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Don't use boxed cakes. - Page 2

post #31 of 55
Thread Starter 

I getcha.  You have a business, and you've got to do what's best for it.  I got to thinking about "design" cake makers, and I suppose they have a similar dilemma.  I'm sure a portion of your clientele are aware of the difference.  Funny thing, just now I was watching "Fabulous Cakes" on TLC, and they offered the client 'taste tests' of different flavor options.  I assume you do something like that.

 

I do think in a restaurant setting, the experience there would be different.  Their buying for themselves and for one, not for dozens.

post #32 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevelopingTaste View Post

I get tired of 'chefs' saying they use boxed cakes.  They stink.  A good pound cake (I use a sour cream one) from scratch or a hot milk sponge cake from scratch is SO much better!!! 



Re-reading what I originally wrote, I completely understand how aggressive that was written.  I apologize to you all.  I'm sorry for my rudeness, and hope to remove the offense.

post #33 of 55
Its all good, and for the record, all of my in house cake and pastry for sale per piece is and always will be from scratch and it will be as long as i yave a say in it, alot of this debate also goes back to the utilization of the resources at hand, labor that is there for a paycheck, not to create a stellar product, resources spead too thin, its a sign of the market these days and the economy, and those who are surviving, making tough decisions to keep customers coming through the door.
post #34 of 55
DT, don't apologize for starting what I find to be an interesting discussion. I am the type of person who enjoys hearing differing opinions and their reasons. Some do take offense when others don't agree, but that's not me. Whether you guys see it or not, depends on what tone of voice you decide to give me. So much is lost when all of our senses aren't allowed to participate.

But I digress...

I actually got Friday off last week, so I took the wife to dinner. Very rarely do we get to go out for dinner. Went to a nice place, not super high end, but still spent $100 for an app, two entrees, four beers, and a dessert. Upside down Apple pie. The pie was definitely pre-fab. Not just the crust, all of it. The frozen thaw and serve kind. They nuked it for a minute, doused it with chocolate sauce, drizzle of caramel, and topped with about a half pound of mixed nuts. I was totally disappointed( with this thread fresh in my mind of course). Wife said it was just fine and told me to stop being a snob. Honestly, back off of the nuts and chocolate so that I can taste the rest and present it attractively, and I would say good enough. This could have been a knock your socks off dessert if a skilled chef was using all his focus to create something special. Alas, the dessert menu was uninspiring compared to the main menu, and the cook who plated our dessert was only there for a check. ( As Tracy just mentioned, this is what we have to deal with. Cooks get very meager wages and for the most part, you try what you pay for.)

As great as it would have been to have an expertly prepared desert, all I really ask, is that you choose a quality product and do something special with it. Unfortunately, there are many chefs and owners who just don't care and see dessert as a way squeezing another $7 out of you. If our clientele deems this acceptable, few chefs will bother changing. Look at owners obsessions with tightening the belt and trimming the fat and I fear many chefs will give up trying.
Edited by Sparkie - 3/13/12 at 6:45pm
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #35 of 55

YOu brought up another of my pet peeves, sparkie.  Sometimes i get a simple but good desert made in a restaurant, but then someone in the kitchen squirts a bottled chocolate sauce over it in some ersatz nouvelle cuisine style, and the flavor of the chocolate is so very much out of a bottle that it ruins the whole thing.  (In rome, this would be for a lava cake or a panna cotta - there are few deserts available anywhere here that are actually made on site).  Leave off the crappy sauce.  You wouldn't put a bottled bechamel on something would you???  I wouldn;t anyway!

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #36 of 55
Thread Starter 

Thanks Sparkie,

 

I love interactive discussions;  I learn so much more that way. 

 

I would be interested to hear from anyone who tries the Sponge Cake recipe; pro's and con's. 

post #37 of 55
Might consider imported 100% Italian Bechamel! rolleyes.gif
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #38 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post

Might consider imported 100% Italian Bechamel! rolleyes.gif


Refering to the desert you tried the other day, or to go on the Sponge Cake?  I'm not familiar with that sauce/topping. 

post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post

Might consider imported 100% Italian Bechamel! rolleyes.gif


Yeah, parmalat puts one out and blaaaaaaaaaaa!

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #40 of 55
Sorry DT, that was just a bad joke. Bechamel is one of the mother sauces in French cuisine. Essentially it's thickened milk with a touch of nutmeg and used as a base for cream sauces. Italians make it a bit thicker( at least the ones I know) and sometimes include parmesan cheese( not the ones I know). It is one of the essential ingredients for lasagna.
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #41 of 55

It is true. I think the general publics taste for cake has become commercialized and their palates are used to a overly sweet spongy cake as you get from a box mix. Also holds true for Chefs/Cooks not practiced in Pastry Arts that have to provide for their kitchen. Now, "Boxe" cakes...I do not see the kitchen making much profit from these as the margins will much too close for comfort. PS...learning a great deal from all of you, love this forum.

Kelly

post #42 of 55

The last time I checked ,  this was/is a free country and anyone is allowed to eat and bake whatever cake they like...

 

I don't understand,  what is the big deal ?  I am not a chef,  but i can do what most pastry chefs can do,  and I bake both scratch and boxed cakes.

 

So what if others prefer the box over the scratch ?  It will not hurt my pride or ego if they want the box and not the scratch,  as long as they are shoving it down

 

their throats and not mine,  yours or anyone  else's.. right ???   really !!!  some scratch bakers don't do a great job in baking cakes from scratch anyway.  So

 

consider the box cake a life saver,  it was created for a reason.  Give it a rest already.


