Here in Hawaii, pau hana means the end of the work day and by Thursday it was pau hana until the start of the fall semester. Baking class was totally amazing but we were all ready for it to be over. Our last week focused on icings and cakes so I’m just going to dive into the subject.
Cakes can be divided into 2 categories; high fat and low fat. High fat cakes include; whole eggs or yolks, butter or other shortenings and sugar. These cakes are blended in either the creaming method or the 2 stage method. Low fat cakes primarily use whipped egg whites and flour is then folded into the whipped whites. This is a nutshell explanation. The cake you see up above is an Angel Food cake. It is under the low fat category. The Angel Food cake is unusual because; 1. It is baked in a tube pan and 2. You don’t use any pan release. You need the batter to climb up the pan and stick. That is what give the cake its height. It’s not easy removing them but that’s just how it goes.
We also made a Chocolate Molten Lava Cake. Sorry I was too late getting to this pic. Someone already took a sample. This cake is slightly under baked to create the molten center. It’s really yummy with raspberry sauce!
We discussed the various types of meringues; French (simple), Swiss & Italian. French is used primarily as an additive in batters to add air. Swiss is used as meringues for pies, where more firmness is needed. Italian meringue is the most stable of the meringues. It is used as the base for butter creams. Egg whites are whipped until soft peaks are formed, some sugar is added and whipped until firmer peaks are formed and the mixture doesn’t feel gritty. In the meantime, water and sugar is boiled to 240 degrees. A low tech way to determine that you are at the right temperature is to dip the end of a slotted spoon into the syrup and blow. If you get a bubble, it’s time.
I must admit I really enjoyed this baking class. I really learned a lot of information that I was not familiar with. I am definitely moving on to advanced baking. With all this said, it’s time for me to take a break and really concentrate on honing my baking skills as well as some molecular gastronomy experiments.