I had tried my hand at cake making numerous times. On good days, the cake looks decent and edible. On bad days, it would be dense and crumbly. I haven't given up hope of making those soft and melt-in-the-mouth cakes, but I know that if that's what I am shooting for, I would need to do my homework.
I read in Fannie Farmer's Cookbook (the un-updated 1918 version ) and she said this: "The mixing and baking of cake requires more care and judgment than any other branch of cookery; notwithstanding, it seems the one most frequently attempted by the inexperienced." Sound daunting already, doesn't it? Well, if I want to have my cake and eat it, I will have to put in some hard work.
Currently, I am reading this cake making book I got from the library. Entitled "Chocolate Cake" by Michele Urvater. She devoted at least a third of the book to the technique of cake making, which is good for me, cos I would think I need to start from the basics. But the tone of her writing was rather pompous, which made me rolled my eyes a couple of times each page. For example, she was explaining that when a recipe calls for a specific size of pan be used, and you want to substitute it with another, just make sure that you measure the volume of your pan "with the mathematical formula which you have learnt and have forgotten". Duh... volume = length x breath x height. What's so difficult about that? Leaves me to think that maybe the rest of the world ain't so mathematically savvy?? Well, that said, I think the book holds water by the fact that it explains why certain steps must not be omitted and why things are done this way and not that.
Well, it is my hope that after rolling enough of my eyes at this book, I would be able to turn out better cakes.
Wish me luck!