Sponge , Genoise , Angel Food cakes , Chiffon , Biscuit (French) , and some Flourless cakes are referred to as Foam, Sponge, or Unshortened Cakes because they mostly consist of foamed eggs and/or egg whites with little amounts of sugar and, if any, wheat flour. Egg proteins make up a large portion of the cake’s cellular structure, and they are traditionally leavened by steam and air from beaten eggs. Because of this, most foam cakes have an open, even texture that is exceedingly light and fluffy. Nevertheless, depending on the additional ingredients used, textures can also range from dense and spongy to crunchy and dry to melt-in-your-mouth soft. In order to prevent the deflation of the egg white foams in these cakes, they are normally baked in ungreased (tube) pans then inverted to cool.
are referred to as Foam, Sponge, or Unshortened cakes because they include a high percentage of foamed eggsand/or egg whites to a lower amount of sugar and very little, if any, wheat flour. Most of the cellular structure of the cake is generated from egg proteins, and they are traditionally leavened by steam and air from beaten eggs. As a consequence, most foam cakes are exceedingly light and fluffy, with considerable volume and an open, uniform texture, however textures may range from thick and spongy to crunchy and dry to melt-in-your-mouth soft, depending on any additional ingredients included. These cakes are normally prepared in ungreased (tube) pans to avoid deflating the egg white foams and then inverted to cool.
Some Typical Foam (Unshortened) Cake Characteristics:
|Appearance||Thin, golden brown crust
Uniform crumb color
Rough, slightly cracked top crust
|Texture||Light in weight in proportion to
Finer, even, oval-shaped cells with
thin cell walls
Sugary, slightly sticky crust
Soft crust and crumb
Delicate crumb that is easily
|Flavor||Pleasant, well blended
Egg foams, when combined with other ingredients, form exceptional protein meshwork structures that hold the cake together, allowing them to be used in a variety of applications; they do not disintegrate when flavored with light brushings of soaking syrups, which are made by heating equal parts sugar and water and then flavoring with liqueurs or extracts. These may be cooked in cake pans and simply sliced crosswise into layers before being filled or used as a basis for another recipe. Thinly baked foams cakes can be tinted, cut into strips without falling apart, and be bent around fillings without cracking, such as roulades, perfect as a decorative encasement for a strawberry mousse or chocolate ganache. Foam cakes, particularly Angel Food, have a mild and sweet aroma, making them ideal for serving with vibrantly flavored fruit or chocolate sauces, whipped cream, and fruit.
WHAT MAKES UP A FOAM CAKE?
The main ingredient in all foam cakes are eggs; beaten whole or separated, or in a combination thereof. These recipes start with Egg Foaming Mixing Method , which is very different from the Creaming Mixing Method Used to make butter cakes. Just beat a cracked egg in a bowl with an object such as a whisk to conduct the Egg Foaming Technique. The yolk and white of the egg are combined with small air bubbles to form an egg foam. Egg foams avoid the need for a lot of flour, chemical leaveners (baking powder and baking soda), and plastic fat (butter, shortening) to encapsulate the beaten air in these cakes.
The essential structure, strength, stability, and leavening of their recipes are provided by beaten eggs and the protein meshworks that arise in egg foam. Any portions of the egg may be foamed, including the separated whites and yolks as well as the entire egg. Nevertheless, not all parts of the egg froth equally; separated whites foam the best, followed by entire eggs and finally simply yolks. Because of their unique proteins, sufficient water, and absence of fat, separated beaten whites have the highest capacity to generate voluminous (leavening) and stable foams (structures with strength and stability). An acid, such as cream of tartar (or lemon juice or white distilled vinegar), is added at the start of making egg white foam. It is used to reduce the pH of the whites, stabilizing them and so aiding in the volume growth during whipping. It also whitens the cake and makes it fine-grained. (The use of salt, another long-thought component as a foam stabilizer, is being questioned. I combine it with the flour.)
