A how to hub needs some help

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  1. sjwigglywoo profile image66
    sjwigglywooposted 11 years ago

    Hi, I have just published a new hub on how to create a fish shaped celebration cake. I found it quite difficult to explain it was a lot easier to make the cake than to write the hub!

    Can I have some feed back please as I am not sure if the instructions are clear enough for people to follow and understand or if I have made it more difficult than it really is. Oh ecks help me please.....

    http://sjwigglywoo.hubpages.com/hub/A-F … ation-cake

    1. mary615 profile image83
      mary615posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Your cake is a workof art!  My suggestion would be to use American measurements.   We don't know what kilo and grams mean in cooking (at least I don't). When you refer to rolling out the frosting, is that fondant or frosting?  Also, I don't think you used the format for recipes.  I see you used the ratings, but I don't see the other capsules.  Also, what is "castor sugar"?

      1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
        mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Popped in to have a quick read of this thread, so sorry to interrupt. Castor Sugar is the stage between granulated sugar (as you use in your coffee) and icing sugar (which you use to make icing for your cakes). It is essentially a finer ground granulated sugar, but not 'dusty' like icing sugar.

        I would assume 'frosting' meant icing, but that said I would not be certain either as I wouldn't 'roll out' icing. Using the word 'icing' might be preferable as it makes it clear to both cultures.

        As a Brit myself I tend to try to show both US and UK measurements on my recipe articles, that way you don't lose 50% of your potential readership. There are plenty of free metric conversion calculators online which can help you to convert weights, volumes etc into different formats, so allowing you to cater to US and UK citizens.

        1. sjwigglywoo profile image66
          sjwigglywooposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Hi Misty, I am now trying to work it all out, ecks it difficult lol Thanks for your input it is appreciated and much needed x

          1. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
            mistyhorizon2003posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            You are very welcome. I must admit it can get confusing when the conversion isn't a perfect round number. I generally round it up or down to the nearest number, e.g. 1.157 cups I would round up to 1.2 cups. I definitely think both quantities (metric and US) need to be shown, as although most traffic comes from Google.com and most of readers will probably be Americans or at least living in America, it would be a total waste of earnings potential to write off anyone else as not worth the effort of showing the other measurements. I get totally frustrated when I am looking for a recipe in metric measurements, and every decent looking recipe I come across is measure in 'cups', My scales don't measure in cups, and whilst for liquids my measuring jug can, it is usually much easier for me to keep looking until I find a recipe with British/metric measurements. I don't even mind if it is not grams and kilograms and is pounds and ounces, I can happily work with those too.

    2. LetitiaFT profile image73
      LetitiaFTposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Your hub looks so good I can taste it! Only downside: the measurements. A couple of points here:

      1.) Check out your statistics on google analytics. I can guarantee that the vast majority of your readers are American. So even though the rest of the world uses metric, and we can wish the Americans would too (remember the fiasco a few years when a costly space probe went way out of orbit because some technician mixed up metric and imperial?), the bottom line for the success of your hub is to appeal to the majority of your readers, no matter how behind the times they are. It's just math.

      2.) Internet readers scan things in a nanosecond. If they have to convert, even if you provide a link to a converter, they'll skip right over it. When it comes to giving information to Internet readers, "you have to chew it for them"as they French say.

      1.) + 2.) = 3.) Chew those conversions for them and add the conversions after the metric measures. Just use a slash to separate them. You might want to add " / superfine" after "castor" for the sugar as well.

      Looking forward to seeing your other recipes!

      1. sjwigglywoo profile image66
        sjwigglywooposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Hi letitia I am looking at conversions and 225g equates to 1.157 cups so do I round it up  or down? this is far too confusing for me! or would that be an understandable measurement? I still work in lbs and oz and converting to metric is bad enough.

        I never realized this would be so difficult on all my recipes on another site no one has ever said to convert for the reader. I just put in a conversion click button thingy no wonder they are not going anywhere!

        Thanks for your input so far, it is very much appreciated.

        1. LetitiaFT profile image73
          LetitiaFTposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Hi sjwigglywoo. As an American living in France I'm constantly confronted with the cup / metric issue. It was confusing until I found some basic charts in an old cookbook, which I now use religiously when cooking. Your question actually inspired me to do a hub and share those charts which I've just published. (I can't put the link because that would be spamming but it's called simply "quick & easy cooking measurement conversion charts"). They've really made my life easier and hopefully they'll be helpful to other.
          Above all, don't be discouraged! On the contrary, if you're getting this kind of response from people, it's because what you've done is fabulous and it makes us want to help it get the circulation it deserves!

        2. LetitiaFT profile image73
          LetitiaFTposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I also suggest you read: http://novascotiamiss.hubpages.com/hub/ … asurements (It's not my hub so I can tout it!)

          1. sjwigglywoo profile image66
            sjwigglywooposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Glad you got a new hub out of this lol, I have found and used it and I hope I have done it correctly.

