This section is from the book "Experimental Cookery From The Chemical And Physical Standpoint", by Belle Lowe. Also available from Amazon: Experimental cookery.
A. To determine the amount of mixing to give the best texture and the best method of mixing for a rich chocolate cake. Recipe:*
1 1/4 cups
2 1/4 cups
280 grams 450 grams 192 grams 113 grams 300 grams 244 grams
Sift the flour and baking powder together 2 times for all the following experiments.
1. Mix by any of the methods given below, but it will be necessary to add all the flour and milk at one time. The full recipe will make 10 cakes of 150 grams each, so that portions of the batter may be removed after stirring 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500, and 1000 strokes. For high altitudes the proportion of fat, sugar, and baking powder may need to be reduced.
2. Conventional method. Prepare 1/4 of the recipe. Cream the butter, flavoring, salt, and sugar until very light and spongy. Add the beaten egg and mix until very fluffy. Melt the chocolate carefully over warm water. Do not let it get too hot, as it should not melt the butter. Add to the butter mixture and stir thoroughly. For adding the flour and milk follow directions under Experiment 84D, method a, b, or c, but mix a total of 350 strokes or the number found best under 85,1. For a loaf cake a pan with a top 8 by 4, bottom 7 1/4 by 3 1/4, and a depth 2 3/4 inches, of 5 cups' capacity will be needed for l/4 of the recipe. For a layer cake a pan 7 by 7 and 2 1/8 inches deep will be satisfactory. Bake at 195° to 200°C. (about 385° to 400°F.).
3. Muffin method. Put the softened butter, the melted chocolate, the sugar, flavoring, and beaten egg in the mixing bowl. Add the flour and milk and stir 500 times. If the other ingredients are too cold the melted chocolate will not blend and may be in flakes in the mixture. On the other hand, if the butter and melted chocolate are very warm they raise the temperature of the other ingredients, the gluten develops rapidly and the cake is more rubbery and tough.
4. Cake-mixer method. Combine the butter softened sufficiently to cream, the sugar, and the beaten egg. Mix thoroughly until light and spongy. Add the melted chocolate; see 85,2, for directions for melting the chocolate. Add the flour and milk to the batter according to directions given under 85,2.
5. Use the conventional-sponge method. See Experiment 84, E6.
B. Temperature of baking.
Prepare the full recipe, using the method of mixing decided upon. Divide into 6 cakes using 235 grams in each cake. Bake 1 cake at 165°C, 1 at 175°C, 1 at 185°C, 1 at 195°C, 1 at 205°C, and 1 at 215°C.
C. To determine the effect of varying the ingredients upon the color of the cake.
* This recipe was developed by Betty Ingersol Aitken.
1. Use different brands of chocolate.
2. Use 1/2 teaspoon of soda and reduce the baking powder to 3 teaspoons.
3. Use thick sour milk. Add 1/2 teaspoon of soda, reduce the baking powder to 3 teaspoons and the flour to 286 grams for the full recipe.
4. Use brown sugar.
5. Mix enough of the following for 1/2 the recipe: butter, sugar, egg, chocolate, flavoring, and salt. After they are thoroughly mixed, weigh and divide into three parts. Use for a, b, and c.
a. In part one use a tartrate baking powder. The quantity of flour, baking powder, and milk will be for 1/6 of the recipe. Add flour and milk by method found best under A.
b. In part two use a phosphate baking powder.
c. In part three use S.-P. baking powder. D. Substituting cocoa for chocolate.
Substitute 63 grams of cocoa for the chocolate. Also use larger and smaller quantities to determine the optimum quantity.
Compare the appearance, shape of top, volume, and texture of the cakes made by the different methods. Is there any difference in tenderness? Is the texture of a rich chocolate cake better, if the butter and sugar are thoroughly creamed? Which method requires the shortest time for mixing? Did the ingredients of your cake have a high or a low temperature while mixing? Is the flavor improved by adding soda? Do different brands of chocolate produce the same color? The same flavor? What is the effect of different types of baking powder on the color of the cake?