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Cake Strips

Jan 6, 2006 | From the kitchen of Rose

KIMBERLY QUESTION

I have a question regarding cake strips. I have several sets that I've been using for many years, but they don't seem to be working anymore. I saturate them in icy water, squeeze them firmly and wrap them around the base of the pan, but the cake layers heave and crack and don't stay level. (The oven temp. isn't too hot) Any ideas why my cake strips aren't doing the trick anymore?

PS: I have all of your books and love them all.

ROSE REPLY

thank you! I've used cake strips until they were falling apart and they never stopped working. Recently I learned from my friend and colleague, Dede Wilson, how to make my own cake strips simply by enclosing folded, wet paper towels in a long strip of heavy-duty aluminum foil, overlapped to be the same height as the cake pan.

are you using the same cake recipes that worked well before? are you using all-purpose instead of cake flour? Are you sure the oven isn't hotter? Is the leavening old? That's all I can think of.

Comments

I have heard that tempering chocolate in a round bottom silicone bowl is your preference. I'm sure there is a good reason for this; would you share that?
Thank you.

REPLY

Hi Christine,
With any recipe, we always recommend making it according to the author's recipe to establish a control to see and taste the author's intentions for the recipe. However, we do understand that many bakers and bloggers have specific dietary needs. In your case your husband with diabetes. We have tested many artificial sweeteners and have not been satisfied with their results.The only item we have tested that we have had some favorable results with is coconut sugar, which is still a sugar but is very low on the glycemic index.

There are many cookbooks, television cooking shows, and websites that specialize or have expertise in sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, low fats, and other dietary specific baking. Please investigate and try some of their recipes or contact them for substitution recommendations as these are not our genre of baking. Rose has several listed linked sites including: Fran Costigan (vegan cooking), Bitter Sweet Vegan Blog, Chocolate & Zucchini, and Go Dairy Free.

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Christine, may i chime in. I have been baking cupcakes using silicone cupcake pans alone, without having to insert them under a metal one. i adore silicone cupcake pans!

the results are even, but i am unsure if it is due to the use of silicone or because small pans do not have the issue of baking too fast on the outer edges. also, everyone that i know of that is using metal pans for cupcakes, have not reported using "cake strips." honestly, i don't think using "cake strips" will do a thing for cupcake pans either made of silicone or metal, again, because they are small pans, the diameters are very small, heat penetration will be fast.

most people do play with the amount of leavening (baking powder, baking soda). increase or decrease to give you flat tops or domed tops as desired. this is the key.

i will report from experience that silicone cupcake pans (without using metal) are more convenient for me because they wash cleaner, last longer, and store without using much space. they are also lighter to lift. they are practical for baking cheesecakes, custards, and also handy to use a oven mitts or hot pot trivets!

in all, the concept of cake strips, is to protect only the sides of the pan, and NOT the bottom. if you insert the silicone cupcake pan under the metal cupcake pan, perhaps the bottom will not bake well! it is very obvious when you try to bake a cake using a 9 inch silicone cake pan inserted under a 9 inch metal cake pan.

regarding diabetics, i don't have anything to report with artificial sweeteners nor xylitol nor coconut palm sugar nor agave nor anything that substitute granulated sugar. all i can tell you is that results will be different and inferior.

for diabetics, i recommend eating a smaller portion for a dessert made with real sugar. all sugar substitutes that i know of (natural or artificial) give an off taste and have health risks that constantly come up in research. sugar digests, sugar substitutes do not!

i was told that sugar is no longer banned for diabetics, but instead portion control and exercise is where the focus should go.

happy baking. /H

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Christine Rowe
Christine Rowe
11/ 7/2012 04:17 PM

Hi Rose, I just picked up your book "The Cake Bible" a couple months back and now understand why I could never bake a cake before that was as good as a boxed, now they're better than a boxed! What an education! I have so many recipes I want to try in your book in addition to purchasing the "Heavenly Cakes" book. Thank you.

I have a question about your Cake Strips. Would the same principle apply for cupcakes? I see you offer silicone cake strips and wonder if a silicone muffin/cupcake pan slipped underneath a stainless/aluminim muffin/cupcake pan serve to reduce the heat and even out the cooking, avoiding dry edges and/or cracked middles?

