I have 400 cupcakes to make tomorrow and a 50# bag of AP flour at my disposal, recipes call for cake flour, can I use the AP without dire circumstances? Also thinking of substituting concentrated beet juice for red food coloring for red velvet cupcakes ... Any thoughts?

  • Posted by: Aliwaks
  • February 13, 2011


innoabrd February 16, 2011
Its also important to NOT put aluminium utensils in the dishwasher. I assume it's a chemistry thing (making a battery with the other metal in there in an acidic environment?) but they'll come out with a terrible grey tarnish and require more than just a quick scrub to remove.
ChefDaddy February 15, 2011
Aliwaks-I like the idea that you did a reduction of the beat water for tinting. That's great thinking. As far as the grey tint after creaming, this is actually a common problem due to the paddle mixer (s) are usually aluminum ( I think). If the paddle has been sitting along time they get a tarnish that can be removed with a good soapy scrub. Also, If you think about it creaming butter and sugar can be like sandpaper to a certain degree and if you creamed too long this also can happen. I first discovered this happens while making a bechemal sauce in an aluminum sauce pan and can happen while making anything with aluminum material. I also once ended up with a cheese cake that had some grey-ness to it.
Aliwaks February 15, 2011
So they came out pretty good...not RED but with a definite red tint... took beet cooking water & reduced it to a syrup. The biggest issue I had was with the stupid mixer that I was so excited about. It turned my butter/sugar gray whilst creaming!!! WTF... I cleaned it myself, following strict serv safe principles... I think it's because some wear at the bottom of the bowl...really unfortunate Chef Daddy...whadda ya think?
ChefDaddy February 14, 2011
Don't use a recipe that you would have to sub. the a/p flour in. Use a recipe that calles for a/p flour. Good luck
Aliwaks February 13, 2011
You guys are awesome!!! AP it is ... Thank goodness I will remain in budget! Think I'll do a test batch with the beet juice, was planning to reduce it down, I'll let you know.. Yes 400 is a lot of cupcakes!! But it's for 2 separate work events, 1 of which is a baby shower hence the search for alt/natural food coloring and will have commercial kitchen to work out of (with a convection oven & a great big Hobart mixer). I'll let you know how it works out.
Sadassa_Ulna February 13, 2011
The one time I use beet food color iy came out yucky brown.
innoabrd February 13, 2011
I'm all for the AP flour. I very rarely use cake flour. And, I like my cupcakes SOLID. As for the food colouring, just wondering, is is possible to get red food colouring made from cochineal in the US? Would be natural (though unacceptable to strict vegetarians...).
Sundayinthekitchen February 13, 2011
whoops, i posted the wrong link! i was just looking at the interview with wolfgang puck, which is totally unrelated but also kind of awesome so you should all check it out if you'd like to know what he's cooking at the oscars this year :)

for ap / cake flour info tho, go here: http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2009/09/how-to-make-cake-flour/
Sundayinthekitchen February 13, 2011
I think AP flour would work well too! If you have your heart set on cake flour though, you can mix AP flour with corn starch. Here's a guide: http://www.thefeast.com/newyork/restaurants/Wolfgang-Puck-Rolls-Out-Oscar-Menu-for-the-17th-Year-Creates-Special-Dish-for-Portman-115668729.html

For super light cupcakes, sometimes I use half AP flour and half cake -- I've never used all cake though for the reasons mrslarkin and savory kitchen mentioned. have fun!!
Savorykitchen February 13, 2011
Ah - what I meant is if the recipe called for 2 Tbs red food coloring to use 2 Tbs beet juice. Not less and definitely not more. Especially in a recipe scaled up to make 400!
mrslarkin February 13, 2011
Holy smokes! That's a whole lotta cupcake. I'd go with the AP too.

I agree with Savorykitchen - that way the cupcake will have more body and won't crumble in your hand (which is how I eat them, with my hands, usually wolfing it down in two or three bites.) Also, SK, what do you mean by "equal amounts by volume"?

Maybe concentrated beet juice IS the answer! aargersi, i never got around to buying the beet powder. have you tried it?

I've used the wilton gel/paste kind of food coloring with great results. Somehow seems less gross than using a whole bottle of liquid red food color.

Aliwaks let us know how they turn out! Good luck!
aargersi February 13, 2011
Aliwaks when I made my beet tea bread it did not stay red! Something about the baking soda takes the color out ... I think you have to use beet powder - see Mrs Larkin's comments here: http://www.food52.com/recipes/3315_beet_tea_bread
Savorykitchen February 13, 2011
And wow - 400 cupcakes. That is a lot!
Savorykitchen February 13, 2011
I always use AP flour in my cupcakes - feel that they don't crumble and go dry as quickly [as those with cake flour]. I frequently use a recipe from Cook's Illustrated that calls for AP. The beet juice will prob work (use equal amounts by volume) but the color will be more deep pink than red. I called my version of cupcakes made with beet juice "Pink Velvet Cupcakes" - little girls loved them and parents did too b/c there was no artificial coloring.
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