Friday, February 2, 2007

A Perfect Cake!

Cake How often have you obtained what you considered a perfect cake? Isn't it often true that one day you will have baked a cake to perfection and the next just a passable cake that your family eats but does not devour with enthusiasm? One layer may be thin, the other thick or humped in the middle or burned on the edges, or again a loaf may have fallen in the center, the icing has hardened before you could spread it or even worse there was insufficient to cover the cake. These are the results that discourage most beginners, but all can be avoided by starting in the right way.

Cake when properly made of good wholesome materials is a nourishing and excellent food. While some prefer a light, fluffy cake and others a moist cake, everyone will agree that to be good a cake must be evenly baked, the crust thin and without cracks and an even brown, the texture fine and even-grained without being close and above all the flavour sweet and delicate.

To always have a perfect result without worry and effort is within every ones reach if certain simple rules are followed.

1. Plan so all materials and utensils are at hand when wanted.

2. Choose only the best materials. The best is most economical in the end.

3. Follow directions exactly as given.

4. Be systematic and accurate in all measurements so that results will never vary.

5. Use level measures for all materials.

6. If inexperienced choose a plain cup cake without frosting for your first attempt.

7. Remember that the baking of a cake is as important as the mixing and an oven thermometer is a good investment.

8. Layer cake tins and loaf cake tins come in various sizes, so note how much each recipe makes before deciding on tin to use.

9. All cakes should be baked in the center of the middle shelf__where the heat is uniform. Layer and small cakes should bake quickly in a hot oven and loaf cakes should bake more slowly in a moderate oven.

STANDARD BUTTER CAKE

1/3 cup butter, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Cream butter thoroughly; add sugar a little at a time, beating well; add yolks of eggs and vanilla; beat well and add the milk a little at a time alternately with the dry ingredients which have been sifted together; mix well but do not beat. Mix in beaten egg whites. Bake in greased and slightly floured loaf tin in moderate oven 350 F. about forty-five minutes or bake in layer tins or cup cake tins in moderate oven at 375 F. about twenty minutes.

Makes one loaf 8 inches x 4 inches x 3 inches or three eight-inch layers, or sixteen cup cakes.

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