Sept. 15, 2021
Can a cake be baked in any flour? Is there any difference between the different flours? Can all of them be used to bake a cake?
Cake Flour? What is that and why is that important?
Cake flour is the main ingredient in baking. The main purpose of flour in baking is to build the structure. Be it cakes, loaves of bread, pastries the structure of it is what matters. When the proteins found in wheat flour are hydrated, they develop an interaction with each other forming gluten. As dough or batter consisting of wheat flour is worked, an elastic network is developed. This gluten network elaborates to contain the leavening gasses in the baked good. To form good and traditional baked goods, wheat flour and the formation of gluten is an essential factor.
The two significant differences between cake flour and all-purpose flour are:
These two contents define the quality of the baked goods. Because the complete baked good is based on the contents used to cook or bake. And another difference between the flours is the gluten content. Flour can be made from high and low-protein ears of wheat. The more protein content the more protein it develops, which eventually leads to more strength, volume, and elasticity in the baked product. One of the examples is the bread flour, it is made of hard wheat and thus results in a denser and chewy texture. But that is not the case in cakes. Cakes have to be soft and tender, so the use of flours is very important.
All-purpose flour is a mixture of hard and soft wheat. It is an all-around good flour to use for baking loaves of bread, cakes, muffins, and for mixing up a batch of pancake batter. The protein content in all-purpose flour is about 10-13% and it is good for baking these items. The gluten content present here is a little higher, and so the cakes may not be soft. Moreover, all-purpose flour is good for baking bread because it best suits its density and thickness.
Cake flour has about 8-9% of protein and the gluten present here is a very small quantity, which makes it soft and tender. It is known as the weakest flour, so the cakes end up being baked very softly with meltingly tender layers. Cake flour is also used in cooking pastries and biscuits. Cake flour is ideal for baked goods with a delicate texture due to its low gluten content, which makes it easeful to achieve lighter, fragile textures when baking delicate sponges, cupcakes, muffins, and pastries.
We all love cakes! Don’t we? The soft, delicate, and tenderness get us drooling!
What do you think is the secret behind it? Well, it’s because of the flour that is used to bake it. There are many flours like bleached flour, unbleached flour, all-purpose flour, cake, and many others. But why use cake flour?
SOFT WINTER WHEAT! Yes, that is from where the flour is finely milled and obtained. It is bleached which makes it pale and fine. It has low protein content than all-purpose flour. Cake flour is lighter, softer, and finer. Since it has lower protein content than other flour, the flour produces less gluten.
Flours, we generally buy from the stores. Have you ever wondered about making the cake flour at home? Cake flour can be prepared at home. Let me share the method.
We can prepare a homemade cake flour substitute by removing two tablespoons of all-purpose flour from every cup of your recipe that we take to use and replacing it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. These should be stirred well before use.
How to Make a Homemade Cake Flour Substitute
Step 1: Take 1 cup of all-purpose flour and remove 2 Tablespoons.
Step 2: Take 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch and add this to the flour. The fact that cornstarch contains less gluten than flour, it is a good tenderizing ingredient to help make cake flour.
Step 3: Now sift them together twice into a mixing bowl. Again sift them so they mix well so the consistency to make a real cake is obtained, and that is because the mixture aerates during this process.
Step 4: Take 1 cup from this mixture and use it for the recipes.
So what Is Self-Rising Flour?
It is also flour which is obtained from soft wheat. It contains less protein than regular all-purpose flour. But when this flour is prepared at home, it will produce a slightly less tender result. It is a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
How to Make Self-Rising Flour Out of All-Purpose Flour
Step 1: For every cup of self-rising flour that you take to use in your recipe, take out 1 level cup of all-purpose flour.
Step 2: Now add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Step 3: Then whisk them together to combine.
It’s all ready and set to go!!!
Well, there are two kinds of flours which are bleached and unbleached. Let me elaborate on the difference between them.
Both their flours differ in certain ways.
BLEACHED FLOUR undergoes a refining process using some chemicals like benzoyl peroxide and chlorine gas to speed up aging. This refining process changes the texture, taste, and also appearance. The flour is white in color, finer, and softer. This process dampens the flour, the effects of which are reflected in the finished baked goods. Foods made with bleached flour tend to have a softer texture, thick volume, and luminous color than those made with unbleached flour. Bleached flour is good in making recipes like cookies, pancakes, waffles, quick loaves of bread, and pie crusts.
UNBLEACHED FLOUR does not undergo any refining process. It is led to age naturally after being milled. This flour is denser and tougher in texture and is off-white. Unbleached flour takes more period to be produced so, usually, they are more expensive. It produces more structure in the baked products. These are best suited for puff pastries, yeast loaves of bread, and popovers.
Both are the same in terms of nutrition.
Have you ever tried the apple cinnamon cake? If not, it’s not too late. I’m sure apple lovers would love it!!!
For Apple cake:
For the cinnamon topping:
For Sugar glaze:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) standard and grease an 8 or 9 inch round cake tin with baking or parchment paper.
Step 2: Take a large mixing bowl and add the dry ingredients flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar, then add chopped apple (any apple can be used) and stir it to combine.
Step 3: Take a separate bowl, add eggs, vanilla, oil, and yogurt. Whisk briefly so the egg yolks break.
Step 4: Now add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Now move the batter into the prepared tin.
Step 5: To prepare the cinnamon topping, combine cinnamon, sugar, and butter. Mix them until it is lumpy and wet and sprinkle over cake batter.
Step 6: Now bake the cake for approximately 30-35 minutes. After it’s baked, transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 7: Now to make the glaze, mix sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk and stir together until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, we can add an extra tablespoon of milk. Now the last step, drizzle the glaze all over the cake. And the delicious Apple Cinnamon cake is ready to be served.
Chiffon cake? Have you heard of it?
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch pan and cover it with parchment paper.
Step 2: Take the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and sift them into a bowl. In the center make some space and add oil, egg yolks, vanilla, and lemon flavoring in the space and set aside. Don't beat.
Step 3: Now, take a large mixing bowl and beat egg whites and cream of tartar until very stiff and set aside.
Step 4: Beat egg yolk batter using some beater until smooth and light. Now, pour it over egg whites, folding it in with a rubber spatula, and make sure not to stir. Pour batter into the pan.
Step 5: Now, bake for 55 minutes. Later increase heat to 350 degrees F, and bake 10 to 15 minutes until baked fully. Now set to cool.
The chiffon cake is now ready to be served!!!
Chocolate and coffee? Okay!!! Isn’t it a deadly combo? Well, it is. Some love chocolate and some coffee. Have you ever wondered what the combo of both would be? Now, let me share the recipe.
Step 1: To melt the chocolate, take a double boiler or metal bowl over hot water. Now melt the milk chocolate in espresso, stir until they become liquid and smooth, remove from the heat.
Step 2: Take a large bowl and beat butter and sugar until they get crumbly for about 2 minutes. Now add eggs, 1 at a time, and keep beating well after each addition, add in vanilla and beat. Then mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk and continue beating well after each addition. Add in chocolate chips and melted chocolate mixture and stir well.
Step 3: Now, transfer this mixture to a greased and floured 10-in. fluted pan. Bake at 325° for 80-90 minutes, and insert a toothpick (should come out clean) to check if it is fully baked. Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 4: In a large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in the confectioners' sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt and beat it. Next frost the cake.
The cake is ready and good to be served!!!