Chocolate Cake – Combining Dry Ingredients

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 45,420
    Specialty baker Petra Cox demonstrates how to measure your dry ingredients properly for making a killer chocolate cake!

    Petra Cox

    Petra is a specialty baker for Mom's Apple Pie Company, a family-run bakery with four locations in Northern Virginia. By the time she was born, the family business had been operating from their home for three years. Petra and her siblings grew up rolling crusts, peeling apples and baking pies with their parents from early on. In addition to bakery experience, Petra trained with family friend, Is Harris, making a variety of Thai cuisine from scratch, punctuating her culinary appreciation for both sweet and savory flavors and techniques. Subsequent training in oenology and cuisine both in Florence, Italy and Washington, DC led to her current position as wine buyer and recipe research and development at Mom's Apple Pie in Occoquan, Virginia.

    I am Petra Cox with Moms Apple Pie Company Bakery in Occoquan, Virginia and we are making a chocolate cake today. To make a chocolate cake that has the right texture and the right density you are going to need know how to measure your dry ingredients properly.

    In this case we are using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour and for that you can just find out at the grocery store, most grocery stores carry cake flour or if you are going to use all-purpose flour if you cant find cake flour, just take off two table spoons from this measure and you have the right density for your cake.

    So, we are doing two and a half cup of flour. You want to make sure as you are measuring flour that it is placed loosely in the cup and then you are going to shave off the excess from the top. So, you are not going to have a really heavy cup of flour. This is a one half cup measurement.

    We are going to do two and a half cup, so it we will take five of these, theres one. If the flour is packed into the measuring cup you are going to have a lot more flour in your cake.

    So, theres one cup, two cups and two and a half cup. So, you see its nice and even on the top and its just loosely packed in there. So, thats your two and a half cup. Then we are going to have together with three cups of sugar. Sugar of course is lot easier you can just shake the top off and make sure thats pretty flat.

    So one, two, three, three cups of sugar and cocoa, this is unsweetened cocoa, so there is one half cup. Now measure this I know that this is cup and a half but the important thing is to not overfill your cups and make them too heavy. The only time when this not the case is when a recipe calls for something like brown sugar and it ask for you to pack the sugar in and that means you make sure that the sugar is in compact and really packed in to the cup.

    A packed cup of sugar is going to be a lot more than the loose cup of brown sugar. Thats how we have a cup and a half of cocoa and two and a half cups of cake flour and three cups of sugar and the same thing goes for stuff like baking soda, and baking powder. You are going to just need to make sure that its even on the top.

    So, there is one and two teaspoons of baking soda. Baking powder containers usually have a handy little thing in there to shave off the top. So, there is one teaspoon of baking powder and we are going to need two spoons and a half of salt.

    So salt is like sugar, its pretty easy to make sure that it is leveled in there, so that you are not over or under measuring. So, there we go, we have measured our dry ingredients the right way so we are not getting too much or too little of anything.

    When we have too much flour, you get a heavier denser cake thats not quite as favorable. So, you want to make sure all the ingredients are sort of in-balance with each other to make a nice, moist delicious chocolate cake.

    So we have measured our dry ingredients, so we are going to move on and make batter.