Cold butter and Chilled sugar for baking Cake????

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by hotoven, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. hotoven

    hotoven

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    I found a recipe for a Vanilla cake that called for COLD BUTTER and CHILLED SUGAR!!  Like many other recipes, it requested that the butter and sugar be creamed.  It also asked for the bowl and mixer paddle be chilled!  My question is, how is this helpful to baking?  Is there a specific reason for this?
     
  2. dillonsmimi

    dillonsmimi

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    I have a friend that uses ingredients cold from the fridge, eggs included.

    Her theory is that the paddle on the mixer will warm things up and her cakes turn out beautifully.

    But cold sugar?

    I am stumped on this one.

    Can you cite or post the recipe for us to look at?

    mimi
     
  3. hotoven

    hotoven

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    I know that the paddle is supposed to warm up the butter but this recipe does not want that.  It requests the bowl plus the paddle be chilled. Here is the recipe  

    Ingredients:

    1-1/2 cup cake flour
    1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 stick cold unsalted butter
    1-1/3 cup sugar, placed in the freezer to chill
    1/3 cup vegetable oil or other mild oil
    2 large eggs at room temperature
    3 large egg yolks at room temperature
    1/2 cup buttermilk at room temperature
    1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

    Preparation:

    Sift together dry ingredients so that the leavening agent is evenly dispersed. Chill a bowl and the beaters. Beat the hard butter in the chilled bowl for three to four minutes, and then gradually pour in chilled sugar. Beat for another three to four minutes until well-blended and very fluffy (a total of eight minutes).

    Add oil to butter and sugar mixture, and then blend. Add eggs and yolks and beat very lightly on a low speed. Too much beating after adding the eggs will produce a tough crust. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and blend lightly. Fold in sifted dry ingredients.

    Prepare a cake pan with parchment paper liner that you have sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with flour and toss out the excess. Pour in the batter, then bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This makes one layer.
     
  4. hotoven

    hotoven

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  5. dillonsmimi

    dillonsmimi

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    I sent this recipe to my friend for her opinion.

    Can't decipe if it will work or not.

    mimi
     
  6. chefross

    chefross

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    The link still does not explain the reasoning behind doing this. Cold butter and sugar will not cream properly. I also don't understand why the eggs are separated as they are added to the batter together anyway.
     
  7. dillonsmimi

    dillonsmimi

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    8 minutes of creaming with a stand mixer will warm the ingredients and make the cold butter and sugar moot.

    Nor do I get the reasoning behind using cold ingredients to start and finish with with room temp ingredients.

    Nothing gained.

    Then there is the minuscule amt of oil.

    Nothing to bind to except the eggs, which will make a nice mayo, but will most likely leach out in the oven and just leave a greasy mess behind.

    Shouldn't the wets and drys be alternated to finish?

    IMO, the recipe "creator"  just wanted to have a recipe on a baking site.

    IMHO.

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  8. siduri

    siduri

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    I always had the feeling that air would be better incorporated into cold butter - that plus the fact that i usually bake on the spur of the moment and don;t have time to remove butter from the fridge to get to room temp, means i almost always make cakes with cold butter.  I'm not aware of any difference because i never soften the butter.  Perhaps they used to say soften the butter because people didn;t have mixers.  I remember before having a mixer, i did all the creaming by hand and it was necessary to soften it a little at least.  But like lots of things, they become traditions and the original reason for it is lost.  Like, apparently, scalding milk for bread.  Milk is pasteurized now so it's probably not necessary any more. 

    Now, while it;s true that beating the butter will warm it up even if it;s cold, beating warm butter will also warm it up and make it even warmer, so the end temperature will be a couple of degrees warmer than cold, or a couple of degrees warmer than warm.  It is a difference.  That and the cold sugar, maybe she has something there..  Reasoning on that, you can imagine that while cold butter holds its shape, warm butter will flop down and fill the air holes made by creaming. 

    Anyway, that's just what i was thinking, intuitively.  So i looked at the website, and i saw that this is supposed to be shirley corriher's recipe - so i imagine she would have some reasons, though they;re not explained here on the site.  I looked up on google "corriher" "cold butter" "cake" andn found her explanation - she says cold butter holds the air bubbles better.  Makes sense to me. 

    It does not say in the recipe to separate the eggs and then add the yolks and whites together, it says to put some yolks and some whole eggs - because whites make cake dry.

    So, it might have its reasons.  if you try it let us know how it comes out. 
     
  9. hotoven

    hotoven

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    Ok, I did try the recipe and I have to say that it was nothing extraordinary to be worth the process.  I think that without the chilling of sugar and hard butter it still would come out the same.  It is on the sweeter side which I don't mind but I think it is very similar to other recipes I've tried in the past.  It also makes less servings than most recipes so it ends up being more costly. I will have to try it with room temp. butter to tell  the difference, but it was very hard to whip cold butter with my stand mixer.  Too  complicated.  Just don't understand the logic behind it.  I DO believe that oil based cakes are more moist than butter ones, this one that includes both is not worth the trouble... I think.   
     
  10. hotoven

    hotoven

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    I agree!!!  Why the cold and the room temp.?  Don't they all cancel each other out in the end? 
     
     
  11. hotoven

    hotoven

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    I do understand the egg chemistry and sugar ratio, but the temp. is what is throwing me off. 
     
  12. siduri

    siduri

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  13. dillonsmimi

    dillonsmimi

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    My reasoning went like this.

    All of the butter, now warmed has been bound to the sugar.

    The oil is then added, so it is just sitting there on top of the creamed product.

    Here come the eggs, gently mixed into this oil layer.

    What are these 2 things  to marry with except each other?

    Mayo.

    Simple musings of a bored housewife on a dreary Monday.

    As I mentioned above, I have a friend that uses cold product and makes some beautiful cakes.

    She looked and was puzzled, if the temp is for a lighter crumb, why cream for 8 minutes until warm? 

    mimi
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011
  14. hotoven

    hotoven

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    But what about the cold sugar????
     
  15. siduri

    siduri

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    Hi mimi

    i think the butter is not going to be so warm, if the beater, bowl and sugar were chilled first.  I cream starting with cold butter all the time (not for any reason but i don;t remember to take it out) - yeah, it gets warmER but not warm by any means.  Certainly it gets warmer if it starts at room temp. 

    the oil is easily incorporated into the butter, as far as i can see - anway, even if it says not to mix too much it does say to blend.  so i would imagine to beat till it does blend. 

    I see now what you mean about the mayo - but i'm assuming it does get incorporated, and doesn't just float around as mayo but the egg and milk are actually absorbed.  Anyway, about the mayo, did you ever make that crazy cake with mayonnaise as an ingredient? it does work!

    But i guess i'd have discounted it if it were some random internet site, but shirley corriher is apparently a very good food scientist, so i wouldn't discount her method out of hand, and some of what she says fits in with some of my intuitive understanding.  I guess the only thing is to try it, and see if it does work. 

    I would have rejected out of hand the method the cake bible recommends too, that is, mixing the dry ingredients, and then adding soft butter and eggs and milk and beating it.  I always read that beating the batter after the flour is added makes it tough.  But those cakes are anything but tough. 
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2011