@Norcalbaker59 I just learned about the use of glycerol monostearate (GMS) to emulate the emulsifying effects of high-ratio shortening recently, and it's apparently fairly easy to obtain now. On Modernist Pantry, the shipping fee to where I live (Ottawa) is only $12, so I'm actually considering placing an order sometime if I can find other ingredients there I need that I can bundle it together with.@Cahoot
I have not tried Stella‘s recipe. I have her cookbook. I’m not sure if the cake recipe is in there. I know she has a vanilla cake recipe online.
I have one of RLB’s cookbooks as well, Heavenly Cakes.
I’ve made her vanilla velvet cake. But it was some years ago. Not quite what I want in a cake.
A few years after I started baking I enrolled in a cake class because my decorating skills were pretty bad. I used the recipe from that class a number of times before I discovered the instructor used RLB’s white velvet cake, but never credited RLB.
But as I learned more, I discovered the formula and method are not original to RLB. She copied the high ratio mixing method from the commercial industry.
RLB just calls it reverse creaming. The dry ingredients are mixed together. Then the fat is added to the dry ingredients, followed by the liquid. The egg whites are added last in two additions.
The cake dense and eggy. And that’s the thing with the reverse creaming is you get a denser cake.
In commercial baking in the US, high ratio cake flour and shortening are used in cakes. The high ratio flour creates the light airy texture and high rise; the shortening coats the inside of the mouth and gives the delusion of a moist cake.
The standard formula is sugar is equal or slightly more than the weight of the flour. The liquid* is equal to the weight of the flour.
The high ratio cake flour is a very finely ground flour, so the high ratio ratio shortening disperse is very finally into it.
But RLB is not using high ratio cake flour or high ratio shortening. She’s using regular cake flour and butter. So you don’t get the same affect as a bakery cake.
High ratio shortening was specially formulated with emulsifiers to produce certain qualities in batters and icings.
In the United States, partially hydrogenated oil (PHO’s) were fully ban in 2018. So high ratio shortening’s were reformulated.
But I’m opposed to the use of shortening in cake and icings, so I don’t know how the reformulated PHO free high ratio shortening perform in cake. I know in icings they perform horribly.
So that’s why I was reworking the cake recipes, developing my own to come up with something better.
Right now my go to recipe is a chiffon cake that I developed. I have a vanilla butter cake that I use once in a while but I also developed. But I’m not 100% happy with it. It’s a work in progress. I have a vanilla butter cake with cake flour that I use once in a while that I also developed. But I’m not 100% happy with it. It’s a work in progress. And I started on this chocolate cake here recently. That is a total from scratch restart.
Standard ratios for a commercial high ratio cake. RLB based her vanilla velvet cake and mixing method on this commercial standard.
high ratio cake flour 100%
high ratio emulsified shortening 50%
*Liquid includes the eggs. If liquid is equal to the weight of flour, or 100%, you divide the 100% liquid between the milk and the eggs. so 50% eggs, and 50% milk.
With a vanilla cake you use just egg whites.
Have you had any experience using it in any cakes? I was told about ChefSteps' cakes, which are all high-ratio cakes that use GMS, but don't require high-ratio flour or shortening. Their chocolate cake for example. The person who told me about it also mentioned that they use GMS even for non-high-ratio cakes, and apparently it helps them keep fresh. This text suggests adding it at a level of 1% of total batter weight.