We make sure to have the right flour for making bread, so why not make sure we have the right flour for making cake? Considering flour is one of the main, and few, ingredients in a cake, it is often overlooked for how important it really is. It was a revelation to me for how much a difference it makes to the texture of a cake.
Britain’s climate is ideal for producing wheat naturally lower in gluten, giving us flour that is perfect for making soft and fluffy cakes. Perhaps this is why, along with the abundance of dairy, we have such a strong tradition of baking. Of course you can make a cake with any regular plain or self-raising flour, but if you want to make something that is exceptional – use cake flour. It is also excellent for making pastry and white sauces.
You can get it in the supermarket but I order cake flour from Shipton Mill, who produce the most gorgeous flour. At only £1.30 per kg its a steal. If you want to use this flour in a recipe that calls for self-raising flour, add 1/2 tsp baking powder per 100g plain flour.
Shipton Mill has an enormous range of flours from all over the world – each one of them perfect for their specific use.
For a recipe using cake flour, have a look at this recipe for lavender and lemon loaf, a perfect way to demonstrate how tender and soft a cake can be.