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Some technique needed
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Valouth



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 15
Location: Málaga

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:19 pm    Post subject: Some technique needed Reply with quote

Hi everybody! Very Happy

I moved in a few months ago with my boyfriend and as i love baking, i usually make cakes, crêpes etc every couple of days!

But a little problem i didn't have before (in my parent's house) appeared... Now my cakes aren't as spongy as before and they taste diferently... May the oven or the flour be cause?

Thanks,

Valerie
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two ideas. One is-- have you moved to a different city or country when moving in with your boyfriend? The type of flour may be different. Also if you are buying a different brand of flour than your parents that could make your food taste different.

What I think is most likely though, is that your oven is running at a different temperature than your parents'. Especially if the oven where you live now runs a bit hot, the outside of the cakes may be browning faster than you are used to, keeping the dough from rising as high. You could get an oven thermometer or experiment with turning down your oven temperature a bit. Most ovens are not perfectly accurate. Most run a bit hot or a bit cool.

Dory
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Valouth



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 15
Location: Málaga

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dory wrote:
I have two ideas. One is-- have you moved to a different city or country when moving in with your boyfriend? The type of flour may be different. Also if you are buying a different brand of flour than your parents that could make your food taste different.

What I think is most likely though, is that your oven is running at a different temperature than your parents'. Especially if the oven where you live now runs a bit hot, the outside of the cakes may be browning faster than you are used to, keeping the dough from rising as high. You could get an oven thermometer or experiment with turning down your oven temperature a bit. Most ovens are not perfectly accurate. Most run a bit hot or a bit cool.

Dory


Hello Dory!

Yes, i have moved to a different country, i moved to spain ^^ That might be the reason why my cakes aren't the same!! The flour is different and the oven is also diferent, my parents had a great oven, a profesional one, and i baught a small one haha i couldn't buy one like theirs.
The flour i used to buy was that one:

http://www.francine.com/ml/images/content/produits/farines/fiches/farinegateauxf.jpg

And now i am using that one:

http://i53.tinypic.com/205zasw.png

I thought the flour was different, so i changed flour and i baught an other one but unfortunatly it had lots of small bugs in it...
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Valerie,

Both flours are low gluten pastry flours with added leavening (baking powder to make them rise). However, who knows? The grind (texture) might be different. That affects the texture of baked goods quite dramatically. For example, here in the U.S. I bake a lot of cornbread. I try to get the same corn flour consistently (my favorite brand is Bob's Red Mill, which has a fine grind available). However, many people seem to like a mix for making cornbread, where you only have to add an egg and milk. I dislike that, preferring my own recipe. The problem is, my favorite flour has been discontinued at a lot of grocery stores (even natural food stores) in favor of the mix, and often I need to use a different grind of flour-- sometimes even a coarse flour more suited for polenta than bread. When I switch kinds of flour I have to play around with the liquid a lot to get a nice texture, and still my main recipients (my husband's fellow musicians in a group he plays with) complain that the texture is too grainy if I get a coarser grind. With wheat flour the differences in grind are much less dramatic. Almost all pastry four and bread flour, for example, are finely ground. However, even a small difference in texture can make a difference in your final product. Another thing that makes a difference is the amount of gluten in the flour. Although both of the flours you mention are low gluten, the amount can differ from country to country. You should start by experimenting with amounts of liquid in your recipes to see if you can get the same texture of batter that you are used to. Subtle differences make a real difference in your finished product. I am also guessing you moved from France to Spain. If this is true, since both are in the EU, you can easily carry food products from one country to another. You might want to try carrying some flour back to Spain the next time you visit home, and see if your cakes taste more like what you are used to. People used to think I was crazy, and now they probably will again, but although I am from the U.S. and live there now, I lived in France for one year and in Spain for another, teaching English. I was in northern Spain, and used to take the bus across the border, and would carry groceries back home with me on the bus from France to get specific products I liked. A lot of people from the U.S. try to get French flour to imitate the types of products they liked in France. It is hard to get French flour here, but as strange as it sounds I still buy La Baleine sea salt for general cooking and baking, because I prefer the texture to the salt I get here.

Oven temperature also makes a huge difference. I am noticing it, because I, also, am using a small portable oven right now, since my large oven broke (more accurately died) a week ago, and I have not yet gotten a new one. The temperature in my portable oven is uneven, and I am getting different textured baked goods than when I bake in my large oven. Get a good oven thermometer, and check it out and adjust it.

Good luck. I really really love Spain, and would live there again if I could, but it is hard to adjust to life in a new country-- cooking, new language, new food, new culture, everything. Obviously I have done it, but my husband has also coming from South America, and staying in the U.S. for me. It is fun, but the more you find nice things to remind yourself of home, especially in the beginning, the more comfortable you feel. In the beginning I made a big effort to find special South American foods to make him feel at home. Go out and have wine and tapas (sidra-- cider-- and pinchos if you are in the north) on the ruta de vinos in your neighborhood, and I will be with you in spirit.

