Chemistry Of Cakes

Baking By supermom419 Updated 20 Nov 2011 , 2:12am by MCurry

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supermom419 Posted 19 Nov 2011 , 4:55pm
post #1 of 4

I have been trying to replicate a texture of some cupcakes I had from a fabulous bakery. They were very white, so I'm guessing just egg whites were used. They were dense, moist, and had a tight crumb with no air holes. I bought several flavors from this bakery, and they all had the same texture. When you cut a small section out, the crumbs didn't stick on the knife. I know they are from scratch, and I have already tried 20 scratch and doctored recipes. They were either dry or so rich, that the crumbs stuck to knife as I cut out a section.

I need to know how to read a scratch recipe. Do I want baking soda or powder? These ingredients vary immensely between the recipes I've tried. Some have a lot of baking powder and some list both. Also oil verse butter? I know butter tastes better, but all the standard cakes recipes with butter were dry for me. Do I want even amounts of flour and sugar, or more flour? How about sour cream, milk, half and half, etc? I know this is a lot of questions, but if I could look at recipe and know it's not what I'm looking for, it would save me a lot of baking time and ingredient money. Thanks!!!

3 replies
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Tracey2528 Posted 19 Nov 2011 , 5:41pm
post #2 of 4

There's a book called the Cake Bible. The lady who wrote it is a chemist and a pastry chef, and she explains all the hows and whys of baking. It's a fabulous book! She goes over everything!

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karateka Posted 19 Nov 2011 , 7:04pm
post #3 of 4

I second The Cake Bible recommendation. Another good one is Shirley Corriher's Cookwise. She also has one out for baking called Bakewise.

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MCurry Posted 20 Nov 2011 , 2:12am
post #4 of 4

Pick up the book How Baking Works for by Paula Figoni. It was a recommended when I attended culinary school. I own it and use it as a reference guide when baking. Amazon has the best price.

Another book that talks about the science of cooking in general is On Food And Cooking by Harold McGee.

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