Asian Recipes

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The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

How to store cakes and keep them moist once they have been cut?

Store cakes in airtight tins, not plastic boxes as plastic encourages mold and taints cakes with lingering smells. Do not store cakes and biscuits together, as moisture from the cake will make the biscuits soggy. Once a cake has been cut, you can keep it moist for a few days by wrapping it in foil before storing it, or by inverting a mixing bowl over it and storing in the refrigerator.

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15:34:11 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Why some recipes use plain flour and baking powder, while others use self-raising flour?

Self-raising flour has more lifting power than a blend of plain flour and baking powder, so this is the best flour to use for heavy mixtures. Plain flours can raise a light mixture with the aid of baking pwder, especially if the recipe also contains eggs or egg whites which will help to aerate the mix.

If you want to make your own self-raising flour, sift 500 g (4 cups) plain flour with 4 level teaspoons baking powder.

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14:24:26 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

What exactly is baking powder?

Baking powder is a mixture of bicarbonate of soda, which is an alkali, and cream of tartar, which is an acid. When liquid is added, the two react to produce carbon dioxide, and the heat of the oven expands these gas bubbles to raise the mixture. Baking powder also contains a filler in the form of a food starch, usually rice flour, which prevents the premature release of carbon dioxide during storage. You can make your own baking powder from one part bicarbonate of soda to two parts cream of tartar. Bicarbonate of soda can be used as a raising agent on its own, but it has an unpleasant aftertaste, so it is best used for strongly flavored, spicy cakes.

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13:49:12 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Should cakes be turned out of the tin as soon as they are cooked?

Most light cakes should be turned out of their tins while they are still warm or else the underside may go soggy with condensation or form a thick, dark outer crust. However, they will break up if they are turned out immediately they are out of the oven, so leave them in the tin for 3-5 minutes to firm up.

Heavy cakes, such as fruit cakes, are best left in the tin until they are completely cold to allow them to solidify, especially if they are going to be stored and matured.

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12:53:15 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Does it matter if a cake mixture is baked in a slightly different tin to the one specified in the recipe?

Yes, it definitely matters very much. If the tin is too large, the cake will be flat and shrunken. If it is too small, the cake will bubble or bulge up and over the sides of the tin.

However, the mixture for a round tin will fit a square tin that is about 2 cm smaller; for instance, a mixture that is designed to fill a 20 cm round tin can be used to fill a 18 cm square tin.

To adapt a recipe to fill a shaped tin, for example the number '9' for a birthday cake, fill your usual tin with water to the level the mixture normally reaches. Then pour the water into the new tin to the level required and estimate the quantity of mixture needed, doubling or halving the recipe as required.

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10:53:01 on 09/30/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -