Unbleached All purpose Flour 500 g. 100%

Water 360 g. 72%

Salt 10 g. 2%

Yeast 9 g. 2%

TOTAL (Dough)

879 g.

If you know the metric system, your job has just become easier, if not take a pound (16 ounces) and convert to all ounces and fractions of ounces.

do the math and 'break it down" or work it up.

I will be doing a thread in "the Flow" series, concerning Volumetric sizing in relation to aereated creams technolgy, everyone should find that-interesting.

I hope this helps, if you have any more questions just ask.

one other note as the size of the volume in the bowl increases, so does it's aereation qualities, and the intrinsic qualities of the friction factor of the machine used (IE 5 qt vs 180 qt mixer).

Cheers,

Michael

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Have you looked in RLB's Cake Bible? She has a whole section on baking large cakes and the charts that you need to follow. She has done all the calculations for you, so you just have to multiply your size out using her chart. The biggest variable in the recipes is the baking powder amounts.

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Have you looked in RLB's Cake Bible? She has a whole section on baking large cakes and the charts that you need to follow. She has done all the calculations for you, so you just have to multiply your size out using her chart. The biggest variable in the recipes is the baking powder amounts.

Thanks -- I have that, but they are just for simple yellow, white, and chocolate cakes. We're talking in theory here -- as in what would you have to do if you had a favorite cake that you needed to make a lot of -- either many cakes or very large cakes.

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Hello Cheryl,

In my experience, it is far easier to "go up" and increase, than to "break it down" into something smaller. I have done some research and development along with consulting over the years and to be honest, where as I excell at physics I really don't have the patience for fractional or proportional math, to me it's like a stupid little game. but to "size up" a formula here are some key notes you may find usefull:

"convert" your formula to gravametric weights-and I mean all ingredients including those teaspoons, tablespoons, and liguid "quart" measurements IE. if a formula calls for 10 whole eggs, convert this to a "scaled weighed amount".

now this is where it gets a little tricky, you have the option of a conversion on a percentage basis of:

a true percent based on the weight of ingredients calculation

a baker's percentage based on the weight of flour

Unbleached All purpose Flour 500 g. 100%

Water                              360 g.          72%

Salt                                      10 g.    2%

Yeast                                        9  g.    2%

TOTAL (Dough)

879 g.

If you know the metric system, your job has just become easier, if not take a pound (16 ounces) and convert to all ounces and fractions of ounces.

do the math and 'break it down" or work it up.

I will be doing a thread in "the Flow" series, concerning Volumetric sizing in relation to aereated creams technolgy, everyone should find that-interesting.

I hope this helps, if you have any more questions just ask.

one other note as the size of the volume in the bowl increases, so does it's aereation qualities, and the intrinsic qualities of the friction factor of the machine used (IE 5 qt vs 180 qt mixer).

Cheers,

Michael

I'll look for the volumetric sizing in your "flow" series. I haven't a problem with the sizing of the formulas -- up or down or imperial (is that right -- you know, the ounces/pounds part) to metric. This is more a "why do cakes sometimes turn out crappy when you make a bunch" question. More like that physics part. Do you need at least x baking powder and scaling up means you need less in total relation to the formula. Is the "big mixer" causing it to over mix/under mix in relation to how you treat it in the "little mixer".

In RLB's Cake Bible she briefly discusses the relation of the amount of baking powder to the surface tension and rise in a say 6" pan vs a 16" pan. Don't have it in front of me, but these are the issues I am questioning. Don't just want to follow her formulas because, 1 her cakes are dry, and 2, what if I want to make one big mean ole carrot cake wedding cake...

Thanks for your help. And, your posts always cause me to think more than I do, and probably not as much as I should....

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In RLB's Cake Bible she briefly discusses the relation of the amount of baking powder to the surface tension and rise in a say 6" pan vs a 16" pan.  Don't have it in front of me, but these are the issues I am questioning. 

I never could make heads or tails of her formulas regarding baking soda, probably because the concept just doesn't make logical sense to me so I've been rejecting the idea! :wink: I suspect though, that it does have something to do with using larger mixers and the fact that they're harder on the batter and require it be mixed a little longer.

I still only have small mixers so whenever I need a lot of a particular recipe I just end up doing it in batches. So sorry I'm no help..... :unsure:

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Hello Cheryl,

In my experience, it is far easier to "go up" and increase, than to "break it down" into something smaller. I have done some research and development along with consulting over the years and to be honest, where as I excell at physics I really don't have the patience for fractional or proportional math, to me it's like a stupid little game. but to "size up" a formula here are some key notes you may find usefull:

"convert" your formula to gravametric weights-and I mean all ingredients including those teaspoons, tablespoons, and liguid "quart" measurements IE. if a formula calls for 10 whole eggs, convert this to a "scaled weighed amount".

now this is where it gets a little tricky, you have the option of a conversion on a percentage basis of:

a true percent based on the weight of ingredients calculation

a baker's percentage based on the weight of flour

Unbleached All purpose Flour 500 g. 100%

Water                               360 g.          72%

Salt                                       10 g.    2%

Yeast                                        9  g.    2%

TOTAL (Dough)

879 g.

