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I believe in the philosophy of Being a student all my life . Thats why i never stop learning new things about food . I keep picking books . And now i have a huge collection of cookbooks .
So i wondered what if i could share a few excerpts from a few books . Because these books are pretty expensive and aren’t easily available in india .
So i will be putting a few articles that i feel can be of help to new bakers.
This is my first article from the book ” The Baking Answer Book “by Lauren Chattman .
Cakes can be classifies into three categories which are further divided into sub categories.
Foam Cakes ::::
These cakes have little or no fat . And have a high proportion of eggs to flour. They are generally leavened by the air beaten into the eggs or egg whites. In this category are –
Sponge cake :
It is made folding together flour, egg yolks and sugar, whipped to ribbon stage, and stiffly beaten egg whites . Sometimes served plain or soaked with a flavoured sugar syrup before being layered with whipped cream, buttercream or ganache.
A roulade is a sponge cake rolled up into a cylinder. It is filled with mousse, ganache, buttercream or any other filling.
A slightly richer and more tender foam cake tender than sponge. It is made by whipping whole eggs rather than separated eggs with sugar. Very often melted butter is added to the batter for richness . Usually baked in a round pan and split into two layers and soaked with flavoured syrup and frosted .
These cakes rely on whipped egg whites and baking powder for their rise. Dry ingredients are mixed in with oil, egg yolks and flavouring , and then whipped egg whites are folded in. It is similar to butter cake in richness and moisture content since it contains oil . But it involves no creaming so is easier to make.
Angel food :
Leanest of all foam cakes and sweetest too. It contains no oil, butter or egg yolks and is leavened solely by egg whites whipped with sugar. A lot of sugar goes into these cakes for the purpose of stabilization.
Meringue cake :
These cakes are made by whipping egg whites and sugar , piping the mixture onto parchment paper in desired shape and baking at low temperature until crisp . The brittle meringue softens when layered with fruit, cream, buutercream or any other filling.
It is a meringue made with ground nuts. This term can also be used for a finished cake made by layering nut meringue discs with buttercream or whipped cream and fruit.
Shortened Cakes ::::
These cakes contain butter or vegetable shortening and rely on a combination of creaming and chemical leaveners for their rise . Bundt cakes, coffee cakes and cupcakes fall under this category.
In this category are –
Pound Cake :
So named because the original recipe called for one pound each of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. Todays recipes are slightly altered but pound cake is still characterized by its rich flavor and dense texture.
Butter cake :
This cake evolved from a pound cake but introduced a liquid, mostly milk to the recipe. So the resulting cake is little lighter and better for splitting into layers to fill and frost.
Custard Cakes ::::
These cakes resemble a mousse, bread pudding or oven baked custard more than a foam / shortened cake. But they are included in cakes because they are baked in cake pans and cut into slices and served.
In this category we have-
Cheesecakes range in style from the rich and dense New York cheesecake to the light and fluffy Italian ricotta cheesecake. They have a slight tang and are very rich in texture. These are baked custards thickened with eggs. Like all custards, they need to be baked gently, that means in a waterbath or at a very low temperature, to prevent eggs from curdling.
Flourless Chocolate cake :
A very simple cake made of Eggs, chocolate, butter and sugar and sometimes a little liqeur. This cake also requires gentle baking, preferably a water bath .