Edited by Prettycake - 3/16/12 at 11:19pm
post #43 of 55

Have a very nice day  ya'll peace.gif

post #44 of 55

Thanks for sharing, swamped at work right now, will try soon

post #45 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prettycake View Post

The last time I checked ,  this was/is a free country and anyone is allowed to eat and bake whatever cake they like...

 

I don't understand,  what is the big deal ?  I am not a chef,  but i can do what most pastry chefs can do,  and I bake both scratch and boxed cakes.

 

So what if others prefer the box over the scratch ?  It will not hurt my pride or ego if they want the box and not the scratch,  as long as they are shoving it down

 

their throats and not mine,  yours or anyone  else's.. right ???   really !!!  some scratch bakers don't do a great job in baking cakes from scratch anyway.  So

 

consider the box cake a life saver,  it was created for a reason.  Give it a rest already.




You're free to do what you like, but i'm free not to go to a restaurant that has what i consider a lousy cake.  If a restaurant cook doesn't make a good cake from scratch, then they should learn to bake or expect that people might not buy their deserts.   The box cake was created for a reason, of course, to make money.   

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #46 of 55

At work I have never used a boxed cake (nor at home). But this is just me. But if any other baker wishes to use a boxed cake then based on free will, each one has the right to their own way of making cakes. I cannot judge.

 

This reminds me of the time I used canned beets for a borscht once. Boss asked last minute for this soup and I had only two hours to prep .....when all was said and done someone came into the kitchen said the soup was nice  and asked if the beets were fresh or canned.......mortified......I uttered the words , " Canned "......

I have made far too many cakes in my life , if someone walks into my kitchen , you can be sure of what word I am going to answer if they ask. But again, thats just me.

 

The boxed cake was designed to make money, to cut time as well. Boxed cakes sell for .99 cents in the grocery store......commercialism.

 

@ Prettycake: this discussion on cakes is without prejudice, please know that opinions are given, there is no right or wrong answer, just thoughts.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
Reply
post #47 of 55

If people who chose boxed cake paid for this cake with their hard earned money,  then that is their business.  I am not an advocate of scratch cake only,  nor  am I anti boxed cake.

 

It always boil down to  : "To each its own". ..   why wave a big red flag on someone's face.  Too many "nannys"  already.  

post #48 of 55

I often wonder if customers can tell the difference from a made from scratch or box mix.  They just want a decorated fondant cake that is so thick with frosting that would make any cake taste horrible.  At least, they will not pay for a made from scratch that used better ingredients.  These cake contests shows on TV uses premade cakes that I am sure is not made from scratch to hold up all of those decorations.  So, for those bakery owners to even make a profit, they must do what they can.  That is why I go to those small bakeries or diners that make simple everyday cakes that you can just taste butter, and good old butter frosting

vale
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vale
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post #49 of 55

It's interesting to read the differing points of view on here.

 

I HATE the synthetic taste of most cake mixes (as available to the home baker here, and yes, we do have lots of our own brands as well as Betty Crocker, et al!)  Perhaps this is why I am never going to be someone to buy a ready-made cake at a supermarket, for instance.  I have bought cakes from smaller bakeries, where I know they make their cakes/buns/breads from scratch.

 

Another thing:  the thick buttercream 'frosting'/fondant type covering so loved in the USA is not so popular here, so maybe that doesn't help as there isn't loadsa icing to mask the chemical-ly taste? :D

 

I should also state:  I see to be VERY susceptible to tasting 'chemicals' in processed foods - so I am merely stating my OWN point of view, here!

post #50 of 55

I, too, can taste these chemicals.  I've done blind taste tests as well.  It often happens that someone makes brownies or a cake and brings them somewhere and i taste the chemicaly flavor - and i ask if they made these - and they never have.  I guess lots of people can't even taste the artificial sweetener in diet coke and other stuff like that.  For me it might as well have dish detergent in it, i find it sickening.  And there's always a whiff of chemical almond extract in the brownies and other mix products, as well as an oily mouth feel.  It's like those science fiction shows where there is a parallel universe that SEEMS just like ours but something just isn't right. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #51 of 55

I'm glad that my chemical 'sensitivity' is not unique, Siduri!

post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel View Post

I'm glad that my chemical 'sensitivity' is not unique, Siduri!



Don't worry,  you were born normal  biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbounce.giftalker.giflol.gif

post #53 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post

Sorry DT, that was just a bad joke. Bechamel is one of the mother sauces in French cuisine. Essentially it's thickened milk with a touch of nutmeg and used as a base for cream sauces. Italians make it a bit thicker( at least the ones I know) and sometimes include parmesan cheese( not the ones I know). It is one of the essential ingredients for lasagna.


Hmmm.....this is new to me...always loved the lasagna's I've made or the one's my mother did (though mom would use cottage cheese).   Hard question to ask, because you've not tasted ours, but if you've had 'good' lasagna's without it, does it make a noticeable difference in flavor improvement?  

post #54 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtisPNW View Post

Thanks for sharing, swamped at work right now, will try soon



Your welcome!  I would just love to hear from you after trying.  :)  

post #55 of 55
DT, you can find some interesting bechamel/ lasagna banter here:

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/64232/do-you-prefer-baked-ziti-or-lasagna-and-why

I don't want to derail this topic, so when I've got some more time, I'll PM an answer to your question.
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
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