Question on cake making


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Hi. In cake making, how long should margarine and sugar be creamed before adding eggs?
 
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Hi. In cake making, how long should margarine and sugar be creamed before adding eggs?
Hey Akos, how are? How is the cake business coming along? I hope business is growing.

I don’t work with margarine, so I can’t comment on it. But butter I can comment on.

First, Butter must be creamed cold. The purpose of creaming butter and sugar is for leavening. You need the butter to trap bubbles. The sugar crystal cuts through the butter. But if the butter is too warm, It will not be able to hold it shape.

Ad the beaters moves around the bowl it creates friction, which creates heat. So if you start with warm butter, as you beat the butter it gets even warmer. So the first thing is start with cold butter.

The second thing is looking at how the butter changes in color as you’re beating it, It will lighten in color.

The third thing is how much fuller the butter will look as you’re beating it. It will go from dense to fluffy.

With butter you want to start with a temperature about 60°F ( 15°C).

Beat it approximately two minutes.

Stop the mixer and scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl.

Continue to beat for about 2 1/2 more minutes.

This video it will explain a lot more detail about creamy butter and sugar properly. But you can see in the video and the photos how the butter changes as it’s beaten. So you start with the cold butter and you watch as it changes that’s what’s most important how COLD butter changes as you beat it.

She says five minutes I find usually about 4 to 4 1/2 minutes is about right.


https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/12/cookie-science-creaming-butter-sugar.html
 
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Thanks, Cate. I'm well by Jehovah's underserved kindness.

The cake business is gradually coming along well. I took a class in sharp edges and other decorating skills which has really built my confidence.

Butter is expensive here so most bakers use margarine, but will use butter if a recipe calls for it and should not be substituted under any circumstances.

Using COLD butter is a a new thing I've learnt from your reply because butter at room temperature has always been what we hear. Wow. It really makes sense especially using the machine. The science of baking.

I visited a baker friend and I know another baker who cream margarine and sugar for one hour that's why I asked the question.
 
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Thanks, Cate. I'm well by Jehovah's underserved kindness.

The cake business is gradually coming along well. I took a class in sharp edges and other decorating skills which has really built my confidence.

Butter is expensive here so most bakers use margarine, but will use butter if a recipe calls for it and should not be substituted under any circumstances.

Using COLD butter is a a new thing I've learnt from your reply because butter at room temperature has always been what we hear. Wow. It really makes sense especially using the machine. The science of baking.

I visited a baker friend and I know another baker who cream margarine and sugar for one hour that's why I asked the question.
Oh Akos, there’s nothing in margarine that would require it to be creamed for one hour. Margarine is nothing more than a solid form of a vegetable oil. I don’t work with it so I don’t know if it needs to be creamed for three minutes or five minutes. But it certainly does not need to be creamed for one hour.

But the real concern is the damage you would do to your mixer motor for running it continuously for one hour for every cake. A home mixer is not designed to run for an extended period of time. You’ll burn the motor out in half the time.
 
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I know right. Personally I was surprised at my Ghanaian baker friend and that was why I asked that question because I don't don't that. To even talk about electricity bill too.

Thanks. This forum is helping me a lot to carve a niche for myself. Thank you
 
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I know right. Personally I was surprised at my Ghanaian baker friend and that was why I asked that question because I don't don't that. To even talk about electricity bill too.

Thanks. This forum is helping me a lot to carve a niche for myself. Thank you
Oh yes the electricity bill— I didn’t even think about that!

It’s interesting when I was a child in the 60’s margarine was very popular in the US. People avoided butter because of the high fat content. In fact when I was growing up we rarely had butter in the house. But in the 70’s there was a movement toward natural food, and margarine went out of favor. Margarine sales are now very low in the US.


I’m glad to hear that your business is coming along. You’ve been participating in this forum for a while now; you always asking a lot of good questions, so I know you are always thinking intelligently about your work. It’s good to hear of your growing confidence. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying some classes as well. Aside from learning it’s always nice to meet other baker:D
 
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Hi. In cake making, how long should margarine and sugar be creamed before adding eggs?
Hello Akos, I hope you are well and safe.


There are several really big fat lies out there about baking. The number one big fat lies in baking is creaming butter at room temperature. That is the biggest lie in baking.



Now I don’t know about you but I don’t own a thermometer that has a reading that says “room temperature”



And what is room temperature anyway? I don’t have air-conditioning. And in the middle of summer that kitchen room temperature can be 100°F.



