Tuesday, November 27, 2007

piece of cake


I used some of my small cake flour stash on this birthday cake

I came across this fascinating blog posting about making your own cake flour by simply microwaving regular flour. I haven't tried it yet, but I thought my expat readers might find this useful. If your US cake recipes aren't working so well in Zurich, it might be because of the flour. Unlike regular wheat flour, cake flour is fine-textured, low-protein and bleached. These properties help cakes have a high rise while maintaining a fine, moist texture. This site gives a nice concise definition of cake flour.

As far as I can tell, cake flour is not available in Europe because it's bleached, a process not deemed healthy by food regulators here. But bleaching enables the flour to absorb more moisture, meaning moister cake (or something like that, I'm no expert). Anyway, this microwave method seems promising. Here are links to three articles on the subject:

http://amerrierworld.wordpress.com/2007/10/28/a-question-of-flour/
http://amerrierworld.wordpress.com/2007/10/30/more-questions-of-flour/
http://amerrierworld.wordpress.com/2007/11/06/water-water-everywhere/


devil's food cake with chocolate cream icing
sprinkles courtesy of my 3.5yr old

4 comments:

La Noisette said...

It's funny to read this story of flour. Because Swiss and French have too this problem, we don't have exactly the same flour and some times when I try a french receipt, it's failed due to that... But the effect on cake is impressive, I think, I will try one time. But do you think I will need too a US receipt?

Aluwicious said...

It was gooood!

Kate said...

Thank you so much for spreading this news! I'd love to hear if you or your expat readers have any success with microwaving their flour (we haven't tested any from Switzerland yet). You might also like to see this post about using a thermometer to assess when the flour has been microwaved for long enough.

Tanya said...

Hi Kate. I plan to get The Cake Bible on my next US trip, then I'll do some experiments with the flour. I can't wait!

La Noisette - I've only used US recipes. I don't know how french or swiss cake recipes would behave with cake flour. French and swiss cakes are quite different than US cakes, so I suspect they are designed to work with the flour available in those countries.

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