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 Post subject: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:06 pm 
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Saggy Butt
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I bought this book yesterday at Borders (went there to get vegan diner but they didn't have it), partly because I can't resist a beautiful vegan cookbook. Well, after looking through it and noting the recipes I want to try, I noticed that they called for 1/4 cup of vanilla extract (including the donuts, which is what I wanted to try the most). So then I looked at the other recipes and most call for at least 2 tablespoons vanilla extract. The German Chocolate cake called for 1/3 cup, and the 6 layer chocolate cake called for 1/2 cup! How can anyone possibly afford to use that much vanilla extract in one recipe? I'm not gluten free so I dunno, is this standard? Do other gluten free baking recipes call for that much vanilla? I figure it must be to cover the taste of the gluten free flour and xanthan gum, but damn that's a lot of vanilla! I might try making something though, like the donuts, and using less vanilla, just to see how they come out before I return the book. Think it's worth it?


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:20 pm 
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that's got to be a misprint. I don't think anything takes that much vanilla, ever.

But I want this book too!

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:22 pm 
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I would DEFINITELY not use that much vanilla. What I heard about their last book is that they didn't really do a good job scaling the recipes down to single batches and this seems like an error in scaling too. I've never seen a single batch of anything call for more than a tablespoon of vanilla, so I really don't see how this could be correct.

I just looked on their amazon page and there is a recipe for cookies that calls for 3 tablespoons of mint extract to 1.5 cups of flour. thats gotta be a mistake, too. i have no idea how this problem happened.

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Yeah, at first I thought they just forgot to scale it down, but on every recipe? And I checked the reviews on amazon and saw no mention of that, so I thought it must be normal. Anyway, I left a comment on babycakes blog, hopefully they'll answer. I hope it is a misprint, because otherwise there's no way I can afford to make anything from the book.

Oh, and in the celeb reviews on the back, Mark Bittman says the donuts are the best he's had in 20 years! I wonder if he actually made them or just had them from the bakery, because I've heard that the recipes don't come out as good as the actual babycakes bakery stuff. Also there's a recipe for madeleines.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Wow. I always double the amount of vanilla I put in anything, but that's insane! Is there some kind of spiel in the front about how they're using some kind of different, 'all natural' extract instead of normal vanilla essence or something? That's all I can think of. Because that would be a huge oversight if it's an error.

I have the first book and most things I've tried have been too expensive for the end result to be worth it. I guess I'll have to look through this one before I decide if I want it.

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:13 pm 
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lavegan wrote:
Yeah, at first I thought they just forgot to scale it down, but on every recipe? And I checked the reviews on amazon and saw no mention of that, so I thought it must be normal. Anyway, I left a comment on babycakes blog, hopefully they'll answer. I hope it is a misprint, because otherwise there's no way I can afford to make anything from the book.

Oh, and in the celeb reviews on the back, Mark Bittman says the donuts are the best he's had in 20 years! I wonder if he actually made them or just had them from the bakery, because I've heard that the recipes don't come out as good as the actual babycakes bakery stuff. Also there's a recipe for madeleines.


i've had them from the bakery. I like mark bittman, but he's wrong about the donuts. they are baked and tiny. There is really nothing special about them.

also...every single recipe is so crazy. i cannot imagine how that's correct and if it is, i guess that explains why their stuff is expensive? but i've never noticed and overwhelming taste of vanilla and i've seen giant jugs of vanilla in their store and they are using regular extract. very very weird!

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:39 pm 
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1/4 c vanilla? In a regular recipe? Keep us updated if you hear from them. I am intrigued. I would never use that much. That is a lot of extra liquid, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Jesus, you could get drunk (and broke!) off that much vanilla. Be careful!


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:42 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
I just looked on their amazon page and there is a recipe for cookies that calls for 3 tablespoons of mint extract to 1.5 cups of flour. thats gotta be a mistake, too. i have no idea how this problem happened.


Three tablespoons mint and two tablespoons vanilla. That does seem off somehow.

