** FOR USE WITH AP WEEKLY FEATURES ** Carole Walter's Devil's Food Cake, covered with creamy chocolate frosting, is a version of this wickedly rich, dark-chocolate dessert that can tempt even the purest of souls. The cake's decadent implications come from the larger amounts of cocoa and fat compared with basic chocolate cakes, says Walter, the award-winning author of "Great Cakes.'' (AP Photo/Joanna Pruess)
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:00AM
Creamed butter and sugar is the first step to making great baked goods. What to do:
Step 1: Beat the butter
Creaming butter and sugar helps to give baked goods structure by beating air into the butter, while the sugar helps hold the air. Start with room-temperature butter. Beat at a low speed for 30 seconds to get the butter creamy and whipped. The mixing bowl, paddle and butter should be at room temperature.
Step 2: Add sugar
Add sugar and beat on high until it’s a pale ivory color that looks fluffy and feels like grainy, soft clay. If you don’t have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, use a hand mixer.
Step 3: Scrape sides of mixing bowl
Remember that beating air into the butter and sugar results in light and delicate cakes, quick breads and muffins. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.
Step 4: Grate cold butter
If you forget to take the butter out of the refrigerator in time, try grating it, but not too much. You definitely don’t want to melt it.
Step 5: Start baking
Master this proper creaming technique and your cakes will always rise to the occasion.
Scripps Howard News Service