jnfd3 Posted 22 May 2013 , 4:52pm
post #1 of

My wife has been baking and decorating cakes for over a dozen years and has always banged the air bubbles out of them. Everyone always marvels at how MOIST her cakes are. I recently hooked her up with a job making desserts at the restaurant I work at. Today our boss told her not to bang the cake batter in the pans before you cook them because that would make them DRY!! Has anyone else heard of this or experienced it? Would love to hear some views on this subject from anyone who has experienced this phenomenom.

21 replies
JSKConfections Posted 22 May 2013 , 5:01pm
post #2 of

I always give my pans a bang to knock out air bubbles and my cakes are still moist.  Not sure his reasoning or why no big air bubbles would make a cake dry...I have never heard this and I've been baking over 30 years.

 

Good luck!

jnfd3 Posted 22 May 2013 , 5:12pm
post #3 of

That is good to hear. I know this and my wife knows it. Our boss went to a "Culinary School" and feels that her way is right. Problem is all her desserts are hit and miss and is not someone who will take someone elses advice easily. Even if that person has years of experience over her. Its sad cuz my wife is an AWESOME cake baker and dessert maker!! Thank you for your insight!!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 22 May 2013 , 5:13pm
post #4 of

It depends on the cake, if it's a chiffon or angel food type cake, then no.

 

A typical stacking cake? Yes, I whack the pan on the counter twice and also spin in to distribute the batter evenly. It prevents large air pockets and tunneling.

Dry cakes are a result of flawed recipes, over baking or improper mixing, removing air may make it denser, but not dry.

 

I've been baking in professional kitchens since I was 19, and have attended two culinary schools, and I've never had another pastry chef tell me to quit whacking the pan. (and I like to think the chefs that taught me knew their stuff :P)

AnnieCahill Posted 22 May 2013 , 7:28pm
post #5 of

That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.  Moisture has nothing to do with air bubbles trapped in cake batter, and someone who went to "culinary school" should know that. 

kakeladi Posted 22 May 2013 , 9:04pm
post #6 of

How funny the things people come up with!  Never, ever heard that one :)

And, yes, I banged my cake pans for over 30 yrs LOL.

jnfd3 Posted 22 May 2013 , 9:23pm
post #7 of

Nope not a chiffon or angel food. Plain old white cake to be layered. Layered and filled with lemon curd and raspberry mousse topped with peanut butter frosting. Yum??... Bosses idea not my wifes.

icer101 Posted 22 May 2013 , 9:27pm
post #8 of

Her boss, needs to watch Paula Deen!!!! lol!!!!

liz at sugar Posted 22 May 2013 , 9:48pm
post #9 of

Lemon, peanut butter and raspberry?  Not very yum.  Lemon and raspberry - yes.  Peanut butter and raspberry - yes (grown up PB&J).  But the lemon with peanut butter? No.

 

Liz
 

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 22 May 2013 , 11:38pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnfd3 

Nope not a chiffon or angel food. Plain old white cake to be layered. Layered and filled with lemon curd and raspberry mousse topped with peanut butter frosting. Yum??... Bosses idea not my wifes.


umm, are you sure she had any culinary training? :P

AnnieCahill Posted 23 May 2013 , 12:24am

AAck!

lorieleann Posted 23 May 2013 , 12:35am

the thought of lemon and PB actually just made my lip curl. ewww.  

 

it is amazing the notions that some very experienced bakers can have that you know just aren't correct.  I recently read a comment from a very well respected decorator and tutorial teacher that it is the hi-ratio shortening that makes a buttercream crust--butter based buttercreams do not crust. It is shocking to me that someone at her level of influence wouldn't understand that it is the ratio of fat to powder to sugar in an American buttercream that causes the crust to form, and not the actual type of fat (shortening, hi-ratio shortening, butter, or a combination of the two) used. 

AnnieCahill Posted 23 May 2013 , 1:39am

AI agree, that is a common misconception. There was someone on another forum who argued with me to the death that buttercream would absolutely not crust without meringue powder. Where do people get this stuff?

Culinary school does not an expert make!

kaylawaylalayla Posted 23 May 2013 , 1:51am

this is what i hate about baking. so many nonsensical made up rules. as a newb it's hard to know what to believe.i went to culinary school, but i am very much a newbie.good luck at work! 

kazita Posted 23 May 2013 , 2:07am

ADon't bang the pans it makes your cakes dry.....really what a joke. I'm just a hobby baker and I know better than that wow what some people think. I should say I'm am a hobby baker but have been making cakes for 15 years for family and friends.

maybenot Posted 23 May 2013 , 2:48am

Silly advice AND disgusting flavor combinations???  I'd like to know which school is developing that fateful pairing....................

Annabakescakes Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:37am

A

Original message sent by lorieleann

the thought of lemon and PB actually just made my lip curl. ewww.  

it is amazing the notions that some very experienced bakers can have that you know just aren't correct.  I recently read a comment from a very well respected decorator and tutorial teacher that it is the hi-ratio shortening that makes a buttercream crust--butter based buttercreams do not crust. It is shocking to me that someone at her level of influence wouldn't understand that it is the ratio of fat to powder to sugar in an American buttercream that causes the crust to form, and not the actual type of fat (shortening, hi-ratio shortening, butter, or a combination of the two) used. 

I will second the notion that hi-ratio does NOT make icing crust, since I did a dummy cake 2 weeks ago with powdered sugar and hi-ratio and it is still soft as can be :'-(

FromScratchSF Posted 23 May 2013 , 3:45am

I thought it was the corn starch in the powdered sugar that makes ABC really crust leaving the icing under it softer.  Meringue powder strengthens the surface so we can use things like rollers, molds, impression mats etc.    The icing will still dry out on the surface if it didn't have corn starch, but it would dry through, not just the surface.    I tested this when I made ABC with organic powdered sugar, which was 10x but no corn starch in it.  It got dry and brittle, almost fondant like.  This is one of those things that everyone has an opinion on but nobody really knows who's right.  Of course, I think I am, but since ABC isn't my area of expertise I could totally be wrong!!!

 

I too have never heard that whacking your pan make a cake dry.  That's crazy.  But I've heard all kinds of malarky out of the mouths of "experts" for all things cake so I'm not surprised!

lorieleann Posted 23 May 2013 , 5:57am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF 

I thought it was the corn starch in the powdered sugar that makes ABC really crust leaving the icing under it softer.  Meringue powder strengthens the surface so we can use things like rollers, molds, impression mats etc.    The icing will still dry out on the surface if it didn't have corn starch, but it would dry through, not just the surface.    I tested this when I made ABC with organic powdered sugar, which was 10x but no corn starch in it.  It got dry and brittle, almost fondant like.  This is one of those things that everyone has an opinion on but nobody really knows who's right.  Of course, I think I am, but since ABC isn't my area of expertise I could totally be wrong!!!

 

 

That's interesting...what was the ratio of fat to powder sugar?   I have seen one on-line tutorial for buttercream where the recipe was 2 cups of butter to one lb of powder sugar, with 2 tsps flavoring and NO additional liquid. The presenter said that it didn't crust.  I tried it in the process of making my usual ABC ratio of 1 cup to 1 lb, and she's right, it didn't crust and was extra buttery and smooth. 

 

I also think your crustiness depends on environmental conditions.  I'm in AZ and with a usual humidity around 18% (going down to 8, and unless it's raining at the very moment not usually over 30%), things get crusty fast.  and I don't just mean ABC. 

kazita Posted 23 May 2013 , 6:33am

A

Original message sent by lorieleann

That's interesting...what was the ratio of fat to powder sugar?   I have seen one on-line tutorial for buttercream where the recipe was 2 cups of butter to one lb of powder sugar, with 2 tsps flavoring and NO additional liquid. The presenter said that it didn't crust.  I tried it in the process of making my usual ABC ratio of 1 cup to 1 lb, and she's right, it didn't crust and was extra buttery and smooth. 

I also think your crustiness depends on environmental conditions.  I'm in AZ and with a usual humidity around 18% (going down to 8, and unless it's raining at the very moment not usually over 30%), things get crusty fast.  and I don't just mean ABC. 

That's not near enough powdered sugar to make your buttercream crust, I made my buttercream using high ratio shortening not butter but I use 2 cups shortening and at least 2 pounds of powdered sugar so you would need at least 2 pounds of sugar if not more.

AnnieCahill Posted 23 May 2013 , 12:48pm

When I took my first Wilton class about 15 years ago, the instructor told us that the primary purpose of meringue powder was to prevent colors from bleeding.  I used it in a recipe ONCE and it was awful.  It had a sour, almost lemon kind of taste (it was the Wilton brand of meringue powder).  Needless to say I haven't used meringue powder in a buttercream recipe since then.

 

I know in other countries, some icing/powdered sugar doesn't have cornstarch in it, but the buttercreams still crust.  My American BC recipe only slightly crusts, and there is no way I could use a roller or any of that on mine.  Sharon Zambito's recipe uses hi-ratio shortening but it doesn't have meringue powder.  It definitely crusts because she goes to town with the computer paper and Vivas and impression mats.  I used her recipe in the past with hi-ratio but eventually abandoned it because I missed the butter.  Although it crusted on the outside, it was soft and creamy on the inside.  Eventually I modified a recipe someone shared with me and that's the one I use if I'm making American BC.  At the end of the day, the key lies within the ratios of the ingredients. 

 

I also think weather and temperature have a lot to do with it as well.

maybenot Posted 23 May 2013 , 7:00pm

Sugar is extremely hygroscopic, so my understanding of "crusting" is essentially the sugar on the surface is combining with moisture (from within and without) to form a thin, dry surface sort of like a "shell". 

 

I find that increasing the sugar increases the crusting.  If I don't want crust, I can either decrease the sugar or increase the liquid (and sometimes fats).  Even without added liquid, if the fat content is high and the sugar and fat are well combined, crusting is less because the sugar particles are all well coated with the fat and are less affected by the outside moisture.

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