Salted vs. Unsalted Butter, Does It Matter?—My Lastest On The GHRI Blog!

/ Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hello and good morning, lovely friends! Yesterday was quite a day in the test kitchen: I decided to organize a blind taste test to see if using salted butter or unsalted butter when baking really makes a difference (inevitably I always have the opposite of what a recipe calls in the fridge for at home). 

Here's how the experiment worked: I baked the Yellow Cake recipe (below), from the Good Housekeeping Great Baking book, three different ways, then had editors from the institute filled out tasting sheets to analyze the differences. The results were so surprising!! Head over to the GHRI blog to see what happened (I even made a pie chart—the GHRI scientists are rubbing off on me). Oh! And if you're in the market for an simple yellow cake recipe, give this one a try. I made it a bunch yesterday, so I can vouch for its ease :) xo Erin

(summarized from the Good Housekeeping Great Baking cookbook)
MAKES: 24 cupcakes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick salted or unsalted butter (find out which we liked better, here!), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup half-and-half or whole milk

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners. 
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. 
3. Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla.
4. Beat in the flour mixture and milk, alternating, in 5 additions, until combined. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. 

Question for you: What kind of butter do you usually bake with: Always salted? Always unsalted? Or whatever the recipe calls for? I'd love to know! (Here the link to the experiment again incase you're undecided.)

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