I think after each annual Austin cake show I participate in, I'm allowed to be a little turned off of cake decorating afterward. This year I'd really like to practice baking cakes from scratch. Now that I'm officially on maternity leave (no baby yet, but at least off of work), I'm already getting bored and got that "itch" to bake. Must ... eat ... cake ... the baby demands it! I'm jumping on the scratch cake bandwagon for a couple of reasons.
For Christmas my brother bought me Rose Levy Beranbaum's Cake Bible, which I've seen a lot of cakers swear by. Is it wrong for the only bible in my nightstand to be the Cake Bible? It's got a lot of great scientific information and explanations of methodologies, which appeals to the geek side of me.
On CakeCentral.com, I've have heard talk that Duncan Hines has reduced their cake mix sizes from 18.25 oz down to 16.5 oz, which is the same size as the Betty Crocker mixes. I usually buy Duncan Hines for all my cakes, but if the store is out, I'll get Betty Crocker. I've noticed with the BC mixes that I'm always one cupcake shy of 2 dozen! I never had that problem with DH. I figured this was a good sign that I shouldn't rely so heavily on box mixes. They're not sturdy enough for my liking when decorating them with fondant. By the time I'm done slicing the cake, it's all a crumby mess.
Last but not least, the recent Austin cake show/competition had King Arthur Flour sponsor the tasting competition portion. The winners got great prizes, and I ended up getting a free box of King Arthur cake flour from the leftover sponsorship materials. Hopefully they'll be back next year, and I'll be ready for them!
Expect my next few posts to be about my Adventures in Scratch Baking!