Soaking syrup


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To soak, or not to soak?

I have just made a sponge cake and I’m debating with myself... Does it really keep a cake moist?

Thanks
 
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To soak, or not to soak?

I have just made a sponge cake and I’m debating with myself... Does it really keep a cake moist?

Thanks
Genoise: Made properly it absolutely has to be soaked. This is a dry cake and in fact it designed for syrup

Sponge: made properly it does not have to be soaked. The problem is most bakers do not know how to bake their cakes properly. They bake at too high of a temperature, use
a dark metal pan and/or coated pan, bake too long, so end up with a thick dry crust, a domed cake, with a dry crumb. So they have no choice but to soak the cake because it’s as dry as the desert.

Pound cake: with equal parts fat to flour not needed.

Chiffon cake: it’s not needed but when added to enhance flavor you need to be very careful because the chiffon cake has a very delicate crumb. If too much soaking syrup is added, and the cake is stacked in tiered, the soaking syrup may undermine the structure of the cake. Chiffon is my go to cake and I almost always add some soaking syrup to enhance flavor.

Butter cake: not needed but like the sponge cake butter cake is often horribly dry because it is in properly bake. Butter cakes are often have a thick dry dark brown crust, domed, if not cracked Center, and a dry crumb. And like the over baked, improperly baked sponge cake, bakers level, torte and soak them in syrup because they’re so dry people will choke on them.

Angel food cake: no soaking syrup

With the exception of Genoise soaking syrup was only ever meant to enhance or add additional flavors. but these days it’s being used to add moisture back to cake after I cake has been improperly baked.

You know the baking industry is failing when companies like Wilton makes a tool for bakers to cut off the domed cracked over-baked tops of their cakes to toss in the trash.
 
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This is very true!

And what’s frustrating is how incredibly difficult it is to find a good basic sponge cake recipe. I have tried so many and they all lack something, or they’re dry, or dense or too crumbly.

Sponge cakes that are made with cake flour are far superior to any that are made with all purpose. Apparently the swapping two tables spoons of plain flour for cornflour tactic does not really mimic cake flour, and so I’m literally stuck testing the same old dry or crumbly sponges.

I am careful not to over-bake btw and I’m quite certain it isn’t my batter making technique.

I’m just extremely fussy and looking for the perfect balance of moist yet dense, fluffy and not too crumbly. I’ve yet to find this so if anyone wants to share a recipe with me that would be great!
 
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This is very true!

And what’s frustrating is how incredibly difficult it is to find a good basic sponge cake recipe. I have tried so many and they all lack something, or they’re dry, or dense or too crumbly.

Sponge cakes that are made with cake flour are far superior to any that are made with all purpose. Apparently the swapping two tables spoons of plain flour for cornflour tactic does not really mimic cake flour, and so I’m literally stuck testing the same old dry or crumbly sponges.

I am careful not to over-bake btw and I’m quite certain it isn’t my batter making technique.

I’m just extremely fussy and looking for the perfect balance of moist yet dense, fluffy and not too crumbly. I’ve yet to find this so if anyone wants to share a recipe with me that would be great!

Mix two tablespoons of cornflour is 115 ml water. Then heat it up on the stovetop to 200°F (93°C). You’ll see it thickens to a paste. That is the characteristic of cornstarch; there’s nothing in cornstarch that is going to change the characteristic by adding it to cake batter.

I don’t know who came up with that nonsense of replacing some flour with cornflour make cake flour. Cake flour is a low protein wheat variety that is then bleached. The bleaching changes the molecular structure of the proteins, in particular the gliadin and glutenin subunits that bind with water molecules to make gluten.

Wheat is a mixture of amino acids (proteins), starches, and other molecules. The gelatinization rate and temperature of wheat starch is completely different from other starches. Starch gelatinization is critical for setting the structure of baked goods. It happens at a lower temperature than cornflour.

Cornflour is all starch. It is highly hygroscopic—which means it is a thickener. So not only does cornflour have a different starch gelatinization rate and temperature, but it competes for moisture in the batter. So hygroscopic properties means it make things dry if there is not enough liquid in the formula; gooey if there is a tad too much liquid in the formula. But in no way will it do a darn thing to make flour into cake flour because there is no way to turn unbleached flour into bleached flour buy adding a couple of tablespoons of another unrelated starch.

It’s very difficult to create a good cake with unbleached flour. But it is doable.
 
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Exactly!!!! It doesn’t make ANY sense I literally couldn’t get my head around it because I just could not understand how doing that could possibly mimic cake flour.


I’ve never tasted angel food cake before, can this cake be iced in a buttercream layered cake?

The fact that the flour is bleached is what makes it illegal here in the U.K. I wish that there was a way to mimic cake flour but unfortunately there isn’t so I just have to continue searching for a better recipe than the ones I have come across so far.

I have been tempted to try and bake using my own made up recipe but I’m assuming that this will be a disaster lol.
 
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Exactly!!!! It doesn’t make ANY sense I literally couldn’t get my head around it because I just could not understand how doing that could possibly mimic cake flour.


I’ve never tasted angel food cake before, can this cake be iced in a buttercream layered cake?

