Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crazy Cake Recipes

Great article in LA times last week on crazy cake. This is an eggless, butterless recipe that I am sure many of you have come across under different names and variations (ie, wacky cake, magic cake). I had made it a couple of times but found that it got too dry after a while. However, reading this in LA times makes me wonder if I was just using the wrong flour:

The key challenge of crazy cake is getting the cake to hold together. Corriher explains that in a normal recipe, eggs and flour supply the protein required to set and hold the cake. Without eggs, the flour is responsible for giving the cake its form and texture. For crazy cake, she says it's essential to use a high-protein all-purpose unbleached flour such as King Arthur.

"You need a flour with all the protein you can get," Corriher says. "When you add water to flour and stir, the proteins in the flour grab the water and each other and make these springy elastic sheets of gluten. . . . With an eggless cake, you don't have much to hold the cake together. So you've got to give those glutens every advantage to get together. The reason for the vinegar in the cake is to do this. An acidic batter helps the proteins to set faster. And the other thing that helps is the ca-razy method of putting it together."


The Times also gives 2 recipes developed with the help food scientists. I've always wondered what exactly food scientists do, but it seems like if food scientists were involved, the cakes must taste good:

Poppy Seed Crazy Cake

Shirley's Crazy Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

LA Times Article - Mad for Crazy Cake

8 comments:

molly said...

intriguing! i love when a recipe is naturally eggless and has a bit of history to it. thanks for sharing :)

Sarah said...

Glad you liked it!

Lisita said...

Excited to try these recipes, thanks for sharing! Have you perfected an eggless brownie? That's one area I haven't mastered yet.

Sarah said...

Yes, check out Parul's eggless brownies at http://www.goeggless.com/2008/09/parul.html, best I've had so far

Lisita said...

Thanks Sarah!! I'm trying to create one from scratch but this gives me a few more ideas. I appreciate your response!

Sarah said...

Oh yes, I want a "from-scratch" recipe myself. Let me know if you find one...

Sarah said...

Update: I made the Shirley's Crazy Cake recipe last week. Really good!!

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