Most home bakers have some sort of electric mixer in their kitchen arsenal. Some are hand held and some are stand mixers. Either way, an electric mixer is essential to making cakes. There are surprisingly many different methods to make a cake and most of them require the use of some sort of electronic mixer.
Here are five ways to make a cake using a food mixer.
This method requires careful planning to ensure you add the ingredients in the correct order. As with most baking methods, the important part comes when adding the liquid to the dry ingredients because this begins the chemical reaction with the gluten in the flour.
So the one-step method requires you to put the flour and raising agents in the bowl first, then mix to blend. Add the sugar and remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
The melting method does not really require an electric mixer to make, but one can be used on a very low setting to gently combine the ingredients at the end of the process.
The melt method is ideal for syrup, honey or molasses cakes and requires that you melt the fat, usually butter in a pan and then add the syrup and remaining wet ingredients, once the fat has cooled of course. Then once the mixture has cooled you can pour it into your mixing bowl and add the dry ingredients. It’s very important to use the mixer on the lowest setting for this part and to mix until just combined.
Dry and Wet Method
The dry and wet method works once again in a similar way to the one step method. It requires you put all the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix to blend. In a separate bowl you then put all the wet ingredients in and mix. Pour the mixed wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
A small point to consider with this method is that when you are using white sugars, you can count it as a dry ingredient, but if you are using muscovado or brown sugar, you need to count it with your wet ingredients.
An electric mixer can also be used to make dough if you install the kneading hooks. Depending on whether you are using fresh or dried yeast, make your preparations required for the yeast component and then add to the mixing bowl. Add the flour and use the dough hooks to slowly knead the ingredients into a soft and elastic ball of dough.
The creaming method is by far the most common method used when baking cakes and biscuits. It’s when the fat, usually butter, at room temperature is mixed at very high speeds with the sugar. This mixture must be beaten until it becomes pale and creamy. Then it is usual for the eggs to be added and blended well to the butter and sugar mixture followed by the rest of the ingredients according to the recipe. Having an electric mixer for this method is essential.
Each of these methods yields a different result for the desired effect of the cake, bread or biscuit. Some result in a crumbly, sandy texture, some will result in a light and spongy cake or some might be chewy and soft. Whatever you are making, an electronic mixer is one of the must have items in any home cook’s collection of small kitchen appliances.