So “room temperature” is relative to the room you’re in, at the moment.



And the fact is in culinary school they don’t “teach room temperature”. Baking is all science. They are very specific about time and temperature.



And in a commercial bakery if you tossed room temperature butter into a mixer and beat it you’ll break the butter. So they don’t use room temperature butter either. There’s something called desired dough temperature (DDT). It’s the temperature of the dough after you’re finished mixing. And there’s a formula that you use to calculate the Temperature. It takes into account the temperature of your ingredients, and friction heat from mixing. that is how much science goes into a baking.



Those who use “room temperature butter” have not been properly trained. And I for the life of me cannot explain why cook book authors promote this room temperature butter crap because they know better. This is my number one pet peeve.



The temperature to cream butter is 65°F (18°C).



Creaming butter and sugar is not about mixing the The sugar into the butter. It is about mechanical leavening.



It is about the plasticity of the butter.



I actually cream my butter straight out of the refrigerator. You have to know what to look for in the look and feel of the butter. Stella parks wrote a very good article on cream butter and sugar. And although she talks about it in context of cookies, it’s still applies to cake.



https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/12/cookie-science-creaming-butter-sugar.html
 
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Hello Akos, I hope you are well and safe.


There are several really big fat lies out there about baking. The number one big fat lies in baking is creaming butter at room temperature. That is the biggest lie in baking.



Now I don’t know about you but I don’t own a thermometer that has a reading that says “room temperature”



And what is room temperature anyway? I don’t have air-conditioning. And in the middle of summer that kitchen room temperature can be 100°F.



So “room temperature” is relative to the room you’re in, at the moment.



And the fact is in culinary school they don’t “teach room temperature”. Baking is all science. They are very specific about time and temperature.



And in a commercial bakery if you tossed room temperature butter into a mixer and beat it you’ll break the butter. So they don’t use room temperature butter either. There’s something called desired dough temperature (DDT). It’s the temperature of the dough after you’re finished mixing. And there’s a formula that you use to calculate the Temperature. It takes into account the temperature of your ingredients, and friction heat from mixing. that is how much science goes into a baking.



Those who use “room temperature butter” have not been properly trained. And I for the life of me cannot explain why cook book authors promote this room temperature butter crap because they know better. This is my number one pet peeve.



The temperature to cream butter is 65°F (18°C).



Creaming butter and sugar is not about mixing the The sugar into the butter. It is about mechanical leavening.



It is about the plasticity of the butter.



I actually cream my butter straight out of the refrigerator. You have to know what to look for in the look and feel of the butter. Stella parks wrote a very good article on cream butter and sugar. And although she talks about it in context of cookies, it’s still applies to cake.



https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/12/cookie-science-creaming-butter-sugar.html

That is how I start most of mine that calls for incorporating the sugar, oleo or butter, then the eggs. Look it up. I know about cake making & don't say that's a big lie. You're grabbing at straws!! Most cookbooks & recipes tell you to do it that way. I know it. Temps between 50 to about 75 is room temp. You can't cream butter if it was just taken out of the fridge. It has to be at room temp where it can be easily managed. Go to cooking school & learn how to bake like I did. I've been baking since I was 13. That's since 1963. I have more than 40 years of baking. You struck a nerve when you said that. :mad:
 
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That is how I start most of mine that calls for incorporating the sugar, oleo or butter, then the eggs. Look it up. I know about cake making & don't say that's a big lie. You're grabbing at straws!! Most cookbooks & recipes tell you to do it that way. I know it. Temps between 50 to about 75 is room temp. You can't cream butter if it was just taken out of the fridge. It has to be at room temp where it can be easily managed. Go to cooking school & learn how to bake like I did. I've been baking since I was 13. That's since 1963. I have more than 40 years of baking. You struck a nerve when you said that. :mad:
tje cookbooks are wrong. Read Strlla Parks article. That’s how it’s taught in culinary schools. That’s how it’s done in bakeries. Just try to use room temperature butter with a commercial mixer. You’ll end up breaking the butter.

cookbook authors dumb down the process for home cooks. They also use ghost riders. They don’t even check most of what is written in a cookbook before it goes to the publisher.
 
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I think that you got your wires crossed. Cookbooks are cookbooks & everyone of them have different methods about cake baking. No two are alike. They all differ from one to the other. I've followed recipe to recipe & the results, or most of them. are alike.
 
