How To Reduce A Cake Recipe?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by helpwanted, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    Hello All, 

    I am looking for ways to effectively reduce/downsize cake recipes from the usual 8-12 servings to 2 servings. 

    I've been testing this so far and I've had some good success but of course not as good as the original recipe, as far as taste goes.

    My most challenging part is reducing the EGG! 

    Since a standard large egg is about 3 Tbsp (I've measured it out myself) I'm able to reduce it by measuring out tablespoonfuls but the cake tastes a bit "eggy" because of the yolk, as I beat the egg before I measure it. 

    Has anyone successfully done this before? If so, (or even if not) what are your thoughts on how I can approach this?

    Not to sound rude but I'm not interested in freezing batter, freezing half the cake for eating later, etc. 

    I'm looking for ways to effectively reduce cake recipes to make a mini or smaller sized version of the original version. 

    I'm open to any and all advice. 

    Thank you!

    Jenise
     
  2. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Have you considered using mostly egg white, like angel food cakes or a modified genoise? I am curious as to why you would want to reduce the cake recipe for only two servings? It seems hardly worth turning the oven on. 
     
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  3. panini

    panini

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    @helpwanted,

    I don't scale down that far in recipes. But I hear ya about the eggs. I don't know if this will work and I only know the product because I buy it for my 94 yr old dad. I'm thinking if you purchased some liquid eggs. I think I get great value or something in a small container at walmart. It seems to be a very homogenous mixture. It might be easier to measure without getting to much whites or yolks. Just a thought.
     
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  4. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Panini's answer is a good one.

    I just have a couple of comments.

    I have no doubt that you are picking up an eggy aftertaste just wondering if it is the eggs and not your measurements.

    Do you also taste this strong egg aftertaste when baking a regular size cake?

    What I am getting at is the normal cake recipe has broken yolks in it also.

    Have you tried replacing your carton of eggs?

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  5. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    @flipflopgirl  Thank you for your answer. I think the "eggy" taste may be coming from the strong yolk presence. When I mixed the egg before measuring out in Tbsps, I noticed that the whites was more clumpy and the yolk was more fluid, not homogeneous. So I think when I'm measuring out, I'm getting more yolk then white. When I use eggs in a regular recipe, I have no problems with eggs taking over the flavor of the cake. The eggs I used at the time of testing were fresh. 
    @panini  Thank you for the recommendation. I'll look into how to bake with liquid eggs. I just stated above about the eggs not being homogeneous when I beat them before measuring. I'll definitely consider it, thank you. 
    @chefwriter  Thanks for taking the time to answer. I've noticed that some of the small batch cake recipes I've found use only egg whites so I'll consider it. I want to reduce cake recipes because I'm single and I don't want to bake a big 'ol cake just for me. However, I love cake and I love baking so making a petite version of the grand version is better for me. I get to enjoy the same taste without wasting the excess. 

    Thank you all for your help. If you have any more advice I'm open. 
     
  6. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    If you will add a bit of liquid to the egg before whisking you will find the white and yolk blend together better.
    Just a little tho and don't use any that is meant for the batter.
    HTH

    mimi
     
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  7. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    @flipflopgirl  Hi mimi, I will definitely give that a try. When you say "a little" do you mean something like 1/4 tsp per large egg?

    And when you say "don't use any that is meant for the batter" what do you mean, exactly? Don't use any of the liquid eggs for the batter?

    Thanks again, 

    Jenise
     
  8. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Measure out all of the ingredients for you recipe and set aside.
    Then obtain a half tsp of milk or water or even booze from a different source, toss into the whole egg and whisk.
    You will only be using half of the egg so the extra liquid is not a big deal.


    Did that make sense?

    mimi
     
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  9. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    @helpwanted  I was thinking about the task you have undertaken (my OCD kickin' in lol).

    IMO converting to scale measurements (oz and gms) would make your job way easier than using volume (cups and tablespoons) measurements.

    Another tip... if you have hit a wall and the scaled down recipe wont behave just move on..

    Many cakes are really difficult to adjust (scale down or up) and most of the time it will the pH and the leavenings that are to blame.

    IMO not worth the time and money involved to "fix".

    mimi
     
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  10. panini

    panini

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    @helpwanted,

    @flipflopgirl,

    Isn't OCD a great thing! I was thinking about this yesterday. I'm in complete agreement with mimi in converting to oz or gms. I was also thinking that since most cake

    formulas are wet to dry, just maybe you could scale out the full  formula, then scale it down and possibly freeze the other portions for later use.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
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  11. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    @Panini are you advising a bulk style "homemade" cake mix?

    Then all @helpwanted  would have to do when the mood for cake strikes is measure out her mix and add the egg and liquid?

    Awesome suggestion /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif.....

    I may need to borrow a bit of your OCD sometime.

    It seems yours is worse (or better depending on the proverbial half glass of water) and has once again pulled the rabbit out of the hat!

    mimi
     
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  12. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    This is the wisdom that, generally, has been found to be immutable.  If I were to try changing history, though, I'd be experimenting with a complete dry mix (one that includes dried egg) and only needs water/milk to form a batter.
     
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  13. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    @helpwanted  if you go with @panini  and his idea there are multitudes of different ways to flavor and customize your little cake.

    Depending on your mood..... experiment with extracts and oils, maybe a bit of dutched cocoa (is darker and stronger in flavor so a tiny bit goes a long way... won't mess up the wet/dry ratio) maybe some citrus rind...on and on.

    Someone here on CT was looking for a recipe for a bulk mix last week and I remembered the Old Betty Crocker cookbook having one but I imagine you could find any number of recipes available online.

    Tip... before committing  to any one recipe bake one and see if it works.

    mimi
     
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  14. helpwanted

    helpwanted

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    @flipflopgirl   Yes, this makes perfect sense, thanks! 
    @flipflopgirl   I've been thinking about it too! ;) Thanks! This may be easier, you're right. I have a kitchen scale and converting would be easy. 
    @panini  this isn't a terrible idea, actually. Especially if I get a workable formula for say, a vanilla and chocolate cake, and adjust when flavors when needed, how @panini  recommends. 

    By "scale out" do you mean to double or triple it the recipe, to make the bulk mix?
    @flipflopgirl  yes! I agree, this is a wonderful idea! 
    @BrianShaw   they make dried egg?!!!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif  what you say! I have never heard of this! How would I bake with this? Would I use it like regular egg? Does it behave the same way?   I'm going to have to go on a google search for this. this might be a breakthrough for me. 
    @flipflopgirl  thanks mimi. I plan to do just that. 

    Thank you all again, for all of your help! This is wonderful! I'm learning so much.