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Restaurant seeks cake recipe

Hello:

Our restaurant will be featured on Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" on August 29th and we are seeking a recipe for cake batter to add to our menu.

I am looking for a recipe that I can mix and hold as a batter until a guest orders and then bake to order.

The cake should have a vanilla flavor, hold for hours or days as a batter and should bake up well in a small pan with only an inch of depth.

Please send me your ideas!

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  1. Perhaps someone can correct me, but I don't believe this would work for a cake because whether or not you use baking soda or baking powder, they would lose their leavening power after being exposed to liquid so long.

    Perhaps a flourless cake would be a better choice? You could whip egg whites to order and fold them in so that you have a fluffier product.

    1. Why not just bake the cakes ahead of time then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them until you need them?

      1 Reply
      1. re: 1POINT21GW

        I agree with 1point21gw. If you want to serve a hot cake (which is only why I would see bake to order being the reason) then a vanilla molten lava cake. Otherwise bake the cakes and have them frozen individually. Take out as many as you think you would need per day from the freezer to have them be "fresh" that day. I've worked at 5 star resorts and that's what we have done in the past with cakes, cheesecakes, brownies, etc.

      2. I'm in katecm's corner with this one. There is no way you can prepare a batter and maintain its viability over the time periods outlined by the OP here. No leavening agent, unless perhaps you used yeast, would hold up under those conditions. It takes about five minutes to make a cake batter from scratch. Here's a recipe you might want to try for cakes to order but it depends on how large your "small pan" is.

        ½ cup sifted cake flour
        ½ tsp baking powder
        pinch of salt
        1 ounce plus 1 tsp unsalted butter cut into small bits
        2 ½ ounce sugar
        1 medium egg
        ¼ plus 1/8 tsp vanilla
        1 1/3 ounces whole milk

        1. Lightly coat cake pan with butter and dust with AP flour.
        2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt to combine thoroughly
        3. Use fork or pastry blender to combine butter into dry ingredients, a little at a time, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
        3. Whisk in the sugar, about 1/3 of it at a time, until the mixture looks like damp sand.
        4. Whisk in the egg, then add the vanilla and milk and whisk until all ingredients are well blended and batter is smooth. It should be light and smooth but don't over beat it.
        5. Pour batter into cake pan and bake at 400 degrees until toothpick poked into center comes out clean.
        Because this is intended for a restaurant kitchen environment your oven should already be
        preheated.
        Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then un-mold and leave on wire rack another five minutes to completely cool.

        You may have to practice with this a few times to get it right but it's not difficult to master and start to finish shouldn't take more than about twenty minutes.

        1. Gusanoz, I'd be more apt to prepare a custard, sweetpotato, or squash pie filling ahead of time and then let it bake up to order in mini tart crusts rather than trying cake.

          1. Why not have dry mixed in bulk, which would include the leavening, and wet mixed and held separately, then when an order comes in, add whatever measure of wet to whatever measure of dry, mix, bake? You'll have to work out ratios but the technique should work. It's more of a quick bread/muffin kind of thing but you could play with it until you get something you like.

            1 Reply
            1. re: noeldottir

              Preparing a dry mix sounds like the most sensible idea to me. A restaurant keeping cake batter waiting in the fridge all week sounds quite off putting to be quite honest.

            2. I agree about a light, fluffy cake but what about a heavier cake? Has anyone tried this with a pound cake that doesn't have leavener? I don't know why it wouldn't work. Something like this recipe:

              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              I've heard of muffin batter that can be mixed up and left in the refrigerator for a month or so. You need to use double acting baking powder. Like this:

              http://www.finecooking.com/articles/h...

              Jacques Torres's chocolate chip cookies are meant to be refrigerated at least overnight. I know the rise isn't as much but it uses both baking powder and soda. I assume the soda in this case is for darkening the cookie rather than rising.

              1. I don't have a recipe for you, but was more curious about baking to order. Assuming your cake would have frosting of some sort, how would you frost a hot cake? Normally cakes are left to cook to room temp before frosting.

                4 Replies
                1. re: boogiebaby

                  Good question--a flourless/molten chocolate cake might be the best way to go. Or a gooey butter cake might work.

                  http://gingerbreadbagels.com/2011/04/...

                  But, at adds another question on when customers would order it and how long they'd have to wait--would it be like a souffle?

                  1. re: chowser

                    Yes, the only thing I thought of was a chocolate molten lava cake, baked in a ramekin. That would work because it can be served warm and bakes in less than 15 minutes, finish with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. The batter couldn't be held all week- but could be easily made in advance.

                    1. re: sedimental

                      The last restaurant I worked in had a molten chocolate cake on the menu. The batter was portioned in small cupcake-sized tin containers and held for service (they froze well, too). The cakes were baked to order, which, in our ovens, took 7 minutes from thawed, 10 from frozen. Plate was garnished with a crisp candied rice (can't remember the name.. it's either French or German), chocolate sauce, and cake was served with a scoop of raspberry sorbet.

                  2. re: boogiebaby

                    Rather than frosting, if the cake is still warm, perhaps something like a fruit sauce would work? I'm thinking of a delicious olive oil cake I once had in a restaurant that was plain, but served with quince sauce spooned on each slice.