A great birthday cake begins great birthday cake supplies.
High quality birthday cake supplies can make the difference between a good cake and a great cake.
Why not do something really special. Use the freshest ingredients you can find. Read on for information on how fresh ingredients will impact your recipe. You can also go to our page on tips for keeping your ingredients fresh as well as storage times for various ingredients.
Likewise, good quality, but not necessarily the most expensive, tools can make the production of the best birthday cake just that much easier. Why not check out the various hight quality baking tools we have to offer at our online store?
All of these items are key contributors to a great cake. If your birthday cake supplies are mediocre you aren't going to the the POP that comes from having really fresh stuff.
You can be pretty much assured of fresh milk from the grocery store. Fresh eggs are very nearly assured. The flour can be a little iffy but the Vanilla beans are something entirely different. Most of the time, you are going to get dried out, poor quality beans from your grocery store. You just never know.
If your grocery store offers the ability to grind your own flour, then by all means do. Here in the Midwest the HyVee food stores offer you a chance to grind your own whole wheat flour right in the store.
Quality chocolate will make a difference when you are making a chocolate cake. Just melting chocolate chips is not the answer. A good Dutch processed cocoa will be much better when you make a chocolate cake.
Cooks Illustrated recently rated Dutch processed cocoa and their number one and number two picks were:
Herseys, Nestle and Ghiradelli were all listed as "not recommended" for various reasons. I have been subscribing to Cooks Illustrated for years and have found their recommendations for birthday cake supplies to be valid.
Another often overlooked item when using birthday cake supplies is baking powder. Just what is baking powder and is it the same as baking soda? Here's a little primer for you.
Baking powder and baking soda are leavening agents. This means they are added to baked goods, (like a birthday cake!) before cooking to produce carbon dioxide and cause them to 'rise'. Baking powder contains baking soda, but the two substances are used under different conditions.
You can't just go substituting birthday cake supplies willy nilly or your cakes won't work!
Here's baking soda
Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. This is the stuff you can take when you have an upset stomach, you can brush your teeth with it and it takes smells out of the laundry. When you combine baking soda with moisture and an acidic ingredient like yogurt, chocolate, buttermilk or honey, the resulting chemical reaction produces bubbles of carbon dioxide that expand under oven temperatures, causing baked goods (like a birthday cake!) to rise.
As the chemical reaction begins immediately upon mixing the ingredients, so you need to bake recipes which call for baking soda immediately or they won't rise properly.
Here's baking powder
Baking powder also contains sodium bicarbonate. The real difference comes from the acidifying agent already put in it. In this case it is cream of tartar. Also included in baking powder is a drying agent (usually starch).
You can get baking powder as single-acting or as double-acting. Single-acting powders are activated by moisture, so you must bake recipes which include this product immediately after mixing or you'll have a flat cake. Double-acting powders react in two phases and can stand for a while before baking. Some gas is released at room temperature when the double acting powder is added to recipe, but the majority of the gas is released after the temperature of the ingredients increases in the oven.
As you can see, fresh birthday cake supplies can make or break your cake.
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