Ok, I'm on a mission to learn more about simple syrup & adding them to your scratch cakes. Anyone here do this?
I got a "recipe" out of the Cake Bible and made it yesterday. I don't have a pastry brush, so I carefully poured the syrup over the cake.
I didn't see anywhere in the book about how much to use, or the best way to apply it. Can anyone help me out? I didn't end up using that much.
You can use a brush like the kind you use for BBQ
I do use simple syrup on all of my cakes (usually flavored with a small amount of liqueur to coordinate with the cake/filling/icing flavors). Unfortunately, I don't have any guide for you as to how much to use, as it's going to differ for everyone depending on the application.
Some recipes are more dry from the get-go, so they can take a little more on, others only really need a light dab of syrup from the brush to flavor/moisten them. You sort of need to play around with it with the recipes you will use to get the right amount. I do find this is one place where "less is more" is usually the way to go. Nobody like a soggy cake! lol Good luck!
I looked in the book for a recipe that uses it. On pg.120 for the Genoise Classique she uses 1/4 cup plus I and 1/2 tsp of sugar to 1/2 liquid cup measure of water and 2 tbls. of your choice of liquor. If you don't want to use liquer then you could just use water. I use a silicone pastry brush. But if look in her index under "syruping" Rose suggests using a syringe. If you like scratch baking go to her forum and blog Real Baking With Rose. People there are real food afficiondos and die-hard scratch bakers. You can get more of specifac answer there. By the way, the syrup is for a 9x2 pan, 9'Sprinform, 9x2 heart shaped or 8x2 square.
You can use a squeeze bottle or those paint brushes that are really cheap, that's what i use but only for the syrup. You want to use enough to get the cake moist on each layer, when i make my cakes i always use the syrup and also add some liquer depending on the flavor of the cake. So for chocolate i use rum and for vanilla with fresh fruit i use gran marnier.
I add simple syrup to the edge -- about 1" in from the crust -- the icing softens the crust, and the middle is usually the more tender part of the cake. It seems the inner ring can use a little extra moisture, if it is needed.
I had a complaint about too many crumbs from a caterer a few months ago -- so I tired flash-freezing my cakes recently, and found the cake had less crumbs, and cut better when frozen overnight.
I have also found white cake with with alcohol in the batter dries out a little faster (since the alcohol evaporates more rapidly than other liquids) so I compensate with a little rum in the simple syrup.
Box cakes have xanthan gum, which helps crumbs stick together, so for scratch baking, it may be that the freezing helps with consolidating crumbs. It may be that some customer/caterers now are expecting box cake consistency, and they might not be quite as careful with plating as they used to be.... ?
Hope this helps!
I looked in the book for a recipe that uses it. On pg.120 for the Genoise Classique she uses 1/4 cup plus I and 1/2 tsp of sugar to 1/2 liquid cup measure of water and 2 tbls. of your choice of liquor.
This is the right amount of syrup for a genoise, but would be way too much for a butter/creamed style cake. Genoise and other sponge type cakes have much less butter than butter/creamed cakes. Because genoise is made primarily with eggs and sugar, the texture is spongy and dry and needs the syrup for the moisture. Also, the strong structure of the sponge cake can absorb plenty of liquid without falling apart.
Because butter/creamed type cakes have plenty of moisture from the fat in the butter, they don't need so much syrup. For a butter/creamed style of cake, the syrup adds a little moisture and flavor, but if you put too much syrup on the cake it won't be absorbed and will just taste wet and could fall apart.
For a butter cake I use a silcone brush and just lightly brush the top surface with the syrup. I would estimate that on an 8" layer I use about 2T. That's enough to give it flavor and a little extra moisture.
I just use a tablespoon and I go around the cake with the spoon to moist it
I simple syrup my cakes also. I brush mine on with a pastry brush, but I make sure not to soak it or the cake will get ruined and mushy. Just a simple going over with the flavor I use in the cakes (Or I make my own out of sugar and water) and just brush it on quickly.
"Box cakes have xanthan gum, which helps crumbs stick together, so for scratch baking, it may be that the freezing helps with consolidating crumbs"
What about adding some xanthan gum to the scratch recipe?
oh and also, my cake teacher taught us to put on the simple syrup using a spray bottle that is used exclusively for simple syrup. its the easiest way to control the amount of syrup and to put it on evenly.
That's a good tip Henna about the spray bottle.
I use simple syrup all the time, on virtually everything. Real basic, too â equal amounts of sugar and water â say a cup each, simmered for several minutes until gently golden and a little thicker. Then I usually add liquor, and depending on the company, that could be a lot â chocolate sponge cake takes on Kahlua nicely into the simple syrup; rum works well with my flourless walnut cake... So does freshly squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest - you can literally turn a white cake into a lemon cake just by adding the right amountâ¦ I also just drizzle it with a spoon over the layers, brushing it on in most cases is too time consuming to get enough syrup onâ¦ Donât think there is any exact science how much syrup to put onâ¦ Some recipes, especially European tortes, are very dry to start with, and they get all of their moisture from the syrup and filling. American cakes, boxed mixes in particular, hardly need syrup for moisture â mostly for flavor to mask the chemical aftertaste (if at all possible), in which case it's better to use that Kahlua straight up â¦
So just go ahead and experiment with a few of your favorite scratch recipes, adding different amounts of variously flavored syrup and youâll come up with your own perfect secret formula!
Very intrigued by the spray bottle tip now, btw!
Edited to add:
On a kidâs cake, provided it will be refrigerated at all times, I love using whole milk instead of water in the âsyrupâ. I stole the idea from the Dulce de leche cake, and it works really well (ahmâ¦ provided I donât burn it, which I have done a few times, oh the mess!!!...), it is not cooked that long, either. Again, I only do it to taste and cannot recommend exact quantity, but the cake is not really soaked in it, just gently moistened.