This section is from the book "Experimental Cookery From The Chemical And Physical Standpoint", by Belle Lowe. Also available from Amazon: Experimental cookery.
Plain Cake Experiment 84.
Butter 1/2 cup 112 grams
Sugar 1 cup 200 grams
Eggs 2 96 grams
Milk 1 cup 244 grams
Family flour 2 2/3 cups 300 grams or
Cake flour 3 cups 300 grams
Baking powder 10 grams
Salt 1/2 teaspoon 2 grams
Pastry or soft-wheat flour may be used instead of the all-purpose hard-wheat flour. Flavoring is added during creaming for home use, but may be omitted for experimental work. Stirring is going round and round the mixing bowl, either rapidly or slowly; beating is pulling the utensil across the contents of the mixing bowl. The directions for all the mixing are for stirring. If the class decides to beat the batter instead of stirring, this should be understood before starting the mixing so that all will use uniform methods. Bake at 185°C. (365°F.).
A. To determine the amount of mixing that gives the best texture for a plain cake with different types of baking powders.
1. Use a tartrate baking powder. Brand of baking powder used:
Pans. Pans 5 by 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches, and 2 cups' capacity, are a good size for 1/6 of the above recipe. If larger or smaller pans are used, prepare the proportion of the recipe needed for the size of the pan. Muffin pans may be used. If they are medium size and 60 grams of batter are used for each cake, only 3 1/2 of the recipe should be prepared. Line the bottom of the pan with wax or heavy plain paper. Grease the paper on the side next to the batter. The sides of the pan do not need greasing.
Prepare the whole recipe. Sift the baking powder with the flour 2 times. It can be sifted on squares of paper or in bowls. It is preferable to have incubated the ingredients or put them in the room previous to starting work so that their temperature is about 25° to 27°C. If this is not possible, place the butter over warm, not hot, water and stir while softening it. Since the fat alone does not hold much air when stirred or creamed but does hold air after the sugar is added, some sugar should be added at the start of the creaming process. If creaming is done on a machine, add all the sugar to the fat at first, in order to standardize the procedure. Creaming is more rapid when done by hand, if the sugar is added gradually. Cream until light and fluffy. Add the well-beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Add all the flour and all the milk to the butter mixture. Begin to stir; notice any changes that occur in the batter while stirring. Stir 50 strokes. Remove 150 grams of the batter and weigh into a cake pan. Note the position of the batter that drops from the edge of the spoon in relation to the pan in the last cakes. Do any tunnels develop at these spots in the cakes?
2. Stir the batter remaining from 1 a total of 150 strokes. Notice any changes in the batter. Use 150 grams of batter for the second cake.
3. Stir the batter remaining from 2 a total of 200 strokes. Note any changes in the batter. Use 150 grams of batter for the third cake.
4. Stir the batter remaining from 3 a total of 300 strokes. Remove 150 grams of batter for the fourth cake.
5. Stir the batter remaining from 4 a total of 400 strokes. Note any changes in the batter. Bake 150 grams of the batter.
6. Stir the batter remaining from 5 a total of 1000 strokes. Note any changes that occur in the batter. Use 150 grams of batter for a sixth cake.
The following headings are suggested for records for cakes. The shape of the top and the relative volumes may be sketched in quickly.
Appearance of crust
Shape of top
Results and conclusions.
B. Repeat A, using a phosphate baking powder. Brand of baking powder used:
C. Repeat A, using S.-P. baking powder. Brand of baking powder used:
A, B, and C. What is a desirable amount of mixing for each type of baking powder for a very plain cake? With which baking powder can the most mixing be used? With which can the least be used? Describe the way the batter changes during the mixing. Does it vary with the different baking powders? How long are the strands of batter that fall from the spoon during the different stages of mixing?
D. To determine the optimum amount of baking powder.
Prepare 1/6 or 1/4 the recipe according to the size of the baking pan used. Increase the sugar to 11/2 cups. For 1/6 the recipe bake 150 grams of batter, for 1/4, 235 grams. Add the flour by method a, b, or c, but use only one method throughout the experiment. Use 225 strokes for combining the flour and milk with the creamed mixture.
All the butter, sugar, and eggs for one section can be creamed together thoroughly and divided into 6 equal parts.
Method a for adding flour. (Flour first and last.)
Add approximately 1/3 of the flour and stir 50 strokes. Add 1/2 of the milk and stir 25 additional strokes or a total of 75. Add another third of the flour and stir a total of 125 strokes. Add 1/2 of the milk and stir a total of 150 strokes. Add the remainder of the flour and stir a total of 225 strokes.
Method b for adding the flour.
Add approximately 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 of the milk. Stir 75 strokes. Add another 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 of the milk and stir a total of 150 strokes. Add rest of flour and milk and stir a total of 225 strokes.
Method c for adding flour. (Milk first and last.)
Add 2/3 of the milk to the creamed mixture and stir 5 strokes. Add all the flour and stir a total of 175 strokes. Add the remainder of the milk and stir a total of 225 strokes.
a. Use a tartrate baking powder.
1. Use 6 grams of baking powder for the full recipe.
2. Use 8 grams of baking powder for the full recipe.
3. Use 10 grams of baking powder for the full recipe.
4. Use 12 grams of baking powder for the full recipe.
5. Use 14 grams of baking powder for the full recipe.