GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

February 6, 2013

Tailor a cake from one of these basics

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- —

Interested in making your sweetheart something sweet this Valentine’s Day? Why not bake a cake?

With the help of “Mr. Cake,” Greg Case in the accompanying online video, you can learn about the basics about the three types of cakes: egg foam, cream and yeast or leavening. Uniquely their own, each cake yields a different texture and consistency. Once you have mastered the basics, you will be able to make a cake tailored perfectly to your valentine’s preference.

Egg foam cake, a light and airy treat, uses beaten egg whites as a primary leavening agent. The fluffy texture is achieved by vigorously beating air into egg whites until a firm froth is produced. To be sure your egg foam batter has achieved the proper consistency, the batter should create peaks when held upright. The most commonly known type of egg foam cake is the sweet and soft Angel Food Cake. Not to be out done, the Chiffon Cake and the Geniose Cake are also wonderfully delicate members of the egg foam family.

The cream cake is the perfect choice for those who enjoy a heartier cake. Featuring the use of fat as its primary binding agent, this cake too is prepared without the use of leavening agents. To prepare a cream cake, butter is beaten with air to produce a thick and creamy batter. Spoil your valentine with the cream cake, savory and a true guilty pleasure.

The yeast or leavening cake is tradition at its finest. balancing the light airy texture of the egg foam cakes and the decadency of the cream cake Through the use of science, leavening agents incorporate gas bubbles into a batter. When yeast reacts with moisture, heat or acidity, a chemical reaction occurs and gas bubbles are released. When batter is mixed, starches form a web that are held together with proteins. This web is formed around the gas bubbles produced by the yeast and, when baked, the gas bubbles burst and leave tiny holes in the dough. These holes make the cake soft and airy and irresistible to anyone with a sweet tooth.

With egg foam’s fluffy and spongy texture, cream cake’s savory splendor and yeast cake’s perfect balance, choosing a favorite is never easy. Make this Valentine’s Day fun and delicious with a personalized cake for your special someone.