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I think that you got your wires crossed. Cookbooks are cookbooks & everyone of them have different methods about cake baking. No two are alike. They all differ from one to the other. I've followed recipe to recipe & the results, or most of them. are alike.
Certainly you are feel to mix as you please. I don’t have my wires crossed. The science of baking is well researched.



I’m not going to promote the incorrect method just because it’s commonly used by amateurs and incorrectly promoted by professionals.



A few months ago I was in a baking class and the subject of the difference between correct methods published in cookbooks came up. Craig Ponsford the instructor (google him) said he asked Peter Reinhart (google him) why he taught and promoted certain techniques in his lectures and books when he knew they were incorrect. Reinhart said he knew they were wrong, but they were easy for people to learn and do. That’s typical of cookbooks authors—devise methods that are easy even if they are incorrect.



Another example of incorrect methods is volume measurements. None of the professionals use volume measurements. They will tell you it’s the worst way to measure because a cup of flour can be anywhere from 120g to 155g depending on the measuring cup and how it’s filled. Yet, they write cookbooks in volume measurements. Why? Because in North America home cooks are used to using volume measurements.



They do not make laminated dough by hand. They use a sheeter, and in private they will tell you hand lamination makes inferior laminated dough. But they charge exorbitant prices for lamination classes.



I’ve taken advanced cake classes at CIA and at a cooking school founded by a James Beard Award winner pastry chef. I’ve taken a basic cooking program in Italy. The science on the temperature of butter is the same science Stella Parks discusses in her article. But I have to admit I cream butter cold right of the refrigerator. Then key is the finished temperature of the creamed butter and sugar.



Temperature has to be thought of as an ingredient. It’s added at different stages, in different ways throughout the baking process.
 
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Certainly you are feel to mix as you please. I don’t have my wires crossed. The science of baking is well researched.



I’m not going to promote the incorrect method just because it’s commonly used by amateurs and incorrectly promoted by professionals.



A few months ago I was in a baking class and the subject of the difference between correct methods published in cookbooks came up. Craig Ponsford the instructor (google him) said he asked Peter Reinhart (google him) why he taught and promoted certain techniques in his lectures and books when he knew they were incorrect. Reinhart said he knew they were wrong, but they were easy for people to learn and do. That’s typical of cookbooks authors—devise methods that are easy even if they are incorrect.



Another example of incorrect methods is volume measurements. None of the professionals use volume measurements. They will tell you it’s the worst way to measure because a cup of flour can be anywhere from 120g to 155g depending on the measuring cup and how it’s filled. Yet, they write cookbooks in volume measurements. Why? Because in North America home cooks are used to using volume measurements.



They do not make laminated dough by hand. They use a sheeter, and in private they will tell you hand lamination makes inferior laminated dough. But they charge exorbitant prices for lamination classes.



I’ve taken advanced cake classes at CIA and at a cooking school founded by a James Beard Award winner pastry chef. I’ve taken a basic cooking program in Italy. The science on the temperature of butter is the same science Stella Parks discusses in her article. But I have to admit I cream butter cold right of the refrigerator. Then key is the finished temperature of the creamed butter and sugar.



Temperature has to be thought of as an ingredient. It’s added at different stages, in different ways throughout the baking process.
This brings up an interesting point: how would someone who's just learning be able to differentiate between proper and improper technique? I can assume that baking & pastry textbooks will all have good information, but they only have so many recipes available, and besides the recipes often aren't convenient for home baking. The techniques and theory covered in textbooks do carry over quite a bit to general use, but can't cover everything needed for every single recipe possible. When looking for recipes online or in cookbooks, I generally try to find those written by professional pastry chefs, but many recipes aren't actually written by professionals, and as you mentioned even if they are, they can still use incorrect methods.

There are a few things that I've picked up here and there such as proper creaming temperature and technique, but there's still a plethora of things I don't know and may learn incorrectly. Obviously I'm not a professional and don't need perfect knowledge of everything, but I'm still trying to learn as much as I can and it's much easier to learn it correctly the first time!
 
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This brings up an interesting point: how would someone who's just learning be able to differentiate between proper and improper technique? I can assume that baking & pastry textbooks will all have good information, but they only have so many recipes available, and besides the recipes often aren't convenient for home baking. The techniques and theory covered in textbooks do carry over quite a bit to general use, but can't cover everything needed for every single recipe possible. When looking for recipes online or in cookbooks, I generally try to find those written by professional pastry chefs, but many recipes aren't actually written by professionals, and as you mentioned even if they are, they can still use incorrect methods.

