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Old 02-06-2017, 03:48 PM   #1
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Question about substitution in baking

I recently made a honey cake with orange flavoring, including orange juice and zest and Grand Marnier (instead of the rye). Here's the recipe: Majestic and Moist New Year's Honey Cake recipe | Epicurious.com

It tasted great, but it came out darker than I wanted. I'd like it to be a lighter golden honey color. I think it was the coffee, and maybe the brown sugar, that made it dark.

Next time, I plan to use light brown sugar. I'm wondering what would be a good substitute for the coffee. Maybe a half cup each of orange juice and milk? Or a half cup each of orange juice and water? What would you do? TIA.

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Old 02-06-2017, 05:41 PM   #2
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Wouldn't the acid in the orange juice curdle the milk? OJ and water sounds like it would work. Just make sure you have the same total amount of liquid the recipe calls for. How about a very weak coffee? There are a plenty of flavorings with the spices and orange juice. It looks like the coffee is added strictly for color as they also add strong tea as an alternate to the coffee. If you continue to use the dark brown sugar, the molasses in it should be adding some of the color to the cake. Without the coffee and with the brown sugar along with the coloring of the spices, your cake will be a shade or two lighter than in the picture.
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:13 PM   #3
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I'm thinking that the 4 teaspoons of cinnamon might be the biggest contributor to the dark color. Maybe subbing tea would also make the color a bit lighter. I would definitely go with light brown sugar too.

Oh and that looks fabulous! That pan is awesome!
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
Wouldn't the acid in the orange juice curdle the milk? OJ and water sounds like it would work. Just make sure you have the same total amount of liquid the recipe calls for. How about a very weak coffee? There are a plenty of flavorings with the spices and orange juice. It looks like the coffee is added strictly for color as they also add strong tea as an alternate to the coffee. If you continue to use the dark brown sugar, the molasses in it should be adding some of the color to the cake. Without the coffee and with the brown sugar along with the coloring of the spices, your cake will be a shade or two lighter than in the picture.
Thanks, Addie.
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I recently made a honey cake with orange flavoring, including orange juice and zest and Grand Marnier (instead of the rye). Here's the recipe: Majestic and Moist New Year's Honey Cake recipe | Epicurious.com

It tasted great, but it came out darker than I wanted. I'd like it to be a lighter golden honey color. I think it was the coffee, and maybe the brown sugar, that made it dark.

Next time, I plan to use light brown sugar. I'm wondering what would be a good substitute for the coffee. Maybe a half cup each of orange juice and milk? Or a half cup each of orange juice and water? What would you do? TIA.

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I pulled up that link for the recipe GG, and that is a dark colored cake, forsure. And IMHO, I'm thinkin' that if you make too many subs, you'll take away from the entire cake, ya know? It sounds heavenly. IMHO, all those "warm" spices, the brown sugar and tea or coffee is making it a darker cake, but that seems to be the flavor profile. IMHO, I wouldn't change a thing, it looks so cute and even inviting, love that pan you used... what is it? Where'd ya get it?
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bakechef View Post
I'm thinking that the 4 teaspoons of cinnamon might be the biggest contributor to the dark color. Maybe subbing tea would also make the color a bit lighter. I would definitely go with light brown sugar too.

Oh and that looks fabulous! That pan is awesome!
Thank you, bakechef. It's gorgeous, isn't it? I couldn't resist. Since we started keeping bees last spring, I've become a little obsessed with bee gear 🍯 🐝 🍅

I appreciate your suggestions. I can definitely cut back on the spices, which will also emphasize the honey and orange flavor.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:23 PM   #7
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I seriously considered getting that pan to share with GD and still might. It's really cool. Def LBS. I'd also consider amaretto ? and/or weaker coffee. Her mom, our DD, LIKES USING HONEY INSTEAD OF REFINED SUGAR. Sorry for caps, just realized I used them.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:29 PM   #8
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Thank you, bakechef. It's gorgeous, isn't it? I couldn't resist. Since we started keeping bees last spring, I've become a little obsessed with bee gear 🍯 🐝 🍅

I appreciate your suggestions. I can definitely cut back on the spices, which will also emphasize the honey and orange flavor.
I say that it's a fair trade off, honey and orange, YUM!
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:38 PM   #9
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Oh, to explain, there's a place in central Florida where Craig can get honey really cheap because the main product they are going for is beeswax. His work route goes thru there at least every third month and he gets a quart for us and DD.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I seriously considered getting that pan to share with GD and still might. It's really cool. Def LBS. I'd also consider amaretto ? and/or weaker coffee. Her mom, our DD, LIKES USING HONEY INSTEAD OF REFINED SUGAR. Sorry for caps, just realized I used them.
I love amaretto - that's a great idea 💡

I've only made a cake in this pan once so far, but I was thrilled with how easily it turned out - I mean flipped out onto the cooling rack. No sticking at all - whew!

Since you can get honey for a good price, I'd go for it. Pre-portioned baked goods are always a good thing, yes?

Btw, DH wanted to get bees to help ensure good pollination of our garden. So for us, honey is a fabulous by-product
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