Dory
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Valouth



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 15
Location: Málaga

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my god Dory that is a great answer you wrote to me! It was a real pleasure to read it.

Above all thank you very much!

About the flour, that's what i thought, bringing it from France but unfortunatly i didn't have enough kilos left in my luggage... I have it baught but it stayed in my flat in Paris!

The flour in both countries taste different, one is more bitter than the one i use in France.

About the oven, well i should try to adjust it, i will cook with a lower temperature.

I am making a cake on saturday, i'll let you know about it!

That's nice to hear you lived here in Spain for a while! I also lived in the U.S, and i went there for Chrismas time, my brother is now living there Wink

I chose Malaga, a beautiful city situated in Andalousia. Here i am used to drink the delicious sweet wine tipical from Malaga, and eat Porra in summer, Polvorones during christmas time and Chanquetes! (As we live by the sea)
Here in Andalousie we don't have the ruta de los vinos but the ruta del aceite virgen!

Hope to hear from you soon Very Happy

Valerie
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Valerie,

How did your cake go over the weekend?

I had another idea. Both types of flour you mentioned are "self-rising" flour-- that is they contain baking powder. When you mentioned that the new flour you are using is more "bitter" than the old one, it occurred to me that it may have more baking powder added. This will take some time, but another possible solution to your problem might be to buy flour that is not self-rising and add your own baking powder to the flour. You will have to experiment with different amounts per volume of flour to find the proportions you like. I personally add more than many people when I invent my own recipes, but that can make baked goods more fragile and give them more of a bitter taste. I do it because I also tend to use a fairly hot oven and a lot of liquid, and the extra boost seems to help.

In Oviedo where I lived years ago, the ruta de vinos was a series of bars that I went to with friends, moving from bar to bar and having a glass of wine and a snack in each. We would often be a little tipsy by the end, and have gotten too full to eat dinner afterwards (although we often did anyway) but we were young and single, and none of us owned or used cars, so who cared. This much wine would be much too much for me now with my boring adult lifestyle. Yes, I was a professional teaching English, but it was my first real job, and my drinking buddies were also single and beginning new professional careers, so drinking was the way to celebrate being adults. You sound like you are young and living in a really beautiful city, so I hope you are having plenty of wine, snacks and fun, (or just snacks and fun if you are not much of a wine drinker) even if you don't do the circuit as much as I did. I haven't been to Málaga, but have heard it is really nice-- more than Oviedo which I love dearly but is a grey city in a grey, damp climate-- so I am envious. We are having an unusually cold winter here in the northern part of the U.S. Even my dog is complaining.

Dory
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Valouth



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 15
Location: Málaga

PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Dory!

Well i finally decided to to make some cupcakes on the weekend, it could have been a success if i didn't add Muscovado sugar... and an old chocolate... but well, about the flour, I added some baking powder and i used a lower temperature.

Next time i should try what you say, i will buy an other flour and try it with and without baking powder!

And you are right, i am young hahaha and i looove wine, the wines here in Malaga are delicious and soo sweet that i can't stop drinking!
Here the climate is so good, we don't have cold winters and we usually always have sun! Can't wait untill summer to get some tan, i lost all of it during winter time!!
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope you have a real baking success soon!

Dory
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Valouth



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 15
Location: Málaga

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hope so too! I am going to buy my first kitchenaid soon, and i am excited to use it!
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I am envious! I have always wanted one but have a small kitchen.

Dory
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I am envious! I have always wanted one but have a small kitchen.

Dory
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Valouth



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 15
Location: Málaga

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally made a Quatre quart:



Here's the recipe: http://chocolateandzucchini.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=32869#32869


Very Happy
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks really delicious. How did you do it? What flour did you use? Were you pleased with the taste of your results? Your picture is beautiful!

Dory
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you dust it with cocoa? Did you still use self-rising flour and just add a little baking powder, or did you switch flours? I am glad to hear your baking is going well.

Dory
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Valouth



Joined: 17 Jan 2011
Posts: 15
Location: Málaga

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dory wrote:
That looks really delicious. How did you do it? What flour did you use? Were you pleased with the taste of your results? Your picture is beautiful!

Dory


Hello Dory!!

Well i didn't change the flour, i used the same one but i changed the oven temperature, instead of baked it at 180 i baked it at 150. I just baught a new flour and i like it better than the one specially made for pastries!
I made a sweet pastry and it was just delicious!!

That's one of the last baking i've made, and i made it with the other flour, i like it better:

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