The big issue
Historically, the main issues with cake gels have been the number of ingredients needed to make and stabilize them (clue #1: it’s a large number) and the nature of some of those ingredients (clue #2: they’re not very nice).
The typical cake gel contains seven to nine ingredients, including:
- At least two types of emulsifiers, including alpha crystals (E471, such as Palsgaard® DMG mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids), an alpha emulsifier (E475, such as Palsgaard® PGE polyglycerol esters of fatty acids), and propylene glycol esters (E477)
- A combination of solvents – mono-propylene glycol (E1520), sorbitol (E420), sugar,
- Stabilizers – typically stearic acid, plus NaOH (sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda, which is highly corrosive) or KOH (potassium hydroxide, also known as caustic potash – another corrosive chemical), and sodium/potassium stearate
- CaCl2 (salt)
“The more ingredients you have in a cake gel recipe, the greater the scope for quality control issues, supply chain problems, and ingredient imbalances in production. The more things you have to handle during the process, the bigger chance that mistakes will happen,”
The cake gel dream team
When working on the new cake gel formulation, rather than reinvent the wheel, Allan and his team turned to Palsgaard’s extensive range of emulsifiers already being used by cake gel manufacturers. After many months of experimentation, they hit paydirt – the dream team of Palsgaard® 1367 plus Palsgaard® Gel 0714.
Cake gel emulsifier Palsgaard® 1367 is a bespoke combination of Palsgaard® PGE and Palsgaard® DMG emulsifiers. Palsgaard® Gel 0714 is potassium stearate in paste form, containing just glycerol [E422] and potassium salts of fatty acids [E470a].
When these are mixed in the ratio of 5% Palsgaard® Gel 0714 and 28% Palsgaard® 1367, together with 14% mono propylene glycol, and 53% water, the result is the perfect combination of good stability and good whippability required for an excellent aerated batter, boasting the gold standard cake gel stability of 12 months – with just four ingredients and not a caustic one in sight.
“The new cake gel is easier to handle because we’ve got rid of dangerous, corrosive chemicals, so we’re reducing the risk of serious work-related accidents. And procurement is far easier, with fewer raw materials and fewer suppliers. The whole process is quicker and more cost-effective because the batter will whip faster and you’re adding in fewer ingredients. Production is more sustainable, too, as all the ingredients are coming from our carbon-neutral factory and it’s a more efficient process. We also use only RSPO-certified palm oil, which is as sustainable as it gets.”