The Philly fluff cake is named after its special ingredient, Philadelphia cream cheese. What sets it apart is the inclusion of three fats: cream cheese, butter, and shortening. The combination creates a dessert that's not only lighter and fluffier than a pound cake but also denser and moister than an angel food cake. Thanks to the cream cheese, it also has a tangy flavor.
The dessert was invented by Harry Zipes, who created it after adding cream cheese to a pound cake recipe. Zipes' Philly fluff also included a chocolate swirl, but not every version does. If you've never heard of this cake, then you may not have visited the parts of New York, New Jersey, or the Italian bakeries in the Northeast where the dessert gained popularity.
If you can't find the Philly fluff in your area, you can always bake one. Sure, you could opt for other delicious cakes that are incredibly simple to make and already better-known, such as sponge or pound cakes, but it can be rewarding to go in an unexpected direction. If you're interested in making something unique with elements of both desserts, then the Philly fluff cake is what you're looking for.
Reverse Creaming Can Make A Foolproof Philly Fluff
Cream cheese makes a great addition to many bread and cake recipes, especially when the reverse creaming method is used. When we mix our cake batter, we typically blend the butter or with the sugar first. But with reverse creaming, the fats are mixed with the dry ingredients first. For the Philly fluff cake, the cream cheese, butter, and shortening are mixed, and then the dry ingredients are added.
According to "The Cake Bible" author Rose Levy Beranbaum, with reverse creaming (also called the two-stage mixing method or the paste method), "The butter coats some of the gluten-forming proteins in the flour, preventing excessive gluten formation. This gives the batter a larger window of mixing without risk of becoming tough." This means that even if you accidentally overmix, you don't have to worry about ruining the cake.
The technique has also been known to make delicious muffins and create a copycat recipe for Tate's thin and crispy chocolate chip cookies. The reverse creaming method is one to try the next time you want to make a foolproof cake or any kind of bakery item.
Read the original article on Mashed.