Cakes, Cookies and Confections/Cakes
Since perfection in the completed cake does not depend alone on the ingredients and their proper proportions, it is advisable that all who use this booklet read the following suggestions:
A few well selected pieces of equipment are absolutely necessary to the best success of these recipes. It is true that edible cakes and cookies can be obtained with the make shift of the average kitchen, but not the successful product intended.
To insure success and enjoyment while working you should own the following:
- Standard tablespoon (16 to 1 cup).
- Standard teaspoon (3 to 1 tbsp).
- Wooden spoon for mixing.
- Steel case knife for removing baked cakes. (Spatula not best for this.)
- Glass measuring cup.
- Aluminum measuring cup.
- Egg whip or wire whisk.
- Egg beater of the wheel or Dover type (Not a cheap one.)
- Crockery bowls.
- Limber spatula to remove cake matter. (Not necessary, but a great convenience.)
- Flour sifter.
- Cake rack on which to cool cakes, bread, etc. The wire shelf of the refrigerator is a good substitute.
- "Turk's Head" cake pan for large cakes, as fruit or sponge. (Has hole in center.)
- Tin or aluminum cake pan about 7x11x2 inches. (Suitable for cakes of the "Novelty type.")
- Square cake pan with removable bottom.
- Loaf cake pan about 4x8x3 inches.
- Layer cake pans.
- Russian iron or aluminum cookie sheet.
- Oven thermometer.
- Pair of scissors for cutting fruit, marshmallows, etc.
- Brush for oiling pan, though a piece of clean paper may be used.
- Double boiler, one quart size.
- Collect all ingredients and utensils before starting the cake.
All measurements are leveled by knife moved forward at right angles to spoon or cup. Do not pack. Four is sifted once before measuring. Use no favorite "coffee" or "tea" cups or dessert spoons!
- 3 tsp. equals 1 tbsp.
- 16 tbsp. equals 1 cup.
- (When measuring molasses, sour milk, or other liquids and fat, always remove surplus clinging to spoon before calling it a measured table spoon.)
- 2 c. liquid equals 1 pt.
- 2 c. sugar equals 1 lb.
- 2 c. fat equals 1 lb.
- 4 c. flour equals 1 lb.
- 16 oz. equals 1 lb.
With the exception of true sponge, cakes depend for their lightness upon the gas generated when the baking powder combines with liquid ingredients. Therefore do not beat the batter any longer than to thoroughly mix it, or the gas will be lost and a heavy, compact mass results. A better method is to reserve two tablespoons of the flour and sift it with the baking powder into the well beaten batter before the whites are folded in. Long beating before addition of the leavener tends to make a more even grained texture.
Effects of Various Ingredients
In making an untested recipe for the first time it is interesting to know that:
1. If the cake has a gummy surface with a tendency to fall, an excess of sugar was used.
2. If there are heavy streaks and a friable crumb, too much fat was used.
3. A dry, bready cake is the result of too much flour.
4. An excess of baking powder makes a porous cake which falls easily.
5. An excess of egg gives tendency to toughness and produces "tunnels."
If all else has been observed and the cake is carelessly baked, failure is usually the reward. One should learn the good and bad points of the oven used and act accordingly.
The cake is usually placed in the center of the oven. A large square of asbestos insures against burning on the bottom. The top shelf of the oven is used for browning.
An over thermometer, purchasable for a small sum, does away with guess work if one records results of each baking.
(Table given in Bulletin No. 8. Good House-keeping Series.)
Plain Cake (sheet or cup)—375°F.—30 minutes.
Plain Cake (loaf)—350°F—45 minutes.
Plain Cake (layer)—375°F.—20 minutes.
Fruit Cake( cheap)—235°F.—1¼ hours. Fruit Cake (very large)—275°F.—3 to 4 hours.
Sponge Cake—320°—1 hour.
Angel Cake—320°F.—1 hour.
Baking Powder Biscuit—450°F. 12 to 15 min.
Corn Cake—400°F. 20 to 25 minutes.
Pop-Overs—450°F. 30 min., and 350°F. 15 min.
Bread 350°F.—45 minutes to one hour.
Biscuits (yeast)—400°F. 425°F.—20 minutes.
Rolled Vanilla Cookies—450°F.—10 minutes.
Filled Cookies—450°F. 11 minutes.
Drop Bran Cookies—425°F.—12 minutes.
Soft Molasses Cookies—375°F.—18 minutes.
Ginger Snaps—350°F.—7 minutes.
Tests When Done
A cake may be tested in three ways :
- a. When it shrinks from the sides of the pan.
- b. When a straw inserted comes out without any dough adhering.
- c. When lightly touched the dent does not remain.
Leave sponge cakes in pan till cold. Other cakes may be removed to cake rack to cool.
All cakes cut best with a wet knife.