• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
SweetSide

Multiplying Cake Batters

10 posts in this topic

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!


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


check out my baking and pastry books at the Pastrymama1 shop on www.Half.ebay.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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....


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...


Cheryl, The Sweet Side

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Gunnsr42
      Hello foodies. Tell us what work of art you're cooking for your meals these days. 
    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Hi all! I'm trying to perfect my lemon bar recipe, which is from my grandmother's Purity cookbook with all sorts of notations and changes she made. It's perfect in terms of flavour and the pâté sucree base works exactly as it should, but the topping is coming out too fluid.
       
      The topping is 3C sugar, 1/4C lemon juice, the zest off of those lemons, 1tsp baking powder, 6 eggs and 2C coconut.
       
      What can I do to firm it up a bit, so that it stays put once I cut the bars? Would cornstarch or tapioca flour do it?
       

    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      by David Ross

      I was pushing my shopping cart through the aisles of Yoke’s Supermarket on a recent “Fresh Friday,” when a spritely-sounding young woman announced over the public address system, “Attention shoppers, attention shoppers, two minutes until the next Cakewalk, two minutes.” Frozen with suspense and the anticipation of winning one of Yoke’s chocolate crème de menthe cakes, I stood pat on the number 36 yellow flower pasted on the floor in front of me. I wasn’t going to budge off that number 36 -- I wanted a cake. While I waited to hear my number called, I was overcome with a sense of nervous anxiety --the same emotion I had felt as a young boy waiting to win a cake when I was seven years old. I wondered why a boyhood fascination with winning a cake still left me with such a deep, lasting hunger some 47 years after I first danced a Cakewalk.

      What was it that tugged at my heart, telling me to delve deeper into the meaning of the Cakewalk? Why did I sense that there was an underlying truth I hadn’t discovered as a child? The only way I could unveil the mystique behind my relationship with this odd little dance to win a cake would lie in retracing the footsteps of my childhood, setting forth on a quest to discover the history of the Cakewalk.

      + + +
      We moved to Salem, Oregon from The Dalles, in the Summer of 1964, when my Father, Edgar Ross, accepted a position at the Oregon Department of Agriculture in the Commodity Commissions Bureau. My parents settled on a ranch-style, three-bedroom home on the corner of Ward Drive and 46th Avenue in the new community of “Jan Ree” Gardens. Our lot was bordered by new homes on two sides and to the East was a field of Blue Lake bush beans that would soon be consumed by the encroaching development. Mother and Father shared a few details about our new home. It had a second bathroom, a wood-paneled living room and an unfinished family room that my father promised would have a metal wood stove. But they kept one little secret from my sister and me until we were a block from our final destination on the day we drove to Salem -- our new house was next door to the grade school. I didn’t know whether to feel good or sick at the thought of living next door to the school where I would spend the next five years.

      Hayesville Elementary School was typical of the architecture of grade schools built in the early 1960’s-an L-shaped, non-descript building painted in drab green and grey. The assembly room, cafeteria and administrative offices anchored the building with the classrooms jutting out from the principal’s office. I started the school year in Mrs. Rhonda Sample’s second grade class. She was young, blond and attractive, totally unlike the spinster vision I had of the teacher that awaited me at my new school. The highlight of the school year was the annual “Open House at Hayesville.” Students showcased their talents, dazzling parents with displays of frogs and snakes in aquariums, samples of cursive writing on paper chains hung over the blackboard and paper mache busts of historic American figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. Mothers and fathers could take a tour of the gleaming, stainless steel kitchen where Mrs. Fox prepared our hot lunches each day-warm, billowing cinnamon rolls dripping with powdered sugar frosting and her buttery, oven-fried chicken. But the most anticipated event of Open House at Hayesville was the annual Cakewalk Raffle -- a silly fun dance around the classroom. The winner won a cake and the proceeds went to fund other activities at school.

      We cut footprints out of colored construction paper and pasted them in a large circle on the spotless, pink vinyl-tiled floor. Each “foot” was given a number from one to twenty. Red, white and blue streamers were tacked on the outer walls and then brought to the center of the ceiling to define the center point of the cakewalk circle. When the room was ready, Mrs. Sample turned on the lights and opened the door, welcoming a parade of Mother’s who pranced into the room carrying Tupperware cake caddies, Pyrex baking dishes, glass cake domes and disposable aluminum trays coddling their precious cake creations.

