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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A layered pound cake filled with raspberry jam and lemon curd, and finished with buttercream frosting

Cake is a form of food that is usually sweet and often baked. Cakes normally combine some kind of flour, a sweetening agent (commonly sugar), a binding agent (generally egg, though gluten or starch are often used by lacto-vegetarians and vegans), fats (usually butter, shortening, or margarine, although a fruit purée such as applesauce is sometimes substituted to avoid using fat), a liquid (milk, water or fruit juice), flavors and some form of leavening agent (such as yeast or baking powder), though many cakes lack these ingredients and instead rely on air bubbles in the dough to expand and cause the cake to rise. Cake is often frosted with buttercream or marzipan, and finished with piped borders and crystallized fruit.

Cake is often the dessert of choice for meals at ceremonial occasions, particularly weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays. There are countless cake recipes; some are bread-like, some rich and elaborate and many are centuries old. Cake making is no longer a complicated procedure; while at one time considerable labor went into cake making (particularly the whisking of egg foams), baking equipment and directions have been simplified that even the most amateur cook may bake a cake.

Contents

Varieties of cake

German chocolate cake.

Cakes are broadly divided into several categories, based primarily on ingredients and cooking techniques.

  • Yeast cakes are the oldest, and are very similar to yeast breads. Such cakes are often very traditional in form, and include such pastries as babka and stollen.
  • Cheesecakes use mostly some form of cheese (often cream cheese, mascarpone, ricotta or the like), and have very little to no flour component (though it sometimes appears in the form of a (often sweetened) crust). Cheesecakes are also very old, with evidence of honey-sweetened cakes dating back to ancient Greece.
  • Sponge cakes are thought to be the first of the non-yeast-based cakes and rely primarily on trapped air in a protein matrix (generally of beaten eggs) to provide leavening, sometimes with a bit of baking powder or other chemical leaven added as insurance. Such cakes include the Italian/Jewish pan di Spagna and the French Génoise. Highly decorated sponge cakes with lavish toppings are sometimes called gateau, after the French word for cake.
  • Butter cakes, including the pound cake and devil's food cake, rely on the combination of butter, eggs, and sometimes baking powder to provide both lift and a moist texture.
  • Ruske Kape-these are round, coconut and chocolate-flavored cakes originating in the Balkan region specifically Bosnia and Serbia.
A large cake garnished with strawberries

Beyond these classifications, cakes can be classified based on their appropriate accompaniment (such as coffee cake) and contents (e.g. fruitcake or flourless chocolate cake).

Some varieties of cake are widely available in the form of cake mixes, wherein some of the ingredients (usually flour, sugar, flavoring, baking powder, and sometimes some form of fat) are premixed, and the cook needs add only a few extra ingredients, usually eggs, water, and sometimes vegetable oil or butter. While the diversity of represented styles is limited, cake mixes do provide an easy and readily available homemade option for cooks who are not accomplished bakers.

Special-purpose cakes

Cakes may be classified according to the occasion for which they are intended. For example, wedding cakes, birthday cakes, and Passover plava (a type of Jewish sponge cake sometimes made with matzo meal) are all identified primarily according to the celebration they are intended to accompany. The cutting of a wedding cake constitutes a social ceremony in some cultures. The Ancient Roman marriage ritual of confarreatio originated in the sharing of a cake.

Particular types of cake may be associated with particular festivals, such as stollen (at Christmas), babka and simnel cake (at Easter), or mooncake.

Shapes of cakes

Cakes are frequently described according to their physical form. Cakes may be small and intended for individual consumption. Larger cakes may be made with the intention of being sliced and served as part of a meal or social function. Common shapes include:

Cake flour

A decorated birthday cake

Special cake flour with a high starch-to-gluten ratio is made from fine-textured, soft, low-protein wheat. It is strongly bleached, and compared to all-purpose flour, cake flour tends to result in cakes with a lighter, less dense texture.[1] Therefore, it is frequently specified or preferred in cakes meant to be soft, light, and or bright white, such as angel food cake. However, cake flour is generally not considered mandatory for good results, and its effect on the cake's texture can readily be simulated by adding corn starch and/or baking soda to all-purpose flour.[2][3][4][5][6] Some recipes explicitly specify or permit all-purpose flour,[7][8] notably where a firmer or denser cake texture is desired.

