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Old 02-08-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
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A question for our bakers

When I want a lemon flavored cake, I want to taste the lemon. Same with a spice or orange. So you add the right extract, why add vanilla also? I don't want a vanilla tasting cake, I want an lemon tasting cake. Every recipe I have ever seen says to add both.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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If you do not like it don't add.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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Addie, in my cakes, the only flavours I add vanilla to are chocolate, coffee and spice cakes. This is because the earthiness of the vanilla brings out the main flavour. I don't use a lot, just maybe a teaspoon in a regular layer cake. I actually use vanilla paste or beans a lot, but extract works well too.

As for flavours using extracts - almond, peppermint, etc. I don't use vanilla. For citrus flavours I use natural extracts or oils, zest and usually pour a syrup over made with natural juice (lime, lemon, orange), sugar and water right after the cake comes out of the oven (much like you would a lemon loaf.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
If you do not like it don't add.
True, but there must be a reason why all recipes tell you to add both.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #5
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If you really want to taste lemon, add some zest along with the extract (or just skip the extract altogether).
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
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Here's a decent lemon cake recipe that doesn't use vanilla and uses a glaze. I will find my recipe too if you like. Or post yours for me and I will be able to tell why they call for vanilla and what you can do to it.

Glazed Lemon Chiffon Cake
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:22 PM   #7
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In cakes, vanilla compliments the flavor of the flour. I agree though that it isn't necessary in every cake. I personally don't care for vanilla in fruity cakes, especially those with citrus, or berry flavors. I, like you, want the primary flavor to be the citrus, or berry, or apple, or whatever.

Think of cakes as giant pancakes. If you want vanilla in your pancake batter, with a bit of extra sugar, then go for it. But if you're going for blueberry flavor, omit the vanilla altogether, and maybe even crush some of the blueberries and swirl into the batter.

The vanilla is there to add richness to the cake flavor. It's essential in a yellow cake, or angel food cake, but not so in a strawberry cake.

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Old 02-08-2013, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
If you really want to taste lemon, add some zest along with the extract (or just skip the extract altogether).
I know that. By why add the vanilla extract also?
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPBeier View Post
Here's a decent lemon cake recipe that doesn't use vanilla and uses a glaze. I will find my recipe too if you like. Or post yours for me and I will be able to tell why they call for vanilla and what you can do to it.

Glazed Lemon Chiffon Cake
Thank you. C&P.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
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True, but there must be a reason why all recipes tell you to add both.
You know, after I said not to add vanilla I thought there there must be a reason why most recipes and that is including all the Russian recipes I have call for vanilla or vanilla sugar.
Interesting question.
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