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 Post subject: Re: Butter Cake 101: All-Purpose Yellow Cake
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:37 pm
Posts: 3404
Location: Telluride, CO
Tatoosh,

I'm a Pastry Chef working at 8750 ft. My basic rule-of-thumb is to try any baking recipe (except anything caramel) as written, but reducing the leavening by 50%. This is a pretty good starting point I've found. If that doesn't work, I go from there.

Amy


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 Post subject: Re: Butter Cake 101: All-Purpose Yellow Cake
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:55 am
Posts: 516
Location: Cordillera, Luzon, Philippines
So if I was to do Darcie's delectable yellow cake, I would simply cut the baking powder in half, from 1 tablespoon to 1/2 tablespoon? And then do the paper towel and foil cake ring construction? Sounds too simple! Of course, when I first started doing cakes, we used packaged cake mixes (yes, I can hear you all clucking your tongues) since our so-called kitchen was minimalist to the extreme. We baked cookies, cakes, lasagna and all in a toaster oven. Since ants were a major problem in our first apartment, stuff that came sealed was often our first choice. Anyway, now that we have a different place and make most everything from scratch, this sounds very good. And I will try that with our chocolate cake recipe too, which my wife often bakes for her potluck gatherings.

Slightly off topic, one bakery here produces the lightest cakes (a strawberry flavor, in this case)! These are noticeably less dense than any other cake that I've either bought or baked. While I was browsing the King Arthur website, I noticed a hint saying to add 2 - 4 tablespoons of corn starch to "lighten" a cake. I have no idea if this is what the bakery is doing, but has anyone here tried this? Reference: KA Baking Tips: Cake Primer

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Tatoosh aka Steve

Ancient Amerikano Adventuring Abroad: another fat guy up a mountain in the Philippines


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 Post subject: Re: Butter Cake 101: All-Purpose Yellow Cake
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:03 pm
Posts: 1087
Cornstarch will reduce the overall gluten percentage in the mix, which will make the structure lighter.


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 Post subject: Re: Butter Cake 101: All-Purpose Yellow Cake
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:37 pm
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Location: Telluride, CO
What Becky says...

There are certain types of cakes, e.g., chiffon, that just naturally do better at altitude, especially if you're talking about high and dry altitude, which is what I have to deal with. When I first moved to the mountains, I over-compensated for the conditions (based on what everyone says about living up here), but ultimately found you really need to experiment before you adjust. I now always simply adjust leavening (with maybe a slight adjustment to liquid and oven temp) before I try anything else. It's unfortunately a matter of trial and error, but I deal with it. Just don't talk to me about caramel...a whole different animal here.

Amy


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