Cakes make every occasion special. Everyone looks forward to cutting their birthday cake. Adults and children look forward to the cake- the flavor, design, and taste. The cutting of the cake is something that guests at a party enjoy as well. Good quality cakes are a must, as no one wants one that is of poor quality or taste. a good cake cannot be one that looks good but does not taste the part or vice versa. A good cake must be a balance of looks, flavor, and texture.
There are a lot of factors that we take into account when baking a cake to make sure it is of good quality. The first one that comes into play here is ingredients. Ingredients that go into a cake should be of the highest quality to ensure that the cake comes out well. Some people think that you get the best flavor only from the most expensive ingredients. This need not be the case. Quality is important. When we say, the ‘finest ingredients,’ we mean, the ingredients of the best quality.
Let us look at some of the characteristics that make a good quality cake:
The first thing that someone notices about a cake are its appearance of the cake. It is usually the centerpiece of an event, be it a birthday or a wedding. It is important that the cake is beautiful to look at. It should be able to grab the attention of people and keep it there from the first time they lay their eyes on it. Everything else about the cake comes into play only after the looks. When considering the appearance of a cake, the following factors come into play.
A cake should be symmetrical to look at. As with everything else, symmetry is very important when it comes to appearance. There should be no peaking, cracks on the surface of the cake, low sides, sunken top, caved in the bottom, or uneven top. These are unfavorable characteristics when it comes to cakes.
The volume of the cake is also important. A cake should have well risen with a slightly convex surface. The volume depends on consumer preference. The cake should not appear too small or too large for its weight. So, the cake should be of medium volume. This way, the interior wall has a good appearance and construction.
Colour of Crust
The color of the crust of a cake differs depending on what type of cake it is. Because of this, we cannot apply one term to all kinds of colors. The color of the crust should be in harmony with the cake color. For example, a vanilla sponge should have a crust that is a pleasing brown color. This brown should be about three shades lighter than a normal brown on the color chart. Anything darker than this, lighter or too dull, means you have a poor-quality cake. The crust should also have a uniform color throughout. Things that can mess with a consistent crust color are dark streaks, sugar, or grease spots. Bakers must ensure perfect baking time to achieve the right crust color.
Character of Crust
The crust should have the right character as well. The crust character of a cake refers to the condition of the cake’s crust. The color of the crust will also vary with the type of the crust. To consider a cake as good quality, it should have a thin and tender crust. A cake that has a crust that is too thick, rubbery, sticky, too delicate, tough, or blistery misses the mark. These crust characters are indicative of poor quality.
In the case of cakes, the bloom refers to the sheen present on a cake. Good live color with brilliance is a sign of a good bloom.
A cake is usually covered in frosting or ganache to enhance the appearance and flavor of the cake. Cake decoration is an art in itself. The frosting should be even throughout the cake in terms of thickness. If there is too little or too much frosting on parts of the cake, this can mess with the symmetry of the look of the cake. Frosting or ganache should be even and spread out with a flat knife.
A baker or confectioner will also use various embellishments to enhance the look of the cake. Cut fruits or those carved into different shapes make for good decorative pieces on cakes. Tempered chocolate is a favorite with cake decorators. They use tempered chocolate to make various shapes. Tempered chocolate adds more than looks; the flavor is incredible. When they temper chocolate using the right temperature and technique, there is a crunch and snap. They also use edible decorations to make the cake more appealing.
A good quality cake should not only look good, but it should also have a taste to match as well. Some of the characteristics that come into play when you cut open a cake are listed out below:
The grain refers to the structure of the crumb on the inside of the cake. Good quality cakes will have a uniform cell size and cell wall. When it comes to grain, a cake is of poor quality if there is coarseness, thick cell walls, varying cells, or large holes and tunnels.
As with the color of the crust, the crumb color of the cake should be uniform. The crumb color will also vary according to its type of cake. The crumb should not have streaks or dark patches, grey, non-uniform dark, light, or dull color.
As with any other food item, its aroma is what makes a food item all the more appetizing. The aroma of the cake should therefore be appetizing. In a cake, the air trapped inside the cell structure carries the aroma. A good quality cake has an aroma that is pleasant, sweet, and natural. Poor quality cakes will have a flat, musty, firm, or sharp aroma.
Taste is the most important characteristic of a cake. Taste is the characteristic that defines how good a type of food is. A cake can be as good-looking as it can be, but if it does not taste good, the whole point of the cake is meaningless. The taste depends on the raw materials or ingredients that bakers use to make the cake. It depends on the types of raw materials used in cake production. This is where good quality ingredients matter the most. The agents used to enhance the flavor, like salt and vanilla extract, should be correctly used. Excess salt will affect the taste. Another ingredient that will affect the taste is excessive baking soda.
The taste of the cake should be well-balanced. The cake should taste pleasant, sweet, and satisfying. Overly sweet cakes can also be a turnoff, which is why the correct sugar ratio is important. Frosting, cream fillings, or ganache can add more sweetness to the cake. So, bakers take care to balance out the flavors.
A good quality cake should have a texture that is smooth and pliable. They measure this by touching the cake. The texture of the cake completely depends on the physical condition of the crumb and the type of grain. A good quality cake will have a soft, velvety texture without weakness, and it should not be crumbly. Cakes with rough, harsh, too compact, lumpy, or too loose textures are not desirable.
Keeping quality or shelf life is another very important characteristic in cakes. The cake’s shelf life varies according to the type, richness, method, and ingredients. Regardless of the type of cake or method, it should have good keeping quality. The cake should maintain its freshness or stay in a moist condition for a long time.
A good cake is one that we bake using proper steps. When baked properly, it should rise ultimately. If it looks like a batter, the cake has not risen completely. A well-risen cake will be fluffy, spongy, and moist. The simplest ones are usually the best cakes. Fewer ingredients and proper baking methods can make the cake more appealing. This is yet another instance in where the quality of the ingredients matters.
Cakes are for everybody and come in various flavors to suit various palates. The conventional ones would be vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and the like. Cakes are also available in various exotic flavors. A good quality cake will have an authentic flavor and is not overwhelming or underwhelming. The frosting or ganache should complement the flavor and not clash with the cake itself. When all the right flavors come together in harmony in the mouth, the experience can be exhilarating.
Cake Buzz brings the best quality cakes to you at the best prices. We do not believe in compromising on quality. Our bakers keep all the parameters in mind when baking for you. Every cake at Cake Buzz is baked to perfection. The toppings, frosting, and every ingredient in the cake are of the best quality. We keep all the factors in mind so that every bite of your cake is heavenly.