High Ratio Cake Question
Posted: 25 May 2009 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Okay all, this is a science question based on the formula for high ratio cakes.  If i have a cake and I replace all the whole eggs with egg whites to get a white cake, would I also increase the liquid?  I figured egg whites have a drying effect on the cake’s final outcome, and since I’m only replacing whole eggs for egg whites I don’t want to increase the fat in the cake to add moisture since the fat to egg ratio is in balance as is.  So I figured the only way to counteract the drying effect of the egg whites is to increase the liquid in the cake a bit which should be alright as long as my liquid is equal to or greater than the sugar.  Is that right? 

I read somewhere that if you increase the water in a cake you should reduce the egg and fat in a cake.  I’m assuming this is because water adds moisture and without changing the egg to fat ratio the flour will be too well coated and the water will not be able to be absorbed leaving you with a cake with too much water.  Is my thinking right in this?  Therefore if I replace a egg whites for the whole eggs, but increase the water, I shouldn’t have to decrease the eggs and shortening as well? or should I also decrease the eggs and shortening based on that tip about increasing water.  I just assumed that meant when using whole eggs. 

Any ideas?  Should I just replace the whites and leave everything else alone since the formula is in balance?  Even if egg whites are known to having a drying effect.

Another question is if I have a cake recipe and I add one more egg white to the recipe (for example lets say its a white cake that calls for 4 eggs whites),  If i increase it by one more egg white, I therefore increased the fat to compensate for the added egg white, would I increase the water to adjust the drying effect of the added egg white, or does the increasing the fat counteract the extra egg white I added?  I guess this main point of this post is about trying to figure out the relationship between water and fat and eggs.

God baking a cake is complicated when trying to change a recipe, but I want to really understand this formula so I can make any changes to cakes in the future.  BTW I got bakewise, thus my obsession with the cake formula!  Hopefully someone can help, maybe even rose herself my be able to answer some question cause this cake formula has me stumped in some areas.  I wish Shirley had a forum like this to take questions the science of baking. *sigh* I think I’ve talked long enough.  someone please shed some light for me.

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Posted: 25 May 2009 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Dachie, in addition to the issues you mention, there’s also the issue of less emulsification of the cake with no yolks- not sure if this would only be a little, so that the cake still suceeded but had a more open crumb, or if it would mean more emulsified shortening was needed.

Sorry, I’m not much help on the recipe modifications!  Perhaps a few small test cakes are in order?

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Posted: 25 May 2009 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Hi Julie, wow that was fast.  I guess let me try see explain my test I plan to do sometime this week or next.  I have a recipe for a white cake.  So I want to try make it moister and lighter by incorporating whipped cream as a leavening to the batter.  Because whipped cream is 35% fat and 60-63%water give or take I had to adjust the amount of fat in my recipe.  I had two ways of doing this, first is to cut out 35% of the butter since the fat is replaced with whipped cream fat.  Therefore I can leave the egg whites alone and just reduce the milk by the amount of water in the cream.  However this lead me to thinking that with so much sugar if I decrease the butter, will I have enough butter to cream 10.5 ounces of sugar?  So that lead me to think what if I keep the butter the same and to account for the extra fat from the whipped cream to add an extra egg white.  That lead me to think well since I’m adding an extra egg white won’t it have a drying effect on my cake, thus should I increase my water to add moistness, or because I added the extra fat from the whipping cream to the recipe does that compensate for the drying effect of the extra egg white?  God this sounds complicated, but I really wanna try figure out the baker formula because I think it would really help in all future baking. 

As it is sometime I’m planning on baking the original white cake recipe and also the changed version that I created to see if the whipped cream makes for a lighter moister cake.  But before I bake “my version” I’m trying to decide how to change the recipe, to either reduce the butter or add the extra egg.  And that led me to the whole thing about the relationship between fat, liquid, and eggs.

btw I’m planning on revamping the perfect part cake from dorrie greenspan.  The recipe is on many people’s blogs from a daring bakers challenge in case you wanna see the recipe if that would help you to give me tips on how I should adjust the formula.

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