Also, since my husband is diabetic and we do not like artificial sweeteners, I am learning to bake with xylitol and coconut palm sugar. So far, it's worked out well, but always room for improvement. Any advice on these substitutions?

REPLY

Hi Irene,
We have seen that if the edges above the sides, they will get hard from overbaking, which usually indicates too much batter. A general rule for butter/oil cake batters is too only fill a pan around half full unless the recipe specifies otherwise.
Is this one of Rose's recipes?
If not, we always recommend contacting the author for her/his opinion.

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Irene Mosley
Irene Mosley
02/15/2012 03:15 PM

I recently baked a heart shaped caked using the Wilton cake pan my problem was the edges was very hard and there was a problem cutting the cake I could not figure out what i did wrong was it because i used spray on the pan or did i pour too much batter in the pan as I recall it said to uses 2 cups of batter would that make a difference

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Question for Hector: Why is it that cake strips that are too wet or that are doubled over will retard the baking process too much, while the silicon Heavenly Cake Strip does not appear to do so?

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Hi Nushera,
I would like to know gopal pitha recipe and the folding technique.Would you write?
Thanks,
Emira

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Sherrie Dennis
Sherrie Dennis
08/17/2009 11:07 AM

They were definitely soaked, I didn't wash them, but they've been used lots! I always find they impart a bit of a metallic taste on the crust. But...love the silicone!

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Sherrie, your wilton strips may be too new or not been rinsed or soaked for use. Of course, the rose silicone ones work fine from the very first time!

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I've used the wilton cake strips and found that they leave a funny taste and odor on the cake. Has anyone else had this problem? When I remove the cake crust, it's fine, but I'm still concerned. So glad to see Rose's strips as an alternative.

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Roseanna, i have a variety, the 4x4 and 6x6 inches are the most common, but i also found a 8x8 and 10x10 tiles.

could you pls explain what do you mean about the thermostat and oven on all day?

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Hector, What size quarry tile did you get? I have a question: If your oven is on all day the oven would be hot so why would or should the thermostat think otherwise? Thanks

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But are they available in the UK, Hector? I don't think so!

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The main issue with cloth strips is the amount of water it holds as water is part of the heat insulation. The water evaporates during baking which isn't a bad thing but this vapor does affect slightly your cake baking time, moistness, etc. Another issue is the cloth or silver heat shield wearing off. Also hard to wash.

Pls pls pls, try rose's silicone ones, these solve all the issues of above and give you always consistent results since they don't wear off, don't hold any water, and they fit all size pans.... Youtube demo video will follow....

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I've also read about homemade strips using old towels, but I've never tried them. I have both Magi-cake strips and Wilton strips; they both work the same for me.

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I've had varying results with different brands of Magic Cake strips...I do find that the cakes take a little longer to bake...and sometimes fall a little in the middle - but different problems have occurred with different brands. I was finally used to the ones I was using (I bought them in Gracious Home in New York...they came in a white box that said "Magic Cake strips". They were getting old and disgusting, so I bought new ones...and I think they were Wilton, and came in a plastic bag. When I opened them, they felt different...the fabric was a little different...and the results are quite different. This just highlights how sensitive the whole baking process is.

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renee mikulin
renee mikulin
06/13/2009 01:07 PM

I made my own strips by cutting a bath towel into 4.5 inch strips, fold over and surge edge so its double thick, then cut about 3 to4 inches shorter than circumfance of pan and put wide elastic at end, then sew together.
I have done it this way for years. it works like the magi strips. Wet and squeeze dry. The cakes do take longer but same results.

Renee

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Inga, thanks for reporting. It is funny, I remember years ago when I had my "real" cake strips, I had the same problem: raw centers. Here my thought:

1- Did you soak the real strips.
2- Cakes strips work better on round cakes? Square cakes by definition of the laws of physic have a non uniform heat penetration (the corners are farther from heat source).
3- The oven thermostat is a player. When you have your oven on for a long time (I am assuming you baked these 3 cakes one after another), the oven walls and stove itself become so hot that the oven thermostat would think it is hot, but it isn't. When I bake all day, I have better success by lining each of my oven racks with quarry tiles, which retain heat constantly.