The fact that the flour is bleached is what makes it illegal here in the U.K. I wish that there was a way to mimic cake flour but unfortunately there isn’t so I just have to continue searching for a better recipe than the ones I have come across so far.

I have been tempted to try and bake using my own made up recipe but I’m assuming that this will be a disaster lol.
I know its tough not having access to cake flour. But you can heat treat your flour and get a better result. There’s definitely science behind it. I read a paper on cake and heat treated flour. So it does work.


homemade heat treated flour. This version requires xantham gum, which is a thickener. you could experiment without it though
 
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Exactly!!!! It doesn’t make ANY sense I literally couldn’t get my head around it because I just could not understand how doing that could possibly mimic cake flour.


I’ve never tasted angel food cake before, can this cake be iced in a buttercream layered cake?

The fact that the flour is bleached is what makes it illegal here in the U.K. I wish that there was a way to mimic cake flour but unfortunately there isn’t so I just have to continue searching for a better recipe than the ones I have come across so far.

I have been tempted to try and bake using my own made up recipe but I’m assuming that this will be a disaster lol.
Just to answer the angel food cake question, it's a very delicate and light cake, but also very sweet. I think it's usually just served with whipped cream and/or fruits on the side, or even just dusted with powdered sugar, so not iced like a layer cake.

Your doughnuts you've posted here have all looked amazing, so I'd love to see pictures of the cakes you make. I'm sure you'll be making professional-looking cakes in no time!
 
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Exactly!!!! It doesn’t make ANY sense I literally couldn’t get my head around it because I just could not understand how doing that could possibly mimic cake flour.


I’ve never tasted angel food cake before, can this cake be iced in a buttercream layered cake?

The fact that the flour is bleached is what makes it illegal here in the U.K. I wish that there was a way to mimic cake flour but unfortunately there isn’t so I just have to continue searching for a better recipe than the ones I have come across so far.

I have been tempted to try and bake using my own made up recipe but I’m assuming that this will be a disaster lol.
Oh I forgot to answer the question about angel food cake.

Angel food cake can only be made with cake flour. It’s just a white bleached cake flour, whipped egg whites, and sugar. There’s no fat in it at all.

If there’s any trace of fat in it it will collapse. If you use any flour other than cake flour it will collapse.

You have to bake it in a tube pan. The center tube provides support so the center doesn’t collapse. When it’s finished baking you have to turn it upside down to cool
completely, again so it does not collapse.

An angel food cake is normally not iced. Traditionally it’s sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with fresh fruit and chantilly cream on the side.
 
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Cake flour should be available after the UK gets free of the EU regulations on imports and ingredients.

There are some very good sponges you can use that are rarely seen these days, biscuit type sponges.
We used to make one with whipped cream folded into the whipped eggs, then fold the flour in.
Biscuit de savoie is very good, needs nothing to moisten it.
 
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Cake flour should be available after the UK gets free of the EU regulations on imports and ingredients.

There are some very good sponges you can use that are rarely seen these days, biscuit type sponges.
We used to make one with whipped cream folded into the whipped eggs, then fold the flour in.
Biscuit de savoie is very good, needs nothing to moisten it.
Oh that’s great news about cake flour. There’s really a lot of misunderstanding about how cake flour.

Yes there’s a number of different sponge cakes. But we tend to use just a couple in home baking.
 
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amazon will ship cake flour, I'd try amazon uk first, they don't seem to care about regulations.
theres always aliexpress, I've bought a few ingredients from china direct air.
 
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I know its tough not having access to cake flour. But you can heat treat your flour and get a better result. There’s definitely science behind it. I read a paper on cake and heat treated flour. So it does work.


Oh wow ok! That’s interesting.

You see I yearn for cake flour but I’m a little afraid to use it because of what it is...

I’ve not thought of purchasing from Ali express or Amazon though.


The cake above sounds complicated! Although it looks lovelyyyy .. I googled the ‘cookie cake’ you mentioned looks divine

homemade heat treated flour. This version requires xantham gum, which is a thickener. you could experiment without it though

That’s interesting. So this would mean that I could follow recipes that use cake flour and achieve a similar result?


amazon will ship cake flour, I'd try amazon uk first, they don't seem to care about regulations.
theres always aliexpress, I've bought a few ingredients from china direct air.
 
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Just to answer the angel food cake question, it's a very delicate and light cake, but also very sweet. I think it's usually just served with whipped cream and/or fruits on the side, or even just dusted with powdered sugar, so not iced like a layer cake.

Your doughnuts you've posted here have all looked amazing, so I'd love to see pictures of the cakes you make. I'm sure you'll be making professional-looking cakes in no time!

Ah thanks that’s nice of you! I don’t struggle so much With the decor My issue is the damn recipe! I just can’t find the perfect sponge cake recipe they’re all lacking something. It’s super frustrating!!!
 
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That’s interesting. So this would mean that I could follow recipes that use cake flour and achieve a similar result?
You won’t be able to make angel food cake, but you will get a very good cake from what I understand it’s pretty decent. It won’t be as white as cake flour, or as fine. I’ve never used it, so I cannot say from first hand knowledge. I did look at the scientific research. There’s a mill in the US that produces it. Also in the UK there are several commercial brands.



 

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