Sugar is a key element in whipping foams and is the second most significant ingredient in a foam cake. Sugar slows coagulation long enough to allow optimal air entrapment by boosting the temperature at which egg proteins set during baking. The cakes that arise have a soft texture and a lot of volume. In some recipes, part of the sugar is added during the egg foaming process (the other part added with the flour), enabling the foam to be whipped more readily, thus becoming more voluminous and more stable. During the foaming process, entire eggs are cooked with all of the sugar until they “ribbon,” which helps dissolve the sugar and increases the emulsifying qualities of the eggs. As a consequence, it assists them in reaching their maximum volume when beaten.
The third main and optional ingredient to a foam cake recipe can be a small proportion of high starch flour, typically bleached cake, to further help with the foam’s structure and stability. In certain roulades, finely ground nuts and cocoa particles from chocolate replace most or all of the flour. Meringues and flourless cakes are two examples of foam cakes created without flour. Meringues are made with beaten egg whites and sugar, with no flour or oil, and produce very powerful foams. Meringues may vary from soft or chewy to crispy depending on the quantity of these components, how much beating has occurred, and baking at varied temperatures and periods.
If the sugar has been separated in two parts, with the first part being used in the egg foaming process, the second part is combined and sifted with flour (and salt) before it is folded into the foam mixture, so it incorporates easily. As the flour is mixed into the foam mixture, the sugar disperses throughout the flour, separating the starch particles and preventing them from lumping.
Several recipes use one or more foams, always include at least one sort of egg foam, usually an egg white for structure and leavening. The popular Angel Food Cake is made from a single egg foam (egg whites beaten with sugar) until the eggs increase in volume and then sifting flour over them while folding it in, resulting in a snowy-white, airy, and delicate cake that marries beautifully with fruit. Because of their high sugar content and lack of egg yolks, most angel food cakes have a spongy, chewy texture. Sponge cake, for example, might have both egg white and egg yolk foam. This necessitates a specific mixing (folding) protocol: the flour is sifted and worked into the yolk-only foam, forming a batter, before folding in the egg white foam. It produces a spongy and delicate texture.
OTHER TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
Many factors influence the capabilities of egg foam and the resulting cake, including the type, proportion, and timing of ingredients added during beating, the amount and speed of beating and whether heat is applied, tools used, mixer speeds, egg freshness and size, amount of folding, baking pans and their preparation, baking temperatures, and cooling techniques.
Baking Pans and Preparation
Cakes pans for foam cakes have to be prepared in special ways appropriate for each type of foam batter so the egg foams can rise to their fullest and/or not collapse. Since fat is the enemy of egg white foams, they must be cooked on grease-free pans. Other cakes, such as the Genoise, comprising both egg white and egg yolk foams, folded together, need not be greased on the pan side, but rather on their bottoms, enabling the egg white portion to do its job fully; this is so the egg foam can rise to its fullest without deflating or slipping from the pan sides because of greasing.
Temperature / Timing
As is typical with foam cakes, they must be put in a hot oven straight soon. They need the abrupt burst of heat and air to completely rise and set fast. It’s because of the the nature egg foams – beaten air bubbles have a limited life. Beaten whites will coarsen, settle and separate over time, the result being the loss of precious air bubbles and a poorly leavened cake.
Testing for Doneness
When the surface of the unshortened cake is lightly browned and bounces back slightly when touched or feels firm, it is done. Using a toothpick to test for doneness is ineffective. When tapped on the edge of the pan with the handle of a wooden spoon, some will make a sound.
Angel Food and Chiffon cakes, for example, must be chilled in their pans upside down. This enables their stretchy egg proteins, not bolstered by a great proportion of wheat proteins or highly tenderized, to stretch, not sink and compress as it cools, producing the lightest texture.
Sponge Cake (not to be confused with a Butter Sponge Cake or Genoise ) is frequently used to refer to the whole class of foam or unshortened cakes , as well as a form of cake in its own right. A sponge cake is quite adaptable and may be found in a variety of recipes. It is divided into two types: American and European, although the line between the two has become blurred. The texture and taste of sponge cakes are so delectable and delicately flavoured that they are generally eaten plain or with a little embellishment. Because these cakes are based on precious and delicate air bubbles, these batters require precise techniques when making, special pan preparation, and must be placed in a well-preheated oven right away, so none of the air cells are broken down.
Sponge Cakes are classified into two types: American and European, however they may be found all over the globe.
