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Jan 5, 2005 04:08 PM

Galley Girl's Pear Tart---any ideas for making without baking soda?

  • c

I'm starting a new thread 'cause I have a slightly different issue:

I, too, made this cake for Christmas. I made mine in an 8-inch square silicon baking pan. Everything came out perfectly shaped and moist; easy to pop out of the pan and it looked great on my new, square Japanese cake plate. Topped it with a ginger caramel sauce. It was a huge hit (thank you Galley Girl).

However, two of us (one brother and myself) seem to be born with an aversion to the metallic taste of baking powder, so I wondered if anyone has adapted this recipe to use other methods of getting it to rise---like beaten egg whites, or yeast, or ???

I've looked at a few clafoutis recipes that don't use baking powder and when I have time, and more pears, I'll do some experimenting. But thought I'd ask around first to see if anyone else has ideas.

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  1. Easier solution: use Rumford baking powder. It is made without aluminum. It's common in the markets here in New England, but scarcer elsewhere, which is a shame because it is a superior product. You might get it online, e.g.:


    6 Replies
    1. re: Karl S.

      Rumford Baking Powder is in good supply in the mid-west. I was taught in one of my Foods and Nutrition classes in college that it has the highest carbon dioxide yield of al of the baking powders. We had to do some baking experiments with all of them and it proved to be true.
      It is made in Terre Haute, IN by the Clabber Girl (lowest carbon dioxied yield) Baking Powder company.

      1. re: Candy

        What kind of effect does the carbon dioxide content have on the food? Do different levels of it cause a cake etc... to come out better? If so, which is better? If Rumsford and Clabber Girl are made by the same company why do they have different carbon dioxide levels? I live in Baltimore, MD and both are available here. I happen to have both in my house now. Which is a better choice?

        1. re: Uninformed

          Rumsford gives you a better and higher rise. If you feel like experimenting try the same recipe on the same day with Rumsford, Calumet and Clabber Girl. You may have noticed that Clabber Girl is less expensive than the Rumsford too.

          1. re: Uninformed

            The bubbles that form when baking soda is put in contact with an acid are carbon dioxide, so higher CO2 yield=more bubbles=more rise. Better would depend on the recipe, I'd suppose.

          2. re: Candy

            I got Rumsford at Trader Joe's

          3. re: Karl S.

            Rumford rocks! Can't seem to find it in Canada, but whenever I'm in the U.S. I always make a point of buying it. I swear by Rumford, because I, too, have an aversion to that metallic taste.

          4. Thanks to all of you for the Rumford Baking Powder advice. I've always used Clabber Girl, maybe because I live in the LA area and it's what's readily available. I never even noticed Rumford on the shelves.

            I spent the afternoon at the dentist, which is around the corner from a Bristol Farms (expensive, "gourmet" store. No deal. That place is becoming more and more like Albertsons, but that's another story). They did have it at Wild Oats, however, so I bought a can for me and a can for my brother. I'll keep TJs in mind for the future; I didn't see that tip until I returned from the store.

            I can't wait to try it. I made the Guiness ginger cake a few months ago, and that tasted disappointingly metallic too.

            Thanks again, hounds!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Christine

              You might also want to try putting together your own baking powder--I think the ratio is 2:1 baking soda to cream of tartar. You'll find the proportions on the cream of tartar jar. This doesn't "keep" like baking powder does, so you'll need to mix it together each time you use it. Much less of a metallic taste, in my experience.

              1. re: dixieday

                The ratio I use is
                1 tsp baking powder = 1/2 t cream of tartar + 1/4 tsp baking soda.

                The baking powder usually has fillers like cornstarch added, which is why the volumes aren't the same.