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FLAVOR GAME

Hello Everyone!

This post is about –

“How to get different flavours of cakes using the same recipe”

Let’s take an example of one of my favourite classic recipes.
POUND CAKE

INGREDIENTS-

1) All Purpose Flour- 400g
2) Baking Powder- 1 tsp
3) Baking Soda- 1/4 tsp
4) Butter- 550 g
5) Powdered/ Caster Sugar- 550 g
6) Vanilla Extract- 2 tsp
7) Eggs- 6

PROCEDURE-

1. In a large bowl, sift together, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Keep aside.
2. In another large bowl, whisk together, butter and sugar until light, smooth and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla extract and combine well.
4. Add one egg at a time and whisk until combined.
5. After all the eggs are added, whisk it for 5-7 mins or until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
6. Gently fold in the dry ingredients until everything gets smooth and combined.
7. Prepare a 9″ bunt pan with butter and flour.
8. Bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degree C for 70-80 mins.
9. If half way through, you feel that your cake is getting too dark from the top, cover it with an aluminium sheet and keep baking until a skewer inserted, comes out clean.

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Now let’s see how we can get gorgeously flavoured cakes out of this base recipe.
Some things to remember are-
1. Whatever substitutions you make, the end weight of each category of ingredients ha to remain the same.
2. Never hamper with the leavening agents i.e. eggs, baking powder and baking soda.
3. If the recipe calls for solid fat (butter) do not substitute it for liquid fat (oil). The texture will not remain the same.
4. While replacing solid sugar with liquid sugar, remember to add a little bit extra flour to maintain the consistency of the batter.

1) #FLOUR (here,APF)- 400g

A. You can split it into APF: WWF ratio as following as
(i). 3:1 – This will still give you a light texture while having a little nuttiness from the whole wheat.
(ii). 1:1- Same as above except this will be a bit denser and nuttier.
(iii) 1:3 or 100% WWF will give you a totally different flavour and texture.
Make sure to sieve your flour 3-4 times if you’re using WWF in the recipe.

B. You can add some nut flours to the flour family in the ratio of 3:1 or 2.5 : 1.5 (APF : Nut flour) for a totally new flavour. Eg- Almond meal, desiccated coconut, hazelnut or cashew meal. I would not keep the ratio of nut flour more than APF unless I am okay with a denser sponge.

C. Add cocoa powder by replacing a small amount of APF to make it into a chocolate sponge.

2) #FAT (Butter)- 550 g

A.Add some cream cheese/ mascarpone/ ricotta/ sour cream into the fat family in the ratio of about 3 : 1 (butter : cheese) for a slightly tangy flavour.

B. Add some nut or seed butters to change up the flavour. eg. Peanut butter, hazelnut butter, sesame seed butter etc. I would go with the same ratio as above. 3:1 (butter : nut butter)

C. You can replace it completely for ghee or margarine (vegetable butter). The former will give you an richer flavour and the latter is for lactose intolerant people.

D. You can use 2:1 or 2.5 :1 (Chocolate : cream) set ganache into the fat family as well for a rich chocolaty sponge. Use it as a 2.5: 1.5 or 1:1 ratio (butter : ganache).

3) #SUGAR– 550 g

A. Replace it with brown sugar completely, or in the ratio of 1 :1 for a slightly darker colour and undertones of slightly sweet-bitter flavour.

B. Add liquid sugars (honey, maple syrup, caramel, DDL, fruit sauces etc) in the ratio of 3:1 (Sugar : liquid sugar) and add 1-2 tbsp of extra flour to maintain the consistency of the batter.

C. Add mushed up dates/ raisins/ figs or other sweet dried fruits in the ratio of 3:1 or 1:1 or 1:3 (sugar : sweet dryfruit) according to the flavour you want to achieve. The last one will give you a denser cake though, so just keep in mind.

4) #FLAVOUR

A. It goes without saying that you can use any other flavoured extracts instead of vanilla for a totally different flavour. Like peppermint, almond, lavender extracts etc.
B. Add any spice/ herb into the batter. Like- Cinnamon, mint, rosemary, nutmeg etc.
C. Add lemon juice/ zest to add tang to the cake

5) #ADD-ONS

If you want to add any nuts, fruits, chocolate chips etc to the cake, keep in mind that it remains around 1/4 of the dry ingredients. Any more than that would make the cake heavy. So, here if we have 400 g of flour, you cn add about 100-150g of add ons.

6) #EGGS

When you have as much as 6 eggs in a recipe, do not try to substitute it with any of the conventional egg replacers like chia seeds, bananas, yogurt etc. It will never give you the same results. You can replace each egg with 120 ml of aquafaba and fold into the batter. Although you would have to then bake the cake at a much lower temp. say- 120-140 degree C for a longer time. But do not expect the same results.

One of things I totally despise is people trying to replace eggs blindly in a recipe. PLEASE STOP! It is always better to use a basic eggless cake recipe in the similar manner as written above to get totally new flavours of egg-free cakes. But please don’t try to replace eggs from existing recipes.
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So there. This was just ONE base recipe I took up to show you how many replacements you can do to get new flavours. You can actually do this with each and every base recipe. (Refer to my post on #BakingJournal which has all the names of base recipes one should have on hand to get started)

From this recipe I have made the following-

1) Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake
2) Chocolate Mascarpone Pound Cake
3) Peanut Butter n’ caramel pound cake
4) Strawberry n’ white chocolate Pound Cake
5) Rose n’ pistachio pound cake
6) Basil- almonds- mango pound cake
7) Beetroot n’ rosemary lemon pound cake
8) Apple cinnamon and cashew pound cake
9) Chocolate-orange n’ mint pound cake
10) Sesame- lemon pound cake

These are just a few examples! You can really do much much more. Depending upon how deeply you want to get into flavour pairings.
Now do you understand when I said in my last post that you only need ONE RECIPE??

All the best and I hope you all come up with your own new flavours!

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