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I need a recipe for a velvety close textured vanilla cake - any helpers?
Posted: 22 May 2008 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I am trying to find a recipe for a velvety close textured vanilla cake suitable for cupcakes. Not crumbly or too buttery. Any ideas?, I have searched and searched the net but have only found it to be similar to Madeira cake, but not the same.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m no expert, but the crumb really doesn’t look like a butter cake to me.  It almost looks like a yellow angel food cake.  Maybe try something with stiffly beaten whites folded in, like TCB’s White Genoise or Biscuit de Savoie.  Rose describes the White Genoise as a cross between and angel food cake and a classic genoise.

Good luck, please report back when you find something!
Julie

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Posted: 22 May 2008 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oops, sorry, the biscuit I mentioned in the previous post wouldn’t work well for cupcakes because it requires syrup, but the white genoise might.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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One way to get a very fine texture is to use cake flour and ultra-fine sugar.  It is hard to tell from the picture, but it almost looks like a white cake—made with only egg whites, but there is a slight off-white quality to it, so maybe it uses whole eggs.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I was thinking a white butter cake as well.

Since you’re in Australia you won’t be able to get the bleached cake flour we have in the States. I wonder what flour the bakery uses? Try searching for “Kate flour” on the forums and the main blog for a way you can come up with a substitute.

Maybe they include a little cornstarch or potato flour for a fine texture?

Have you tried Rose’s White Velvet Butter Cake or White Chocolate Whisper Cake recipes from the Cake Bible? You’ll need to make some “Kate flour” for them.

There’s a recipe for the White Velvet Cake on Rose’s blog: here’s a link to the list:
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/02/the_missing_pbs_recipes.html

For the White Chocolate Whisper cake you’ll need to buy or borrow a copy of the book.

Good luck!

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Posted: 22 May 2008 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for your help. I will try and track down some “kate flour” and see how I go. The original recipe was from the grandmother of the lady who started the cupcake business, so it’s fairly old. I wish I just knew what it was!, but I understand why they keep it a secret.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Skyla, I am certain this cupcake is done with commercial emulsifiers not available for the home cook.

Absolutely, use Cake/Kate flour.  Looks like a white butter cake, indeed Rose’s butter cakes have a very nice fine crumb.  My luck will be to make Rose’s Golden Luxury Butter Cake.  Be sure to use white chocolate that has cacao butter in it, the emulsifiers gives you the most perfect fine crumb butter cake.  You could also adapt other butter cake recipes by replacing part of the sugar, milk, and butter, with white chocolate; this gives you the most possible fine crumb effect similar to commercial emulsifiers.

Is your picture too whited out?  is the cake white or yellow?  a yellow cake gives you the best fine crumb texture, made with all yolks.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 07:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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hectorwong - 22 May 2008 10:07 PM

Skyla, I am certain this cupcake is done with commercial emulsifiers not available for the home cook.

Absolutely, use Cake/Kate flour.  Looks like a white butter cake, indeed Rose’s butter cakes have a very nice fine crumb.  My luck will be to make Rose’s Golden Luxury Butter Cake.  Be sure to use white chocolate that has cacao butter in it, the emulsifiers gives you the most perfect fine crumb butter cake.  You could also adapt other butter cake recipes by replacing part of the sugar, milk, and butter, with white chocolate; this gives you the most possible fine crumb effect similar to commercial emulsifiers.

Is your picture too whited out?  is the cake white or yellow?  a yellow cake gives you the best fine crumb texture, made with all yolks.

Yes you are probably correct about the emulsifiers, unfortunately. I will try some of the suggested recipes out that have been suggested. I have also seen a sour cream butter cake that looks quite similar so I might try that out as well.

The cake is a pale yellow.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If you are in Sydney, a very fine cake flour from Taiwan is stocked by many of the Asian supermarkets with a protein content of 6.67g. It makes a cake with an amazing texture. The packaging is coral pink plastic (500g) and has a red rectangle with the word “Sunlight” in the top left hand corner and a red, oval bubble with “Cake Flour” in the middle. It is possibly available in other major cities.

If not, then microwaving Anchor brand “Cake, Biscuit & Pastry Flour” (protein 8.5g) following Kate’s instructions also works, though the cake texture is not as fine.

Try it with the White Chocolate Whisper Cake on p50 of the latest edition of The Cake Bible or Dorie Greenspan’s Perfect Party Cake on this link:
http://foodartandrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/2008/03/daring-bakers-march-challenge-dorie.html

I think Rose’s recipe has the better flavour.

