Two-stage mixing technique
Posted: 22 April 2013 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi all

I have made butter cakes from my own recipe using Rose’s two-stage mixing technique.
There are always small lumps in the final batter.
What went wrong? What can I do to prevent this?

Thank you.

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Posted: 22 April 2013 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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sylgg - 22 April 2013 01:06 PM

There are always small lumps in the final batter.

Not enough information. Can you provide a photo of the lumps? If you pinch them, what do you feel? Do you detect any texture problems in the final product? If you merely mean the batter has a somewhat curdled appearance, this is normal in my experience.

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Posted: 24 April 2013 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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CharlesT - 22 April 2013 08:25 PM
sylgg - 22 April 2013 01:06 PM

There are always small lumps in the final batter.

Not enough information. Can you provide a photo of the lumps? If you pinch them, what do you feel? Do you detect any texture problems in the final product? If you merely mean the batter has a somewhat curdled appearance, this is normal in my experience.

Hi

Thanks for your reply.

Pls see a photo of the batter. I am not sure whether this is a curdled appearance.
As advised, I pinch some of the lumps. I felt sugar in some lumps. Some, I think, were shortening. Is this because of undermixing or not mixing well?
There were no texture problems in the final product.

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Posted: 24 April 2013 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’m glad to hear your final cake worked, despite the lumps!

I wonder if shortening will emulsify the same as butter in the two-stage?  With shortening at 100% fat and butter at about 80, it might work differently.  Also, were all of your ingredients (shortening, in particular) at cool room temp or was it cold?

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Posted: 24 April 2013 11:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yes, I am so glad that there were no lumps in my cake smile
I am just wondering whether my mixing caused the lumps. Should I mix longer?
All my ingredients were at room temperature.

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Posted: 24 April 2013 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ok, that’s not the curdled appearance that I was talking about. I would suspect lumps in the sugar, particularly if it were brown sugar. I would also suspect undermixing of the shortening and flour. Are you using an electric mixer?

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Posted: 25 April 2013 07:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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CharlesT - 24 April 2013 04:15 PM

Ok, that’s not the curdled appearance that I was talking about. I would suspect lumps in the sugar, particularly if it were brown sugar. I would also suspect undermixing of the shortening and flour. Are you using an electric mixer?

I used brown sugar and a standing electric mixer.

I added the shortening and butter together to the dry ingredients. After mixing the butter, shortening and dry ingredients, the mixture looked like cornmeal with some big lumps. Should I continue to mix until there are no big lumps? Will there be a danger of over mixing?

Thanks

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Posted: 25 April 2013 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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sylgg - 25 April 2013 10:23 AM

Should I continue to mix until there are no big lumps? Will there be a danger of over mixing?

I think it would be impossible to overmix flour and shortening; without water, the flour will not form gluten. I’ve never used shortening in a cake, but it’s probably stiffer than softened butter and might take more mixing before it’s evenly distributed.

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Posted: 25 April 2013 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If you’re using the two-stage mixing method, you definitely want to beat the shortening/butter with the flour/sugar/leavening mixture really well.  Not only to get the lumps out, but also to aerate the cake so it doesn’t end up too flat.  Yes to what Charles said, the fat coats the flour and prevents too much gluten from forming.  If you’re unclear on the details of the method, search for Rose’s favorite layer cake over on the blog, it has directions.

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Posted: 26 April 2013 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks all for your advice and suggestions.

Charles,

You mentioned that you suspect lumps in the sugar especially brown sugar. Is there anything that I can do to reduce/prevent the sugar lumps?

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Posted: 26 April 2013 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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sylgg - 26 April 2013 11:43 AM

Thanks all for your advice and suggestions.

Charles,

You mentioned that you suspect lumps in the sugar especially brown sugar. Is there anything that I can do to reduce/prevent the sugar lumps?

My two cents- I would mix the to break up the big clumps. If you’re using white sugar also, the white sugar easily breaks it. Otherwise it taked a bit more time.

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Posted: 26 April 2013 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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sylgg - 26 April 2013 11:43 AM

You mentioned that you suspect lumps in the sugar especially brown sugar. Is there anything that I can do to reduce/prevent the sugar lumps?

If they’re soft, the mixing will break them up or you can use your fingers. The brown sugar, though, can have some pretty hard lumps. Probably the food processor is the way to go.

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