The Weigh to Cook – Raspberry Buttermilk Coconut Cake

July 29th, 2010 / comments 8

It’s birthday season in our neighborhood. Last week, we celebrated Michael’s New Decade Birthday. Michael is a foodie and one of the best cooks I know and I like to make over-the-top cakes. Michael asked for a cake with berries and cream. I decided to make a not-too-sweet, white cake that would show off bright pink raspberries.

pt cake c egbert 02  The Weigh to Cook   Raspberry Buttermilk Coconut Cake

The magic of science in the kitchen is why I like to bake. I have always been fascinated by chemical reactions–vinegar and baking soda volcanoes, milk curdled with lemon juice, sugar changed to an amber solid with enough heat. Cake recipes must be followed much more carefully than recipes for soups or salads because, when you bake a cake from scratch, you are a chemist in the kitchen. Substitutions are possible but they must be made with an understanding of the role each ingredient plays in the cake. Precise measurement and proportion are even more important to consider when baking cakes.

My kitchen is well equipped, I have a stand mixer, an oven with an accurate thermostat and timer, a dependable refrigerator, measuring cups and spoons, and, assorted pots and pans. Until last week, my kitchen was lacking a user-friendly kitchen scale. I found a measuring cup with a built-in scale at my favorite kitchen supply store and bought it. This was just the tool I needed to turn my American kitchen into an international one. Except in recipes written for the United States, measurements are given in weight rather than by volume. Not only is it a more precise way to measure, but with the right scale, it’s much easier. The scale I bought measures in ounces and grams as well as by volume. The Raspberry Buttermilk Coconut cake I made for Michael is the first recipe I have written using this scale. Here’s how I made it: … read more

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