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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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cake-making lays much emphasis on texture. Indeed, for the consumer, texture is the most obvious feature which distinguishes cakes from other cereal products. A high proportion of enriching ingredients inhibits the formation of gluten, giving a more tender product than bread; and a soft, spongy ‘risen’ crumb sets cakes apart from biscuits and pastry.

Nowadays four basic methods are used in Britain and countries with similar baking traditions. All involve producing a batter which entraps tiny air bubbles. This is poured into a mould and baked. Heat causes the air to expand and make the cake rise; eventually protein and starch in the liquid phase of the cake coagulate and gelatinize, giving what in scientific terms is a stable foam and in common parlance a cake.