CAKE - ARTICLES

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PROCEDURE IN CAKE MAKING

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Cake is a form of food that is usually sweet and often baked. 
[Cooking]

Cakes normally combine some kind of flour, a sweetening agent (commonly sugar), a binding agent (generally egg, though gluten or starch are often used by vegetarians and vegans), fats (usually butter, shortening, or margarine, although a fruit purée such as apple sauce is sometimes substituted to avoid using fat), a liquid (milk, water or fruit juice), flavors and some form of leavening agent (such as yeast or baking powder), though many cakes lack these ingredients and instead rely on air bubbles in the dough to expand and cause the cake to rise.

Cake is often frosted with butter cream or marzipan, and finished with piped borders and crystallized fruit. Cake is often the dessert of choice for meals at ceremonial occasions, particularly weddings, anniversaries and birthdays. There are literally millions of cake recipes (some are bread-like and some rich and elaborate) and many are centuries old.

Cake making is no longer a complicated procedure; while at one time considerable labor went into cake making (particularly the whisking of egg foams), baking equipment and directions have been simplified that even the most amateur cook may bake a cake.

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PROCEDURE IN CAKE MAKING

In cake making, as in the preparation of other dishes, a systematic plan must be followed if good results are desired. A housewife cannot expect to have a successful cake if she has to stop during the mixing to get some of the ingredients or some of the utensils ready.

Before the mixing is begun, all the utensils and ingredients should be collected and any of the ingredients that require special preparation should be prepared. Then, if the recipe is correct, if the ingredients are measured accurately and combined correctly, and if the baking is done properly, success in cake making is assured.

The first thing to be done, when a cake is to be made, is to read the recipe to determine just what is required and to find out whether all the ingredients called for are in supply. With this done, all the utensils should be placed conveniently on the table and the ingredients collected and measured.

Some authorities advise the weighing of the ingredients in cake because weight is always regarded as more accurate than measure. If a recipe calls for weights, it will be found easier to use them than to try to change them to measure; but when a recipe requires measures, and does not state weights, it would be unwise to attempt to use scales for measuring.

The measuring of the fat often requires a little attention. For instance, if only 1/4 cupful of butter or some other fat is required, it may perhaps be more convenient to measure it with a tablespoon than with a cup. Otherwise, unless the recipe calls for melted fat, the fat should be measured by pressing it down tight into the cup until it reaches the mark indicating the required amount.

If the fat is hard and cold, as is usually the case when it is first taken from the refrigerator or other cold place, it will be difficult to cream. A good plan is to let the fat stand until it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or ordinary room temperature, before the mixing is begun.

The dry ingredients used in cakes include the sugar, flour, baking powder, spices, etc. Granulated sugar seldom requires any preparation except measuring. However, sugar other than granulated, particularly brown sugar and pulverized sugar, should be rolled with a rolling pin and then sifted in order to free it from any lumps it might contain.

Flour should be sifted once before measuring and again with the baking powder, or soda and cream of tartar, and salt in order to mix them. Other dry ingredients, such as spices and occasionally pulverized sugar, may also be sifted with the flour and other dry ingredients. If the dry leavening agent appears to be lumpy when the cover is removed from the can, it should be worked smooth with a spoon and sifted before it is measured. A very small mesh wire sieve may be used for this purpose.

The liquid should be measured by pouring it into the measuring cup with the cup stationary and level. The eggs, which are, of course, one of the liquid ingredients, should be neither broken until just before they are to be used, nor beaten until the mixture is brought to the point where the eggs are to be added. If the whites are to be used for the preparation of icing after the cake is baked, they should be kept in a cool place until they are beaten.

Fruits, nuts, and other miscellaneous ingredients should be prepared before the mixing of the cake is begun; that is, they should be cleansed, cut, ground, or chopped, as the case may be, so that it will not be necessary to stop the mixing of the cake to do any of this work. If they are to be dredged with flour, this may be done at the time they are prepared.

TYPES OF CAKES

Chocolate cake, carrot cake, sugar cake, strawberry cake, vanilla cake, coconut cake, pumpkin cake, banana cake, lemon cake, almond cake, fudge cake, pudding cake, coffee cake, orange cake, fruit cake, sponge cake, vegan cake, pineapple cake, caramel cake, raspberry cake, cream cheese cake, blueberry cake, red velvet cake, layer cake, black cake, butter cream cake, mandarin orange cake, white chocolate cake, cheese cake


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