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Old 13-03-2011, 07:11 PM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

Mark Thorson wrote:

This web site makes the bold claim that most home bakers
cannot make a cake from scratch better than from a boxed
cake mix.

http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cake.html

His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.

He also says that making certain changes to the recipe
on the box results in even better cakes. He cites a
book, _The_Cake_Mix_Doctor_, which agrees with him and
describes some of these methods.

Most of his page describes the experiments he did to
verify the tips in that book, and to compare all of the
boxed cake mixes he could get his hands on. Most of
the tips didn't pan out, but the modifications he
developed worked very well.

I think this will come as a surprise to many bakers,
that making a cake from a box mix gives a better result
than most bakers can achieve from scratch with butter, etc.


Pastorio used to say that consumer surveys would consistently
return rather interesting results in the box vs made from
scratch issue

1 When asked whether they would prefer box or scratch cakes, scratch
would consistently win

2 When boxed vs scratch were blind taste tested, boxed would
consistently win

I don't doubt it, but I'd like to see some real data.

--
Mort

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Old 13-03-2011, 08:00 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

This web site makes the bold claim that most home bakers
cannot make a cake from scratch better than from a boxed
cake mix.

http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cake.html

His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.

He also says that making certain changes to the recipe
on the box results in even better cakes. He cites a
book, _The_Cake_Mix_Doctor_, which agrees with him and
describes some of these methods.

Most of his page describes the experiments he did to
verify the tips in that book, and to compare all of the
boxed cake mixes he could get his hands on. Most of
the tips didn't pan out, but the modifications he
developed worked very well.

I think this will come as a surprise to many bakers,
that making a cake from a box mix gives a better result
than most bakers can achieve from scratch with butter, etc.
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Old 13-03-2011, 08:02 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

Mark Thorson wrote:
This web site makes the bold claim that most home bakers
cannot make a cake from scratch better than from a boxed
cake mix.

http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cake.html

His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.

He also says that making certain changes to the recipe
on the box results in even better cakes. He cites a
book, _The_Cake_Mix_Doctor_, which agrees with him and
describes some of these methods.

Most of his page describes the experiments he did to
verify the tips in that book, and to compare all of the
boxed cake mixes he could get his hands on. Most of
the tips didn't pan out, but the modifications he
developed worked very well.

I think this will come as a surprise to many bakers,
that making a cake from a box mix gives a better result
than most bakers can achieve from scratch with butter, etc.


"MOST" bakers may be the key point. MOST people are lousy cooks in general.
That doesn't mean that a good cook cannot prepare a dish that outshines
something produced in a mediocre restaurant or a boxed mix. If people bake
cakes from scratch using lousy technique, ingredients, recipes, and
equipment, then indeed a box might be better, because it has been
contstructed to be more or less idiot-proof.

I can assure you that I can bake a cake that is better than boxed mixes. I
use cake flour and superfine sugar, I use real butter, and I use the
excellent recipes and techniques found in The Cake Bible and some Maida
Heatter books. I measure precisely. I use good cake pans and magicake
strips. I am careful to remove the cake from the over when it is just done
rather than letting it sit for another 5 minutes to dry out. And so forth.


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Old 13-03-2011, 08:04 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???


"Janet" wrote in message
...

"MOST" bakers may be the key point. MOST people are lousy cooks in
general. That doesn't mean that a good cook cannot prepare a dish that
outshines something produced in a mediocre restaurant or a boxed mix. If
people bake cakes from scratch using lousy technique, ingredients,
recipes, and equipment, then indeed a box might be better, because it has
been contstructed to be more or less idiot-proof.


I've found MOST people to be good cooks in general, but I'm older so
probably a lot more from scratch cooks around me.

Cheri



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Old 13-03-2011, 08:05 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800, Mark Thorson
wrote:

This web site makes the bold claim that most home bakers
cannot make a cake from scratch better than from a boxed
cake mix.

http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cake.html

His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.

He also says that making certain changes to the recipe
on the box results in even better cakes. He cites a
book, _The_Cake_Mix_Doctor_, which agrees with him and
describes some of these methods.

Most of his page describes the experiments he did to
verify the tips in that book, and to compare all of the
boxed cake mixes he could get his hands on. Most of
the tips didn't pan out, but the modifications he
developed worked very well.

I think this will come as a surprise to many bakers,
that making a cake from a box mix gives a better result
than most bakers can achieve from scratch with butter, etc.


As a market researcher of 35 years' experience, I say hooey to the
broad conclusions.

The major flaw is that most folks were raised on mix cakes - doctored
or otherwise - and that sort of taste and texture is what gets
established as the gold standard in the mind of these beholders. Same
reason that McD's usually wins in French fry contests.

Boron
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Old 13-03-2011, 08:54 PM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

On 3/13/2011 10:00 AM, Mark Thorson wrote:
This web site makes the bold claim that most home bakers
cannot make a cake from scratch better than from a boxed
cake mix.

http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cake.html

His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.

