Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Sure, this description sounds very industrial, but a lot of its 'disgustingness' is because the industrial process makes things explicit that happen in all cakes.

How do you make normal cake? Butter, flour, eggs, sugar, vanilla or something for taste.

The whole first part of this story describes how fat is aereated with an emulsifier and water. Or, in household terms, Butter and eggs are mixed together until creamy.

There is a lot of story how GMS "pulls in water" and "oozes around flour chips". Well, that's pretty much the function of eggs in normal cake.

Next there is part how the evil corporations put sugar in cake because it has the right weight and price. Seriously, is he criticizing factories because they put sugar in their cakes?

And on we go: in both cases carbon dioxide is chemically generated inside the cake, and being caught in those flour-toughened fat membranes, swells them up.

Yes, that's what happens in all cakes. It's how baking powder works.

So, the real differences between this industrial cake and normal home-made cake are basically two things: cheap fat and a chemical emulsifier instead of eggs. The rest of the story is pretty much the same as normal cake baking.

by GreatZamfir on Wed Apr 30th, 2008 at 05:03:23 AM EST
There's truth in what you say, but :

  • creaming butter and eggs does not amount to increasing fat volume by addition of water;

  • putting sugar in a cake is not the same as adding an excess amount of sugar both to increase specific weight and give a masking taste appreciated by all.

So the differences are: cheap (lousy) fat, a chemical emulsifier, added water, excess sugar.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 30th, 2008 at 05:27:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely hate factory cakes.

But adding water+emulsifier is sort of the equivalent of
adding eggs. Form a chemical-industrial point of view,
eggs are egg powder with added water. The article
mentions a doubling of the fat by adding water, which is
pretty much the same ratio between eggs and butter as I
use when making cake.

And I am not sure about the excess sugar either. In my
cakes, there are roughly equal parts sugar, butter,
eggs and flour. That's already a lot of sugar, and it
sure 'masks' the taste of the butter-with-egg mixture.

Sometimes you here people complain that the modern
city-dweller doesn't know how his foods are grown. But
in reality, people have a reasonably good idea how food
is grown. It's industrial processes that we are really
far removed from.

by GreatZamfir on Wed Apr 30th, 2008 at 05:45:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And the article seems to claim that flour is more expensive per weight than sugar. that sounds doubtful to me.
by GreatZamfir on Wed Apr 30th, 2008 at 05:46:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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