bread, where the flour used has a high protein content and the dough is well kneaded to strengthen
the gluten network before cooking. The flour used to make cakes is usually low in proteins, to actually
reduce the amount of gluten formed and thus prevent a very tough texture. During cooking, the starch
granules provided by the flour will start to take up water and swell, increasing the viscosity of the cake
mixture. A thick cake mixture will more stably incorporate introduced bubbles than a liquid mixture. As
temperatures increase further, significant evaporation of water from the upper surface of the cake will
make the cake hard, and will allow the taste and colour producing Maillard reactions to occur.
Normally, the faster a cake is heated (ie the higher the oven temperature), the more the gas cells have
a chance to expand before the cake sets, so the result is much more light and tender.
When the cake is removed form the oven, it cools – the gas bubbles contract and the vapour
condenses. These two effects reduces the internal pressure, and often causes the cake to fall in on
itself if its supporting protein network is not yet sufficiently strong (i.e if the cake was undercooked).
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A cake will stale more slowly than bread – this is because the water that may otherwise be lost as the
protein network strengthens and starts to squeeze out water is kept in the structure by the presence of
the sugar molecules, to which it bonds.
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What should be known about culinary ingredients: Simple carbohydrates –
Food contains three major groups of molecules: sugars, proteins, and fats. The sugars are compounds
containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Many of them were called carbohydrates because
these atoms are bonded together in the ratio: Cx(H2O)y. Sugars include carbohydrates, but also
starches, cellulose and many other compounds found in living organisms.
If a sugar contains many joined units, they are called polysaccharides; otherwise they are