Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 8 cakes, lecture and lab

This week in lecture, we discussed cakes. In order to achieve a light and delicate cake, you have to use high-quality ingredients, know how to combine the ingredients and know how each ingredient affects the outcome of the cake. There are 6 types in ingredients in each cake.
The toughener is the protein which is found in flours, milk and eggs. This provides structure and strength to the cake.
The tenderizer is what inhibits the gluten. This is found in the fats, sugar or egg yolks. This shortens the gluten strands which will make the cake soft and tender.
The moisteners are the liquids in the cake, i.e. water, milk, juice, eggs.
The driers provide body and structure. The driers would be the flour, starches and milk solids. These absorb the moisture.
The leaveners provide steam and air to help the cake rise. This would be found in baking powder, baking soda or juts plain air and steam.
The last type is the flavorings. This would come from the sugar, extracts, spices, salt, and butter.

You can mix cake batter using the creaming method (butter cakes) or whipped egg method (angel food cake).

This week during lab we each made a lemon chiffon cake and the butter cake and lemon curd we are going to use next week to decorate our cakes.
The lemon chiffon cake was fabulous. So much so that my mom and dad loved it so much that it is a requirement for Thanksgiving this year. It was made using the whipped egg method and is similar to angel food cake, except it has egg yolks.

Lemon Chiffon Cake
8 ounces Cake flour, sifted
12 ounces Granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Baking powder
1 teaspoon Salt
4 fluid ounces Vegetable oil
6 Egg yolks
2 fluid ounces Water, cool
4 fluid ounces Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Lemon zest
1/2 fluid ounce Vanilla extract
8 Egg whites
3 ounces Powdered sugar, sifted
1 fluid ounce Lemon juice
2 teaspoons Lemon zest

1. Sift together the flour, 6 ounces (180 grams) of sugar and the baking powder and salt.
2. In a separate bowl mix the oil, yolks, water, juice, zest and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients.
3. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Slowly beat in the remaining 6 ounces (180 grams) of sugar. Continue beating until the egg whites are stiff but not dry.
4. Stir one-third of the egg whites into the batter to lighten it. Fold in the remaining egg whites.
5. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch (25-centimeter) tube pan. Bake at 325°F (160°C) until a toothpick comes out clean, approximately 1 hour.
6. Immediately invert the pan over the neck of a wine bottle. Allow the cake to hang upside down until completely cool, and then remove from the pan.
7. Stir the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and drizzle over the top of the cooled cake.
8. Yield: 1 Tube Cake

***You can use any citrus flavor for this cake. The book recipe was for an Orange Chiffon cake, but chef ordered more lemons since we were making the lemon curd. Honestly, I am happier with the lemon since I prefer lemon over orange.
Also, I didn't use the zest in the glaze. I personally don't like the feeling of zest in my mouth, so I nixed it. The end result was still fabulous, probably even more so for me!

Next I made the butter cakes. Again, a simple recipe. Chef was worried about this recipe because it only calls for egg yolks, not the whole egg and he thought it was a misprint. But I checked my copy of The Cake Bible and it does in fact call for only egg yolks. Someone people used the full egg and their rose a bit more, but honestly, mine was prefect the way it was so I would stick with the recipe. Rose Levy Beranbaum knows what she is doing.

Finally the lemon curd. I never thought I would like something with curd in it's name, but this was very good. Very smooth after we strained it and a nice bright lemony taste. I will probably use this for something in the future.

Lemon Curd Filling

cup fresh lemon juice from about 6 lemons

teaspoon gelatin (powdered)

1 1/2
cups granulated sugar (10 1/2 ounces)

teaspoon table salt

large eggs

large egg yolks (reserve egg whites for cake)

tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen

1. FOR THE FILLING: Measure 1 tablespoon lemon juice into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Heat remaining lemon juice, sugar, and salt in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolks in large nonreactive bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula, until mixture registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to leave trail when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 4 to 6 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated. Pour filling through fine-mesh strainer into nonreactive bowl (you should have 3 cups). Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to spread, at least 4 hours.


Ivy said...

This sounds like a lovely cake. I was wondering what to do with the egg yolks when I read the lemon chiffon cake recipe and then you gave us the solution with the lemon curd. It's going to be a bit of a challenge though as I will have to convert all the ingredients in grams.

Ivy said...

Sorry Niki, I didn't see that you had already converted the ingredients into grams.

NikiTheo said...

It was convenient since you had two extra egg yolks from the chiffon, you end up using more egg yolks in the curd, so you can toss those two in with the curd. And of course, I always save any extra egg whites, specifically for making meringue or chiffons or other whipped egg cakes.