Monday, August 22, 2011
A cake with no "sorry streak"
My recipe for pound cake is either really good or kind of disappointing. Most of the time it is good and even when I have a "failure" it isn't a total waste because I can turn it into something good, like a trifle. I wrote about it in an earlier blog.
Recently, Amelia Adams brought in her new "Coweta Cooks" food feature to be photographed and she mentioned that cakes sometimes have a "sorry streak."
"You know," she said, "It's that dense streak that is sometimes in a pound cake."
I was fascinated because I had never heard it expressed quite that way. A "sorry streak" is, to me, a term used for a person who has lazy tendencies. I was delighted to have a new "baking term" that was colorful and properly descriptive.
The other day I made a pound cake for an event thinking I would be able to write about the sorry streak because my pound cake sometimes has one. This cake was so perfect. It was tall, fluffy and probably the best pound cake I have ever baked -- but no sorry streak. I was equally, happy, puzzled and confused. How can the same recipe be so good and at times disappointing?
After looking for the causes of cake successes and failures, I happened on this website for Land-O-Lakes, (my favorite butter) to see what they had to say and found an informative page I wanted to share, especially with anyone, like me, who has had a frustrating cake baking experience. Here is the link for a list of common cake baking problems entitled "How to bake a cake."
There were a number of "reasons" given under the heading, Common cause of cake failure. Under that header, a list of common problems including, A Soggy Layer or Streak on Bottom. The problems listed, included:
Under mixing of ingredients
Too much liquid
Eggs too big (most recipes are developed for large eggs)
Butter too soft
Too much sugar
Too much leavening
Not baked long enough
I am still thinking about what I do wrong and right with my pound cake recipe and I am thinking it could be one of many things in that list. Thankfully this time, my pound cake was perfect -- extremely moist, tasty and no sorry streak. I just want to make sure it is perfect next time as well. I will be taking advantage of their research with my cakes in the future.