The most difficult part of cake-making is the baking. Unless the oven is right, the cake will be a failure, no matter how carefully it may have been mixed.
Have everything ready before beginning to mix the cake.
Have the weights and measures exact.
Have the fire so it will last through the baking, and the heat of the oven just right (see below), for on this the success of the cake mostly depends.
Do not mix the cake until the oven is entirely ready for it to go in.
Sift the flour before measuring it.
If baking-powder or cream of tartar is used, sift it with the flour.
Mix in an earthen bowl with a wooden spoon.
Beat the yolks and whites of the eggs separately.
Grease the tins with lard, as butter blackens.
For some cakes it is better to line the pans with paper.
When fruit is used, roll it in flour, and add it the last thing.
If the fruit is wanted in layers, add it while the mixture is being poured into the tins.
Add one quarter teaspoonful of salt to all cakes.
If a sugary crust is wanted, sprinkle the top with sugar before the cake is baked.
If the cake cracks open as it rises, too much flour has been used.
If it rises in a cone in the center, the oven is too hot.
Beating eggs and butter makes them light, beating flour makes it tough; hence the rule to add it last.
When the whipped whites are added do not stir, but turn or fold them in lightly, so as not to break the air-cells.
In filling the pans let the mixture be a little higher on the sides than in the middle.
CAKE TINS AND BAKING SHEET.
When molasses is used, baking-powder (also cream of tartar) must be omitted, and soda alone used for raising the cake.
One teaspoonful of baking-powder is the equivalent of one teaspoonful of cream of tartar, and one half teaspoonful of soda.
Place the whites on a flat dish, being careful that not a particle of the yolk gets in. Add a pinch of salt, and with a daisy beater held flat whip the whites with an upward motion to a stiff, dry froth. It will take but a very few minutes if the eggs are fresh and cold. Put the yolks in an earthen bowl, and with a wooden or silver spoon beat them until a lemon color. If sugar is used add it at this time, and stir until the whole becomes light and creamy.
Turn the tin bottom side up, lay over it the paper, and crease the circle for the bottom. Cut the paper in several places down to the circular mark, fold it around the pan, and cut away the paper that doubles over. Grease the paper, and fit it neatly inside the pan, leaving an inch of paper rising above the edge.