If you know the metric system, your job has just become easier, if not take a pound (16 ounces) and convert to all ounces and fractions of ounces.

do the math and 'break it down" or work it up.

I will be doing a thread in "the Flow" series, concerning Volumetric sizing in relation to aereated creams technolgy, everyone should find that-interesting.

I hope this helps, if you have any more questions just ask.

one other note as the size of the volume in the bowl increases, so does it's aereation qualities, and the intrinsic qualities of the friction factor of the machine used (IE 5 qt vs 180 qt mixer).

Cheers,

Michael

I'll look for the volumetric sizing in your "flow" series. I haven't a problem with the sizing of the formulas -- up or down or imperial (is that right -- you know, the ounces/pounds part) to metric. This is more a "why do cakes sometimes turn out crappy when you make a bunch" question. More like that physics part. Do you need at least x baking powder and scaling up means you need less in total relation to the formula. Is the "big mixer" causing it to over mix/under mix in relation to how you treat it in the "little mixer".

In RLB's Cake Bible she briefly discusses the relation of the amount of baking powder to the surface tension and rise in a say 6" pan vs a 16" pan. Don't have it in front of me, but these are the issues I am questioning. Don't just want to follow her formulas because, 1 her cakes are dry, and 2, what if I want to make one big mean ole carrot cake wedding cake...

Thanks for your help. And, your posts always cause me to think more than I do, and probably not as much as I should....

Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, I sending off a bunch of Chocolate formulas to Singapore, it's 12:08am EST.

I will try to answer your questions,

there is always a "safe" zone when it comes to sizing up, on whole cake formulas, one thing you have to understand, is that if the origins were designed for the "consumer” in the first place the volume or mass, prob. wasn't that much to begin with initially. going up in size to let's say a 14, 16, or an 18 in tier may require some "re-engineering" B/C the amount of "structure builders" IE flour in the formula must be bumped up, to support the added weight of baked volume in the pan.

There are a couple of circicular work arounds, and you have already prob. tried some of these at one point or another, one is to actually bake the layers "shallower" less batter in the pan, sandwich more than one vs. "one big layer" IE which for example with carrot cake wedding cakes are tricky to begin with, if you need a superior formula for carrot cake, (actually I have two), one is better than the next it just boils down to your individual tastes, backchannel me and their yours.

The other is to change the bake temp, start higher, and then reduce the temperature in gradual increments over the total bake time for a larger cake.

another "trick" is to use steam injection, this technique work very well on quick breads and muffins, but not to many people know that it can be used on larger wedding cake layers, in the initial up front baking stage as soon as you load up the oven, spritz some water on the sides of the oven, make sure you don't take out your pilot light though, the interaction of steam and heat create an intensive penetrative heat to the core of even the largest baked articles.

I know these are more "exotic" baking methods, AIB, teaches you to think outside of the box, that's prob. why their graduates land mgmt postions in the field, we look at the whole kitten caboodle, when it comes to baking.

just remember to always honor and respect the humble origins of where most "consumer" grade recipes come from, sometimes they simply were not designed to be built out as a huge one piece unified effort, but tweaking can be done.

one other note, the acidulants (IE soda, BP) can effect the batter, but I would discredit these factors here in this topic, surface tension has less to do with a cakes leaving powers than it's ability to rise up within the pan based on variables such as these,I would put more weight on the amount of tenderizers, IE eggs, butter, fats in this instance, see that's what I was tring to get at before, although the Cake Bible is a fine book to be certain, it doesn't address what can go wrong in a commercial venue dealing with a 60, 80, or even a 180 qt mixer.

remember one note also, that acidulant, in a double reacting BP, kicks "twice" once in the bowl and once in the oven. on a larger batch, with more volume, the mixture has a tendency to spin longer because you have more of it to get thru, even in the scaling stage, if it is a larger formula,

my advice is increase the size of the formula, to a "critical mass" stage, that is (this formula will funtion at this batter weight and no more, for this yield); if you indeed have a favorite, beyond that, it's time for retinkering.

Michael

:wink:

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Thank you Michael. I wish I could just spend time taking classes and learning all this stuff -- you are a wealth of knowledge. This is actually for someone else, and I've passed the information along. If more is needed, I'll post again. As for me, right now I don't think I have the courage to bake a HUGE wedding cake at this point in my career...

Much obliged...

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