Gourmet Baked Goods

http://citrusspicebakery.com (801) 923-4117 citrusspicebakery@gmail.com

Custom wedding and party cakes, cupcakes, sugar cookies, and French macarons.

All my products are made to be the most delicious you've ever eaten! Painstakingly tested recipes, innovative baking techniques, and the very best ingredients set them apart. Premium chocolates, Madagascar vanilla beans, real butter, fresh fruit, and premium toasted nuts.

Everything I make is from scratch, including my fondant, sugar paste and modeling chocolate.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pink Party Cake

This was a test recipe - really more of a technique test than a recipe test.  You see, if you look up just about any cake recipe on the planet, it is as follows: 4-3-2-1 batter: 4 eggs, 3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup each butter and milk... plus of course leavening (baking powder) and vanilla.  The method is always the same, too: cream the butter and sugar together until good and fluffy, then add the eggs and vanilla, and then alternate adding 1/3 at a time of dry ingredients and milk.  It's kind of fussy, and if the butter and sugar aren't creamed well enough, aren't at a good room temperature, and if you overmix, the cake can turn out dense much too easily.  This is why I often have people tell me they don't like homemade cake - box mix is better because of its nice, fluffy texture.  And on this point, I happen to agree with them, however the flavor (chemical and fake, and not at all eggy, butter, or vanilla-y) is lacking.  Chocolate homemade cakes (made with real melted chocolate, and not just cocoa powder) always turn out nice and fluffy, and have much better flavor than box chocolate cake, because chocolate contains cocoa butter and some acid, which have a tenderizing and fluffing effect.  However, vanilla, yellow, and white cakes are a different matter.  I have tried dozens of recipes, from many sources, and have been consistently disappointed with the results.  There are some recipes that even suggest you follow the usual mixing method, but leave the egg whites out, and then you separately whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold that into the remaining batter.  The result gives the cake a cottony, dry mouth feel in my opinion - much like angel food cake - which is fine if you want angel food cake, but not fine if you want a moist, velvety vanilla birthday cake.  I wondered, how can these be so finicky and yet box yellow cake can be perfectly fluffy all the time?  Then I came across a recipe that called for a completely different mixing method.  You throw all the dry ingredients into the mixer - flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and then you mix in softened butter until it's cut in like cutting the butter into biscuit or pie dough, and then you pour in all the liquid stuff together (milk, eggs, vanilla) and mix it just until it's smooth.  Suddenly, my vanilla cakes were light, fluffy, velvety, moist... perfect!  Like a box mix in light fluffiness, but with the incredibly delicious buttery flavor of homemade!  And so, as an experiment, I wanted to know if the success of the recipe had anything to do with the amounts of ingredients, because those were also vastly different from the traditional 4-3-2-1 batters.  So, I tried a traditional 4-3-2-1 recipe except with the new mixing method and... it came out amazing!  In a way, this makes sense to me.  When you make a box mix, all the dry ingredients are together in a bag, and you put them all in the mixer together, and then blend in the wet ingredients.  You don't have to do the cutting in the butter part because you use vegetable oil in box mixes, but I bet if you used a cake mix and substituted soft butter for the oil, and cut it in, and then added the eggs and water, it would be better than the usual, because butter is much more delicious than vegetable oil.  Anyway, for my test I made a vanilla cake with pink vanilla frosting.  It happened to be my step-sister's birthday, but she was out of town, so I took this picture of it and sent it to her, and we all ate it in her honor! :) So here is a pink party cake... if you have ever been afraid to make a homemade cake, or had disappointing results when you tried, give the new method a try.  It's very easy.  The recipe I used was from www.joyofbaking.com Just don't follow her mixing directions.

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