I am a home baker and I am trying to improve on my Chiffon cake recipe and I saw something about specific gravity? So my question is if I mix this long enough to but a lot of air in the batter does that not create gluten? I was always told not to over mix cakes ,muffins and so on. Any tips and suggestions welcome.
To be honest, I've never made a chiffon cake because I don't like them and am not sure what you mean about specific gravity. I do know that the lightness and volume in a chiffon cake is achieved by beating the egg whites to a firm peak, but still soft enough to gently incorporate with the other ingredients. Definitely not a cake that you want to over mix. The only thing I can think where gravity might come into play is, once the cake is removed from the oven, it should be cooled upside down, standing to the feet of the pan, so the delicate mixture does not deflate under its own weight.
You are correct, mixing does build up gluten, desirable in yeast breads, but not so much in cakes. This is just a stab in the dark, since I don't really understand the question. Hope it helps.
I agree with everything Sandra said. It’s been at least 50 years since I tried making a chiffons cake so I don’t remember much — in fact nothing about making one
I did look up specific gravity, as it pertains to cakes, and I believe in the case of a chiffon cake, the air beaten into the egg whites serves that purpose, not beating the batter.
Specific gravity relates to the fact of having a substance (a cake batter in this case) lighter or heavier (more or less dense) than water. The idea behind the chiffon cake is to have a delightfully light batter. The procedure is to cream the yolks, sugar, and oil until very spongy, and then incorporate the dry ingredients, flour, etc. without developing the gluten. That means folding very carefully. The process is finished by adding the egg whites that have been whipped to a stiff peak with the help of sugar (in order to get a very stable meringue without being dry.) The meringue should also be folded carefully, to keep the air without activating the gluten already present in the batter. If you drop a spoonful of this mixture into a cup of water, it should float on top, meaning that the batters is less dense than water. Than can only be achieved if the batter is properly made and enough air has been incorporated into the final batter.
In short, you should incorporate the flour lightly, without mixing, but folding. The same applies to the meringue.
Remember, as for angel cake you do not grease your pan, and also you flip it once is baked to preserve the light texture you achieved. Sounds complicated, but the result is worth the effort.
Hope it helps.
Thanks my dear Sandra. My knowledge about specific gravity came from my chemical engineering background and from my job experience as a drilling mud researcher... It was just fun to put it into cake context! At least you can give the cake a try...drilling mud is yuck! Now my dear, what chapter are you at?
Actually starting at the beginning, I am on about page 50, but I've skipped all over the place because I can't resist! I can't tell you how much I love it!
I've never drilled mud (sounds like digging a well), but I've played in it a bunch, lol.