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Posted: 23 May 2008 12:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi Skyla,

I’m in Aus too and this pic reminds me of a vanilla cake my Gran used to make - sadly she has now passed away but I seem to recall from fond memories of cooking often with her that her recipe required butter and caster sugar to be creamed really well (until it turned almost white - which she did by hand - but today I’d dare say you could use a mixer!) and then the eggs were beaten in one at a time followed by vanilla essence, orange zest and last the SR flour sifted and very gently folded in.
I inherited her well thumbed cookbooks which may include the recipe made but alas they are in storage 3000kms away. I will be going back home for a visit in a couple of months so will try and find the recipe for you (assuming you can wait that long!) so you can try it.

Also, if it is an old Australian recipe then it will most likely use either plain flour with baking power (or bicarb and cream of tartar mixed to create baking powder equiv) or Self Raising Flour rather than Cake Flour as this is a very recent addition to home kitchen here. Mind you, as Hector says it’s possible it’s been tweaked with other commercial ingredients now it’s made in bulk for a store…


Have you looked in the CWA cookbook? Given that this was the store owner’s Grandmother’s recipe - the CWA cookback was the ‘bible’ of it’s day in the 40s and 50s here in Australia so may have a recipe similar ??


Hope you find something similar.

Happy Baking!
Cate

P.S. geejay .... interesting about the Taiwanese cake flour - can you advise which supermarkets and if is it bleached?

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Posted: 23 May 2008 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thai Kee Supermarket in Market City (Chinatown) definitely has it in one of their Asian sections (when you walk down this particular aisle from the front, it’s low on the left hand side). It could be with the Japanese products. Careful which one you pick up as there is quite a variety. I know some of the smaller supermarkets in Chinatown carry it, though I cannot remember their names.

I first saw it at an Asian supermarket in the large shopping complex in Rhodes. I’ve also purchased it from Burlington at Chatswood. Let me know if you have trouble finding it.

I don’t know whether if it is bleached, as the product information is written mostly in Chinese. I’ll have to ask my Mum to translate the blurb one of these days. If you’ve ever eaten Asian cakes, Japanese cakes in particular, you will understand what I mean by the fine texture.

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Posted: 23 May 2008 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Skyla, you mentioned that in your research so far, you found Madeira cake to be similar but not the same. There are different recipes for Madeira cake, so I’m wondering if that’s a clue. Maybe one of them would produce the result you’re looking for?

I have a book from the UK where the Madeira cake is quite coarse-textured with a spongy and crumbly texture. But the picture in another book (which, btw, originated in Australia) looks for all the world like your cupcake. It might be worth a try to make a small one, adding a few drops of vanilla essence to get the flavour right.

Here are the proportions for a 6” round or 5” square pan:
135 g/4 1/2 oz softened butter
135 g/4 1/2 oz caster sugar
2 eggs
110 g/3 1/2 oz plain flour
35 g/1 oz self-raising flour
2 tsp milk

Instructions say to beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time beating well after each one. Fold in sifted flours and stir in milk. Bake 1 hour at 160 C (315F/Gas 2-3).

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Posted: 24 May 2008 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thanks geejay, I’ll try Chatswood first then Market town - I also may try Tokyo Mart in Northbridge as that place is an Aladdins Cave of amazing things - any excuse to go there will do for me !!
smile

Thanks again.

Oh and Skyla ...just wondering if it was it ‘My Little Cupcake’ or perhaps ‘LeCupcake’ you are trying to replicate?

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Posted: 24 May 2008 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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For some reason, I looked at the photo and thought, “custard powder”. Does anything in this discussion help?

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Posted: 25 May 2008 12:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Interesting… perhaps it could have some custard powder (or perhaps some wheaten cornflour which is the main base of original custard powder here I think) in it to get that texture.

Which reminds me (sorry to go off topic Skyla) - Kate when you use cornflour with your Kate Flour do you use wheaten or corn cornflour?

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Posted: 25 May 2008 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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It’s fascinating the different ingredients that are available in different countries—in the US I’ve never seen or heard of “wheaten cornflour” and if you asked for it people would look at you funny…

I’m curious as to what it is! Is it a very finely ground white flour? Or is it a “refined starch” that’s extracted from wheat flour? Or is it a specially processed flour like Wondra? Does it contain gluten?

In the US, corn flour is hard to find in ordinary grocery stores, but when you find it, it’s just a really fine grind of corn meal. Made from whole corn.

It sounds like Australian / UK cornflour is the same as USA cornstarch—a very finely ground pure starch, refined & extracted from ground corn. Is that right?

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