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Any insight for the following conundrum? I baked three cakes today - all in a 10 in. square, light metal Winton cake pan. Exact same ingredients, same temperature, but different results. The first cake was baked in 25 minutes, without any cake strip, and was slightly domed. The second cake baked in 25 minutes, as well, but came out near level as I used home-made cake strips (water soaked paper towels wrapped in aluminum foil).

My confusion lies with the third cake. Having read about cake strips and experimented with the home-made version, I ran to the store to purchase the silver cloth strips thinking the result would be even better. Indeed, the cake rose significantly more than both previous versions, however, when I tested it at 25 minutes, it was still VERY wet inside. I cooked it about 7 minutes longer, at which point it was done, but it had also fallen in the center. I've never had a plain butter cake fall in the center after having risen. And neither of the 1st two cakes fell. Any ideas?

REPLY

m.pike, you can go to a tile or flooring or stone store and pick up a large marble tile about 18 inches square. It works wonders, specially since you can chill it in your refrigerator.

This plus a pastry and rolling pin cloth, is all you would need.

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i have only marble and granite counters and also an inset butcher block so can't recommend any specific pastry board.

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I was wondering if you could recommend a pastry board. I have looked online at the jk adams reversible board and it seems to be thicker, I like that. Do you recommend any particular brand or style?

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9 inch round, 8 inch SQUARE but if you want to use the for 8 inch round use a metal paper clamp.

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I have your new baking strips that supposedly fit 8 or 9 inch pans. It is too big for the 8 inch pan. Your comments will be appreciated.

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I don't have the directions for mine anymore, but basically I soak them for a few minutes and then squeeze them out a bit so they don't drip.

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I have the cake strips and was wondering how wet they should be?

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i promise you're going to love it! (thanks for the vote of confidence)

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It's ordered! Looking forward to its arrival.

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bleached all purpose flour. but i think cookies are much more forgiving and even if you didn't microwave the flour i think you would have good results.

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Seeing mention of your Cookie book reminds me to ask, what is the main flour used in that said book? I would love to get it but because of all the trials we are now doing with microwaving various flours to get something comparable to US cake flour I am a bit hesitant to buy another book which might cause me flour problems. I am in the UK, by the way and I think I can get the cookie book on Amazon, at least I could last time I looked. Thank you Rose for all your prompt replies so far.

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thank you karen.

i don't think you'll find any postings re pan size revisions because they are in the newer printings (there's a quarter size red label on the upper right hand corner that says "revised ingredients and equipment sections."

essentially, cames that baked in two 1 1/2 inch high pans can be made in one 9 x 2 pan if two-thirds of the batter and in two 9 x 2 pans if 1 1/3 times the batter. this is approximate as you will probably have a little extra batter.

layer cake batter should fill the pan between 1/3 and 1/2 so if you have extra batter you can bake it as cupcakes.

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Karen Levin
Karen Levin
11/11/2007 06:10 PM

Hello again,

Since discovering this site today, I cannot tear myself away from the computer! Actually, I have the three "bible books" and I will be getting the Christmas cookies book, as I want to give away baked goods for the first time this year as part of the holiday season. I will also try pannetone using the brown/gold paper containers.

I have been trying to find the updates for the cake bible, particularly regarding pan size corrections - but I cannot find that entry. Can you please help me with this? Thank you once again. I feel great to be reading notes from kindred spirits and from Rose Beranbaum! It's a delight - thank you for the blog and for the effort.

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Nushera, you take the cake!

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thank you so much, Hector. all your works seen in this site, be it baking or decorating or photography or mere postings... whatever, indeed depict a genuine feelingful soul. and you are a great source of inspiration and courage for a novice baker like me. yes, this is definitely the human side of baking and we owe Rose for giving us the opportunity to share it.

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Hi Nushera, I know of 2 people whose children have autism. One is about 8 years old and very strong, the other is 3 years old and not so strong. I don't have any children of my own, but I know a mother can get very involved even with non-autistic children!

Baking is certainly one of those activities that are good for everyone, and perhaps the most recommended therapy for anyone stressed!

Literally, I mean it, when I say "bake your life away," I put so much emotions and personal state on each of my creations that often I am afraid to fully explain where I get my creativity from!

I know what I am writing now is "not" baking related for this blog, but it is for sure the human side of it. So, we should share.

Looking forward to hear or see more of your baking.

