This section is from the book "Experimental Cookery From The Chemical And Physical Standpoint", by Belle Lowe. Also available from Amazon: Experimental cookery.
To determine the effect of mixing by different methods on the volume, texture, and tenderness of white cake. Recipe:
3 cups 1 cup 6
168 grams 400 grams 300 grams 244 grams 180 grams
Flavoring Baking powder Salt
1 teaspoon 3 teaspoons 1/2 teaspoon
1. Conventional method. Prepare 1/6 of the recipe. The amount of mixing to give the best texture varies with the kind of flour used and may need to be determined. The butter is creamed, and the sugar added gradually to it. Add the salt and the flavoring. Sift the baking powder and the flour together several times. Add approximately 1/3 of the flour and 1/3 of the milk. Stir 100 strokes. Add a second portion of flour and milk, stirring a total of 200 strokes. Add the remainder of the flour and milk, stirring a total of 350 strokes. The egg whites are beaten until they flow slowly when the bowl is partially inverted. They are then added to the cake mixture and folded in with 50 folds, using a spatula. Weigh 200 grams of batter into a pan of 21/2 cups' capacity. Bake at 185°C. (365°F.).
2. Repeat 1, but fold the egg whites 100 times.
3. Repeat 1, but stir instead of folding the egg whites into the batter.
4. Partially cream the butter. Then add the sugar and unbeaten egg white. Beat until light and creamy. It is not necessary to cream the butter by this method, but the creaming lightens the color of the butter and thus a whiter cake is obtained. If the butter is not creamed the only difference is in the color, provided the sugar, butter, and egg white are thoroughly creamed. Add the salt, flavoring, flour, and milk according to directions given under 86,1, mixing a total of 400 strokes.
5. Thoroughly cream the butter, sugar, salt, and flavoring. Sift the flour and baking powder together several times. Add approximately 1/3 of flour, 1/3 of the milk, and 1/3°f the beaten egg white. Stir 100 strokes. Add another 1/3 of the flour, milk, and the beaten egg white. Stir a total of 200 strokes. Add the remainder of the flour, milk, and egg white. Stir a total of 400 strokes.
Compare the appearance of the crust, the volume, the texture, the tenderness, and the flavor of the cakes. Which method gives the greatest volume? The most tender cake? What is the effect of folding the egg white too long? Which method is the easiest to prepare?
Appearance of crust
Shape of top
Results and conclusions. Suggestions for Additional Experiments with White Cakes
1. Vary the proportion of ingredients, and determine the amount of mixing required to give the best texture.
2. Add all the flour and milk at one time, instead of in several portions.
3. Add the flour and milk in several portions, but alternately.
4. Test the creaming ability of different fats, and determine how much the baking powder can be reduced, when creaming is very thorough.
5. Determine the optimum baking temperature.