Mixing the cake

Mixing the batter plays a major role in cake making. Different mixing methods produce different...

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Mixing the cake

Mixing the batter plays a major role in cake making. Different mixing methods produce different types of cake. There are no real rights or wrongs in cooking. Many times right is a matter of personal preference. 

From the very beginning you may as well do some soul searching and decide what kind of cake person you really are. Do you love a feather light airy cake or do you like a fine, close, silky texture which simply melts in your mouth. If lightness is your first concern, you should choose a mixing method like creaming which gives prime importance to volume and aeration. On the other hand if you are a texture person you must choose the two-stage method, which does not involve good aeration but produces cakes which are so tender that the cake simply melts in your mouth. 

Success with cakes depends on beating of sugar and butter together to produce a pale mixture of a fluffy consistency and on ensuring that all the other dry ingredients are evenly dispersed within the batter. A light and airy whisked cake is achieved when eggs or egg whites alone are beaten to create sufficient volume. 

Some basic principles apply and this is especially true of cake mixing. Regardless of the method used, the bowl must be scraped frequently to keep the batter smooth at all times. The shortening should be plastic, not too hard or too soft. The mixer should be started and run at slow speed until all the ingredients are combined to prevent splashing. Use the correct size bowl for the amount of batter being mixed.

  • First of all make sure you read the recipe all the way through.
  • Weigh all the ingredients accurately and do basic preparation such as grating and chopping before starting to mix.
  • Basic cake mixing ingredients should be kept at room temperature. Beat eggs at room temperature if you want the best volume.
  • Use softened not melted butter for easier handling.
  • Mixture that is creamed together such as butter and sugar should be almost white and have a soft dropping consistency. Creaming can be done by hand but a hand held electric mixer saves time and effort.
  • “Folding in” is achieved by using a metal spoon or a spatula and working as gently as possible to fold through the flour or dry ingredients in a figure of eight movement.
  • Bake cakes in the center of the oven. If making more than two layers switch the position of the pans halfway through the cooking.
  • Do not remove the cake from the oven until it is fully cooked. To test if a cake is cooked properly, insert a wooden or a metal skewer into the center of the cake - it will come out clean if the cake is cooked through.
  • All cakes must be left to cool before demoulding.