A Cake is usually a kind of food that is on the sweeter side and is baked in a oven. Cakes are often eaten as desserts after great meals. Many cakes are also eaten only on special occasions. When one talks about making a cake he/she is litterally reffering to a million different recipes!!!
In the olden days cake making was considered to be a great task as lot of time and effort went into making it. For example the various processes like creaming, whisking,beating,foulding-in,baking,etc. took several hours and could be done only by trained professionals. But however now even the most lazy and amature cook can easily bake a cake due to the tremendous advancements in technology.
Cake Making Ingredients:
A number of ingredients go into making a perfect cake. Such ingredients would include flour,fat,eggs,sugar,moisture,etc. These ingredients can be further classified into two divisions namely- essential and optional ingredients:
Cake flour is milled from soft winter wheat and has a protein content of 7 to 9%. This flour is usually bleached and has a white colour (creamy), bleaching mellows the gluten content and increases the solubility of starch in flour.
Functions: Due to the oven heat the gluten in the flour coagulates and forms the structure of the cake. This coagulated starch sets slowly and holds the other ingredients together to form a delicate and porus but stable structure.
Sugar mainly contributes to the sweetness of the cake. It caramalizes and gives colour to the crust of the cake. The fine grains of castor sugar entraps the air cells during creaming and aerates the product. It ensures evenness ofthe structure and acts as an anti-staling agent.
Shortening in cakes could include any kind of fat like- Butter,margarine, hydrogenated fat,Clarified butter(ghee),lard,etc. The fat used should be white in colour. Usually margarine is the most preferred shortening. Fats give flavour to the cake and when whipped air cells get trapped inside it and this causes the cake to rise naturally when baked. Fat lubricates the gluten strands present and thus produces a tenderising effect which imparts shortening to the cake. Fat by its emulsifying action holds the aqueous phase of the batter and so prevents the cake from drying out to a certain degree thus increasing the shelf life.
Fresh hen's eggs are genrally used to make cakes. Eggs have 14% protein and hence they contribute to the structure of the cake. Eggs are one of the main ingredients present in the cake batter that help it to rise evenly. Eggs are usually beaten or whipped to a foam, during this process air cells are incorporated and on baking they expand and leaven the cake. Besides this eggs help in binding, moistening,giving colour,adding flavour and adding to the nutritive value of the cake.
1. Baking Powder:-
It is a chemical leavening agent that is used to aerate the batter. Baking powder produces carbon dioxide gas that leavens the product and makes it light, fluffy and porous. Some bakers also use sodium bicarbonate and ammonium bicarbonate which are a lot stronger than baking powder.
Fresh milk,condensed milk and milk powder is often used. Milk dissolves the sugar and hydrates the flour hence it is used to mantain the dropping consistency of the batter.The lactose content of milk often caramelises and contributes to the crust colour. The fat content in milk gives richness and bloom to the cake.
Acts like a moistening agent and gets converted to steam during baking and leavens the product.
4. Fruits and Nuts:-
They improve the flavour and taste of the product and also contribute to the nutritive value of the product.
Salt is always good at bringing out the taste of other ingredients. Besides this salt can be used to regulate or nutrilize the effect of excess chemical leavening agents if added. Salt also acts as a preservative.
6. Other Ingredients:-
A number of other ingredients are also used to make a cake - such ingredients include essences,colours,spice powder,chocolat,cocoa powder, coffee,corn flour,etc.
•Cake Making Processes:
•Cake Making Methods:
1.Sugar Batter Method- In this method the fat and sugar is first creamed together till light and fluffy and then the other ingredients are added.
2.Flour Batter Method-In this method the fats are creamed together with the same amount of weight of flour. Or sometimes in 2:1.5 ratio.
3.Blending Method- In this method all the ingredients except for eggs are creamed together. Later on the eggs are added and to make a nice smooth batter.
4.Boiled Method- In this method the butter and margarine are put into a vessel and heated till they melt and start to boil(hence boiling method) The vessel is then removed from the fire and all the flour is added at one time and mixed throughly. Eggs and sugar and flavour,colours are whisked together to a stiff froth and added to the fat-flour mixture in four to five portions. After each addition the the mixture is mixed throughly. Very good quality genoese sponges and butter sponge cakes are produced using this method.
5.Sugar Water Method- In this method all the sugar given in the formula is mixed with half of its quantity of water at high speed till all the sugar is dissolved. Then all the other ingredients except eggs are added and mixed well into the sugar water and agitated vigorously Lastly the eggs are added and the mixture is cleared out. Cakes produced by this method have a better texture and a longer shelf life.
6.All-in Process-This is the easiest and most straight forward method in cake making. All the ingredients are put at one time into a large mixing bowl and the whole mixture is beaten using an electric blender at different speeds. Soft winter wheat is used and preferably emulsified type of shortening to prevent formation of gluten. After the batter is ready it is poured into prepared cake tins and a depression is made in the center of the batter to make sure there is a even rise in the cake. Such cakes acquire a beautiful golden brown crust colour and are very light and fluffy.
Singapore Customised Halal Birthday/Wedding Cakes
Looking for customised halal birthday cakes or cupcakes in Singapore or halal wedding cakes Singapore or halal finger food or pastries or halal cookies for any occasion in Singapore? What's more all our cakes are using HALAL ingredients by muslim chef/baker.
We also conduct group or personal baking classes to suit your time and availability.