Shortcake and pastry are illustrations of the use of much fat in doughs and the result is brittle and tender. Success in pastry-making depends more upon keeping the ingredients cold and handling the dough deftly than any special formula or order of mixing. When but a small amount of shortening is used, a small quantity of baking powder is helpful; this, of course, is omitted in puff pastry, in which the weights of the flour and butter are equal, and it is not essential in other cases.
Few doughs require a smaller number of ingredients than pastry; flour, salt, shortening, and liquid are the essentials, and air is incorporated in the process of mixing. When the flour and shortening are warm they stick together so that less air is mixed into the dough.
The process of rolling and folding is a device for catching more air in the dough. This air, when heated, expands and puffs the layers apart. The colder the air mixed in the dough the greater its expansion in baking. In cake-making a single, well proportioned formula may be made the basis for a great number of varieties. Therefore, it is essential that the fundamental principles be understood, then the variations can be accomplished easily.
The principles underlying sponge cake were explained in the section on eggs. The main points in such cakes, which contain no butter and are made light by eggs only, are to mix carefully that sufficient air may be entangled in the dough to make it light, and then to bake slowly but thoroughly.
The shape in which cake is to be baked should decide the proportion of flour to be used. Layer cakes or small cakes require less flour than large loaves. This is probably because the small cake is stiffened more quickly by the heat, while the large mass must be stiffened with flour to hold up the air cells until the heat can penetrate the whole. Variations in cake are easily obtained through changes in flavoring ingredients. To mix chocolate in the cake melt it and mix with the sugar and butter. Such a cake might have a white frosting flavored with vanilla.
Apple Pie In Deep Plate
Material And Utensils For Making Cake
A cake flavored with almond may have a few shredded almonds sprinkled over the top just before the cake is put in the oven. Almond paste can be rubbed into the butter and sugar in making cookies; it is rather rich and heavy for a cake. Desiccated cocoanut, chopped nuts, raisins, currants, dates, citron, candied orange and lemon peel, singly or in various combinations, serve to give us many cakes from a single recipe. • The ingredients mentioned for pastry are common to all cakes as well, but further variety is gained by the addition of sweetening and seasoning. Air or gas to make the cake light is obtained by the use of beaten eggs and of baking powders, etc., as well as by creaming butter and beating the blended ingredients. The shortening for this class of dishes may be lard, dripping, nut oil, cottolene, butter, or cream, each having its own special characteristic. When these are known, combinations and substitutions are possible to adapt a given formula to the available materials.
The range of sweetening is limited to sugar and molasses, but the quantity to be used in a cake should be reduced if a frosting or sweet filling is to be added later.
When we consider the long list of spices and extracts and fruits and nuts available for seasoning the cake, we can see how it is possible to make many varieties of the same cake.
There is a certain relative proportion to be followed in the use of these ingredients which, once learned, enable us to decide whether a recipe is reliable. In butter cakes there is usually less butter than sugar, and less sugar than flour. When baking powder is used less is required than would be necessary for a dough where there are no eggs. Thus two even tea-spoonfuls of baking powder is enough for three cups of flour for a cake in which three or four eggs are use. Some cooks use from one to two teaspoons of baking powder for each cup of flour in all cases, forgetting that the eggs alone would make a cake quite light. When there is an excess of baking powder, the cake is liable to be coarse grained and will dry quickly.
Dutch apple cake and cottage pudding are similar to the common muffin mixture in the proportions of flour, liquid, etc., but are made richer by increasing the quantity of fat and sugar.
The ordinary doughnut mixture is not unlike a cottage pudding dough, with the addition of flour to make it stiff enough to roll easily. Or it is similar to the quick biscuit dough with the addition of sugar, egg, nd spice. Because doughnuts are cooked in fat, less shortening is required than for most stiff doughs.
Cooky doughs are more like pastry with the addition of sugar, spice, and egg, and the same care should be given to keeping the dough cold in order to roll and cut it without adhering to the board.
Sponge Cake Stuffed With Cream