Methods used for the preparation of cakes
The following methods are involved in the cream/butter cake and sponge cakes making processes:
1. Sugar batter method
2. Flour batter method or two–sponge method
3. Blending method
4. Boiled method
5. All–in–process method
6. Foaming method or sponge method
7. Sugar water method
These methods differ from one another by way of mixing, quantity of ingredients used, baking temperature and baking time.
1. Sugar batter method
☆In sugar batter method, all the fat is creamed until it gets light white colour. Then sugar is added gradually continuing the creaming process. Do not add all the sugar at a time, it will affect the aeration process and will take more time to achieve the desired results. When Until it gets velvety appearance adequate aeration is achieved, the fat and sugar mixture will be light and brighter in appearance. Then add beaten eggs gradually into mixture. Adding more eggs at a time will break the fat and sugar and the mixture will be coated by eggs. At that time the mixture will be like “curdle”. It will affect the air incorporation.
☆After adding the eggs the batter will have a smooth light and velvety appearance. Other liquids can be added at this stage. This is done in order to have sufficient moisture in the mix, to prevent toughening of gluten, while mixing flour. After mixing evenly, add sieved flour into the mixture. It is an important stage in cake making and even slight mishandling of the mixture will spoil the cake. Flour should not be added in one time, but it should be divided into two or three portions and each portion should not be added at a time and mixed with straight open fingers with just necessary movements of hand. Because excessive mixing may form the gluten and this toughness will spoil the cake quality.
☆After folding the flour, if the batter is very stiff, add some quantity of water or milk to adjust the batter consistency.
2. Flour batter method
☆In the flour batter method cream the fat and a quantity of flour not exceeding the weight of fat till it becomes light and fluffy. At the same time, in another machine, beat the egg and equal quantity of sugar till it comes stiff and frothy. Then add the egg and sugar mixture gradually in small quantity at a time into the first mixture. It should be mixed thoroughly and then only the next portion should be added. The remaining sugar is dissolved in milk or water and added to the mixture. Any colour or flavour is also added along with this liquid. Lastly, the remaining flour is sifted and mixed.
☆The following points should be borne in mind while preparing the cakes in the flour batter method:
☆In the above case, milk or water, part of sugar, part of flour equal to that of milk are mixed into a smooth paste and added. The remaining flour should be sifted with baking powder and added at the last stage of mixing.
☆As in this method, it is possible to control the curdling and gluten formation. T his method is suitable for lean cakes because lean cakes acquire most of the aeration due to baking powder and there is no risk of losing aeration achieved in fat.
3. Blending Method
In the blending method, fat, flour, baking powder and salt are whipped
together till the mixture comes to a very light and fluffy condition. Sugar, milk or any other liquids, colour and essence are mixed together added into the previous mixture. Eggs are added and the whole mass is mixed to a smooth batter. This method is suitable for high ratio cakes. High ratio cake means the quantity of sugar is more than the quantity of flour. Sometimes special cake flour and butter are used for such cakes.
4. Boiled method
In the boiled method, butter or fat is heated with water till the boiling point is reached. After heating remove from the fire and add 2/3 of flour and mix it thoroughly. And beat the eggs and sugar until it becomes stiff and add colour and essence. Then this mixture is added into the previous mixture gradually. It is mixed thoroughly and the remaining flour can be added at this stage. This is used for making Madeira and Genoese sponge cakes.
5. All-in-process Method
☆In all- in-process method, all the ingredients are mixed together in the mixing bowl. Aeration of the mixture is achieved by controlling the speed of the mixture as well as the mixing time. Wire whip is used for this method because it ensures a faster breakdown of ingredients and it helps to achieve good aeration.
☆After adding all the ingredients, mixing operation is conducted as follows:
■Slow Speed: In this speed, all the dry ingredients are moistened without flying off from the bowl.
■Fast speed (two minutes): Here the mixture gets even air incorporation.
■Slow speed (one minute): This is done in order to eliminate any possible large air pockets and still finer breaking down of air cells.
6. Foaming method or Sponge method
In the foaming method, beat the eggs till it becomes fluffy and frothy. During beating, the small air cells are incorporated into the mixture. This air incorporation helps to increase the volume. Then add sugar gradually in continuous beating till it becomes thick and creamy. The essence and colour can be added at this stage. The flour should be sifted with baking powder and added with just necessary movements of hand without disturbing the foam. If it is rough folding or uneven mixing, the incorporated air will evaporate. Then the finished product will be of very poor quality and flat one. So this folding stage is very important for baking.
7. Sugar water method
In sugar water method, all the sugar and half the quantity of water are agitated in a bowl till the sugar is dissolved completely. Then the remaining ingredients except egg are added and the mixture is well agitated to achieve aeration. Lastly, egg is added and the mixture is cleared. Due to more aeration and better emulsification, the cakes produced in this method have better texture and longer shelf life.