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Old 02-06-2017, 04:48 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, 06:41 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, 07:13 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, 07:26 PM   #4
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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, 07:29 PM   #5
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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, 07:46 PM   #6
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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!
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, 08:23 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, 08:29 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, 08:38 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, 10:26 PM   #10
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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.
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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Old 02-07-2017, 06:07 AM   #11
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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?
Sorry, I didn't see this last night. I think I'll try it another way, just to experiment, to see how it goes. My master gardener group is conducting a new master gardener class this year and it takes place from 9 am to noon two days a week. We "seasoned" gardeners provide a morning snack, so I want to make it a little more "breakfasty," with extra orange flavor. So I don't mind changing up the flavor profile some.

I think I'll experiment this weekend and give some to my neighbors before I sign up for hospitality next week.

Oh, it's a Nordic Ware Honeycomb Pull-Apart Dessert Pan. I got it through Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-H.../dp/B006DH4OWY
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:27 AM   #12
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Do the neighbors realize they are guinea pigs for your tryouts?
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:32 AM   #13
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Uh oh CG. Watch out. She is feeling much better.
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Old 02-07-2017, 06:39 AM   #14
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Do the neighbors realize they are guinea pigs for your tryouts?
Not yet
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:52 AM   #15
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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.
Or possibly coffee flavouring/essence if you want the flavour? You'd use less so there wouldn't be too much colour transference.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:01 AM   #16
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Or possibly coffee flavouring/essence if you want the flavour? You'd use less so there wouldn't be too much colour transference.
I can do without the coffee flavor. I'd rather bring the honey and orange flavors more forward, as well as achieve a lighter color.
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Old 02-07-2017, 10:45 AM   #17
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You could also use triple sec to bump up the orange flavor. We almost always put a little triple sec in french toast batter, just gives it a little something extra.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:18 AM   #18
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You could also use triple sec to bump up the orange flavor. We almost always put a little triple sec in french toast batter, just gives it a little something extra.
The recipe calls for rye but I used Grand Marnier. It did give an excellent flavor
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:20 AM   #19
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Question about substitution in baking

I dunno, GG. I think your cake looks beautiful. I'd happily dive into it.

No suggestions, but I'm not a baker.

Grand Marnier would be a wonderful flavor.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:45 AM   #20
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The recipe calls for rye but I used Grand Marnier. It did give an excellent flavor
Yeah, I just realized that when I looking at the 2017 baking thread.

Something had been nagging me in the back of my mind about the ingredients in this cake. Finally popped into my head. Do you all remember that Spiced Tea mix that used Lipton instant tea, Tang, cinnamon, cloves and I don't remember what else. I know there was 1 or 2 more spices, maybe nutmeg or ginger? And maybe lemonade mix? It was really popular in the early '70s, maybe late '60s I think. My mother absolutely loved that stuff and I got to drink it hot and cold. That was 1 recipe I didn't get from my mother because I never wanted it again since she overdosed me on it. It might not be so bad now though. I'll have to ask my aunt if she still has it cause she kept mother's recipe box since I already had the ones I wanted from it.

A cup of that hot tea might go well with this cake, or it might be overload because of the similarities.
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