Cake decorating

A chocolate cake decorated with icing, strawberries, and silvery sugar beads.
A slice of strawberry cake with garnishing of cucumber.

A finished cake is often enhanced by covering it with icing, or frosting, and toppings such as sprinkles, which are also known as "jimmies" in certain parts of the United States and "hundreds and thousands" in the United Kingdom. Frosting is usually made from powdered (icing) sugar, sometimes a fat of some sort, milk or cream, and often flavorings such as vanilla extract or cocoa powder. Some decorators use a rolled fondant icing. Commercial bakeries tend to use lard for the fat, and often whip the lard to introduce air bubbles. This makes the icing light and spreadable. Home bakers either use lard, butter, margarine or some combination thereof. Sprinkles are small firm pieces of sugar and oils that are colored with food coloring. In the late 20th century, new cake decorating products became available to the public. These include several specialized sprinkles and even methods to print pictures and transfer the image onto a cake.

Special tools are needed for more complex cake decorating, such as piping bags or syringes, and various piping tips. To use a piping bag or syringe, a piping tip is attached to the bag or syringe using a coupler. The bag or syringe is partially filled with icing which is sometimes colored. Using different piping tips and various techniques, a cake decorator can make many different designs. Basic decorating tips include open star, closed star, basketweave, round, drop flower, leaf, multi, petal, and specialty tips.

Chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting and shaved chocolate topping

Royal icing, marzipan (or a less sweet version, known as almond paste), fondant icing (also known as sugarpaste) and buttercream are used as covering icings and to create decorations. Floral sugarcraft or wired sugar flowers are an important part of cake decoration. Cakes for special occasions, such as wedding cakes, are traditionally rich fruit cakes or occasionally Madeira cakes (also known as whisked or fatless sponge), that are covered with marzipan and either iced using royal icing or sugarpaste. They are finished with piped borders (made with royal icing) and adorned with a piped message, wired sugar flowers, hand-formed fondant flowers, marzipan fruit, piped flowers, or crystallized fruits or flowers such as grapes or violets.

History

A example of a coffee cake.

Although clear examples of the difference between cake and bread are easy to find, the precise classification has always been elusive.[9] For example, banana bread may be properly considered either a quick bread or a cake.

In ancient Rome, basic bread dough was sometimes enriched with butter, eggs, and honey, which produced a sweet and cake-like baked good.[9]

Early cakes in England were also essentially bread: the most obvious differences between a "cake" and "bread" were the round, flat shape of the cakes, and the cooking method, which turned cakes over once while cooking, while bread was left upright throughout the baking process.[9]

See also

References


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to cake article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Contents

English

A slice of cake (1).

Etymology

From Old English kaak; akin to Danish kage, Dutch koek, German Kuchen, Swedish kaka Icelandic kaka, and Norwegian kake.

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
cake

Plural
countable and uncountable; plural cakes

cake (countable and uncountable; plural cakes)

  1. A rich, sweet dessert food, typically made of flour, sugar and eggs and baked in an oven.
  2. A block of any of various dense materials.
    • A cake of soap.
  3. (slang) A trivially easy task or responsibility; from a piece of cake.
  4. (slang) money

Usage notes

  • In British usage, a biscuit is distinct from a cake; the former is generally hard but becomes soft when stale, whereas the latter is generally soft but becomes hard when stale.

