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Help me increase my baking skills


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Home Cooking 9

Help me increase my baking skills

Honey Bee | May 9, 2007 07:31 AM

I am trying to elevate my baking skills beyond the box cake mix. I made one cake this week and it was okay, but not great. I made some rookie mistakes. I plan to make another cake on Thursday night for my bubby to take to work on Friday and hope to get some feedback from more experienced bakers.
I plan to make a devil's food cake with peanut butter icing filling and a fudge icing exterior (all recipes from the King Arthur cookbook). Here are my questions:

1. Cake flour versus regular flour. I know the difference is the protein content, but am not sure which to use. On my last cake I used cake flour and it was pretty crumbly, but light. But will regular flour make the cake too dense? Can you use half and half?

2. My last cake was a little dry. I think it was overbaked despite the fact that I cooked it a few minutes lesss than the suggested bake time. I used new caphalon pans that are darker than my old pans. Does this affect the time or temperature I need to use?

3. I usually make good icing, but this is my first attempt at a fudge icing that you pour over the cake. The recipe does not call it a ganache, but it seems similar. Will I have success using this on a "filled" cake? I worry that the sides won't get covered and I'll have exposed peanut butter middle. My back up plan is chocolate butter cream.

Thanks for your help. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

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