Thursday, September 15, 2011

Simple Syrups

Using a simple syrup lightly brushed over the tops of your drier recipe cakes (such as sponge cakes) prior to frosting them really makes a big difference in the outcome of the cake.

I have noticed that the cakes I try that use this simple syrup are very moist but also have this interesting sugary
texture on the top during the bite...and I really like how that texture turns out.  (I know, I get way too into eating cakes!)  For sponge cakes made with liqueur, try this on top of them.  The liqueur has it's own flavor, but with that sugary effect, it really gives it an extra punch--and--you can add some extract to the simple syrup to give it extra flavor!

For extremely moist cakes, such as chocolate or butter cakes, it isn't necessary to use a simple syrup as the cake is moist enough on it's own.  The syrup may cause the cake to be soggy if applied with a heavy hand, however, I have tried using simple syrup on butter cakes but only a very tiny brushed amount.  Almost none in other words--I was very light with the brush.  It turned out fine.  My simple syrup recipe:

1/2 C sugar
1/4 C tap water
1/2 C very cold water
3/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 tsp vanilla (do not use imitation!!!)

Combine the sugar and tap water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat and let it boil for 3- seconds.  Immediately transfer to a 2 cup measuring cup.  Add 1/2 cup very cold water, juice and vanilla.  Stir and cool before brushing it over the cake.  This can be refrigerated.

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