Posted on Aug 03, 2009 | Comments 2
If you have ever been frustrated that your cake doesn’t turn out as perfectly as the confections you see in the bakery, it may be not from a lack of effort or skill on your part, but rather from a lack of special knowledge and tools that make up a baker’s arsenal. Here are the secrets to baking perfect cakes at home.
When you are making any cake, determine the effect you are after. Do you want a dense, fruity cake, like a fruit cake? Are you looking for a delicate chiffon cake? Or do you just want something tasty and sturdy enough to transport frosting to your mouth?
1.Secret number one is to bake the right kind of cake for the end you have in mind. Baker’s cakes are not as perfect as they seem. If your cake turns out badly, it probably still tastes delicious and you’ll serve it anyway. At a bakery, those delicious but less than perfect cakes end up in the garbage. Just because you don’t see the imperfect cakes, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
2.Secret number two is to cut yourself some slack: after all, taste is ultimate more important than perfection. Bakers do have a number of tools at their disposal that helps make sure their cakes turn out perfect looking.
They have special cloth strips that they can wrap around the outside of the cake pan that helps the cake rise perfectly. You can buy these and use them at home.
They also use a turntable and a long serrated knife to make sure the layers are even before they start to frost the cake.
3.Secret number three is the right tools for the job.
4.Secret number four is cake flour. Most home bakers use regular plain or all purpose flour when baking cakes. You can improve the texture of your cake by using cake flour. Cake flour is finer milled, which will give your cake a finer texture. It also has lower protein content. This means less gluten and will result in a more tender cake.
5.Secret number five is the crumb coat.Finally, there is the frosting. This is a thin coat of frosting that goes around the outside of the entire cake. It is then left for several minutes to “seal” the cake and prevent crumbs from getting into the frosting.
After you’ve applied a thin coat of frosting, you can then go ahead and apply a more generous layer. You’ll be surprised at how much easier that second layer of frosting goes on, and how much more smooth it looks.
Filed Under: Cakes & Desserts