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:05 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
i cannot imagine how that's correct and if it is, i guess that explains why their stuff is expensive? but i've never noticed and overwhelming taste of vanilla and i've seen giant jugs of vanilla in their store and they are using regular extract. very very weird!


that's my theory, that they use inordinate amounts of vanilla to cover up the taste of gf flours and that's why they're so popular - because their stuff doesn't taste gluten free. or that's what I'm assuming, I haven't had their stuff or really anything gluten free, so I wouldn't know if it's better than other gf stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:14 am 
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Erinnerung wrote:
Wow. I always double the amount of vanilla I put in anything, but that's insane! Is there some kind of spiel in the front about how they're using some kind of different, 'all natural' extract instead of normal vanilla essence or something? That's all I can think of. Because that would be a huge oversight if it's an error.


They mention that they use Singing Dog Vanilla, which they say is 'so flavorful and so pure', so I wouldn't think it's weak enough to merit using that much. Even if it was, it's still more expensive than regular vanilla so I still couldn't afford to use it. Regardless, you'd think they would put something like "yes, we really use this much vanilla."

also, I found some of their old recipes from the first book and they call for 1 or 2 tablespoons of vanilla. so, still a lot but I don't know if any call for as much as 1/4 cup.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:50 am 
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Wow, I could as well bake my cakes with gold then. Vanilla extract is very expensive over here. And I think personally, I'd refuse to use that much vanilla even if it was cheap.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:20 am 
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Yikes!! Although I have to say, I have their first cookbook and still haven't made anything from it because..well, I'm not GF and while I suppose in an absolute sense I could afford to cook everything with coconut flour, coconut oil, tons of soymilk powder, etc., I've heard things don't come out well from that book and while I'll splurge for good ingredients sometimes, I get really cranky if the recipe doesn't turn out. This is why I don't make much out of "Sinfully Vegan." (all that maple syrup, and then my cake has pastry spongiform encephalopathy) I've had better luck with JOVB, VCTOTW, VCIYCJ, Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, etc. Please let us know if you make anything!! I thought about giving them a second chance, but not if all the quantities are THAT wrong...

And lurking cookbook authors: if you use some really weird seeming quantity of an ingredient but it's that way for a reason, it'd be great to see an explanation in the recipe blurb. I think the most recent instance for me was the dulce de leche cookies in Viva Vegan - I googled around for nonvegan recipes to compare and eventually concluded that yeah, the 1.5 cups of cornstarch probably was right, and in general I've never had a problem with typos in a Terry book, but a clarification would've been fantastic.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:21 am 
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lavegan wrote:
ijustdiedinside wrote:
i cannot imagine how that's correct and if it is, i guess that explains why their stuff is expensive? but i've never noticed and overwhelming taste of vanilla and i've seen giant jugs of vanilla in their store and they are using regular extract. very very weird!


that's my theory, that they use inordinate amounts of vanilla to cover up the taste of gf flours and that's why they're so popular - because their stuff doesn't taste gluten free. or that's what I'm assuming, I haven't had their stuff or really anything gluten free, so I wouldn't know if it's better than other gf stuff.


i bake gluten-free and i never use that much extract. ever. i would stick to just a tbsp or two. i think 1/4 of a cup is ridiculous.

gluten-free flour combinations don't taste odd to me (although uncooked bean based flours taste gross), but that's probably because i haven't had glutenous flours in a while. i took my brother and sister to babycakes this past year when we were in ny visiting my brother. my sister had no clue what she was eating was gluten-free, and she loved their donuts and cupcakes. my brother told me he only eats their donuts. he says he can't go back to regular donuts since babycakes. i'm a big fan of their donuts, although i think their cupcakes could use a little spiffing up. but that's just me. they make great coffee cake and donut balls, too. best donuts i've had in all my life though - even pre-vegan and pre-gluten-free days.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:31 am 
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I went to amazon to read the reviews and it looks like all the positive ones were posted on the day the book came out. Which I'd guess means that those people either haven't tried the recipes or were testers and maybe it's just a huge misprint.

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:51 am 
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Sounds like their 2nd cookbook is going to be as shitty as the first.