AMERICAN SPONGE CAKE
The American Sponge cake ingredients are typically sugar and flour, being cake flour, not self-rising, yielding a fine textured recipe. Since cake flour is often bleached white, the cake absorbs the color of the egg yolks or other add-ins quickly. Superfine sugar is favored over conventional table sugar because it melts quicker and has a finer texture. (It can be easily made by placing granulated sugar in a food processor for a few seconds, but the process will scratch your work bowl).
Typical of some sponge cakes, the American version has no or little melted butter and has more eggs than other sponge cake types. The yolks and whites are often beaten separately; the beaten whites holding more air than beaten yolks, providing a boost of air to the cake’s leavening, resulting in a spongy texture. When warm milk is added to a dish, it is referred to as a “hot milk sponge recipe.” When we make our sponge cake, we utilize this sort of sponge cake.
EUROPEAN SPONGE CAKES
The European styled sponge cake is one of the most popular forms of sponge cake. Italian Genoise and French Biscuit (Dacquoise, Roulades, and so on), which are often moistened with syrups due to their inherent drierness. American butter cakes . The right amount of syrup – usually brushed on lightly – helps result in soft and tender crumb; too little can render the cakes dry or tasteless, while too much produces soggy. The syrupy ingredients in hardcore European variants include liquor, producing in noticeably increased tastes. Cornstarch substitutes part of the flour in both the Genoise and Biscuit, resulting in a tighter cake. Since it dissolves quicker than conventional granulated sugar, superfine sugar is suggested.
Genoise, a European sponge cake , is an Italian cake named after Italy’s city of Genoa. It is one of the most beneficial. foam cakes . There are several methods to design and fill the Genoise cake. It is often cut into layers and because it tends to be dry, it is brushed with a flavored syrup or spirits, and layered with buttercream, mousses, whipped ganache, pastry cream and then fruit and other fillings. It’s an excellent base cake for both sophisticated and simple creations, such as wedding cakes, layer cakes, tortes, ice cream cakes, Baked Alaska, petits fours, and simpler sweets. Genoise batter is used to make ladyfingers.
The genoise differs from the traditional American sponge cake , as well as the classic French biscuit , in which entire eggs are gently cooked with sugar and beaten until frothy, somewhat pale, and an Instant Read Thermometer reads 110 to 120 degrees F. The heated egg foam passes through various stages as it is beaten – it first becomes foamy, then light and aerated and finally it thickens until it forms a thick ribbon when lifted from the bowl, called ribboning . What happens is that the protein in the egg foam becomes partially coagulated from the heat, transforming it into an elastic mass. As it is beaten, the recipe holds large volumes of air, which, in turn, results in a batter with high volume and a cake that bakes light and tall.
Once the egg-and-sugar foam has reached maximum volume or ribbons properly, sifted flour (with any dry flavorings) is folded in several additions so as not to deflate it. Alternatively, melted and browned (buerre noisette) or clarified butter is tucked in at the end. The cake contains no chemical leavener, such as baking powder or baking soda and is not normally flavored, except for a small amount of vanilla. During baking, the cake rises when the air trapped in the whipped eggs and the air produced as the water in the butter turns to steam, expands.
SARAH SAYS: Warming the egg-and-sugar ingredients helps dissolve the sugar better and improves the emulsifying properties of the eggs. As a consequence, when the eggs are beaten, they achieve their maximum volume. I prefer to check if the sugar is completely dissolved by rubbing a tiny quantity of the mixture between my fingers. It must not be sandy. If it is, I quickly swirl until the sugar is completely dissolved. I like superfine sugar because it melts more quickly than conventional table sugar. It’s very important because if the sugar is NOT dissolved all the way, the egg structure won’t be as strong and the cake won’t rise as high and be dense.
Known in Italy as “Savoiardi”, Ladyfingers are delicious, little, very dry, tongue depressor-shaped sponge cakes, however they may also be called cookies Ladyfingers are used to create charlottes, tiramisu, and other desserts, or they may be filled and consumed on its own. They rely heavily upon eggs for their characteristics; separately beaten eggs and egg whites are folded in with flour and sugar
Ladyfingers can be made at home or purchased in bakeries or supermarkets. The Forno Bonomi Ladyfingers Brand appeals to me.
