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    Flavors Used for Baking Cake

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    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Flavors Used for Baking Cake - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. Now we are going to talk about flavors in baking. Just as in savory cooking, the flavors in baking are just as important. In many cases, you are going to want to add salt and you are going to want to add layers of flavor. A lot of recipes call for, basically, a single flavoring, which is usually vanilla extract. Some actually allow you to combine flavors. You can add those flavors by using extracts, which are that flavor carried in the alcohol-based. You can also use natural flavors, like lemon or almond, etc, but then you can incorporate different types of flavors. So, if you are looking at flavor profiles, you have the vanilla which has the alcohol in it. Now, alcohol dissipates in the air and it also evaporates with heat. So, as you put into a batter that is going to require baking, it may not be as flavorful as you would like it to, as the final result. You can also use a vanilla bean paste, which actually has the flakes of vanilla seed in them, in a viscous liquid, which is really great. So, it would be like having flakes of vanilla seed into your pound cake, for instance, which is fabulous. And then, you also have emulsions. Emulsions are the same flavor but they are put into a vegetable gum, which makes them nice and thick. These flavors tend not to bake out, which is wonderful. So, you can use the emulsions and still get a nice, rich flavor. You can also find in the same flavor families concentrated flavors. So, for instance, this lemon oil is actually from the skin of the lemon. So, you would not necessarily have to zest a lemon, for instance, you can use the lemon oil, where the lemon extract is that lemon oil in an alcohol base. So, you can also go to ingredients that are not found naturally, which might include butter, so the butter-concentrated flavor. And then you have got a butter extract, and then you have got a butter flavored emulsions. Now, I like to use the flavors and combine them. I really do not like to taste something sweet and not taste any flavors. So, just like if I were going to be cooking savory food, I actually do taste my batters, etc, as I am working with them. Sometimes I add a little bit more, sometimes I add a little bit less. If I were going to be working with the vanilla extract, for instance, I would go ahead and add one, possibly two teaspoons in addition to what the recipe called for, or, maybe I would use a vanilla extract and a vanilla bean paste. If I were going to make a delicious five-flavored pound cake, for instance, then I might use the vanilla and the lemon and some additional butter, even though my recipe calls for butter, and then possibly some almond to add some additional flavor to it. So, I like to combine those flavors and use them. And there are actually new technologies and flavors, for instance, red velvet cake is all the rage now. Well, there are actually a flavor and a color that are combined so that you do not have to go out seeking a two ounce bottle of red food color, and you do not have to find that perfect flavor for red velvet cake, which really kind of does not seem to have a flavor, based on what I have heard from certain people. So, they always make it their own and this is a way to really make flavors your own. If you are not baking from scratch, do not worry; you can always add flavors to your cake mix, and actually it personalizes it and it makes it yours, and a lot of people feel like it makes it taste more homemade, which is great. Now, I mentioned that I like to taste my batter, which technically is a no-no if you think about the fact that most cake batters are made with eggs. The way that I get around that is that I actually use pasteurized eggs. So, these eggs are actually pasteurized in the shell, and the reason that I like that is because I can actually taste that batter and not fear that there is going to be a problem later, which is really cool. And I often have my children help me do the cooking, and so knowing that I have used a pasteurized egg is great because it allows them to also taste the batter when I am not looking, and maybe sometimes I will allow them to do that. But this way, I feel very confident. When you are using eggs for baking, the best way to separate eggs is to make sure that they are cold, but the best way to mix eggs into a recipe is to make sure that they are warm. So, if I am in a pinch and I did not take things out of the refrigerator fast enough, I might get a cup of warm tap water and put my egg into that water, in its shell so that it can actually come down to room temperature so that I can immediately bake if I need to.