Originally Posted by Gretchen
From Cook's Thesaurus A leaven is anything that produces bubbles in dough or batter, causing baked goods to rise. Most breads rise because of yeast, which works by fermenting sugar, which in turn produces carbon dioxide. Baking soda and baking powder are used to leaven quick breads, cookies, and muffins. Baking soda is alkaline and reacts with acid to create carbon dioxide bubbles that become trapped within the batter. It's sometimes used in batters that contain acidic ingredients, like buttermilk or molasses. If there's not enough acid in the batter, the recipe will instead call for baking powder, which combines baking soda with one or more acidic salts. When the baking powder becomes wet or sufficiently hot, the soda reacts with the salts and releases bubbles. Air bubbles can also be trapped in beaten egg whites, a technique used to leaven angel food or sponge cakes.
I do not believe flour and cornstarch qualify as leavening agents.
"From my very first cheesecake to the present, I've struggled against the inevitable collapse most cheesecakes succumb to, if not during baking certainly as it cools. Trying to develop a light and airy texture that approaches a dense pound cake has proven problematic. The two most common methods used to lighten a cheesecake, I believe would be, (1) introduce air through beating the ingredients and (2) add or increase leavening components"
I know of few cheesecake recipes that call for leavening other than beating the ingredients.
My cheesecakes don't exactly "fall" as much as have the top collapse onto the cake.
"light and airy texture that approaches a dense pound cake" seems VERY much to me to be an oxymoron.
I guess I have only one question for you on this quest--have you tried actual recipes to achieve the results you desire?
This is most informative.
So you agree with my observation that egg white is a good stable medium for emulsifying air. Your belief that flour and cornstarch are not leavening agents could mean that my experiments for both of them rose only due to the fact both contain 1 egg each. So now I must surmise that the flour and cornstarch served only to preserve the leavening provided by the single egg. A most useful quality. Two other experiments, one with yolk and the other with egg white, both without flour or cornstarch, rose the same as the ones with flour and another with cornstarch except the egg alone collapsed far greater and shortly after they rose. Whereas the flour and cornstarch maintained most of its rise, even through cooling.
As I've said before, I'm not looking for recipes but the best understanding of the topic I can gain. Keep in mind that I said, "approaches a dense pound cake", approaches
being the key word and no, I've never had the quality of texture I'm seeking. But I've come very close with the help of Jen and some of the others whom I will mention later.
I am very grateful for your involvement and wont forget it.
P.S. WOW, Gretchen !!! That was your 888th
post, I'm most religious if that means anything to you.