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Old 03-10-2014, 05:58 PM   #31
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And while it's not as fussy as it seems, small changes can have big consequences. I just helped someone figure out why their favorite family cake recipe was sinking in the middle when they baked it. This was a recipe they'd been battling with for over a decade. Someone along the line had (apparently) switched the measures for baking soda and baking powder. This was a fairly small mistake (one extra teaspoon of baking soda, total) but it just happens that a single teaspoon was enough to make a problem. We swapped the ingredients the other way and the cake baked up with a slightly domed top, instead of a sunken pit in the middle, and with generally the same texture and flavor.
Oh, yes. I never mess with raising agents!

I just meant that some people, both professionals and home cooks (like a relative of mine - no names no pack-drill in case she ever reads this forum!!!)), try to make cake making into a major production that normal mortals must study for years to master. A good cook book and a modicum of common sense and most people can crack it.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:26 PM   #32
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If you get too creative with baking powder or baking soda your cake will have a nasty bitter after taste. There's a well-known self-raising flour on my side of the Pond which always makes cakes taste nasty due to too much bicarbonate of soda in the raising agent mix. Bleuch!
Good point. You are absolutely right about strong flavors, such as bicarbonate of soda. It can enhance, or it can ruin a recipe. I was simply pointing out that along with ballancing ingredients to create the right leavening for the result you're looking for, one also needs to be concision of the flavors that the leavening agents produce.

A pinch of baking soda neutralizes the acidity in a tomato sauce. If too much is added, you lose the fresh flavor that comes from good tomatoes. But if your sauce is too sour, you can make it "sweeter" but adding the alkali, baking soda. It's a balancing act to be sure. And that's true whether your baking, barbecuing, frying, any kind of cooking. The flavors must work together, as well as the ingredients working to make a great dish. I've also found that sugary sauces will dry out a piece of meat like paper towel absorbs a small kitchen spill.

Again, it's all about knowing how ingredients work together.

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Old 03-10-2014, 07:29 PM   #33
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Just to add to the confusion, there is a difference in size between "weight measure" and "dry measure". You don't measure flour in the same size cup as you measure liquids. Yes, they are almost the same size, but not quite.

Here's a link to a chart to help with converting recipes: Cooking Equivalent Measurements, U.S. vs. Metric vs. Imperial (U.K.) Measures, Substituting Cooking Measurements, Dry Measurements, Liquid Measurements

68 years old and I never knew that!
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:16 PM   #34
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Just to add to the confusion, there is a difference in size between "weight measure" and "dry measure". You don't measure flour in the same size cup as you measure liquids. Yes, they are almost the same size, but not quite.
I don't know about Canada or the UK but in the US, wet and dry cups measure the same volume. The only difference is that the dry measure cups are designed to be topped all the way up.

I guarantee they measure exactly the same.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:42 PM   #35
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I don't know about Canada or the UK but in the US, wet and dry cups measure the same volume. The only difference is that the dry measure cups are designed to be topped all the way up.

I guarantee they measure exactly the same.
I agree with you Steve. Every time I have bought measuring cups, I check to make sure they measure correct. Dry vs. Wet. And they come out as exact same amounts in both cups. Same with spoons.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
I don't know about Canada or the UK but in the US, wet and dry cups measure the same volume. The only difference is that the dry measure cups are designed to be topped all the way up.

I guarantee they measure exactly the same.
So, you are saying that flour, sugar, etc. are actually measured in liquid cups as opposed to dry cups?
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:28 PM   #37
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So, you are saying that flour, sugar, etc. are actually measured in liquid cups as opposed to dry cups?

I think the point is that dry and liquid measuring cups measure the same amounts. It's difficult to get an accurate measure of a dry ingredient in a wet measuring cup because of the difficulty in getting a level surface in a wet cup.

Dry cups are made to fill and level off so you can measure consistently. Liquids are self-leveling so the wet cup works.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:39 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I think the point is that dry and liquid measuring cups measure the same amounts. It's difficult to get an accurate measure of a dry ingredient in a wet measuring cup because of the difficulty in getting a level surface in a wet cup.

Dry cups are made to fill and level off so you can measure consistently. Liquids are self-leveling so the wet cup works.
Yeah, I just thought that the dry measuring cups measured in dry measure. That's what I was told in home ec, back when there were dinosaurs. It really wouldn't surprise me if the teacher was wrong.
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:42 PM   #39
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there is a recognized "dry measure" system.

pints, quarts, barrels, etc.

it is not "exactly" the same as liquid measures.

it is also rarely used anywhere any more

and cookbooks on my shelf dating to the 19-aughts define one cup as 8 fluid ounces.

historically "the cup" is a cantankerous measurement.
it has been standardized to mean eight fluid ounces - of flour, air, concrete, whiskey, milk, whatever.

>>there is a difference in size between "weight measure" and "dry measure"
no, and simply because there is no such thing as "a cup by weight measure"
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Old 03-11-2014, 02:43 PM   #40
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I think the point is that dry and liquid measuring cups measure the same amounts.
Yes, thanks, Andy. That's the point I was trying to make. A cup is a cup, and is the same volume regardless of whether you're measuring liquid or dry ingredients.
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