Friday, June 09, 2006

Welcome and Hello


This little blog is to record my adventures in cake baking. I will test recipes and record the results.

I baked Toba Garrett's Buttermilk White Cake recipe and Dede Wilson's Essential White Cake Recipe. Now, both of these bakers are very experienced. They have published recipes and received accolades for their achievements. However, when I baked the recipe, the cake was less fluffy than I had hoped. This said, I can account for some of the damage myself. While attempting to remove Toba's buttermilk version from the oven, I burned my hand. As I was shrieking from the pain, I noticed the cake falling. Though I can't be quite sure, because the whole world appeared out of focus for just a moment or two. But to Toba's credit, I think my dropping the pan back into the oven hurt her cake. Dede's was fine, white, clean, but there appeared a pudding or custard type result on the bottom of the cake. This too is a result of the baker, not the recipe. When a custard like streak appears through the cake it is often a result of overbeating or too much liquid or underbaking. I probably overbeat the thing. I have a Kitchen Aid professional 6 quart and I let it run as I read the directions after including each ingredient.

I also baked a genoise cake. It was a little coarse for my taste. Of course it was dry... kind of suppose to be. These cakes are made specifically to be easy to cut, and their moisture is maintained through the use of syrup being added to each layer while stacked. The cake was moist enough, but one could discern the moisture was from the syrup, not within the cake itself.

Perhaps the Duncan Hines conundrum remains. Oil within cake batter actually helps keep the cake moist. No home baker can replicate the ingredients (or would want to) and some of the taste America has associated with these cakemixes. The mixes are quite moist. More so than any european mix which has been around for ages. Our processed, preservative mixture has created a palette only we Americans tend to associate with the "perfect" cake. Kind of like training our palette to prefer boxed mashed potato rather than the real thing.

My next White Cake Recipe may be Colette Peter's.

In an emergency, I used her recipe once and added Pillsbury White Cake recipe to the mix. Mixed and placed in a 99cent disposable pan, the cake turned out very well. I usually use Wilton pans, or for smaller 8 inch rounds, I use the Kitchen Aid silicone mold. These work very well. For that emergency I used the disposable tin. Surprisingly, the cake turned out very tastey. I received several compliments on the taste. (And why not, two good recipes.) Duncan Hines has a product which the novice homebaker cannot damage.

As for my candy making... I recently acquired a huge piece of marble. Approximately 4x6 in size it is HEAVY.


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