Devils food cake dense on the bottom
Posted: 05 February 2017 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I have a recipe for a devils food butter cake that has the most intense chocolate flavor, however, the bottom 1/16 inch of each layer is always more dense than the rest of the cake. I am careful to measure the ingredients and follow the instructions perfectly, but always the same result. The butter is at room temperature before I cream it with the sugar, egg yolks added one at a time and incorporated after each addition, etc. Any ideas?

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Posted: 05 February 2017 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You’d need to provide the recipe and photos would help, but 1/16 really is a pretty thin layer to be worried about. I’m not sure I’d notice such a layer. I will note that “room temperature” butter isn’t your objective, depending on how warm your room is. I keep my thermostat on 74 degrees F, and that’s too warm for butter. Optimal temp is around 65.

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Posted: 05 February 2017 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Scotty - 05 February 2017 02:44 PM

I have a recipe for a devils food butter cake that has the most intense chocolate flavor, however, the bottom 1/16 inch of each layer is always more dense than the rest of the cake. I am careful to measure the ingredients and follow the instructions perfectly, but always the same result. The butter is at room temperature before I cream it with the sugar, egg yolks added one at a time and incorporated after each addition, etc. Any ideas? [/quote  

SCOTTY:
  Good afternoon. Welcome to our baking forum. Scotty, it would be a good thought on your part to post or identify the recipe so that our learned members can review it & suggest a fix for your baked product.

  I do not like to assume in these matters, but in this case I will take a chance & say you employed a “UN~BLEACHED FLOUR” If you did then re~do this recipe with bleached flour. You will then have a superior choco cake & you will do away with that 1/16th inch problem you have described.

In any event Scotty do post your recipe, there may be other things that may require attention.

  Please come back & let us know how well you have done for yourself & your recipe.

Enjoy the day Scotty.

  ~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 06 February 2017 12:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks for the prompt response. Here’s the recipe. It’s from Cooks Illustrated back in 2000 before they used measuring by weight in their recipes. Now their standard weight measurements are 5 oz. for unbleached AP flour and 4 oz. for cake flour per cup. My butter and eggs are at 68 degrees.

4ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

¼cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 ¼cups water (boiling)

¾cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾cup cake flour

1teaspoon baking soda

¼teaspoon table salt

8ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened, plus extra for greasing pans

1 ½cups packed dark brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

½cup sour cream

1teaspoon vanilla extract


instructions
Makes three 8-inch cakes


Regular, or natural, cocoa like Hershey’s can be used with good results, though the cakes will bake up a bit drier, redder, and with slightly less chocolate flavor.

 

1. Adjust oven rack to upper- and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, grease three 8-inch cake pans with butter and line bottom of each pan with parchment paper round. Combine chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Sift together flours, baking soda, and salt onto large sheet parchment or waxed paper; set aside.


2. Place butter in bowl of standing mixer and beat at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium-high and add eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Reduce speed to medium; add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, about 10 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl. With mixer on low, add about one third of flour mixture, followed by about one half of chocolate mixture. Repeat, ending with flour mixture; beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Do not overbeat. Remove bowl from mixer; scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix gently to thoroughly combine.


3. Divide batter evenly among cake pans, smooth batter to edges of pan with rubber spatula. If baking three 8-inch cakes, place two pans on lower-middle rack and one on upper-middle rack. Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes for 8-inch cakes. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes. Run knife around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cakes onto large plate; peel off parchment, and reinvert onto lightly greased rack. Cool completely before icing.

 

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Posted: 06 February 2017 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Scotty - 06 February 2017 12:00 AM

Thanks for the prompt response. Here’s the recipe. It’s from Cooks Illustrated back in 2000 before they used measuring by weight in their recipes. Now their standard weight measurements are 5 oz. for unbleached AP flour and 4 oz. for cake flour per cup. My butter and eggs are at 68 degrees.

4ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

¼cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 ¼cups water (boiling)

¾cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾cup cake flour

1teaspoon baking soda

¼teaspoon table salt

8ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened, plus extra for greasing pans

1 ½cups packed dark brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

½cup sour cream

1teaspoon vanilla extract


instructions
Makes three 8-inch cakes


Regular, or natural, cocoa like Hershey’s can be used with good results, though the cakes will bake up a bit drier, redder, and with slightly less chocolate flavor.

 

1. Adjust oven rack to upper- and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, grease three 8-inch cake pans with butter and line bottom of each pan with parchment paper round. Combine chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl; pour boiling water over and whisk until smooth. Sift together flours, baking soda, and salt onto large sheet parchment or waxed paper; set aside.


2. Place butter in bowl of standing mixer and beat at medium-high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar and beat on high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Increase speed to medium-high and add eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition. Reduce speed to medium; add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined, about 10 seconds. Stop mixer and scrape down bowl. With mixer on low, add about one third of flour mixture, followed by about one half of chocolate mixture. Repeat, ending with flour mixture; beat until just combined, about 15 seconds. Do not overbeat. Remove bowl from mixer; scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix gently to thoroughly combine.


3. Divide batter evenly among cake pans, smooth batter to edges of pan with rubber spatula. If baking three 8-inch cakes, place two pans on lower-middle rack and one on upper-middle rack. Bake until skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 23 minutes for 8-inch cakes. Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes. Run knife around pan perimeter to loosen. Invert cakes onto large plate; peel off parchment, and reinvert onto lightly greased rack. Cool completely before icing.

 


  SCOTTY:
  Good morning. Thank you for your prompt reply. I will start off Scotty with this tidbit. The 5, oz per cup of AP flour used by “CI”
comes from the PROF Bakers forum. That is what they use. All other recipes in America when weight is not expressed you can safely assume 4 1/2, oz per cup for AP flour & 4 1/4, oz per cup for cake flour.

As I mentioned in my first post to you, your problem is from employing “UN~BLEACHED FLOUR” So use “BLEACHED A/P FLOUR in your next bake.

  Scotty, here is the rule for a sound baked product. When your recipe sports a SOLID FAT like Butter, Margarine, Lard or Shortening always use a bleached AP flour.  Cake flour is already bleached…no need to worry there.

  What I have to say now about your recipe is this. It employs baking soda as it’s leavener.  Yes, it will leaven but it’s primary purpose is to neutralize the acidity in the sour cream & brown sugar….not to leaven as such. We should utilize baking powder because it will make your baked product “LIGHTER” Which is a tidbit no other baker is aware of.,,,& it was designed to leaven.

Scotty one more thing. It is important for sequence of mixing ingredients. The eggs get mixed in last always. add sour cream before the eggs. Then you can add the extracts & liquids like cream, ete.

Sooo, Scotty, consider reducing the soda to 3/4, tsp & adding 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder to your recipe.

  Scotty I am finished now. When you re~ bake this cake post your results.

Enjoy the rest of the day.

  ~FRESHKID.

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