Crumb of yellow butter cake (vs. white and chocolate)
Posted: 02 June 2012 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I love the delicate crumbs of the white and chocolate butter cakes from TCB, and while the yellow butter cake tastes lovely, I find its crumb larger and less appealing than the other two.  I have experimented a bit with reducing the baking powder ever so slightly, which has helped a little, but still, I would love to see the crumb of the yellow cake be as consistently small and delicate as the others.  Any explanations and suggestions?

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Posted: 02 June 2012 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Are you using superfine sugar?

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Posted: 02 June 2012 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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No, but I don’t for the other cakes, either.  Do you think this would help?

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Posted: 02 June 2012 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Jean Marie - 02 June 2012 05:59 PM

No, but I don’t for the other cakes, either.  Do you think this would help?


That’s the purpose behind using it.  Having more, but smaller, crystals of sugar creates more, but smaller, air pockets in the batter.  The action of the baking soda and baking powder feeds carbon dioxide into those existing air pockets.  All things being equal, the more air pockets you have, the finer the crumb.

The finer crumb of the chocolate cake is probably a direct result of being denser; the cake doesn’t rise as much as the yellow cake.  Rose’s pound cake also has a much finer crumb than the yellow cake, but, again, it’s relatively dense.

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Posted: 03 June 2012 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I will definitely try this.  Thanks.  As for the white cake, any suggetions as to why this crumb is ideal, without superfine sugar?  Of course, the main difference between the two (yellow and white) is which part of the egg that is used, and I have always been intrigued that a substitution of one for the other (which are radically different in their make up) works.

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Posted: 03 June 2012 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jean Marie - 03 June 2012 11:40 AM

As for the white cake, any suggetions as to why this crumb is ideal, without superfine sugar?

It’s an interesting question and I don’t know the answer.  I haven’t ever made a white cake, so I haven’t noticed it.  Perhaps the egg whites help the batter hold on to more air, since egg whites will hold on to more air than either whole eggs or yolks?

As a further speculation, it may be that beating the batter longer will break up the air bubbles into smaller ones.  You obviously risk making the cake tough, but Rose’s mixing method is fairly resistant to that.

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Posted: 03 June 2012 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yeah, I’m curious.  I have made these cakes for years, and just tolerated the slightly larger crumb with the yellow.  The white and chocolate are spot on, perfectly fantastic every time.  I do not overbeat, and I follow the exact methods for each type.  I am wondering it it’s something in the protein of the whites (which are in both the white, with whites only, and in the chocolate, with whole eggs).  The chocolate cake is not heavy, either—perfectly delicate.  I will try the superfine with the yellow, and see if it changes things at all.

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