Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What is a Cake? & What is a Shortening?

What is a Cake? & What is a Shortening?
Cake is an item of soft, sweet food from a mixture of flour, shortening, eggs, sugar, and other ingredients, baked and often decorated. But it could also be an item of savory food formed into a flat, round shape, and typically baked or fried like crab cakes.
What is a Shortening?
Shortening is a solid fat that is derived either from plant or animal sources. 
Shortening is any fat that is solid at room temperature and used to make crumbly pastry. In pastries such as cake, which should not be elastic, shortening is used. Although butter is solid at room temperature and is frequently used in making pastry, the term "shortening" seldom refers to butter but is more closely related to margarine. In baking, shortening is used with pastries, pie crusts and biscuits to make them flaky.
There are primarily two types of fat-containing cakes: pound and shortened cakes. The shortened cake is made from flour, nonfat dry milk solids, egg, fat, sugar, salt and baking powder.
While a Pound Cake has no added leavening agent except for the air incorporated in the creaming of the fat and sugar and in the beaten eggs. Also the pound cake is a compact, shortened cake leavened only by air and steam.
Shortened cakes, also known as butter, or creamed cakes, are the most commonly prepared especially for birthday and wedding celebrations.
What these cakes have in common are that they contain some sort of fat often butter, but sometimes oil and are mostly leavened by baking powder and/or soda and acid, as well as steam and air. Creaming is the first baking step in many Shortened cakes, except if it an Oil Cake.
Usually the recipe says "Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy." Then, the eggs, followed by dry and wet ingredients...
Another very important word is CREAMING, why?
It is the conventional mixing method of making cake. It generally refers to the first part of the process where the fat and sugar are "creamed" together until smooth and fluffy. Sometimes it includes the addition of eggs to this creamed mixture.
Little does one know that creaming is one of the most important baking steps because The cake is leavened when the air bubbles later expand during baking from carbon dioxide gas of baking powder and/or baking soda, and steam generated from the liquid ingredients.
Today's recipes for cakes use mostly butter or margarine.
So can these be substituted for shortening?
Mostly all prefer butter because of the wonderful flavor it imparts.
Yes, but butter or stick margarine can be substituted for shortening in equal proportions in cake and cookie recipes.
Generally, you can use butter or margarine in place of shortening, but making this substitution may slightly alter the texture of baked goods. Shortening is 100 percent fat, but butter and margarine are composed of about 85 percent fat and 15 percent water. Cookies made with butter or margarine may be softer and spread out a little more. In cakes and breads, the substitution is rarely noticeable.
1 You can substitute 1 cup of butter or 1 cup of margarine minus 1/2 teaspoon of salt for 1 cup of shortening.
2 Try using half as much liquid oil. Applesauce can be substituted for liquid oil.
3 When substituting shortening with cooking oil, you should use
1 cup of oil for every 1 cup of shortening needed.
4 When using butter or margarine as a substitute, you should use
1 â cups of butter or margarine or 2 tbsp more than a cup for every 1 cup of shortening needed for the recipe. When using butter or margarine as a substitute for shortening, use less salt in your recipe.
5 When using butter remember that it browns easier than shortening.
6 You can substitute 1 cup of shortening with ½ cup of applesauce or prune puree.

No comments:

Post a Comment