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Old 01-01-2010, 07:50 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Question Want cake to rise well; mix batter longer or shorter?

I like fluffy, airy, and moist cakes. However, I don't know why my cakes are always dense and dry. How long do you usually mix the cake batter? What's the theory of it to make airy and fluffy cakes. By the way, I totally don't like SPONGE cakes at all. I don't like the chewiness of the sponge cake; it's too spongy. I like moist and powdery kind that's airy and fluffy.

What's the secret to make one like that? Thank you. Happy new year


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Old 01-01-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
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This is an excellent recipe. It will give you the fluffy tender texture of a boxed mix, with the flavor of a scratch cake. I have made this recipe a number of times and it is now my go-to recipe for yellow cake.

Like you, most of my previous attempts at yellow or white cake yielded a heavy, often dry cake.

This cake has an unusual preparation, not like most where the the butter and sugar are creamed together. This method makes a very fluffy batter and moist fluffy cake. Do follow the recipe exactly as written and I think that you will enjoy it!


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Old 01-02-2010, 06:25 AM   #3
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too dense:
- for baking powder cakes - increase the baking powder somewhat or; separate the egg whites, beat them* and fold them in last or; decrease the amount of sugar
- for genoise - 2 main likely causes are either under-beating the eggs or possibly even overbeating*.
- for either - sift the dry ingredients together 2 or 3 times, don`t just stir them together with a spoon or whisk
- reducing the shortening will make it lighter, but also drier

too dry:
- overbaked is a likely cause; reduce time &/or heat
- too much flour also likely; either sift the flour into the measuring cup, measure it by weight, or simply reduce the amount somewhat
- increasing the sugar or shortening will make a cake more moist, but will also make it heavier

* when beating egg whites, beat them only until they make soft peaks. if youbeat them until they are quite stiff, when they bake the heat will make the air bubbles expand even more and they will "pop" and deflate

let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:25 AM   #4
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I would check two things first, as they are they most common reasons for dense cakes.

First, how do you measure your flour? Many beginning bakers start with the 'dip and scoop' method. Dipping the measuring cup into the flour container and scooping it out packs in too much flour. This will cause a dense cake. The most correct way to measure flour is by weight. However, if you don't have a kitchen scale, you'll get much better results by stirring the flour in the container to lighten it, then spooning the loose flour into a measuring cup. Level it off with a straight knife.

A second thing that commonly causes a dense or tough cake is over beating. Overworking the batter develops gluten, like bread cough. As a rule, stir in the flour until just combined and smooth. You beat the air in during the earlier stages of creaming the butter & sugar, and beating the eggs. Once you start adding the flour & liquid, you want to keep the beating to the minimum required to make a smooth batter.

As far as dryness, the most common cause is overbaking. You really can't go by just the timer. Start checking early. While most recipes tell you to use the toothpick test, there are several other sensory clues to doneness. I find that by the time a toothpick comes out 'clean', the cake is overdone.

The first thing you'll notice is smell. A soon as you begin to smell the cake permeate the room, start checking. The first visual clue I find is when it just starts to pull away from the side of the pan. Don't wait until it's pulled loose on all sides, just the beginning of it pulling loose usually means it's ready. Lightly touch the top with your finger. If it gives slightly but springs back immediately, it's done. If it doesn't give, it's too late!

The toothpick test is only a last resort. People have different interpretations of what 'comes out clean' means. It really means that any crumbs attached to the pick are cake-like and not batter-like. You can easily brush them off without getting gooey. If you wait for the toothpick to be totally clean, it's too late.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:08 PM   #5
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You guys are GOOD!!!!. All the answers are exactly what I am looking for.

Actually, I usually overbake my cakes. I do it with a timer for what's call for. Then, I use a toothpick to check the doneness, but usually the center of the cake is not done (toothpick is still wet). Then, I put the cake back into the oven and bake extra 5 or 10 minutes.....until the toothpick comes out clean. You see....Nobody has ever told me the things you guys told me. Great resources..

And the recipe, the ways to keep the cake moist and airy.. and all the theory.... Love you!
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:01 PM   #6
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I remember my mother used to say beating the cake should be in one direction, and from the site of chestofbooks.com (about cake-making) I got this info
"There is great "knack" in beating cake; don't stir, but beat thoroughly, bringing the batter up from the bottom of the dish at every stroke; in this way the air is driven into-the cells of the batter, instead of out of them - but the cells will be finer if beaten more slowly at the last, remembering that the motion should always be upward".
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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Always use "cake" flour when called for - it has less gluten - it is made from spring wheat - regular flour comes from fall wheat

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