This section is from the book "Experimental Cookery From The Chemical And Physical Standpoint", by Belle Lowe. Also available from Amazon: Experimental cookery.
1. 50 strokes.
2. 100 strokes.
3. 150 strokes.
4. 300 strokes.
5. 400 strokes.
6. 1000 strokes.
Fig. 71. - Showing the strands formed and their direction in a batter that is stirred.
(2) the intensity of mixing, (3) the temperature of the ingredients, (4) the type of baking powder used, (5) the quantity of baking powder used, and (6) the point at which the baking powder is added. When the butter, sugar, and egg are thoroughly creamed, the optimum amount of mixing may extend over a wider range. Most of these factors have been considered. For the very plain cake recipe, when a phosphate or tartrate powder is used, about 150 to 200 strokes give the best texture, if the baking powder is added with the flour. A sulfate-phosphate powder requires about 250 to 300 strokes for the best texture. As the sugar in the recipe is increased to give a more desirable cake, the optimum amount of mixing is greater, but is more nearly the same for all the different types of baking powder.
For Formula 1, with 1 1/2 cups of sugar, which is a more desirable plain cake, about 225 to 250 strokes, or sometimes more, are sufficient for mixing the flour and milk with the creamed mixture to produce a good texture.
Fig. 72. - The effect on volume of Increasing the quantity of three types of baking powder in plain cake, sulfate-phosphate (combination), tartrate, and phosphate. (McLean)
Effect of extent of mixing on staling. Olsen used the compressibility apparatus designed by Platt in trying to determine the effect of extent of mixing upon the staling of plain cake. It was found that cakes mixed for different lengths of time could not be compared with each other. Those mixed for a very short period had a loose, coarse, porous texture, which permitted greater penetration of the plunger into the crumb. The cakes mixed for a longer period were compact in texture and offered more resistance to penetration of the plunger. It was found there was a tendency for the cakes creamed a short time to stale more rapidly than those creamed for a longer period. The rate of staling was greatest during the first 24 hours. It was less rapid from 24 to 48 hours and continued at a still slower rate from 48 to 96 hours. Formula I was used for tests.
Variation of proportion of ingredients. As the proportion of ingredients used in the cake is varied the appearance of the crust and the top of the cake differs from that of the plain cake. The extent of mixing to give the most desirable texture may also need to be changed.
The proportion of baking powder. McLean used varying amounts of three types of baking powder to determine the optimum quantity of each powder for plain cake (Formula 1).
The effect on the cake volume of increasing the baking powder is shown in Fig. 72. The volume increases with increased quantity of powder used
Fig. 73. - The effect on total scores of increasing the quantity of three types of baking powder in plain cake. Each point on the graph is an average of scores for 14 cakes. (McLean) until a point is reached at which the cake falls, the volume decreasing with still greater increments of baking powder. This decrease in volume occurs with a larger quantity than that shown in the graphs.
From Fig. 73 a comparison may be made of the change in score caused by increasing the weight of a tartrate, phosphate, or a sulfate-phosphate (combination) powder in plain cake and again a comparison may be drawn between the scores for cakes made with an equal weight of the three different types of baking powder. McLean found that the palatability and desirability of the cakes, as shown by the scores, progressively increased with increased weight of the powders until the optimum quantity of baking powder is reached. With a further increase beyond the optimum amount the desirability of the cakes decreased. The decrease in desirability was most rapid with the powder giving the greatest volume, indicating that it is more detrimental to use too much of a sulfate-phosphate baking powder than of a tartrate or phosphate. For the formula, the method of mixing used, and for the brands of baking powder used in the investigations, the optimum quantity of each powder was as follows: sulfate-phosphate, 8 to 10 grams; tartrate, 10 grams; and phosphate, 12 grams.
An increase in the quantity of a baking powder over and above the optimum amount causes an increasing tendency to produce a coarse, loose texture, crumbliness, a harsh crumb, a lack of velvetiness, and a possible off flavor. With enough baking powder to cause the cake to fall an increasingly gummy, sticky, chewy texture is obtained. Too little baking powder gives a cake that is too compact.
The measure of the optimum amount of each type of powder as determined by McLean is approximately 3 teaspoons, if the average weight of a teaspoon is taken as 3, 3.5, and 4 grams for the sulfate-phosphate, tartrate, and phosphate baking powders, respectively. Since 3 cups of flour were used in the recipe, this would indicate that it is possible to use 1 teaspoon of baking powder per cup of flour for all three types of powders. Since a teaspoon of some brands does not weigh the same as the brands used by McLean, the measure for these brands would vary.
Probably the chief reason for the variation in weight of different types and different brands of the same type is the fineness of subdivision or grinding of the ingredients.