      Three long tables were placed against the wall and covered with proper linen tablecloths. The tables served as the stage upon which the cakes would strut their stuff. The chorus line of cakes went on and on through the annals of cakedom-Chiffon, Angel Food, Devils Food, Sponge Cake, Pound Cake, Marble Cakes, Chocolate Torts and Jelly Rolls. There were cakes garnished with coconut, dusted with nonpareils, frosted with peanut butter, sprinkled with peppermints, and dotted with spiced gum drops. I entered the Cakewalk over and over until I won, seemingly always at the end of the evening when very few of the best cakes were left on the table. While Mother’s “Burnt Sugar Cake with 7-Minute Frosting” was good, it would be a total embarrassment in front of ones classmates for a kid to choose the cake made by his mother. No, should I win the Cakewalk and should it still be available, I would choose the Spiced Praline Crunch Cake made by Bernie Bennett’s Mother.

      The historical importance of the Cakewalk wasn’t a part of Mrs. Sample’s second-grade curriculum at Hayesville in 1964. Living in the Pacific Northwest, we were insulated from the racial struggles of the South at that time. I was a young white boy in a middle-class American family. I led the colorful life of a kid, yet I lived in a country that saw only shades of black and white.

      Only three years before my second grade, in the Spring of 1961 the Freedom Riders set out on a campaign to test the Supreme Court Ruling that upheld the segregation of blacks and whites at bus depots, waiting rooms, lunch counters and restrooms throughout the South. The Freedom Riders were met with ignorance and violence. African-Americans couldn’t drink from the same water fountain I drank from. I never knew.
      + + + The Cakewalk played an important role in the history of America -- a long-forgotten chapter that tells the story of the struggles forced upon the enslaved, who in spite of their burdens rose above the oppression of race and found a new form of the expression of freedom.

      The seeds of the Cakewalk were sown in the segregated deep South sometime around 1850, as a parody of the way plantation owners escorted their ladies into a formal ball. The women wore long, ruffled dresses of silk and glass beads with long, white gloves that reached above the elbow. The gentlemen were outfitted with top hats and tail coats. Couples pranced and paraded into lavishly decorated ballrooms, arm-in-arm in high-stepping fashion, marching into the center of the party, often to the music played by a banjo-strumming fiddler who worked in the fields.

      The winner of the dance contest sometimes won a cake presented by the master of the house, leading many to think this is where the name the “Cakewalk” comes from.

      African-American slaves who watched the proceedings took the dance on as their own in the yards outside their shacks, mocking what they saw as the frivolous customs of the plantation owners. According to the oral histories of slaves and their descendants, the Cakewalk was a marriage of traditional African tribal dances and rhythms combined with the dance steps of the upper classes. When the land barons and ladies saw the slaves dance, they missed the satirical element entirely, but the popularity of the Cakewalk had been established among the elite and it now transcended the boundaries of class.

      Wealthy farmers went on to sponsor competitions between plantations and the dance moved to large cities in the South and then to the East where it became a staple of traveling minstrel shows and ultimately to Vaudeville, the lights of Broadway and throughout Europe.

      On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with these humble words, “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” Inspired by the renewed freedom gifted to them through Emancipation, a freedom that allowed them to express themselves openly through dance and music, African-Americans led a creative revival that would usher in new forms of dance and music that had never before been seen or heard. The artistic contributions of former slaves and their descendants would forever change the creative landscape in America.


      From this humble beginning in the sweltering, humid heat and back-breaking work of picking cotton, African-American artists penned the notes of a new from of music called ragtime that would eventually evolve into jazz. It was the Cakewalk, unintentionally and ironically, that crossed the bounds of race and class status as it burst into the popular consciousness of America By the 1890’s, African-American actors, dancers and musicians had started forming their own production companies and staged versions of the Cakewalk became all the rage.

