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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / New to Baking!
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    New to Baking!

    Linz4220
    Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:35 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hi! I am planning to bake cupcakes tomorrow for the first time and had a few substitution questions about my recipe that I was hoping someone could help me with...

    It calls for several sticks of unsalted butter... Would it be okay to use margarine instead? And does it have to be unsalted? It also calls for a little bit of sea salt... Can I just use regular salt? What's the difference between regular salt and sea salt? And finally, it calls for a 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract... Do I really need to put that in? I hate to buy a whole bottle of it to just use 1/4 teaspoon... Would omitting it make a huge difference? Thanks for any help you can give me! I have never attempted cupcakes from scratch before and I'm hoping they turn out okay!!! icon_smile.gif
    Dee514
    Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:16 pm
    Forum Host
    Hi and welcome icon_smile.gif

    The butter....yes you could sub margarine if you prefer. You will get a better flavor and texture (imo) using butter. Margarine contains more water and less fat (oil, actually) than butter does. Butter also contains some water, but less than margarine does.

    The butter does not need to be unsalted, you could use salted butter. I interchange salted and unsalted butter depending on what I have on hand at the time.

    Yes, you can use "regular" salt (table salt).

    Here is an interesting article on "sea salt" vs table (regular) salt: http://blog.fooducate.com/2011/08/12/sea-salt-vs-table-salt-the-truth/

    As I see it, all salt is "sea salt"....at one time it all came from the sea. Table salt is processed a bit differently, and usually has uniformly cube shaped grains. Many times it also contains an iodine additive as well as an "anti caking agent" to keep it flowing from the shaker.
    Sea salt is a bit less processed, and contains trace minerals from the sea water. It does not contain added iodine or anti caking agents, and the grains are usually irregular in shape.

    Almond extract - almond extract adds a nice depth of flavor in vanilla flavored cakes, however it is not necessary and can be left out if you prefer.

    Almond extract is much stronger than vanilla extract which is why so little of it is called for (in relation to the amount of vanilla) in recipes. Almond extract is very rarely used in amounts larger than a 1/4 teaspoon.

    Hope this helps.
    Good luck with your cupcakes! icon_smile.gif
    Linz4220
    Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:24 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Very helpful!! Thank you so much! I went ahead and bought the almond extract.... I'll give it a try! Hopefully these things will be good!! icon_smile.gif
    duonyte
    Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:27 am
    Forum Host
    I usually use table salt when sea salt is called for in a recipe. The finer grains mix in better - you don't want large grains of salt in something like cupcakes. I do buy the kind without iodine - I figure we get enough iodine from the seafood we eat.

    Please come back and let us know how it turned out.
    Chocolatl
    Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:45 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    duonyte wrote:
    I usually use table salt when sea salt is called for in a recipe. The finer grains mix in better - you don't want large grains of salt in something like cupcakes. I do buy the kind without iodine - I figure we get enough iodine from the seafood we eat.

    Please come back and let us know how it turned out.


    I use table salt in baking as well, but I always buy iodized (as well as iodized sea salt)--it's very difficult for someone living in the Midwest to get enough iodine, which is why iodized salt was invented.
    Linz4220
    Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:37 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks for all of the helpful advice! I made the cupcakes and they turned out pretty darn good!! For my first attempt at baking from scratch I am giving them a B+! I'm going to attempt to post a photo here and see how that goes...
    [/img]
    Linz4220
    Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:46 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Nice, it worked! And here is the inside!! icon_smile.gif
    Chocolatl
    Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:39 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Those look wonderful!
    duonyte
    Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:35 pm
    Forum Host
    Great result!
    Dee514
    Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:15 pm
    Forum Host
    Nice looking cupcakes....good photo too! icon_smile.gif
    Linz4220
    Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:28 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks all for the kind words! I think I could get into baking!! icon_smile.gif
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