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:56 am 
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I really liked their donuts! They aren't very donut-y, but they are delicious, little cake rings. My friend has the book and made the donuts and they tasted pretty similar to the ones in the store.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:32 pm 
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So, I emailed them a few days ago and never got a reply. No reply on the blog either. Guess I'll be heading over to amazon to leave my 2 cents.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:02 pm 
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hmmmmm... I've been wanting to bake their stuff for a while, but when I pull the recipes out I get all freaked about how much the ingredients cost. While we're on the subject, what gluten free baking book to you guys find to be, um, thriftier? And, yes, that's seems like a butt-load of extracts. To me it makes stuff taste medicinal.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:08 am 
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chinadoll13x wrote:
hmmmmm... I've been wanting to bake their stuff for a while, but when I pull the recipes out I get all freaked about how much the ingredients cost. While we're on the subject, what gluten free baking book to you guys find to be, um, thriftier? And, yes, that's seems like a butt-load of extracts. To me it makes stuff taste medicinal.


The Allergen-Free Bakers Handbook by Cybele Pascal! The flours will still be expensive (though I use regular brown rice flour, not the superfine she calls for) but she doesn't use tons of coconut oil and agave, so it's a little cheaper. And the recipes, you know, work. So that helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:57 am 
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I have made her chocolate chip cookies, and brownies from her first book and pineapple upside down cake from the second. Everything has been absolutely amazingly delicious. And yes, I did use the 1/4 cup vanilla. I even took the pineapple upside down cake to work, and didn't tell a soul it was gluten free and vegan, and it was gobbled up. They didn't believe me when I told them afterwards. I am quite pleased with Babycakes Covers the Classics, and I'll probably buy her first book at some point too.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 11:08 am 
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3 Tbsp of mint extract seems horrifying to me. That stuff is strong! I thought most recipes that used it called for like 1/8 or 1/4 of a teaspoon.

And 1/2 a cup of vanilla in the cake recipe? How many regular-sized bottles would that be? This is so weird.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 7:22 pm 
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happyfaced wrote:
lavegan wrote:
ijustdiedinside wrote:
i cannot imagine how that's correct and if it is, i guess that explains why their stuff is expensive? but i've never noticed and overwhelming taste of vanilla and i've seen giant jugs of vanilla in their store and they are using regular extract. very very weird!


that's my theory, that they use inordinate amounts of vanilla to cover up the taste of gf flours and that's why they're so popular - because their stuff doesn't taste gluten free. or that's what I'm assuming, I haven't had their stuff or really anything gluten free, so I wouldn't know if it's better than other gf stuff.


i bake gluten-free and i never use that much extract. ever. i would stick to just a tbsp or two. i think 1/4 of a cup is ridiculous.

gluten-free flour combinations don't taste odd to me.


I agree, I don't think they're using that much vanilla to cover up the flavour of gf flours, but I have no idea why 1/4C is needed.

I just got this book too, it's gorgeous and I'm looking forward to making the Wonder Buns + the donuts but we don't get Bob's flour mixes here (we have a few of the individual flours but not the mixes) so I'm worried I won't have a lot of success which will be similar to what happened for me with the first book, my cupcakes failed but the brownies were awesome.

And there is a twitter account for the cookbook if you want to ask a question and they used to publish answers on the website too, but after checking, it looks like the questions from the old book.

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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:46 pm 
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I saw their twitter, but I figured since I emailed them and asked on their blog and still hadn't gotten a response, I wasn't going to bother. But they finally did reply a week later, saying that it's not a misprint. So... yeah, I still have the book because I want to try making something but I've been busy with school. the bob's stuff is on sale here so I'm going to try making some cookies or donuts and hope they come out good with less vanilla. if not, it's too late to return the book anyway, so I'll just look at the pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: Babycakes Covers the Classics
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 11:36 am 
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The Plain Cake Donut recipe is in the Daily Candy email today!! I'm so excited to try this, but I'm really glad I saw this thread, because I wouldn't have noticed that it calls for 1/4c of vanilla until I was most of the way through the recipe, and I definitely don't have that much vanilla at the moment. I would think it would taste of alcohol or medicine-y? Did you ever hear back lavegan?

I think I might try this recipe, but I'm going to cut the vanilla to 1TBS at the maximum.

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