without using a recipe? I have been thinking about doing this lately as at my age I should be able to. So here is how I would do it.
get out 2 blocks of un or semi choc. Melt in micro or over boiling water.
Get a bunch of flour, sift, measure out 2 C resift again, then sift again with 1/2 t salt and 1t ea soda and baking powder.
mix chocolate with 1/3 to 1/2 C of softened butter. Beat in 2 eggs and 1 t vanilla or other flavoring. Add milk (2/3 to 1 C?) Mix two mixtures together starting and ending with flour mixture.
Pour into prepared 9" pans. Bake at 350º for 30 min or till done.
Does this sound right? Correct me or post your own recipe but remember no peeking at a cook book or online!
Nope. Didn't you leave out sugar? I'd use the standard creaming method where the sugar and butter are beaten till creamy, then the chocolate, eggs, and vanilla are added... then the dry ingredients stirred in in increments w milk* [*ETA the milk part].
I think if you add the chocolate to the butter, you'll get a texture more like brownies than cake.This message has been edited. Last edited by: nettiejay,
I find that baking requires precise measurements and following directions to a tee on a recipe for best results. (Perhaps because I don't bake a lot?) I am also careful where I source recipes.
Several times in the past I tried to improvise or wing a baking recipe from memory, and the awful results taught me a hard lesson.
I agree with Nettie. The sugar and butter need to be beaten together first, then add the wet ingredients except milk. Then alternate the milk and the dry ingredients.
I wouldn't use melted chocolate either. I'd use powdered cocoa as part of the dry ingredients.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
I can't even address an envelope from memory. I sure wouldn't want to try to bake a cake...LOL!!!
I have made enough Waldorf Astoria cakes from scratch that I could do it without the recipe, but as for any cake, I always refer to my source.
Baking requires fairly precise measurements. If you know the proper proportions of wet, dry, levenings and fats then you can work from there.
Yep, I sure did and I know for sure that is a cake ingredient!
I think I'll try mine but will include the sugar! I'll let you know how it tastes.
I'm thinking that all those slaves that slaved in the south and didn't know how to read sure must have made some delicious cakes, so I think it is possible.
There were plenty of illiterate people all over this country and the rest of the world who learned to cook from standing beside their grandmothers and mothers as they scooped a handful of this and a pinch of that...along with the verbal instructions of what to substitute when the cow ran dry or the hens quit laying.
I watched my grandmother measure with a Vienna sausage can.
Perhaps if I had a big family and baked as much as they did when my mother was growing up and before, I might give it a try. As it is, I still pull out my trusty recipes for biscuits or cornbread and visually check off the ingredients. If I'm going to leave anything out, it'll be the salt. Cornbread without salt - blech! I've learned - a recipe for me is the first necessary ingredient.
Does this hat make my butt look big?
I don't bake enough any more to do a scratch cake without referring to one of my recipes. But I like to alter them & add my own touches. I even add things to box cake mixes...keeps it interesting and I've developed some delicious cakes/deserts that way.
Example, a yellow box mix...add butter nut flavoring & pecans to the cake...add butternut flavor to the icing and pecans & cinnamon or something else. Add redhots...add different flavors. Make a can of vanilla icing into maple by adding flavor....
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Nope not in my kitchen!
Need the written recipe and all ingredients out on the counter. Plus, all the measuring cups and spoons.
I always check and cross-check the actual ingredient and the measure before dumping into mixing bowl. Each item is then moved to another spot so hopefully no mix-ups or duplicates of salt, soda, powder.
But yes to scratch cakes w/ recipes!
Good Luck with your recipe!
~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
Did once...it was dry/disappointing!!!
Don't know about slaves - but that is probably why pound cake was so popular.
Beau's Rose - That is me. If I get too cocky about a recipe that I know by heart - more than once I've left something out.
No, but I have sometimes written recipes down very simply like "butter/sugar", "add dry", "add sour cream", "350 30 min".
Which means that cream butter and sugar together. Mix all dry ingredients together and add to butter and sugar mixture. Then you add sour cream. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
I know enough to know the steps so I can use "shorthand" to tell me the directions.
But baking is a science and it isn't a little bit of this and a pinch of that -- too much baking powder will turn out an inferior product for example. You need the right mix of fat, flour, liquid to produce a good baked product.
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I am with Beau's Rose, I need the recipe and I doublecheck and I don't want anyone in the kitchen talking to me when I bake. They confuse me. Mother cooked for ranch hands, our family and the rancher's family. She never used a measuring cup, just her hands. When we brought my MIL to meet Mother, she made shortcake for strawberry shortcake. Mom Luijt, loved it so, asked for recipe. Well, after MIL went to bed, Mother and I went into the kitchen and measured as best we could and wrote out a recipe for Mom L. Mom L never knew that we had done that, was just happy Mother would give her, her recipe. Year's later, when MIL passed, youngest son threw out all her recipes. I rescued those that weren't dirty but none of the hand written ones.
