Pros: The best cake flour available. "Never Bromated".
Cons: Recent significant price increase. Limited retail availability.
For those unacquainted with Arthurian legend, Sir Lancelot was top dog among Knights of the Round Table. He was also a legendary horn-dog quite smitten with Queen Guinevere, even after she was betrothed to Arthur. Their subsequent affair peeved the future king sufficiently to send both he and his first knight into protracted battle for the Queens exclusive attention.
Be they well-done or half-baked, legends are ultimately the stuff of mythology. Nowadays, these royal ruffians appear to have buried the hatchet, as King Arthur currently runs a flour factory for the Birkenstock and Brie crowd in the wilds of Vermont. His estranged wife Queen Guinevere now lends her name to a sack of cake flour produced by said establishment; though she apparently wasnt always Naturally Pure and Wholesome, as the companys motto suggests. I suspect sorcery is afoot in the modern-day fate of Arthurs formerly favorite knight: a three-pound bag of Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten Flour can also be had if the price is right.
Now that everyones getting along . . .
Cakes have always fascinated me. You mix-together a bunch of stuff, add heat and voila! - they rise and set and are ready to be et - their vast array of flavor combinations subject only to the limits of a bakers imagination. With many favorite recipes committed to memory, I continue to experiment with the addition of compatible fruit, nuts and spices. No matter what new ingredients inspire me, the one essential building-block I never substitute is Queen Guinevere Cake Flour.
Produced and marketed by the King Arthur Flour Company, Inc. (kingarthurflour.com) of Norwich, Vermont, this premium flour comes packaged in a 3 lb. plastic-lined brown paper sack. A large lavender and white label with the round King Arthur trademark adheres to the front, while a flip-side label offers ingredient and nutrition information; along with a recipe for the basic but forever classic Tender White Cake.
Almost never Bleached . . .
While the majority of King Arthur flours are neither bleached nor bromated, Queen Guinevere Cake Flour is the one exception. All cake flour is necessarily bleached to set the proper pH absorption, tolerance and adaptability for cakes. This translates to a cake that rises fully and sets firmly with little or no cracking or detectable fall. The silky-smooth texture and 8.0% protein content advertised at the companys website make this flour the ideal choice for both the professional and home baker.
What the &%$! does Bromated mean?
Potassium bromate is added to commercial flour as a stabilizer to achieve the consistency and workability of various types of dough; a process favored predominately by large commercial bakeries. The FDA has issued cautionary statements regarding the long-term effects of consuming products made from bromated flour, as research data has produced carcinogenic concerns of varying significance. King Arthur flours are never bromated as are other popular supermarket brands of lesser quality.
Stats & Specs . . .
The only ingredient listed is Bleached Wheat Flour. As for allergy concerns, the label alerts the consumer to the fact that this flour is Processed in a facility that also packages products containing eggs, milk, soy, tree nuts and wheat. There are 2 grams of protein and 90 calories per quarter-cup serving. Total carbohydrates equal 20 grams. A three-pound sack currently sells for $4.25 (US); up substantially from the $2.95 price quoted from previous orders place through the King Arthur retail website known as the bakerscatalogue.com.
The Enjoy by date on my 3 lb. sack is approximately a year from date of purchase. Store in a cool and dry area. For extended storage Wrap airtight and freeze.
While Queen Guinevere may have been a royal handful in days of old, she currently sets the standard for sweetness and light toward the perfection of confection at King Arthurs Round Table. As for Lancelot, if you should see him on the shelf in his latest incarnation, be sure to wave and say Hi Gluten!.
Other King Arthur baking assists found at
Alaskan Sourdough Bread Mix
Chocolate Mudslide Cookie Mix
Sour Cream Blueberry Scone Mix
Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
The tasteful existence of small iced cakes makes this review eligible for inclusion at The Best LITTLE Write-Off Ever! hosted by that step-stool-climbing cupcake, dianapinions.
The King Arthur Flour Company, Inc.
Norwich, VT 05055