There are a few things that I've picked up here and there such as proper creaming temperature and technique, but there's still a plethora of things I don't know and may learn incorrectly. Obviously I'm not a professional and don't need perfect knowledge of everything, but I'm still trying to learn as much as I can and it's much easier to learn it correctly the first time!

Unfortunately, there is no way to know if you are getting good information in a cookbook. Julie Moskin, a food writer for the New York Times wrote an article about her experience as a ghostwriter for celebrity chefs. She also interviewed other ghostwriters for the article. If you read her article you’ll see what a scam celebrity chef cookbooks really are. The chefs contribute little to nothing to the book. The ghostwriter hangs around the kitchen, does a few interviews to glean what they can from chef’s work. Then write the book. She describes how one writer was told they were to include a section on poultry. When the chef didn’t meet the deadline to submit the information to the writer, the writer contacted him. The chef then sent the writer the Wikipedia page link for “chicken.”



If the chef is a restaurant/bakery owner, the recipes might be based on some things made in the restaurants/bakeries. But the truth is 1) there are trade secrets they will never disclose; 2) home kitchens are not equipped with professional tools and ingredients, thus home cooks/bakers cannot reproduce a restaurant/bakery quality dish/good at home; 3) home cooks/bakers do not have the skill/knowledge of professional chefs/pastry chef, thus, cannot recreate a restaurant/bakery quality dish/good at home; 4) most home cooks/bakers will not follow instructions even if you given detailed instructions. So recipes in cookbooks will be parred-down dumb-downed versions of the restaurant/bakery versions.



When you take private classes, you don’t see or hear much. But when you take classes from the culinary schools and the people who actually work in and shape the industry, you see a different side of how things are done.

Edit: It started for me in 2001 when I bought Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Cookie Book. When the recipes worked in the fall and winter, but failed in the summer, I noticed one big difference—the dough consistency. That sent me on a search for answers.

That’s when I found Sarah Phillips’ article on creaming butter at 65°F (18°C). Sarah Phillips wrote and posted the article in 2000. That was the first I had heard butter should be at 65°F. It was also the first I had heard about optimal dough and batter temperature of 68°F - 72°F after mixing. Subsequent baking and cake decorating classes not only confirmed Phillips’ 65°F butter temperature, but expanded more on the science. Thereafter, I adjusted my butter temperature and mixing to ensure my finished dough and batter temperature were within the range regardless of what the recipe stated about room temperature butter. So I think the key is to focus on the science because it apply to everything. Example, a custard filling rarely states the temperature to cook the filling to; it will be vague like heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. But science will tell you the custard will not set properly until it the egg is heated to 170°F, but if you want a good firm set it should be cooked to 180°F. So if I am making a soft set dessert that will be served in a dish, I will cook to 170°F. But if its a filling for a cake or a tart, I am going to cook to 180°F.

There’s no single source for information. Even among the best sources there can and will be some conflicting information. The reason is baking falls into two major areas: bread and pastry/viennoiserie. Bakers will specialized in an area. So even when a great baker writes a cookbook, they’re still writing from their area of specialization. I’m a very good baker. My baking knowledge is pretty damn broad. But bread is my weak point because I don’t bake a lot of bread. Pastry has always been my focus. The last year I’ve been focusing more on bread classes with master bakers because I want to take my bread skills to the next level. I can bake bread better than the average person, but I don’t know all the little nuanced techniques that a baker that bakes bread exclusively knows. Likewise the bread baker who does not bake pastry will not know all of the little nuanced techniques of pastry that I know.
 
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Thanks, Cate. I'm well by Jehovah's underserved kindness.

The cake business is gradually coming along well. I took a class in sharp edges and other decorating skills which has really built my confidence.

Butter is expensive here so most bakers use margarine, but will use butter if a recipe calls for it and should not be substituted under any circumstances.

Using COLD butter is a a new thing I've learnt from your reply because butter at room temperature has always been what we hear. Wow. It really makes sense especially using the machine. The science of baking.

I visited a baker friend and I know another baker who cream margarine and sugar for one hour that's why I asked the question.

Oleo does not bring out the buttery taste in cakes that you'd get using margarine. Just saying.
 
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Unfortunately, there is no way to know if you are getting good information in a cookbook. Julie Moskin, a food writer for the New York Times wrote an article about her experience as a ghostwriter for celebrity chefs. She also interviewed other ghostwriters for the article. If you read her article you’ll see what a scam celebrity chef cookbooks really are. The chefs contribute little to nothing to the book. The ghostwriter hangs around the kitchen, does a few interviews to glean what they can from chef’s work. Then write the book. She describes how one writer was told they were to include a section on poultry. When the chef didn’t meet the deadline to submit the information to the writer, the writer contacted him. The chef then sent the writer the Wikipedia page link for “chicken.”



