Cakes are of two kinds, viz., butter cakes and sponge cakes.
The latter contain no shortening and may be made light by the incorporation of air through beating. Stiffly beaten egg white folded into the mixture is the chief means of incorporating air.
They are usually made light without the aid of chemicals. The lightness depends upon the expansion of the incorporated air, as all gases expand one two-hundred seventy-third of their volume for each degree (Fahrenheit) of temperature through which it rises.
For such cakes it is especially important that the materials shall be cold and that they be put together as lightly as possible.
The oven must be of an even temperature and somewhat cooler than for butter cakes.
Butter cakes are always made light by means of chemicals. The chemicals used are described in the chapter on Breads.
The usual method of procedure for the mixing of butter cakes is as follows: Cream the butter by working it with a spoon until soft, add the sugar slowly, mixing thoroughly until of a creamy consistency, then add the beaten egg yolks (or whole eggs) and the hydrochloric acid.
Sift the flour and soda together, add the milk and flour alternately. Lastly add the flavoring and the stiffly beaten egg whites, unless whole egg is added to the butter mixture.
Bake in a rather quick oven, the temperature varying with the size of the cake. If baked in layers, 12 to 15 minutes will be sufficient. If baked in a loaf, thirty to sixty minutes or more may be required.
Whites 10 eggs.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar.
Yolks 6 eggs.
1 teaspoon lemon extract 1 cup flour.
1 teaspoon cream tartar.
Beat whites of eggs until stiff and dry, add sugar gradually, and continue beating, then add yolks of eggs beaten until thick and lemon-colored, and flavoring. Cut and fold in the flour mixed and sifted with cream of tartar. Bake fifty minutes the same as an Angel Food cake.
To make the stars bake a white sponge cake in a square or oblong tin with an opening in the center. This cake should be made a day or two before it is wanted for serving. Then cut into slices about three-fourths of an inch in thickness. With a star shaped cutter about two and one-half inches in diameter, cut the stars. If a cutter is not convenient the stars may be cut out with a sharp cake knife.
1/4 cup butter.
1/2 cup pulverized sugar.
1 tablespoon milk.
1 1/4 cups flour 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon almond extract Blanched almonds.
Cream the butter and gradually mix in the sugar. Reserve one-half of the egg-white with which to glaze the cakes. Beat the yolks and the remaining egg-white and add to the creamed butter and sugar. Then add the flavoring, the milk and the flour. Roll the dough a little at a time into thin sheets and cut into fancy shapes. Then bake in buttered tins. Arrange six or eight halves of blanched almonds, cut lengthwise, about the center of each cake in such a way as to represent the petals of a flower. Brush with the white of egg. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake in a moderate oven till of a delicate brown color.