Making a cake

Who would think the assembling of  ingredients for a cake a chemical equation of air and substance, or a precise balance of the two. Perhaps if I’d thought of this years ago I’d have made better, lighter and more delicious cakes. Or any cakes at all. Cake has become over the years my favorite dessert and especially yellow cake with berries and whipped cream. Or lemon cake. This adds a whole new dimension to the intricacies of cake batter  or any combination of ingredients. A stream of sugar cascading into a bowl of butter pieces  and combining at slow speed until the mixture takes on the texture of whipped cream, lightening with air and thickening by slow revolutions of the paddle, invite the eye to mingle with the magic of the chemistry. Each addition, the eggs, the flour, the liquid ingredients, enhance and complicate  the equation, enriching the colors and rendering the texture  voluminous.  A piece of cake.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             With pie crust there are similar elements to consider–the flour, the butter, the liquid, the resulting flakiness when butter is incorporated into flour, or more precisely cut with a pastry knife into pea-sized morsels. The trick is not to handle the dough too much after adding liquid. The trick is to inhale deeply and  allow the energy to flow beneath your hands. Easy as pie.

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