Cakes – a combination of refined flour, sweetener, eggs, milk, shortening agent and flavor are an all-time favorite. From the early Greek and Roman days, cakes have been made to commemorate festivals, celebrations and happy occasions. Cakes come in an assortment of shapes and frostings. From tortes and gateaux to bundt cakes and meringue cakes, cakes can be made or bought in a variety of flavors and toppings. Gourmet cakes are more sophisticated and classic. Read up more on various specialty cakes. Find out what options are available for wedding cakes.
You can pick up gourmet cakes laced with sherry, rum or amaretto. Drizzled with alcohol, gourmet cakes come in different flavors ranging from chocolate-raspberry to zesty lime. Rum cake or brandy cake is a wonderful blend of sweetness and crème sherry, subtle yet flavorful. Muffin cakes are heavier than conventional cakes and may tend to dry out soon.
Walnut muffins, banana muffins or plain vanilla muffins make for a wonderful accompaniment with your evening brew of tea or coffee. Try meringue cakes or petit fours for a more formal occasion. You can pick up meringues filled with fruit or ice-cream. They come in individual servings that make for convenience. Some cakes come with fillings between their layers.
Cheesecake is made of cottage cheese, cream cheese, or ricotta. Cheesecakes come in many a flavor and topping, from key lime and mango to strawberry and kahlua. Typically such cakes are high on calories and fat. Key lime cheesecake is ideal for a humid summer tea party. Alternatively go in for pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake. Cheesecakes can be decorated with sliced berries, raspberry puree. Try crushed walnut or walnut praline or even crumbled amaretti.
Angel food cake is a light fluffy cake that is preferred by weight watchers. Angel cake does not contain fat but is fluffy due to beaten egg whites. Cut your angel food cake with a serrated knife lest it compresses the cake. For an added twist, drizzle some fruit sauce over it. Egg whites are beaten and then folded into the cake batter. Sponge and chiffon cakes also do not contain fat and are called foam cakes. Chiffon cakes though tend to contain some fat to account for the smooth and tender and moist consistency.
Chocolate cakes are a favorite flavor, with adults and children alike. Chocolate cakes are ideal for any occasion, be it birthdays and weddings, parties or tea times. For a variation, go in for variations such as chocolate raspberry cake and chocolate butter cream cake. Chocolate hazelnut cake bursting with the goodness of hazelnut meringue, mocha butter cream and crushed hazelnuts is yet another delicious option. Chocolate cakes can be topped with shipped cream, cinnamon powder or Grand Marnier. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Chocolate macaroon cakes are yet another favorite.
Tea times can be enhanced with cakes such as carrot cake, coconut cake, chiffon marble cake or fresh strawberry cakes. You can choose from chocolate peanut butter cakes or spice cakes or even citrus poppy seed cakes. Coffee cake is a smooth blend of coffee, chocolate and cream. This tantalizing delicacy is ideal to serve at a tea party or brunch family gathering. Tea cakes can be blended with exciting flavors such as almond, walnut or banana. Served with piping hot tea or fruit sorbet, these tea cakes make for a terrific combination.
French pastries or gateaux are painstakingly prepared with a riot of colorful and exotic flavors. From the scrumptious Black Forest to the creamy gâteau Basque, these cakes and pastries are a cake lovers' dream come true! Tarts filled with fresh strawberries and cream or other chosen fillings make for a wonderful snack or dessert.
Cake baking tips
Making a good cake depends on a few critical parameters, from good quality ingredients to accurate measurements and proper mixing techniques. Typically most cakes comprise cake flour, shortening and flavoring. Sweetening can be done with granulated sugar. Baking powder is the leavening agent that accounts for the light and fluffy consistency.
Cooking at the right temperature is essential for the cake's volume development and flavor enhancement. You can be ensured of the right texture if the oven is preheated. Ensure that cakes are cooled for about 10 – 15 minutes. Store your cakes in a cool place so that they don't dry out. Cover your cakes with foil to ensure that the moisture is retained.
Choose a wedding cake in the size that suits your requirements. A many-layered cake is bound to be expensive and difficult to transport. Alternatively you can opt for a small layered cake for photographs and a sheet cake for the guests. You can choose a wedding cake in a design that complements the venue decoration and the overall theme. Pick up cakes in round, square, oval, hexagon or heart-shaped.
From butter cream cakes to fondant, there are many options to choose from. Choose fillings based on the season, be it strawberry, Bavarian cream, chocolate or apricot-pineapple. Wedding cakes are garnished with nuts, fudge or even spice. Marzipan, fresh flowers and edible flowers and leaves make for elegant decorations on gourmet wedding cakes.