The Task – To discover what happens if you reduce the sugar in a sponge cake recipe.
We made cakes with full amount of 60g sugar and then did a batch with 50g, 40g, 30g.
You can evaluate the Functional properties of sugar in cakes – the purpose for which the ingredient is being used and can be linked to – its structure, nutritional value, taste, texture, appearance, shelf life.
How to do this
Create a recipe for your sponge cake in My Recipes.
Bake and compare your cakes and then click Star Profile
Name the recipe ‘Star profile sponge cakes’.
Choose descriptors – how the cake should look and taste. The descriptors we chose were – golden, yellow sponge, open texture, moist, dry.
The Control cake was marked golden (5), yellow sponge (4), open texture (4), moist (4), dry (1) – this was our perfect cake.
Taste the cakes and mark them on the chart – tip in the +Add Taster put the name of the cake – for example, full sugar, 50g sugar.
The Nutrition Program Star Profile fills in – now you need to Evaluate the results under Evaluation – see our chart.
To get extra exam marks you can annotate the Star profile.
This shows an example of annotating a Star Profile to show what the results mean.
Compare the nutrition of sweeteners for cakes and desserts – use for experiments changing the types of sweetener used in cakes and desserts.
We are told to reduce the amount of ‘free sugars’ in our food, especially cakes and desserts.
But how easy is this to do and how much sugar is found in ingredients used for sweetening?
Compare the sugar content of different ingredients
They are gluten in bread, gluten in pasta and egg white foams and meringues.
Here are some classroom challenges that I found!
Washing gluten out of a flour dough takes ages and it is easy to wash bits down the sink by mistake. My tip – use 150g flour for the dough so you have enough dough to work with and wrap it in muslin.
Make small loaves of bread so that they can be kneaded, proved and baked in a short time – the problem is to make the loaves all at the same time in the same way – I couldn’t do it.
I don’t know how to test gluten in pasta – I made it by rolling out by hand and then by machine which was very fiddly. Then cut it into 1 cm noodles and cooked it for 2 minutes. But how can you test and compare the pasta flours? I’ve put this in my Evaluation of the Task.
Egg white foams are very difficult to measure so I decided not to do this for the Task. I tested different sugars on a basic recipe and cooked a control which had no sugar at all. Then I added other ingredients and got an amazing result with cream of tartar which gave huge volume.
I highly recommend Harold McGee’s Book On Food and Cooking to support all the food science questions I needed answered.