If the chef is a restaurant/bakery owner, the recipes might be based on some things made in the restaurants/bakeries. But the truth is 1) there are trade secrets they will never disclose; 2) home kitchens are not equipped with professional tools and ingredients, thus home cooks/bakers cannot reproduce a restaurant/bakery quality dish/good at home; 3) home cooks/bakers do not have the skill/knowledge of professional chefs/pastry chef, thus, cannot recreate a restaurant/bakery quality dish/good at home; 4) most home cooks/bakers will not follow instructions even if you given detailed instructions. So recipes in cookbooks will be parred-down dumb-downed versions of the restaurant/bakery versions.



When you take private classes, you don’t see or hear much. But when you take classes from the culinary schools and the people who actually work in and shape the industry, you see a different side of how things are done.

Edit: It started for me in 2001 when I bought Nancy Baggett’s The All-American Cookie Book. When the recipes worked in the fall and winter, but failed in the summer, I noticed one big difference—the dough consistency. That sent me on a search for answers.

That’s when I found Sarah Phillips’ article on creaming butter at 65°F (18°C). Sarah Phillips wrote and posted the article in 2000. That was the first I had heard butter should be at 65°F. It was also the first I had heard about optimal dough and batter temperature of 68°F - 72°F after mixing. Subsequent baking and cake decorating classes not only confirmed Phillips’ 65°F butter temperature, but expanded more on the science. Thereafter, I adjusted my butter temperature and mixing to ensure my finished dough and batter temperature were within the range regardless of what the recipe stated about room temperature butter. So I think the key is to focus on the science because it apply to everything. Example, a custard filling rarely states the temperature to cook the filling to; it will be vague like heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. But science will tell you the custard will not set properly until it the egg is heated to 170°F, but if you want a good firm set it should be cooked to 180°F. So if I am making a soft set dessert that will be served in a dish, I will cook to 170°F. But if its a filling for a cake or a tart, I am going to cook to 180°F.

There’s no single source for information. Even among the best sources there can and will be some conflicting information. The reason is baking falls into two major areas: bread and pastry/viennoiserie. Bakers will specialized in an area. So even when a great baker writes a cookbook, they’re still writing from their area of specialization. I’m a very good baker. My baking knowledge is pretty damn broad. But bread is my weak point because I don’t bake a lot of bread. Pastry has always been my focus. The last year I’ve been focusing more on bread classes with master bakers because I want to take my bread skills to the next level. I can bake bread better than the average person, but I don’t know all the little nuanced techniques that a baker that bakes bread exclusively knows. Likewise the bread baker who does not bake pastry will not know all of the little nuanced techniques of pastry that I know.
Hmm that makes a lot of sense. It's a shame that the resources available for a home cook/baker to improve are so much more limited, but it's also a bit expected, as professionals are professionals for a reason.

The point you bring up about the temperature for setting custard is something I'd like to ask more about if you don't mind, even if it may be straying a bit off topic! Does the sugar not have a highly impactful effect on the finished temperature of a custard? I'm asking because I just read the lemon curd recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Pie and Pastry Bible last night, and for the variations using different citrus fruits and hence different amounts of sugar, she gives different temperatures to cook the curd to. E.g. she instructs cooking the lemon curd to 196°F, but for the variations which all have less sugar, the given temperatures are 180°F or 185°.

I'm not too familiar with how the science works behind sugar affecting setting temperatures (I'm guessing something to do with delaying egg coagulation??), but it's a concept I've also seen Stella Parks write about, where her pie recipes are formulated behind the sugar raising tapioca starch's gelatinization temperature from 140°F all the way to 213°F (that's a big increase isn't it!), allowing for the filling and crust to be done cooking at the same time.
 
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Usually when the mixture becomes light & fluffy.
people might not know what light and fluffy is if its their first time round.
Same as "room temp" ,
sure ... but which room ?

Bottom line, its a trade, same as welding is a trade.
I have a tig welder machine, I have books and I watch videos but theres no way I can weld like a welder.
I know everything about tig welding...I "think" I can weld but thats just my fantasy.
 
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You guys do it your way. I'll do it my way.
Works for me, you find a way that you're comfortable with, if the results satisfy you , why not.
I was taught different ways to make the same thing, I pick and choose from day to day.
 

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