If you're a true cake lover then you will know just how important it is to get cake right and how disappointing it can be when you've been looking forward to a slice for days only to find it doesn't taste as good as it looks (or that it doesn't taste or look good).
However when this does happen and cake does go wrong, it can be hard to put your finger on what precisely went wrong with it. It's not just about taste, and there are actually many elements you need to consider when creating or buying the ideal desert. Here we will look at some of the hallmarks of a great cake - if you can meet all of these criteria then your cake will be sure to be a success.
The first thing you will know about a cake, even before you have put your fork into it, is what it looks like and whether or not it looks appealing. This is of course highly important if you are eating cake for your wedding or for another big event as you want to be able to generate excitement for the desert and also ensure that it matches your décor. Look for a cake then that matches the theme of your event, that looks delicious, but that also looks attractive. The best cakes you almost don't want to eat for fear of ruining their looks (almost, but not quite).
Another early indication of the quality of a cake is the smell. This isn't the be-all and end-all of your cake but it will impact on the taste, and can yet again help to get your juices running in anticipation. A great cake will smell almost like a sweet perfume. Resist the urge to rub yourself in it...
The next thing you'll know is how the cake feels when you first stick your fork in it and go to take a bite. If it's good cake then it will feel moist and it will crumble under the fork. If it is too dry on the other hand though, or it is tough and won't cut easily, then this is likely to negatively impact on the enjoyment of the cake.
Of course good cake should also taste great, and this is arguably the most difficult element and the most subjective. Make sure if you buy cake that you go to the effort of tasting it and sampling it prior to parting with your cash, and when you cook it likewise make sure to follow the recipe carefully, to taste it as you go, to offer it to others for a review, and to make sample batches initially so that you aren't too committed. A great tasting cake should be sweet but not so rich that it makes you feel ill, and it should be made up of lots of slightly different layers and textures.
Finally a truly great cake will last a long tie. Wedding cakes and Christmas cakes are often fruit cakes simply because they can be eaten months or even years later.
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Jamie Turner works at Sweet By Nature, for more information about their products and services click here
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