Q&A: Is taking a specific gravity measurement necessary for cake batter during or after mixing?

Question: What’s the importance of taking a specific gravity measurement on cake batter during or after mixing? We are currently using a consistometer. Have we been using the wrong tool or method?

Answer: Using a consistometer is not the wrong method, however taking a specific gravity measurement is more accurate. Taking a specific gravity measurement determines the degree of air entrapment in your cake batter during mixing. The mixing process is key to obtaining optimum baked cake volume and internal characteristics, among other attributes. The consistometer is a useful instrument, but it is not as exact as taking a specific gravity measurement. If you are noticing differences in baked cake volume the consistometer might be the issue. Switching to taking a specific gravity measurement could be the solution to those inconsistent cake issues.

Specific gravity is nothing more than a comparison of the weight of cake batter to the weight of water, using the same vessel for weighing both. Since air is trapped in the batter during mixing, it is less dense than water. Therefore, the specific gravity will calculate to less than 1 (weight of batter/weight of water). While there are some exceptions, most batter cakes should be in the range of 0.8 to 0.9.   





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Avatar   demetri preonas 3 years ago Reply

It is important that the procedure for taking the specific gravity is consistent, especially with highly aerated batters.

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