For all those who bake at home, we all get recipes from various sources; Sites like our blog, cook books, family & friends. Sometimes the terminologies used in the recipes; especially for beginner bakers in terms of mixing – can be a bit confusing. I’ve put together 5 cake mixing methods used by bakers so that if you encounter them next time, or for the first time ^_^, you can understand what they mean exactly.
|Baking = Love|
1.) Creaming Method
This is when butter or margarine is beaten with an electric mixer or a whisk, with sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This method can take 3-5 minutes with an electric mixer or if by hand, can take 5 – 8 minutes. The creamed mixture should be white or pale whitish in color and it should also have a creamy consistency. This method incorporates air into the ingredients; hence the almost white color and creamy texture. This method is used mostly for Butter Cakes.
2.) Folding Method
This is simply the process of adding flour or any other dry ingredient, into a creamed or melted mixture, a little at a time, while stirring slowly and gently – moving towards one direction. Generally a wooden spoon or a spatula is used to stir in the dry ingredients.
There are various folding methods; the two main ones we use in our baking (recipes or when teaching in class) are:
Folding method 1: The No. 8 method: where you fold dry ingredients gently around the bowl, then cut in the middle to make an almost “number eight” shape.
Folding method 2: Over and Under method: where you fold gently with a spatula – pass it under the batter then gently cutting in and over the batter in circular, gentle motions. This is especially used for sponge cake mixing to ensure the cake batter doesn’t deflate.
3.) Melting Method
This is ideal for honey, molasses, beer or syrup cakes or cake recipes that also contain chocolate in their ingredients. Place the butter or margarine in a saucepan over low heat. When the fat has melted, remove the sauce pan from the heat and add the honey, molasses, etc. Mix well until blended. Let it cool and then mix in other liquid and sugar. Carefully fold in other dry ingredients.
Click here for a Guinness Beer cake using the melting method.
This method is also used when melting butter and chocolate to make cakes such as Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Brownies or Blondies. For recipes with Chocolate ingredients; you want to use a double boiler method so the chocolate doesn’t burn due to direct heat.
|Melting method – using a double boiler|
This method is also used if you’re melting cooking/block chocolate for baking. However, the chocolate is melted using a double boiler or, if you don’t have one, two cooking pans OR bowls.
Double Boiler Method: Boil water in a large pan, then lower the heat and place another pan above the first – make sure the top pan/bowl doesn’t touch the hot water in the bottom pan. Put the cooking chocolate into the second pan and slowly stir the chocolate with a spatula or wooden spoon until melted, remove from heat and use accordingly.
4.) Whisking method
This is when you whisk egg whites (or whole eggs) until they are fluffy and form soft peaks. You then incorporate sugar, any other ingredients and then fold in dry ingredients to make a meringue; then add dry ingredients to make a foam batter. This is mainly used in Sponge cake-making.
Chiffon Sponge Cake
5.) One Step/ All-in-One Method
Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add sugar and all other wet & liquid ingredients. Mix well with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended; you can also use a mixer. The mixture will have a thick consistency and may be light and glossy. It can be poured or spooned into tin.
Wherever you get your recipes from, always enjoy your baking ^_^