Jelly Rolls or Biscuit Roulades
The Jelly Roll Cake (American), also known as a French Biscuit Roulade or Swiss Roll (in English), is often constructed from a thin sheet of pastry. sponge or foam-type cake , which is cooked before being rolled into a tube-like or log form around a filling and then cut to reveal the contents swirling into the rolled foundation of food. The cake used is flexible enough to handle rolling without shattering. The mixture is spread onto a thin layer in a jelly roll pan and cooked until hard but still wet. Some cakes are instantly cooled flat or rolled and chilled to produce a log shape. If the cake is first cooled into a form and then filled and securely rolled, it is filled or carefully unrolled. (Since the Swiss Roll is cooked thicker than the other varieties of rolls, it is not as securely rolled.)
Fillings for the cake vary widely and can include pastry cream, buttercream, lemon curd, seedless jam or jelly or chocolate ganache. If the cake has a perishable filling, it is often chilled to help it set. Right before serving, the roll can be can be simply dusted with powdered sugar or covered with whipped ganache, whipped cream or buttercream. It is cut into disks and served flat on a dish to reveal its pinwheel shape.
Angel food cake is a type of foam cake that became popular in the U.S. in the late 19th century. It is also known as Angel Cake and is supposed to be the “meal of the angels” due to its airy, light texture and flavor. It is one of the most versatile cake choices around, leavened from lots of stiffly beaten egg whites (typically a dozen) beaten with sugar, or a meringue, folded with very little bleached cake flour. The cakes are generally only flavored with extracts like vanilla, almond, lemon, or orange. Cream of tartar and salt are added in little quantities. It is also fat-free and suitable for any diet.
Angel food cake batters can be easily flavored with other ingredients, folded into the meringue base, such as crushed peppermint candies, finely chopped well-drained maraschino cherries, grated semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips. Several people have recently promoted the use of fragrant spices such as cinnamon, mace, and cloves.
Angel Food Cake batter is cooked in a non-greased two-part tube pan, which is a tall, circular pan with a conical tube up the center that leaves a hole in the center. The special pan allows the cake batter to rise higher by ‘clinging’ to all sides of the pan and prevents it from falling on itself because it contains very little flour, and therefore very little of the structural building network called gluten. During cooling, the pan is flipped to keep the cake from caving in on itself and to help stretch and firm the delicate foam.
Each angel food cake is enhanced by a simple topping of fresh fruit. It is sometimes frosted, but more often than not has a sauce, such as a sweet fruit sauce, poured over it. A simple glazing is also common. Angel food cake should be cut with a serrated knife, as a solid blade tends to compress the cake rather than slice it. Instead, use forks, electric serrated knives, special tined cutters, or a strong thread.
An angel food cake is a meringue with added cake flour for stability and its tender texture. Egg white proteins and the starch and protein of flour are incorporated into the watery film around air cells to contribute to stability. The air and steam in the meringue leaven the mixture. Angel Food recipes call for gently folding the sifted flour into the beaten egg whites.
EGGS: Use large Grade A eggs.
FLOUR: Angel Food cakes typically call for bleached cake flour, but some can be made with all-purpose. Follow the directions on the recipe.
SUGAR: Since it dissolves easily, superfine (or superfine) sugar is recommended. Sugar is added not only for its flavoring action and stabilizing effect on egg white proteins, but it also acts as a tenderizer, counterbalancing the drying effects of egg white protein and gluten formation from flour. It also causes the egg proteins to coagulate and the carbohydrates in the wheat to gelatinize. Sugar contributes further to the stability to the foam through the incorporation of air into the mixture as it is added, which allows for the formation of tiny air bubbles.
CREAM OF TARTAR: Cream of tartar is usually added to lower the pH and thus stabilize and whiten the foam and produce a finer grained cake. It may be replaced with lemon juice or white distilled vinegar.
SALT: Being debated, salt should not be added directly to the egg whites. Instead, we combine it with the flour and other dry ingredients.