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hi Hector- thanks for your kind words. My daughter loves baking more than i do. she keeps sitting in front of the oven while baking goes on and loves to see the batter rising. only that time she tells me the gingerbreadman story (baking part)!
btw- her kinder arranged a painting exhibition yesterday for raising fund for the children's hospital and i did a last-minute cake on the theme (decorated on the spot and the kids loved that).

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Mary Riley - don't forget to use the insulated baking strips too - they really keep the cake edges from over baking.

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Nushera, I will pray for your daughter to get better, as there would be no-one better to inherit your baking talent!

Mary Riley, having non-leveled cakes with hard dry edges is the bakers worse nightmare. Never heard of pinning the cake, but I am sure it would work, specially for larger cakes. The Cake Bible recommends a center core which is basically the same principle.

Without pinning or coring, cake layers up to 14" diameter or jelly roll sheets, bake totally even for me for Biscuit de Savoie and for Genoise! The lack of baking powder on these types of cake certainly gives this luck.

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Mary Riley - some people accomplish the same effect by placing an upside-down flower nail in the center of the cake pan.

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I am an accomplished decorator. I always had the problem with un-leveled cakes, hard around the edge, dry on edges. After noticing the same problem with other people's wedding cakes, I thought of the problem. If a nail in a potato cooks in half the time, what could I do with a cake. When the cake is just starting to rise, I take several pieces of rolled aluminum foil and insurt them in the center of the cake. It is done in half the time and the cake rises all at the same time. There are no more dry sides because the foil conducts the heat to the center of the cake and it cooks from center to the outside while the metal sides of the pan cooks from outside towards the center.

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Nushera - I was just watching a program on TV the other day about autism. Have you heard anything about eliminating all wheat and dairy from your daughter's diet? The program I was watching said it could make a huge difference. You've probably already heard that advice, but I thought I would mention it just in case. Prayers to you and your family!

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i'm so sorry to hear this. of course i will pray for her.

and i hope you will give me a lesson in rumali roti when i come! and that things will be better for you then.

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Nushera, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I cannot even begin to imagine what you must be going through. I will definitely pray for her.
Rozanne

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Rose- yes, i'm in Melbourne now. Please do pay a visit ASAP so that we can be honoured to see you and get our copies of your books signed(how long can it take?!?)... if fortunate enough i wish i could entertain you with Rumali Roti... BTW, taking food items to Australia is SOOOO hazardous! sometimes the airport persons even scrapes off dust from the shoes.

Rozanne- My 4yrs9mnth old daughter is already struggling with autism (thank God the level is not severe). i am finally giving up my career for assisting her to the most, but can do nothing for the recently diagnosed asthma... it's so painful to take the favourite strawberries(now forbidden) away from her, let alone see her in breathing difficulty... please pray for her.

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Nushera, I hope your daughter is alright.

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ooooh--i forgot or didn't know you were from australia. and using unbleached flour could well make the difference. thanks for the more details. as you are learning, every little thing contributes to different results but especially the flour. you may have discovered something very important here!
does your little girl have asthma? i hope she's o.k. now and that you're all sleeping peacefully as i know it's past midnight where you are--melbourne?
i've been invited twice to present at the food and wine festival and hope i will be again in a few years for my upcoming book! i have so many friends there and really look forward to another visit. my best friend anna schwartz who has a wonderful art gallery promised to take us to the out back!

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oh, the pan was light metal(red coating outside, cant remember the manufacturer's name, UK made). i was really tired of rechecking the doneness... seemed it'll take forever!

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oops- i thought the center was 5"!

Rose, how caring you are about results "achieved" by novice like me!

well, my oven is an ordinary regular (built in gas range) one, probably with some leakage(the flame is sometimes wavy) that could have caused the longer baking time. used-
unbleached flour(8.5gm protein/100gm- the best can be found in Australia),
oven thermometer,
THICK strips(double-fold wet kitchen towel wrapped in multi-fold foil; the extra thickness made the sides crust-free but might have contributed to the extra length of baking time),
flower nail, and
lining with baking paper(the sides formed a "collar" inside the pan, ie, paper-wall was heigher than the pan-wall).
you might ask why lining the sides- okay, when i baked the chiffon for the first time in the springform the cake was slightly domed in the center(like the one in your silicon-strip photo) but the sides gave the impression that they could have risen more if there were more support to climb up. like many others i prefer cakes with slight domes if it's going to be served uniced, but this time i wanted layers, so lined the sides and somehow got the flat top risen above the pan- that's what exactly i wanted.
I am so encouraged to make it again and send a photo... but my daughter suddenly having breathing difficulty, so can't get the courage to leave her for a moment... Thank you, Rose.