      Scott Joplin, (1867-1917), was an early musical pioneer of the Cakewalk style of music. Known as the “King of Ragtime,” Joplin wrote and performed in the style of rag—a combination of dance and marching music entwined with the “ragged” rhythms and soul of African music. One of Joplin’s most famous pieces was “The Ragtime Dance,” (published in 1902), that included a Cakewalk:

      “Turn left and do the “Cakewalk Prance, Turn the other way and do the “Slow drag, Now take your lady to the World’s Fair and do the ragtime dance. Cakewalk soft and sweetly, be sure your steps done neatly.”

      The vaudeville team of Mr. Egbert Williams and Mr. George Walker were two of the first African-Americans to take their musical show on the road in a grand scale. Crowds packed into The New York theatre in 1903 for 53 stunning performances of song and Cakewalk dances in William’s and Walker’s new production “In Dahomey” -- the first all-black musical to be performed on a grand scale in a major Broadway venue. After its raging success in America, “In Dahomey” crossed the Atlantic, performing for seven months of standing-room-only audiences at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London before returning to New York.

      By the turn of the century, Americans were moving off farms and into towns and cities in record numbers. Ragtime music transformed into a new genre called “Jazz,” with emerging talents like Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington playing at the Cotton Club in New York.

      By 1930, the public fascination with dance theatre began to fade as America was lured by the intrigue of other forms of entertainment like talking motion pictures. But the early concepts and the heritage established by the Cakewalk endured throughout the twentieth century and into the 21st, namely, as a contest to raise money at church socials and school functions. The Cakewalk also delivered new words into the American vocabulary-“take the cake,” and “it’s a real cakewalk,” are terms used to refer to something that is “the best,” or a job easily done. Cakewalk software is a cutting-edge firm today that produces award-winning digital audio and recording software to the music industry.

      + + +
      I’m nearing my 54th birthday in November, some 46 years removed from my second-grade class. I had been lost until that Cakewalk at Yoke’s, yet now I’m found. I’ve learned a lesson in respect through the Cakewalk -- a lesson that taught me how emancipation allowed the enslaved to express themselves through music and dance. A lesson that freedom is an unalienable right bestowed upon all Americans. I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the place that this little ditty we call the Cakewalk plays in the history of America, opening our eyes to a world that was color blind.

      I found my personal truth in the Cakewalk -- a truth far richer and deeper than the dreams of a boy winning a cake.

      * * *
      David Ross lives in Spokane, but works a one-hour plane ride away. When he's not tending to his day job -- or commuting -- he writes about food and reviews restaurants. He is on the eGullet Society hosting team.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By shain
      Makes 40 cookies, 2 loaves. 
       
      50-60 g very aromatic olive oil
      80 g honey 
      120 to 150 g sugar (I use 120 because I like it only gently sweet) 
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons of fine lemon zest, from apx 1 lemon 
      230 g flour 
      1 teaspoon salt 
      1 teaspoon baking powder 
      75 g lightly toasted peeled pistachios
      50 g lightly toasted almonds (you can replace some with pine nuts) 
      Optional: a little rosemary or anise seed
      Optional: more olive oil for brushing
       
      Heat oven to 170 deg C.
      In mixer (or by hand), mix oil, honey, sugar, lemon, egg and if desired, the optional spices - until uniform. 
      Separately mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. 
      Add flour mixture to mixer bowel with liquids and fold until uniform. Dough will be sticky and quite stiff. Don't knead or over mix. 
      Add nuts and fold until well dispersed. 
      On a parchment lined baking tray, create two even loaves of dough. 
      With moist hands, shape each to be rectangular and somewhat flat - apx 2cm heigh, 6cm wide and 25cm long. 
      Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden and baked throughout, yet somewhat soft and sliceable. Rotate pan if needed for even baking. 
      Remove from tray and let chill slightly or completely. 
      Using a sharp serrated knife, gently slice to thin 1/2 cm thick cookies. Each loaf should yield 20 slices. 
      Lay slices on tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 10-15 minutes until complelty dry and lightly golden. 
      Brush with extra olive oil, if desired. This will and more olive flavor. 
      Let chill completely before removing from tray. 
      Cookies keep well in a closed container and are best served with desert wines or herbal tea. 
       
        
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.