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Old 02-13-2015, 11:14 AM   #1
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Do I WHISK or MIX cake?

I have a question regarding whether or not I should have whisked my cake batter or used my electric hand mixer. I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but I had made a "perfect sour cream chocolate bundt cake" two weeks ago and when I tried desperately to duplicate my feat yesterday, it was not as perfect. Okay, it was very close, but I saw a difference in the actual texture of the cake.

The recipe says to whisk the ingredients, but I couldn't remember if I actually used my hand mixer the first time, so I did BOTH...whisked till almost the end of the mixing procedure and then took my hand mixer to it. I just feel that it's not mixed well unless I do this. Could this be why it didn't look quite the same when I inverted this cake. I have pictures....first one is the "perfect" one and the second is yesterdays. It tasted fine, but one lady said she thought the second one was actually moister....I used absolutely the same ingredients with nothing being different.

Thanks for any info or advice. I'm just so uncertain when you should NOT mix with an electric mixer.

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Old 02-13-2015, 11:30 AM   #2
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I usually use an electric hand held mixer to mix cakes. I grew up mixing them by hand, with a wooden spoon, counting 150-200 strokes depending on what the recipe said and how long my arm held out!

IMO it does not matter what you use. I believe the thing that matters is how long you beat the cake. The longer you beat it the more air you will incorporate and the more the gluten in the flour will develop.

I would be happy to try both of the cakes in your picture!
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:04 PM   #3
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For a simple cake recipe, I just use a whisk. Can't be bothered to break out the mixer.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:06 PM   #4
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The cake on the bottom looks like it had more air mixed into the batter
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:08 PM   #5
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The difference between the two cakes is the look of the crumb, that is, the uniformity of the holes left by the gas bubbles. Either method, whisking, or mixing will produce a similar, or even identical product, if you follow the mixing procedure with letting the batter settle, then gently tapping the bottom of the pan to the a hard surface, like a counter top, to get the larger bubbles to migrate to the top of the batter before baking. The leavening agent will create the small, uniform bubbles that give the cake its texture. The large bubbles you see in the second cake were due to seperating one portion of the batter, either by lifting, and folding back into, or by creating a channel that closed and trapped air into the batter. The resulting air bubbles were stirred to the bottom of the pan and remained in place while the cake turned from batter to solid cake, hence the large bubbles.

Summary, either mixing method will work. Tap the cake pan onto a table, or something to migrate the bubbles from the bottom to the top of the batter.

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Old 02-13-2015, 06:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jovin View Post
I have a question regarding whether or not I should have whisked my cake batter or used my electric hand mixer. I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but I had made a "perfect sour cream chocolate bundt cake" two weeks ago and when I tried desperately to duplicate my feat yesterday, it was not as perfect. Okay, it was very close, but I saw a difference in the actual texture of the cake.

The recipe says to whisk the ingredients, but I couldn't remember if I actually used my hand mixer the first time, so I did BOTH...whisked till almost the end of the mixing procedure and then took my hand mixer to it. I just feel that it's not mixed well unless I do this. Could this be why it didn't look quite the same when I inverted this cake. I have pictures....first one is the "perfect" one and the second is yesterdays. It tasted fine, but one lady said she thought the second one was actually moister....I used absolutely the same ingredients with nothing being different.

Thanks for any info or advice. I'm just so uncertain when you should NOT mix with an electric mixer.
Basically, if the recipe says "fold" in one or more ingredients you should do it by hand. Most other cake mixtures can be beaten with the electric mixer.


To all intents and purposes in the domestic kitchen whisking and beating are the same.


(I'm now waiting for someone to point out that I've missed some thing. It's late, I'm cold and I want to go to bed - all things that tend to fry my brain.)
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Old 02-13-2015, 06:59 PM   #7
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The issue of moistness could be to do with the flour. Even bags of flour of the same brand can produce different results, absorbing more or less liquid. Depends on the wheat, where it's grown, the weather while it was growing, etc., etc.
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Old 02-13-2015, 07:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I usually use an electric hand held mixer to mix cakes. I grew up mixing them by hand, with a wooden spoon, counting 150-200 strokes depending on what the recipe said and how long my arm held out!

IMO it does not matter what you use. I believe the thing that matters is how long you beat the cake. The longer you beat it the more air you will incorporate and the more the gluten in the flour will develop.

I would be happy to try both of the cakes in your picture!
Too much beating can make the cake tough - probably because it develops the gluten too much.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:03 PM   #9
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Sorry wasn't back here till now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
The cake on the bottom looks like it had more air mixed into the batter
I've been "under the weather." Thanks for that comment, but is that better or worse to have more air in it? I'm confused about this aerating in a cake, or whatever I've read. Can you help me understand that?

Thanks,
Jovin
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:08 PM   #10
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Yes...I do DO that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
.................

Tap the cake pan onto a table, or something to migrate the bubbles from the bottom to the top of the batter.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
I ALWAYS do that...maybe to extremes! I wonder if that's possible? lol

Thanks so much for your detailed explanation. I really do appreciate your help. I've not been well and have not been back to thank everyone, but trust me, I DO appreciate the comments.

Jovin
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