Whether you are a Bride or a Baker (BB’s) I hope you find some interesting tips here. Here goes with my first blog entry EVER!!
Do Cakes Made From-Scratch Really Taste Better?
Oh yes, cakes made from-scratch are absolutely more delicious than cakes made from a boxed mix. Think back on a delicious cake you had when you were a child. Maybe your mom made a Red Velvet cake that was amazing or someone in your church made the best Carrot Cake on the planet.
Regardless of the flavor, the cake you are thinking about right now was made from-scratch. There’s no way that delicious cake was made with a boxed mix.
Why Do From-Scratch Cakes Taste So Incredible?
It’s all about the ingredients dear friends. All of the yummy stuff that goes into a from-scratch cake isn’t in a boxed cake mix. It’s just not in there! Boxed cake mixes are full of dry stuff and great cake needs ingredients that are moist, fresh and delicious!!
From-scratch cakes include:
Butter is a key player for taste, moisture and structure. I use Plugra butter in everything. Plugra is a super high quality European butter. It’s more expensive than store brands but is absolutely worth every penny. Why go to the trouble of making a cake if it isn’t going to be delicious?
I’m not talking about fake vanilla extract here or something that costs $5 from the grocery store. Imitation vanilla extract is a synthetic version of real vanilla. Synthetic vanilla? The thought of using this just gave me the creeps. There is no way on earth I would put synthetic anything in my precious cakes. I use the highest quality gourmet vanilla extract available and it’s made from vanilla beans grown in Madagascar. I LOVE this extract. (Note: I’m making a batch of vanilla extract using Tahitian vanilla beans. I posted a video on how to do this on my Instagram feed check it out!) High quality vanilla extract brings LAYERS of flavor to my cakes. Super high quality vanilla is expensive but worth every penny.
Premium Cake Flour
Premium cake flour has a LOW protein level and results in a tender cake. All Purpose (AP) flour can’t compete with cake flour when making cakes. AP flour has a HIGH protein level and results in a tighter, firmer, cake structure. Just say NO to All Purpose flour when it comes to cake.
Moist, delicious cake has something extra in it to make it moist. The moisture ingredient could be sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, milk or even yogurt. Something has brought moisture to the cake and that ingredient is important for moistness, flavor and the leavening process.
What is the Leavening Process?
Baked goods rise due to the leavening process. Leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder release carbon dioxide and cause the dough to rise. The trick is to have a cake structure that will keep all of those gas bubbles inside the batter so the cake rises high. It’s a beautiful thing.
Here’s the deal. I could talk about the science behind baking ALL DAY but that would put most of you to sleep. I think I’ll stop here and pick this topic back up next week. Next Monday I’ll talk about how the creaming method (creaming butter and sugar together) is a key part of the leavening process.
This Week in the Bakery: Star Wars, Birthday for Twins
I’m making design elements for a Star Wars themed wedding cake out of modeling chocolate. This cake design is a blast and the couple is so much fun to work with. One side of their 4-tiered cake is embellished with flowers and gold and the opposite side of the cake is all about Star Wars. Love it!! I can’t post pics of this one until after the wedding because they want to be surprised. Let’s just say I’m having a ball sculpting Ewoks.
I’m also working on a birthday cake for my favorite twins who will soon be 3. How is that possible? Their cake is going to be super cute and I’ll post pics of these design elements as well.
I always post to Instagram so please follow me there as well as on Facebook.
Have a Sweet Day, BB’s!
Bring photos of your dress, cakes you like and also pics of the event space you are using. All of this is important when designing your cake. Lastly, if you bring color swatches to your tasting appointment you are a ROCK STAR!
Replace your baking soda and baking powder frequently. Humidity can affect the performance levels of both so replace them after 3 months.