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sides at 2"and center at 1 1/2" means that there is a dip of 1/2 inch not a dome!
a 10"tube pan holds 16 cups of batter. half of that would be 8 cups. whereas an 8 x 3"pan is 10 1/2 cups--much larger yet you say it rises above the pan. i'm really wondering what you are doing that is different as it has to be something. any ideas? for starters what kind of flour are you using? what oven temperature--it's odd it took so long to bake. convection or regular heat? what kind of pan--dark or light metal?
it's really curious!

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"after unmolding sides were 2 inches and center 5 inches were 1 1/2 inches"- you mean the cake got a dome? i'm surprised! mine was pretty flat-topped and at least 3" in height. i used the springform simply bc i needed the recipe to be halved and thought my 10" tube pan would be too large for that. only tried angelfood in the tube pan but liked the chiffon so much that next time wish to bake it in the tube pan and find even more surprising results.

Chiffon with almonds... Great!!!

Rose- did you know that Rumal= Handkerchief? so RumaliRoti= bread that is thin and foldable like handkerchief.

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i made it today and my results were a little different from yours. it baked in 35 minutes, rose just to the top. after unmolding sides were 2 inches and center 5 inches were 1 1/2 inches. mostly the interior crumb was spongey/fluffy but there were a few small areas of more solid crumb. i think the tube pan offers the ideal support for this chiffon cake during baking and cooling. i wonder if you used the springform bc you don't have one? if this is the case it is totally acceptable but if possible you should try it in the tube pan and see the difference.
i did work out a new chiffon that uses a cake pan for the new book but i had to make some changes--in fact it's a whole new cake with almonds.

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Dear Rose, i'll try as soon as i can.
Yes, with baking paper.
regards.

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p.s. did i understand correctly that you lined the 8 x 3 inch springform with parchment, bottom and sides?

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i adore the indian breads--especially rumali roti which is rare to find in ny!
i have had what i thought was spelled gulab jaman but never what you described. i would adore a photo. and do try it with a bread recipe though it needs to be one that is extensible or it will stretch back in when you try to fold it. maybe the blossom bun bread and you may need to let it rest between foldings. photo phot!!!

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Thank you, Rose. this time the top was SO evenly flat(i think it happened for lining the sides) that i didnt risk it by inverting on the hole-y bowl. simply kept the cake upside-down on a rack for 40mins. the top crust got marks from the rack but it was undamaged and the marks were even too- no more than 1mm in depth all thru(i dont think the "fluff" was affected: halved the original recipe and the cake was AIRY n LIGHT indeed). i didnt have to remove the crust or level the top before icing the cake right-side-up. btw, the top-crust was a bit thick but not on the burnt side and didnt crack either. the flower-nail had sunk in the rising batter in the first 10 minutes.

i have to stand my hubby's HAHAHIHI... yet i must take a photo next time. thanks for the encouragement.

Rose- we are not really bread-people(but can make perfect paratha, chapatti etc) and dont own your Bread Bible either. So i am not sure if you already know what i am trying to describe. we make a traditional rose-shaped sweet snack called Golap Pitha(Golap=Rose, Pitha= traditional cake). the dough for each rose is rolled into 2 flat rounds and a special folding techniq turns out an amazing 8-petal rose not bigger than an average cupcake-size. these roses are deep-fried and soaked in sugar syrup. do you think this very special rose-folding method can be applied to any of your wonderful bread recipes?

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so pleased with your great results! but really curious if it dropped into the bowl again. normally a chiffon cake needs the support of a center post, especially during cooling. next time take photos--this i've GOT to see!

