Bakery style fine crumb white cake
Posted: 16 September 2009 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m a new member with some questions.

I used to have a small bakery in my home many years ago.  Back then, I purchased bakery cake mixes, but have no need for such a massive amount now.  I’ve come out of “mass baking retirement” to make goodies for a family wedding and bought cake and pastry flours, icing sugar, and high ratio shortening. 

Maybe it is because it has been so many years, but I’ve not been able to find a white cake recipe that has a very fine, tender crumb made from scratch.  I have TCB and have tried several recipes, but still none have come close to the fineness of the crumb I want.  I’ve even tried pound cakes.

The wedding is in a few weeks, and I need to get this right.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you all in advance.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Maybe the white chocolate cake?  I was very impressed with the texture of that one.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome to the forum, LaMiaCucina! It’s good to have you here. I’m not sure if I have the answer to your question, but I can offer a few thoughts. First is to say that I have achieved cakes with the very fine, tender crumb you describe using Cake Bible recipes. Not a straight white cake, unfortunately for your purposes, because amazingly I’ve never had a request for one.

I have had many requests for the White Chocolate Whisper Cake, which pavlovcat has recommended to you. This is a version of Rose’s base formula for white cake (the one called White Velvet), to which she has added a small amount of white chocolate and subtracted comparable amounts of fat (butter) and sugar to compensate. If you haven’t already done so, I would make a small test cake of each—a single 6” layer would do the trick. I would also make them exactly as described, both in terms of method and ingredients (no substitutions).

That said and given your past experience of using bakery cake mixes, what you may really be looking for is a recipe for a “high-ratio” cake. The industry considers the term to be dated now, but I’ll use it for want of a better one to describe recipes where emulsified shortenings and high-ratio flours are used to produce cakes with high ratios of sugar and water. This type of cake was almost universal in the industry for many years, because they were so cheap to make. They’re still available but going out of favour with consumers and bakers alike because of concern about trans-fats.

The higher ratio of sugar to flour in these cakes is usually on the order of 130 to 140%—meaning that if you used 100 grams of flour, you would use 130-140 grams of sugar. In most formulas for cake and cake-like loaves and muffins, the sugar is much less than the flour. Rose has worked out a way of using equal amounts with a variation on the high-ratio method of mixing. Hers was a brilliant discovery that meant one could use butter and regular cake flour to achieve a similar, some would say a better texture than the high-ratio cakes. Certainly, a tastier result.

I have some formulas for high-ratio cakes and would be willing to send you one. Can’t put my hands on a white one just at the moment, only a yellow layer cake. But I urge you to give Rose’s recipes a chance. Her buttercreams are also far superior to the shortening- and icing sugar-based versions that many bakeries rely on since, again, they’re so cheap to produce. Also because they can be stored at room temperature instead of taking up space in a bakery’s busy walk-in cooler.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 12:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Great reply, Carol, I enjoyed reading it!

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Posted: 16 September 2009 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Welcome LaMiaCucina (I adore your screen name!!).  Please tell me you are Italian. smile

I agree with Pavlovcat - the white chocolate cake has a very fine crumb… cuts like butter.  You might also want to check out some of Dede Wilson’s recipes.  She has authored a couple of wedding cake books, and I find her “crumb” to be quite different than Rose’s.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for the replies.  I have tried the White Chocolate Whisper Cake, and while I think it is a good cake, it wasn’t quite what I want.

I have been researching high-ratio cakes.  I’m trying to get close to a bakery that closed years ago. (Darn superstores!)  It was owned and operated by a master baker who, I must say, made heavenly cakes, etc.  I know that none were made from a mix.  I may not get it exact, but I’d like to give it a try.

Patrincia - yes, I am Italian.  How’d you guess?  smile

Thanks for the replies.

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Posted: 16 September 2009 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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There’s a formula for a high-ratio white cake in Baking and Pastry: Mastering The Art and Craft from the Culinary Institute of America. It actually uses butter rather than emulsified shortening. Interested?

The CIA says that high-ratio cakes are typically made using an emulsified shortening, but not always. Eggs can be used instead. They define a high-ratio cake as one in which the weight of the sugar is equal to or greater than the weight of the flour. And the weight of the eggs is equal to or greater than the weight of the fat. High-ratio shortening and/or additional egg yolks can act as the emulsifiers. The combination of the emulsifiers and a two-stage mixing method produces a smooth batter.

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Posted: 17 September 2009 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’d like to try it, thanks!

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Posted: 18 September 2009 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Check your private messages. Good luck! Carol

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