Save Planet Earth, it is the only Planet with chocolate!!
Interesting, Lady of shallot, tonight I participated in doing just as you say, baking a cake without a recipe. I volunteer with a group of teenage girls, and tonight we tried to bake a cake without a recipe just for fun. There were 13 girls and they each contributed an ingredient. They all decided amongst themselves how much of each ingredient to use, and which order they should go into the mixture.
I have to say it turned out much better than I thought it would. It was completely edible, although a bit "unusual" in that it was heavy and kind of damp with crispy edges. It was a fun experiment anyway. The girls loved doing it. I was actually surprised that for girls in jr and sr high school they knew quite a bit about what goes into a cake.
Once I attended a wedding shower where the hostess had the bride.to.be mix and bake a cake from scratch without any recipe or help. The hostess had all the necessary ingredients set out ...but also a few that are not normally in a cake...yeast, cornstarch,etc.
The bride told us she had never made a cake from scratch before but actually, it came out tasty and edible......all the guests had to have a piece as part of the fun.
yesterday I made a tea bread and I took the cheap muffin mix Martha White, I think is the name, and put blueberry muffin mix and lemon poppy muffin mix together with a bunch of fat blueberries and a egg,dab of oil (1/4 c.)1 1/2 c milk mixed it all up and cooked for 40 min and it was the best tea bread ever.I don't like that mix but when other ingredients are added, it is nice. The price is only .80 cents ea., so in a pnch it is great!This message has been edited. Last edited by: flboy,
What a great project, Cocok! Cooking is a wonderful activity to interest young people in. That is why I always cooked with my DGS & DGD (and now she is asking me for recipes!)
I think the success you and Fiboy and Jeepdaria mention is what I was getting at. I think at my age I should be able to bake a cake with no reference to a recipe. I have had about 60 years of reading them and that should mean something!
Can't wait to hear the result you get.
I've baked a long time, too... About 52 years, since I took over the bulk of the Christmas cookie duty from mom. I love baking, but can't afford the calories anymore. Don't get to do enough of it.
I too think I could wing an edible scratch cake. But the science of it... Especially the leavener part and how it interacts with the other acid/base ingredients... makes me think it wouldn't end up nearly as delicious as an oft-tested, accurate recipe followed to a T.
Yep, only because there are a few things I have made so many times that I know them by heart.
New York Style Cheesecake
Blueberry Crumb Cake
Scottish Shortbread...which has to be the easiest thing ever, Flour, quality butter and sugar.
I agree. Even though my mother, who has been gone for 37 years now, had a college degree, I don't remember her EVER reading a recipe book or even having one for that matter.
She learned to cook from her mom and her aunts who were much older due to her mother's first marriage in Sicily. I still have some handwritten notes from 1973 on how she cooked certain dishes. They are endearing to read.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
Although I was not paying particular attention to the show, today on Martha one of her guests was a lady who had written a book about cooking without recipes. She said if you have a basic knowledge of cooking principals you could cook just about anything. Having said that, a few weeks ago I attempted to make a single serving of a shortcake -- it came out like a brick. Definitely needed a recipe.....or Bisquik ;-)
Here's the link:
http://www.marthastewart.com/8...ain-and-legume-saladThis message has been edited. Last edited by: MyLifeVacation1,
Speaking of which...I am in hea-ven tonight! I pulled out my teacake recipe and made them. I don't know how long it's actually been but I can't remember making them since husband and I married over 14 years ago. He's not much on "plain" cookies.
The recipe came from my home ec teacher. Her daughter stood beside her mother and as grandmother scooped, pinched, and splashed granddaughter measured the ingredients.
These things are light, fluffy, AND delicious.
A couple of years back while I was subbing at high school, one of the kids asked if I had an old-fashioned teacake recipe. He made them several times and told me each time...didn't bring any to share, but he did tell me. LOL
Does this hat make my butt look big?
Here's the thing... There's a huge difference between "cooking" and "baking".
Baking is science.
Cooking is creativity.
BIG difference.This message has been edited. Last edited by: nettiejay,
Oh, I haven't had tea cakes in forever!!! I don't think I've ever tried to make them. That was Mama's thing. What a treat to walk in the door and smell them fresh out of the oven.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Years ago when my brother was to be married, at a family shower for his fiancee - the hostesses set out all kinds of shelf ingredients plus milk, eggs, butter and water for the bride to be on a table with a stand mixer and utensils. The honored bride was to put together a Waldorf Astoria cake batter without a recipe.
(Her wedding color was burgundy.)
She did beautifully and this activity started off the party. The cake went to the oven to bake at her choice of direction and the hostesses served each guest a small piece with the other refreshments - it turned out great.
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