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Rose- my husband left it up to me BUT set some constraints: less sugar, no butter, no food color, no liqueur (their Deptt of Telecommunications is a global forum indeed). i took no risk;-) simply repeated your great Orange Glow Chiffon, this time filled and frosted with your Light Whipped Ganache. i read you dont like to ice chiffons bc it defeats the lightness and low-cholesterol advantage. but from a different angle, when i have opted for an iced one, i found it better to choose the cake from a "lighter" variety. those who wish can scrape off the frosting from his/her piece(nobody does so if the cake is butterfree and the frosting is that yummy).

this time used the same 8"x3" springform pan wrapped in cake strips, lined the sides too(which led the cake rise even more than without). Again got absolutely crust-free sides, a very good-looking cake(not even a crumb was left for me;-( so cant tell you abt the taste), and not to mention so many complements and request for the source of recipe!

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if the pans are dark on the inside you should lower the temperature. you could also try the inverted flower nail trick--do a search on the blog--it really helps transfering the heat to the center.
i must report that i've never experienced what you are describing but i don't use pans with dark linings.

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I'm having the same problem with the cake pulling away from the sides. It happens before the center is done. The center is still very soft and liquid. I'm using cake strips.

On the color of the pans is that the interior or exterior? The pans I'm using are light silver color inside but dark on the outside. Should I still try a lower temperature?

The cake is the All-American Chocolate on page 54. With the cake strips it bakes so flat the top is almost as smooth and level as the bottom. Except when baked long enough for the center to be done the edges are over done.

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i try to read everything and respond to as much as i can but i was away for 11 days so got really behind! that's a lovely kudo from you husband for both of us! which cake did he ask for or did he leave it up to you?

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O MY GOD- it's ROSE!!! i'm really thrilled to see such a generous comment from your end. so you ignore not a single post!
i have something else to be exited about: my husband- who cant even imagine culinary(baking) could be a topic for blogging - seems to have been moved a bit. for the first time he looked into TCB and asked me to bake one for the farewell party of their Head-of-the-Dept.

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nushera--thanks for the great and detailed report of the cake--lovely to hear about such a success!

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Silvia- i think it worked equally well in the batter as it worked into eyes:-)
squeezed the peels over the batter b4 folding in the egg white foam. yellow oily marks were visible on the batter, and it did add extra aroma.

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Nushera, how did it work? We also played with mandarin peels.


>i did something "silly" as an attempt to replace orange oil- squeezing some extract from manderin-peels which we'd often do into play-mates' eyes as kids!

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Patrincia, Rozanne, Cathy-
Thanks a million for yr kind words. I must use the fan in summer, it's such a good idea.
officially spring has just arrived here but in the evening temperature do fall below 10'c, so cooling the cake wasnt the main concern, keeping it suspended upside-down above the counter was the headache indeed. at some point i even thought of holding it in my hands for 1 hour(who would then do the rest?)!
yes, orange goes SO WELL with chocolate- both in flavor and color!

Rozanne, i must try yr orange flavoured ganache. it must taste devine. i didnt have orange oil either but the in-season orange is really rich in flavor. i did something "silly" as an attempt to replace orange oil- squeezing some extract from manderin-peels which we'd often do into play-mates' eyes as kids! the extract is oily indeed.

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Well done, Nushera! The orange/choc combo does sound incredible. Great job!

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Nushera, your cake sounds delicious. Chocolate and orange is such a good combination. I made orange flavoured ganache recently and everyone loved it. Rose suggested using orange oil but I coundn't get it in time so I steeped the whipping cream with orange zest (I strained it before adding it to the chocolate).
My mum used to cool her cakes in front of a fan too. It worked well. Thanks for reminding me Patricia, I had forgotten about that.

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Wow Nushera - sounds like your cake was a huge hit, despite the fact that you threw it together with no time to spare :).

Anytime I'm in a hurry to cool a cake, I place it in front of a fan. It works very well.

