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Help on a baking term

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Does any one know the correct way to do the process of creaming? I am reading different books and many of them tell you to cream the butter first to start the creaming process(room temp. butter) than only add sugar and cream, while other reading material say to put everything in one bowl butter, sugar and cream both tog.. But none of my reading material give you reason why some are done these two ways? The one book that tells me to cream butter first than only add sugar is saying this is the way you are suppose to do creaming process. Please dont think this is a stupid question, or if I offend any of the experienced bakers I am sorry, but this a question that is really bothering me. Any help would be very appreciated!!!


hummingbird (sorry if I put this in the wrong section)
post #2 of 12
Despite the name, you don't add cream when you "cream" butter, there's traditionally only butter (softened/room temperature) and sugar involved, which is then beaten until the sugar is fully incorporated and the butter mixture is light and fluffy.

A possible reason for beating the butter first is to get it to a pliable stage that will accept the sugar more easily (especially if doing so by hand), although there's no problem just dumping the butter and sugar simultaneously if you have a good beater. Liquids (such as egg, milk, cream, etc.) that are needed for the recipe are added later.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 12
Ditto that. I like to start the butter first (only doing home quantities so I do it by hand) with a wooden spoon then add the sugar bit by bit. The wooden spoon seems to help crush the sugar into the butter better than a metal one
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #4 of 12
For most straight forward basic recipes there is no difference between adding just the butter and then the sugar or both at the same time. Also at I have never heard of a recipe that asked for cream during the creaming process (please post if this is the case). Cream would ususally be added later with other liquids(like eggs). One reason you don't want to add cream is becasue not only will the butter not take it but enough mixing will turn it into butter.

For most recipes the ingredients that I use in the creaming process could be: butter, peanut or other nut butters, sugar, brown sugar, other "sugar" , honey, syrups, I think you see the pattern.

Both at home and professional I always dump the two together and set the mixer (with the paddle) on while I do other things. The important thing is that the butter be room temp, this helps disolove the sugar which will later help the two accept the eggs. The butter will take on almost a white color. You want to be carefull not to whip too much air into it.

I always assume that the grains of the sugar will help soften up the butter quicker, but that isn't pro advice just my wierd mind working.
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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post #5 of 12
First of all, the point of a question forum is that you're supposed to ask questions! No one could possibly get offended for that. And no question is stupid, it's just stupid not to ask.

Ok, having done my reading, though just a home cook, i can tell you that there are different ways to make cakes, and they have different results, even if they might use the same ingredients.

creaming butter and sugar is to incorporate air into the batter. The sugar crystals cut into the butter and create air bubbles that will then expand as the batter warms. When you cream you don;t necessarily have to have soft butter, i usually do it from the fridge, but i have a good strong mixer. But the goal is to get it nice and fluffy and pale colored (that's the air being incorporated). Usually then you add eggs, one at a time, beating well between eggs, and it gets irresistibly fluffy (so be careful not to eat too much at this stage! Or you'll have to change the proportions of the other ingredients - i'm an inveterate taster, and almost love cake batter raw better than cooked!)

Some recipes, however, don't use the creaming method. (It's not another kind of creaming, it's just not creaming, if i understand correctly). In these cases there are two possibilities.
Beating eggs (or yolks) with sugar, then adding melted butter, which gives a more spongy quality, and is typical of genoise cakes. (Personally i don't much like these, however their fancy name may make them sound good - they don;t have the kind of soft moist quality that i like)
Another way is to mix dry ingredients all together, then add soft, room-temp butter (not melted) with some liquid, and beat. This makes a wonderful cake, at least since i started following the recipes of the Cake Bible, by Rose Beranbaum, which is the only place i've encountered this method (for sure there are plenty of others, just that i never came across them). However you need the recipe that is made for this method, the proportions may be different than with the creaming method.

I hope this is what you wanted to know. if not, feel free to ask more!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Help on a baking term

Am I right to think that recipes that tell you to beat butter first before adding the sugar is maybe considered the way they use to do creaming while back. And with todays hand held or stand mixers being more powerful you now can just dump the two tog.( Butter and sugar)?

Thanks,
Hummingbird
post #7 of 12
I would guess that you're right - you soften the butter a little that way, and then can incorporate the sugar better. I think it doesn;t matter too much. though maybe someone else has some contrary experience. Still, even with a heavy-duty mixer, i still add the sugar a little at a time.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Help on a baking term

Why do you gradually add the sugar? Why do some people do this creaming process differently? Very confusing when some dump all tog. and some say beat butter first before adding the sugar! Can any one help clear this up PLEASE!!! I do know the facts behind creaming about air, but the question is why so many people have different ways on doing this like I mention before. Thank you to all who have gave me their help, I know everyone says it doesnt matter end result is the same either way. But has to be a reason why every one has these two ways... butter and sugar tog. and butter beat first and only add sugar?


Hummingbird
post #9 of 12
Plain old superstition... and the belief that each method has an advantage (there may be more or different reasons than below), or "it's the way I've always done it".

a) Dump everything together: Fast
b) Add sugar gradually: Sugar incorporates faster, sort of like how you slowly add sugar to a meringue, I presume
c) Beat butter first: Soften butter even more, get some air, faster incorporation of sugar, presumably most "effort"

They're all relatively minor variations on a method. You should just choose one you're comfortable with and go from there.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #10 of 12
I agree with "siduri" that no question howerver simple should be seen as an insult, especially since you are not posting in the Pro section. What follows is not intended to be insulting either just helpful.

I think you are worrying too much about a process and differences that are not that crucial to basic baking. There are, I believe, more important steps that are crucial (like adding the liquids to the creamed butter and sugar). After 15 years of baking I can tell you I have never noticed a difference, as I mentioned.

Forums are one one way to get some advice and opinions, just as cookbooks are one way to get recipes. To become a good baker/chef it takes knowledge of technique, a little instinct, and LOTS of trial and error. Trust your judgement. Books will differ about how to do things. If there was ONE right way the culinary industry would be pretty boring. Nor is every book in print a reliable source, and some are just WRONG. Keep baking, try it a little each way. If YOU notice a differnce go with that.

Good Luck
"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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"Just can't wait to get on the road again."
Willie Nelson
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post #11 of 12
I agree, essentially, with bluicus and breton beats. Iadd the sugar gradually, because i find it seems to work faster, since i usually haven't taken the butter out of the fridge (i do everything fast, the fastest way possible, and i often decide to make a cake at the very last minute). If you have soft butter, you can dump all together, and if you have hard butter, i find you can have the butter jumping out of your mixer on the floor, along with lots of sugar, so i soften it first in the mixer.

However, you don;t have to be so fussy. It's important to cream well, however you do it, beat in the eggs (which is easier one at a time, but i often dump them all together too)
and then to stir THE VERY LEAST POSSIBLE once you add the flour. Don't beat it with the flour (If you use the creaming method) because it will make a tough cake with wormholes in it. Much of the advice on creaming is because many have to cream by hand or don;t have a very strong mixer. Then room temp butter, adding gradually, etc, is helpful.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Help on a baking term

Thank you every one who has replied. I very much appr. your help,and I really appr. that no one came back with any smart remarks.



Have a nice weekend,
Hummingbird
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