So what makes a perfect cake? Is there even such a thing?
Well, we can sure get close. Now, everyone has a slightly different idea about what makes something good, just like art.
To me, a perfect cake is about sweetness, icing, texture and flavour.
Oh you know I’m going to use this word here – moist. Nobody likes a dry cake. Nobody likes a rubbery cake. And no one wants to eat a cake so dense that you’re dying after a mouthful that takes you forever to chew and needs to be washed down with a whole glass of water.
The perfect cake is light, fluffy and MOIST. There’s really just no other way to describe it.
The flavour should be easily recognisable. Sometimes you do want the cake to be subtle if you are pairing it with icing that is pretty intense.
But you don’t want a flavour that smacks you in the face. Or a flavour so sour your mouth shrivels up in protest. It’s all about balance. Balancing sweet and sour, salt and sugar.
If you have a cake flavour in mind, I can suggest some classic or modern combinations that work well and give balance. Like chocolate and vanilla. Or lemon and raspberry.
Now this is something that really is up to the individual. I offer classic buttercream (whether that’s butter or non-dairy) icing only. I like a small amount of sweet icing, but without a greasy mouth feel.
For a while there I played with Swiss meringue icing (incorporating cooked egg whites) and I also tried fondant cakes. But nope, my lovely customers just wanted classic buttercream. So that’s what I stick to.
The only time I’ll deviate slightly is during our extreme summers to make sure your cake doesn’t slide right off the board. Sun and cakes are not a match made in heaven!
The key to the perfect cake? One that isn’t too sweet and that you can go back for seconds because the first piece hasn’t put you into an instant sugar coma.
For me, it’s about the ratio of cake to icing. And icing that isn’t ‘blow your head off sweet’ and that all important flavour balance. Sweet, sour, salt, sugar.
So there you have it, the perfect cake (according to me). Do you agree?