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hi! getting an 8" orange chiffon cake done (baked n decorated)in less than 3 hours might sound easy for you but seemed to me even tougher than writing the judgement of a critical case! and this is what i have done last saturday. i coudnt do it without the help of Rose, cake strips and the inspiration n courage got from all the bloggers here.
one young family in the neighbourhood arranged a dinner party in the name of a mere get-together and with just 3 hours on hand i discovered it's their marriage anniversary. what could have been a better surprize-gift for the party(w/o cake) than a Rose-creation? i was a bit panicked, not to mention in tremendous hurry. i halved the recipe in TCBpg155, measured by volume only, and tried to figure out some trick for cooling the cake as the pan (8"X3" springform)was unusual for a chiffon. the cake rose beautifully above the pan-height and was nicely done in52 mins. i inverted the pan on a heavy steel bowl full of tiny holes(usually used for draining starch from cooked rice). luckily the bowl's rim is also nearly 8" and the inverted pan with cake was suspended well 'above the counter' along the bowl's mouth!
while the cake was cooling, i just managed to get the filling/frosting done. only 1C of MBC and 1C of milk chocolate ganache were found in the freezer which in no time went into microwave and desperate rebeating.
when went back to the cooled cake, i saw something utterly scary: the soft chiffon had already dropped off the pan into the bowl- God knows when- sitting upside down and seemed to have taken a bowl-shape!!!
But it's Rose's recipe indeed. the cake didnt crack at all and went back to the perfect shape when inverted right-side-up on the turnable. it was that SPRINGY and flexible! and i didnt have to worry abt removing crust from sides as i use probably the thickest version of home-made cake strips.
the Orange Glow Chiffon was torted in2 layers, filled and topped with the milk chocolate ganache(had to add a little milk to make it softer n quickly spreadable). the sides were kept uniced bc of the shortage of icing:-) but believe me, the saffrony orange layers looked so pretty alongwith the chocolate stripes! finally with the Mousseline BC i managed to make a frilly border(ruffles) around the top edge and piped 7 roses which were gathered in a crecent shape close to the ruffle-border.
all the 16 guests could smell the heavenly aroma of orange when the cake was cut, and the pieces took less than 2 minutes to vanish! i had to say "Rose", "TCB" etc to at least 10 persons and one of them jumped onto the hosts' computer to see this site at 11.30 pm!!! Thank u for yr time and patience!

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Heath, one of the reasons your cakes are "hard" at the edges is b/c you are baking it too long. Don't let the cakes shrink in the oven, take it out before it does. I know you said it is moist and light but the over baking is what makes the sides dry. If you are using cake strips it shouldn't be over done at the sides so it must be the over baking. Did you soak the strips well in water before you used it? Also consider changing your cake pans as dark pans tend to absorb heat too quickly. Re your carrot cake being under baked, did you test to see if it was done before you took it out of the oven or maybe your oven temperature was not right. If you have an oven thermometer use it to check the temp of your oven. Did you unmold the cake too soon, before it had a chance to cool slightly? I hope this helps.
May I suggest getting the Cake Bible if you don't already have it. You will not regret it.

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Heath Williams
Heath Williams
09/ 3/2007 09:04 AM

I read in a past comment that if the cake pulls apart form the pan while it is still in the oven that it has been cooked to long. My cakes do this but are very most and light. I do have a problem with the edges being hard though. I use a nonstick dark pan to bake and the strips my cakes mostly call for 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Any suggestions? I also baked a carrot cake recently it contained a lot of items carrots, pecans, raisins and pineapple. The cake did not hold together good and when I turned it out on to the wax paper it stuck and not only pulled the top off but some of the inside. Any suggestions?

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jean.brooks
jean.brooks
07/ 7/2007 02:47 PM

Hi

I am sorry to bother you again but I would like to ask you another question. I do baking for my church so I do like it to be right. why do my sponges feel oily on the top and bottom when they have been frozen. I wrap them up in cling film and then freeze them. I alway let them get cold before I do it I am most grateful for your help. I live in England and I am finding it hard to get your books.

Regards Jean.

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Christine,
I can only imagine how frustrated you must be. Rose recommended these books to another person who had questions about high altitude baking,

"lettie flatt, pastry chef at deer valley, has written a wonderful book with lots of high altitude advice. also susan purdee has gone to different locations at different altitudes to write her recent book so you should definitely check those out."
Posted by: Rose Levy Beranbaum | March 9, 2007 11:11 PM

I hope this helps and good luck,
Rozanne

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Thanks Patrincia, I appreciate the help.

My problem is, is that in The Cake Bible Rose says her butter cakes will be less affected by high altitude. So I'm going to guess that I won't need to change anything? Or if I do need to change the recipe, should I decrease the sugar and baking powder and add more liquid? If I need to add more liquid, do I need to add more water or do I need to add another egg? Or should I try one thing at a time?

Any help would be appreciated.

(Living at high altitude really stinks!)

Thanks.

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jean--i would recommend you get the UK edition of the cake bible--i think available from amazon as it's out of print. from what you write i suspect you live in the UK.