            1. LetitiaFT profile image73
              LetitiaFTposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Fantastic! I just took a look and you'll have us Americans baking fish cakes all over the place! Thanks again for sharing this baked work of art.

  2. Millionaire Tips profile image90
    Millionaire Tipsposted 11 years ago

    This is beautiful.  You've provided great photographs to help show how to make it. 

    I'm not sure how helpful they are, but here are my suggestions:

    I think I would call this something other than Fish Cake.  Come up with some catchy name.  Too early in the morning to think of one, but I like the word Emerald with this cake.

    Also you mentioned that your sons didn't like that type of cake - I wouldn't mention anything negative, don't remind your readers that they prefer chocolate!  Or at least word it positively - "You may also substitute your favorite cake recipe".

    I would probably intersperse the photos with the directions instead of having them all in a row.

  3. SmartAndFun profile image94
    SmartAndFunposted 11 years ago

    Wow, that cake is beautiful! Have you heard of the Rainbow Fish books for kids? Your cake reminds me of Rainbow Fish. I'm wondering how often that term is searched? If Rainbow Fish themed birthday parties are popular and if Rainbow Fish is a regularly-searched term, maybe you could work a mention of Rainbow Fish into your hub. Just a thought. I have no idea if that is a frequently searched term or if those books are still as popular as they were 10 years ago when my kids were little.

    Great work on the hub and the cake! For what it's worth, I would make this cake from a boxed mix and mainly use the hub for your cutting and decorating instructions. For just about any other recipe, I would want American measurements, though.

  4. lrohner profile image68
    lrohnerposted 11 years ago

    1,736 cups of flour? That would make a LOT of fish cakes. smile Also, do not use the word "icing" interchangeably with "fondant." They are two completely different things.

    And I think you forgot to tell the reader to "frost" or "ice" the cake with "frosting" or "icing" before adding the fondant. You would never lay fondant over an unfrosted cake!

    @Misty - She says "roll out the fondant," which is entirely correct. Fondant is a sweet pasty substance with a consistency similar to clay. You roll it out into sheets and lay it over an already frosted cake. And we use "frosting" in the part of the US I live in. It's a regional thing. Icing and frosting are pretty much the same, but different parts of the country use the different terms.

    1. sjwigglywoo profile image66
      sjwigglywooposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      it's 1.736 cups 1 point 736 cups this is so confusing as well as this icing thing wish i never done the blooming thing now. I thought the point was to tell you how I done it and done it my way, everywhere uses different things that are the same but called so many different things. I am trying but I am getting very frustrated here trying to work it all out

      1. lrohner profile image68
        lrohnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I know...I was just sort of teasing you. You have a comma instead of a period in the measurement. (1 comma 736 cups)  smile

    2. sjwigglywoo profile image66
      sjwigglywooposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Actually I did not frost the cake prior to laying over the fondant icing. I brushed the cake with jam prior to laying on the fondant, sugar paste, sweet pastry, stuff,  icing..........................

      1. lrohner profile image68
        lrohnerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        You should say that in the hub then. The icing/frosting/jam/whatever is the glue that holds the fondant in place. Not sure fondant laid over a plain cake would hold. 

        Most folks from the US wouldn't know what you're talking about with the "sugar paste icing" unless you use the term "fondant." To us, icing or frosting is that soft, spreadable stuff. You can't roll it out or cut it.

        The term "sugar paste" to us is the same thing as "gum paste." It's waaaay different from fondant. Sugar/gum paste is usually used to make flowers and other decorations for cakes and stuff because it hardens. I don't know what you guys call that stuff.

        When in doubt about a term, just Google it. If you Google "sugar paste icing," you'll see a bunch of .co.uk sites pop up. There is a Wikipedia entry that says sugar paste and fondant are the same thing, but from the way they spell "coloured" instead of "colored," I'm pretty sure it was written by a Brit. smile

        And you really don't need to cater to both audiences. If you tend to use British terms in your hubs, you'll probably attract a British audience, just as American terms will attract an American audience.

        1. sjwigglywoo profile image66
          sjwigglywooposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Hi again Irohner, I have got my husband keep coming in and out talking to me whilst I have been trying to do this and driving me nuts! I forgot to add that into the hub about the gluing part. I was always taught to brush with warm jam, but again everyone does these things differently.

          I have explained as best as I can in the hub with regards to the sugar paste/fondant icing and hope that it all makes sense, I did Google and put US at the end then USA and I kept getting ones with the word 'US' in as in you and me = us. As you can probably see I am still quite a novice when it comes to using exact search terms ect.

          I really appreciate all your advice and help as you can see I am in need of it. Thanks for taking the time to respond .

          1. mary615 profile image83
            mary615posted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I can understand your frustration over this beautiful cake you made!

            If I were you, I'd publish it as is, and just see what kind of traffic and comments you get.  I was going to mention the eye of the fish being nonedible, but I didn't have the heart to criticize you anymore.  You have a lot of time and effort in writing this Hub, that is obvious.  Good Luck!


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