Cake is a sweet food made from flour, sugar, and other ingredients. Usually it is prepared by the process of baking. Flour, sugar, eggs, butter or oil or margarine, a liquid, and leavening agents, such as baking soda or baking powder are the most commonly used cake ingredients. Additional ingredients and flavourings include nuts, cocoa, dried, candied, or fresh fruit and extracts such as vanilla, with a lot of substitutions for the primary ingredients. You can also use fruit preserves, nuts or dessert sauces, iced with buttercream or other icings, and decorated with marzipan, piped borders, or candied fruit.
Cake is often served as a desert on ceremonial occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays.
Types of Cake:
There are countless cake recipes. Some are bread-like, some are rich and elaborate, and many are centuries old. There are many different ways of dividing them into various categories. A professional bakers categorize cakes by ingredients and mixing method. Home bakers tend to categorize cakes by flavoring such as chocolate cakes, fruit cakes, and so on which is helpful when you are trying to decide what to eat, but not as helpful when you are trying to understand how best to make a cake.You will find that the final texture and color varies depending on how the batter is prepared. The basic types of cakes are:
Any recipe for Butter cake starts with cream butter and sugar. After the creaming, eggs are added to aerate the batter a bit, flour (and sometimes another liquid, like milk) to give it structure and texture. Bking powder or baking soda is added to ensure that it rises in the oven. Types of cake batter within the butter cake family include white, chocolate, yellow and marble. Coloring of white and yellow cakes depends on whether they have whole eggs, or extra egg yolks in them (yellow cake) or egg whites only (white cake).
Pound cake is a relative of butter cake. It is called as Pound cake because a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour is used in this. You will see the eggs separated and the egg whites whipped and folded into the batter, to leaven it in some pound cake recipes. In some other recipes you will find leaveners like baking soda and baking powder, bringing it well into the butter-cake fold. These cakes are usually very lightly flavored and served plain or topped with a simple glaze or water icing. Usually, a pound cake is baked in a loaf or Bundt pan. Some of the coffee cakes, sour cream cakes, and fruit crumb cakes are variations of pound cake.
Any recipe that contains no baking soda or baking powder but lots of whipped eggs or egg whites is a sponge cake.
A sponge cake is called genoise in Italy and France. Whole eggs are beaten with sugar until they are thick and ribbony, and then flour and sometimes butter is added and the batter is baked in genoise. This cake is also pliable enough to be baked in a jelly-roll pan and rolled up into a roulade. There is an abscence of assertive flavor of its own in this cake. But it can be used to construct layered or rolled cakes when a lighter texture than a butter cake is desired. To add flavor and moisture, genoise cake layers are always moistened with a flavored syrup, and they are often sliced into thin horizontal layers and stacked with rich fillings such as buttercream.
Biscuit cakes are kind of sponge cake containing both egg whites and yolks. The whites and yolks are whipped separately and then folded back together resulting in a light batter that is drier than a genoise but holds its shape better after mixing.
Baked Flourless Cake:
These include baked cheesecakes and flourless chocolate cakes. They are often made in a springform pan for easy removal. However, some can also be made in regular round layer cake pans. The filled pan is placed in a larger pan that is half-filled with water to insulate the delicate, creamy cake from strong bottom heat of the oven. This procedure gives the baked cake a porous rather than silky texture. This is known as baking the cake in a water bath.
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