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Hi Christine - here is a link for tips on high altitude baking:

http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/High-Altitude-Cake-Baking/Detail.aspx

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I live at high altitude and use gray shiny cake pans. Should I stick to baking my cakes at 350? Or should I lower the temp by 25 degrees? Any suggestions would be wonderful.

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Jean - I have made the homemade stips, exactly as Rozanne described; they worked just as well as the store purchased variety. Please do try them, they really do work wonders!

You mentioned that your cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan before you remove it from the oven - that would indicate that your cake is definitely over baked. You didn't mention what type of pan you are baking in - glass and dark coated pans should be baked at a temperature that is 25F lower (or whatever your equivalent is) than the recipe calls for. Stay completely away from shiny cake pans. If you have been using a non-shiny, lightly colored cake pan, lower the oven temp 25F anyway, and see if that doesn't help a bit.

Of course it's quite possible you just have a bad recipe. Please try the changes we've suggested and report back to us - we'd love to know your results.

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Jean,
I forgot to mention that you can make your own cake strips at home. Here is what Rose wrote:
"Recently I learned from my friend and colleague, Dede Wilson, how to make my own cake strips simply by enclosing folded, wet paper towels in a long strip of heavy-duty aluminum foil, overlapped to be the same height as the cake pan.
From the kitchen of Rose on 01.06.06 at 4:23 PM in Equipment"
Rozanne

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Jean,
Cake Strips are made of aluminized fabric. It has to be moistened and wrapped around the outside of the cake pan. This keeps the sides cooler and slows down the baking at the sides. It also results in a level cake which eleminates the need to level the top of the cake by cutting it after it is baked. Rose recommends Magi-Cake Strips. I don't know where you live but if you "google" Magi-Cake Strips you may be able to find a supplier in your area.

The Cake Bible is available at many bookstores. You could also order it online from Amazon. You will NOT regret buying it. It covers every aspect of baking you can ever imagine. Rose also gives in depth scientific explanations of why things work or don't work which gives you a better understanding of baking. She takes all the guess work out of baking.

I hope this helps.
Rozanne

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Jean Brooks
Jean Brooks
06/23/2007 01:14 PM

Thank you for replying. I do not know what cake stripes are or where I can get them. My cakes come out of the oven and its away from the side and hard but not in the middle.

I use the victoria sponge method but in chocolate. How can I get your cookery bible book?

I love cooking and trying new things with my family even though they have now left home I like to make cakes, biscuits, etc for my children and grandchildren. Also my husband.

Thank you for repling to my email

kind regards

Jean

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Jean - could you also tell me what temp you are baking at, and what type of pan you are using? (glass, dark aluminum, light aluminum, ceramic, etc)

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Jean - are you using insulated baking strips around the edges of your pan? When you say the cake is hard, do you mean it has a crust on the cake walls where the cake meets the pan, or do you mean the entire cake is over baked and dry? What kind of a recipe are you using?

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How then do I stop my cakes from going hard. when I test the cake it still has not cooked so I give it another five minutes but in that time the cake has gone hard round the sides.

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Courtney - you'll be so happy with the recipes in TCB - You'll wonder what you did without it all these years!

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Rose, I had never heard of cake strips until I visited your site. I was so frustrated because my cakes were always uneven and over cooked around the edges, to keep from being under cooked in the center. After reading about how to make cake strips I tried it, and IT WORKED! I am now back to baking cakes, which I had given up on. Now I just need to go buy the cake bible!

THANK YOU!

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if it's right after baking then they're being over baked but if it takes a while to get hard they aren't being stored airtight.

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Love cookery books but I have a problem way do cakes go hard round the sides after baking. Is it because the oven is to high or prehaps the mixture is not wet enough. thanks

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Dave Bowden
Dave Bowden
01/21/2007 08:48 PM

I'm trying to get in touch with any company manufacturing the magic cake strips. I have so many people asking me where they can buy them in New Zealand. Can anyone help.
Much appreciated.

REPLY

I have a question about cake regarding cake drums. You mentioned in The Cake Bible that you had purchased them in bulk. I was wondering if you have a current source for cake drums, boards, etc? I have found many sources but the highest quantity I can get for cake drums is 6. I was hoping to find a source where I could purchase more and have a lower unit price. Thanks for your help Rose.

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