Ingredient Temperature: Its Importance In Baking Cakes

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Updated on 24-March-2022

If you've been baking for quite some time now, you probably have noticed that most, if not all, baking tutorials and books would recommend using ingredients that are at room temperature when you want to bake a cake.


However, you might have been guilty of committing some of the common baking mistakes people make in the past, such as using an egg or two that you have removed from the fridge or butter that you just melted in the microwave.


The mistake of forgoing the stipulated ingredient temperature is fueled by the idea that just as long as they can be mixed into the batter, it's good to go. After all, you're just going to toss it all into the oven anyway.


However, you might want to change that mindset because the temperature of your ingredients does affect how your cake will turn out.


Here are some of the ways that it does.


Emulsification


This process is defined as when fats and liquids become one mixture, and both butter and egg yolks are critical players in this process.


When your butter is too cold or too warm, it won't emulsify as good as it otherwise would if it was at room temperature, because it cannot be distributed thoroughly into the mix. From a chemistry perspective, the emulsification process takes a lot of time if it was done in a cold setting.


Mixing ease


To make a batter for cake, you would need to mix more than a few ingredients to form one mixture. If you throw in butter that just came right from the fridge, you would have difficulty mixing it because it is still in a solid state.


While constant motion can cause enough heat to melt the butter, that means you would have to mix and fold for longer than you should.


Dissolving ingredients


Because melted butter is the liquid that is supposed to aid in dissolving ingredients like sugar, this cannot be done if the butter is solid because solid butter cannot melt sugar at the same level as its melted counterpart.


On the other hand, if your butter is too warm, your ingredients will dissolve too much, which isn't ideal if you want to make your cake to have a little bit of crunch.


In summary


While you can still bake cakes without having to abide by the stipulated "room temperature" recommendation, it will affect the way your cake will turn out.


Suppose you played by the rules and baked your cake using room temperature ingredients. In that case, you're guaranteed a cake with a fine texture because there is proper emulsification, distribution of butter, well-dissolved components, and adequate air.


However, if you baked with ingredients straight from the fridge, your cake is probably too coarse because the butter, which plays a massive role in the cake's plasticity, wasn't distributed well. It may cause large air pockets to be mixed in with the batter. Moreover, lesser emulsification will make the cake feel too dense when you sink your teeth into it.


Just because cold ingredients result in a coarse cake doesn't mean you should use warm ones. After all, it would still come up with the same result, albeit slightly less rough. This is because if your butter is melted too much, it becomes too runny to stop air bubbles within the batter from merging.


Conclusion


Indeed, a lot of things go into baking the perfect cake. That's why if you're pressed for time and are in a hurry to acquire a cake that will make everyone smile, order a cake online for delivery at Polar Puffs & Cakes.


As an online cake shop in Singapore, we have a variety of cake options for you to choose from, all of which are certified halal and can be delivered right to your door.

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