Derived terms

See also

Synonyms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

Infinitive
to cake

Third person singular
cakes

Simple past
caked

Past participle
caked

Present participle
caking

to cake (third-person singular simple present cakes, present participle caking, simple past and past participle caked)

  1. (transitive) Coat (something) with a crust of solid material.
    • His shoes are caked with mud.

Synonyms

Translations

Anagrams


Fijian

Adverb

cake

  1. up
Le cake au jambon.

French

Etymology

From English cake.

Pronunciation

  • IPA: /kɛk/, /kek/

Noun

cake m. (plural cakes)

  1. fruitcake (containing rum).
  2. quick bread (a smallish loaf-shaped baked good which may be sweet like an English cake or salty and with bits of meat. See insert).

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki


Cakes made of wheat or barley were offered in the temple. They were salted, but unleavened (Ex 29:2; Lev 2:4). In idolatrous worship thin cakes or wafers were offered "to the queen of heaven" (Jer 7:18; 44:19).

Pancakes are described in 2 Sam 13:8, 9. Cakes mingled with oil and baked in the oven are mentioned in Lev 2:4, and "wafers unleavened anointed with oil," in Ex 29:2; Lev 8:26; 1Chr 23:29. "Cracknels," a kind of crisp cakes, were among the things Jeroboam directed his wife to take with her when she went to consult Ahijah the prophet at Shiloh (1 Kg 14:3). Such hard cakes were carried by the Gibeonites when they came to Joshua (9:5, 12). They described their bread as "mouldy;" but the Hebrew word nikuddim, here used, ought rather to be rendered "hard as biscuit." It is rendered "cracknels" in 1 Kg 14:3. The ordinary bread, when kept for a few days, became dry and excessively hard. The Gibeonites pointed to this hardness of their bread as an evidence that they had come a long journey.

We read also of honey-cakes (Ex 16:31), "cakes of figs" (1Sam 25:18), "cake" as denoting a whole piece of bread (1 Kg 17:12), and "a [round] cake of barley bread" (Jdg 7:13). In Lev. 2 is a list of the different kinds of bread and cakes which were fit for offerings.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

cake decorated with fruit and topped with candles.]]

A cake is a type of dessert usually made to celebrate special occasions, like a birthday. There are many kinds of cakes. It can be baked in an oven like bread.

Contents

Construction

Cakes are made by carefully combining wet ingredients (like milk and eggs) together with dry ingredients (like sugar and flour) to make a batter which is then baked in an oven. This general process is known as the muffin method, because muffins are made this way, but they are usually simpler to make.

Just like bread, cakes rise in the oven because of many thousands of air bubbles. As cakes and breads rise in the oven, the air bubbles expand. This is why the cake batter expands in the pan (often to twice its original size). There are two ways of forming the air bubbles, which create different types of cakes. Almost every kind of cake belongs to one of these families.

Creamed Fat

These cakes are made with butter or another fat, like vegetable shortening. The fat should not be a liquid or a solid at room temperature; it should feel like playdough. By mixing the sugar with the fat, one creates lots of tiny holes which are filled with very small air bubbles. Most birthday cakes are made this way. Cupcakes are also made this way.

Egg foam

Egg foam cakes are made by whipping egg whites (which have no fat at all) for a very long time with sugar to create a very delicate and light batter. These cakes are typically much taller, lighter and often spongier than creamed fat cakes. A common example of an egg foam cake is angelfood cake, which can be found at most grocery stores with bakeries. Chiffon cake is another good example.

Decorations

After a cake has been baked and cooled for a while, most bakers add a frosting on top to make it look better. Sometimes people cut it in slices and fill those slices with more frosting, or a fruit filling. Often cakes are topped with small pieces of fruit, such as raspberries.

A large, rich cake is often called by the French word for "cake": "gâteau" (plural: "gâteaux", both singular and plural pronounced "GA-toe"). It usually has a lot of cream. A cake made with pastry (dough made with flour, fat and water) is often called a "pastry". It is like a pie or tart.

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