He also says that making certain changes to the recipe
on the box results in even better cakes. He cites a
book, _The_Cake_Mix_Doctor_, which agrees with him and
describes some of these methods.

Most of his page describes the experiments he did to
verify the tips in that book, and to compare all of the
boxed cake mixes he could get his hands on. Most of
the tips didn't pan out, but the modifications he
developed worked very well.

I think this will come as a surprise to many bakers,
that making a cake from a box mix gives a better result
than most bakers can achieve from scratch with butter, etc.


My favorite cake does indeed come in a box but it's a frozen Pepperidge
Farms coconut three-layer cake. It's tasty and delicate and the right
size - small. My mom used to buy frozen cakes back in the old days but
it never occurred to me do such a quaint thing. I don't know what the
hell they put in those cakes but I'm pretty much hooked. The lemon cake
is good too. :-)
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Old 14-03-2011, 02:01 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800 in rec.food.cooking, Mark Thorson
wrote,
His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.


It's not that people can't get cake flour, but why bother when they
already have "all purpose"?
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Old 14-03-2011, 02:07 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???



"David Harmon" wrote in message
...

On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800 in rec.food.cooking, Mark Thorson
wrote,
His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.


It's not that people can't get cake flour, but why bother when they
already have "all purpose"?
Janet replies to David: All purpose will make a far coarser cake than cake
flour. If you want a fine cake, use cake flour. If you want to make carrot
cake, or applesauce or zucchini, go ahead and use all purpose. Those cakes
were never meant to have a fine texture.
Janet


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Old 14-03-2011, 02:46 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

David Harmon wrote:

On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800 in rec.food.cooking, Mark Thorson
wrote,
His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.


It's not that people can't get cake flour, but why bother when they
already have "all purpose"?


Because AP has a higher gluten content and will
make a less tender crumb.

--
Mort


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Old 14-03-2011, 03:13 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

Open a box of cake mix and take a sniff. There's a peculiar sweet perfume -
perhaps arsenic?
Polly

"Mort" wrote ...
David Harmon wrote:

On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800 in rec.food.cooking, Mark Thorson
wrote,
His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.


It's not that people can't get cake flour, but why bother when they
already have "all purpose"?


Because AP has a higher gluten content and will
make a less tender crumb.

--
Mort


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Old 14-03-2011, 03:50 AM posted to rec.food.cooking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

On Mar 13, 9:46*pm, Mort wrote:
David Harmon wrote:
On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800 in rec.food.cooking, Mark Thorson
*wrote,
His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.


It's not that people can't get cake flour, but why bother when they
already have "all purpose"?


Because AP has a higher gluten content and will
make a less tender crumb.


I think that David's question was rhetorical, and he, and nearly
everyone who posts here, or even lurks here, already knew what you
wrote. I guess that cake mixes that had only the dry ingredients pre-
mixed might be fine, but I don't think they'd save much work anyway.
Cakes are easy if you follow instructions and use only great
ingredients. The Cake Bible water bath method is pretty fool proof
for the easiest cakes. The cakes where you separate the eggs require
a little know how. Anyone who uses Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker or
Pillsbury cake mixes is worthy of nothing better than ridicule.

--
Mort


--Bryan
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Old 14-03-2011, 04:48 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

David Harmon wrote:
On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800 in rec.food.cooking, Mark Thorson
wrote,
His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.


It's not that people can't get cake flour, but why bother when they
already have "all purpose"?


ISTR, that one can replace 2 Tbsps per cup of flour with
cornstarch to approximate cake flour?

--
Jean B.
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Old 14-03-2011, 05:51 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

On 3/13/2011 4:01 PM, David Harmon wrote:
On Sun, 13 Mar 2011 12:00:19 -0800 in rec.food.cooking, Mark Thorson
wrote,
His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.


It's not that people can't get cake flour, but why bother when they
already have "all purpose"?


I've used cake flour but didn't like the results. You get a finer
texture which I think is proper for a pound cake but not good for a
regular cake. I stopped using cake flour decades ago.
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Old 14-03-2011, 06:14 AM posted to rec.food.cooking,rec.food.baking
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Default Boxed Cake Mix Better Than From Scratch ???

On Mar 13, 4:00*pm, Mark Thorson wrote:
This web site makes the bold claim that most home bakers
cannot make a cake from scratch better than from a boxed
cake mix.

http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/cake.html

His reasons are that the ingredients are better measured,
and they use ingredients that you can't get.

He also says that making certain changes to the recipe
on the box results in even better cakes. *He cites a
book, _The_Cake_Mix_Doctor_, which agrees with him and
describes some of these methods.

Most of his page describes the experiments he did to
verify the tips in that book, and to compare all of the
boxed cake mixes he could get his hands on. *Most of
the tips didn't pan out, but the modifications he
developed worked very well.

I think this will come as a surprise to many bakers,
that making a cake from a box mix gives a better result
than most bakers can achieve from scratch with butter, etc.


Maybe they used lousy recipes for the from scratch cakes. The best
from scratch cake is going to be loads better than a comparable cake
from a mix.



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