SARAH’S TIPS FOR ANGEL FOOD CAKE SUCCESS:
– Careful mixing is required: the sugar is added after the egg whites have started to froth. It needs to be added gradually, otherwise it will pull water from the egg whites, creating a syrupy foam and creating a low-volume cake.
-To avoid the weight of the cake flour from collapsing the air cells, it is dusted over the beaten egg white foam.
-The components must be completely combined without being overworked, since this will diminish volume and softness.
-The cake batter should fill the whole ungreased pan. A spatula is run through the batter, sealing it to the sides of the pan.
-The baking time is 45 minutes, and the completed cake should be golden brown on both sides.
-Invert the cake in its pan and allow it to stand for an hour to 1 1/2 hours in this position to expand and reinforce its structure.
-The crumb should be somewhat wet and white, yet tight and supple, with small, evenly sized air holes.
-The cake should be spongy, slightly chewy and sweet, with a nice hint of flavoring. With a sharp knife, cut the cake in a sawing motion.
WHAT HAPPENS WHILE IT BAKES?
While baking, the Angel Food Cake batter rises and depends on the center tube of the Tube pan for support. As the cake bakes, the proteins coagulate, stabilizing the air cells; water evaporates from the fluid mixture to create a more rigid structure; starch gelatinizes, further contributing to the structure; and browning occurs on its surface due to the Maillard reaction.
If the oven is too cold, a low-volume cake will result because the sugar will absorb liquid from the egg whites, turn syrupy, weep out of the batter, and disrupt the air cells. An overheated oven will set the outside of the cake before it has had a chance to completely expand and bake through, resulting in a low-volume, thick cake.
Unbaked flourless cakes, can also be cheesecakes as well as mousse cakes, which are typically molded in a dessert ring or springform pan then simply chilled before unmolding. They often have a baked crust or bottom layer before the mousse is applied. Other foam cake layers are sometimes alternated with the mousse. Flourless cakes are created without flour and may be cooked or unbaked. Since they are made out of just one ingredient, they have a creamy or smooth feel. egg foams (typically whole eggs and/or egg yolks) with a lot of fat added from sources like butter, cream cheese, cream, or sour cream. These ingredients are combined with as little air as possible to avoid the cake from blowing up in the oven and collapsing due to the lack of structure from the wheat flour and tenderizing oil. Flourless cakes are often baked in a springform pan for ease of removal, however they may also be made in ordinary round layer cake pans.
Two types of flourless cakes:
BAKED FLOURLESS CAKES
These include flourless chocolate cakes and cheesecakes (more commonly known as custard). Certain cheesecakes, however, may now include trace quantities of wheat or cornstarch. Often the filled pan is baked in a water bath (waterbath) or placed in a larger pan that’s half-filled with water to insulate the delicate, creamy cake from the oven’s strong bottom heat, which might give the baked cake a porous rather than silky texture.
UNBAKED FLOURLESS OR UNBAKED CAKES
These types of cakes are typically molded in a dessert ring or springform pan then simply chilled before unmolding. These include mousse cakes, which often feature a crust or bottom layer cooked before the mousse. mousse is added. Bottom layers can include baked Biscuit Flourless Chocolate cake , which may also be alternatively layered with the mousse. Cheesecakes While they are considered a custard, they may also be unbaked flourless cakes. Vegan cheesecakes are another form of unbaked flourless cakes.
Are baking pans for foam cakes greased?
You don’t oil the pan while baking an angel food cake or a cake that receives its rising strength from an egg white froth for one reason: Egg white foam cake batters rise better when they have a surface that they can grip onto and essentially climb up, like the ungreased walls of a cake pan.
Why is a tube pan a good choice when baking a foam cake?
Why is a tube pan ideal for making foam cake? The airy batter needs plenty of support in order to rise, which the ring shape provides.
What type of pan is best for baking a cake?
Metal: High Heat, Good Results
Metal bakeware is the best heat conductor; metal baking pans heat and cool fast, making them perfect for baking cookies and cakes.
Can I use a regular cake pan instead of springform?
As an alternative for a springform pan, any cake pan or pie plate of comparable size will suffice. In addition, covering the pan with foil or parchment paper before baking will make it easier to carefully remove the cake out when it’s done. (Leave a piece of foil or paper hanging out of the pan to make lifting easier.)