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Recipe substitutions when using different pans
Posted: 20 October 2009 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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A 3D star pan should actually work pretty well, as there are a lot of angles and sides for heat to penetrate through the cake to bake the center evenly.

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Posted: 21 October 2009 01:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I want to report back on my test with the Marble Velvet cake using a 3D star pan.  I didn’t have any problem unmolding the cake.  I sprayed the entire pan, lined the bottom with parchment paper, sprayed again and then lightly floured the bottom then tapped the pan upside down to get the excess flour off the bottom.  The cake came off pretty easily, I didn’t even have to run a small knife to the side.  The structure of the cake was intact.

I baked the cake only for 40 minutes.  I tested at 32 minutes and touched the top, it was still jiggly so I kept it for another 8 minutes.  At 40 minutes, the cake middle springs back and the cake tester came out clean.  I removed the cake from the oven at that point.  I let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  While it is cooling, the middle of the pan started dipping.  I unmolded the cake after the 10 minutes and let it cool.  The middle part definitely dipped quite a bit.

After it cooled to room temperature, I cut the cake so I can see the middle (and so we can try it; the batter tasted really good so we couldn’t wait to taste the cake itself).  The cake tasted really good and has a nice fluffy texture.  There are some crumbs but I think it is because the cake structure hasn’t fully set (it hasn’t cooled completely).  I will try a piece again tomorrow morning after it has cooled completely to see if it is still crumbly.

I attached two pictures below.  One before the cake was cut and after the cut.  As you can see, the middle part is considerably thinner than the sides.  I think there needs to be additional heating added in the middle.  I am thinking of using a rose nail to see if it would make a difference.  I didn’t use a cake strip because I couldn’t really wrap it around the star.

Any other suggestions on how I can possibly fix this?  The cake tasted really good but if this recipe doesn’t work for this pan, should I use a pound cake recipe instead (with 1/3 of the batter mixed with melted chocolate and then marbled)?  I would prefer to use this recipe if I can make it work because I think it’s a really good cake.

And one last thing, I used 70% instead of 60-62%.  In my opinion, the cake was still pretty good.  I didn’t think it needs any more sweetness.

Looking forward to suggestions!

Jess

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Posted: 21 October 2009 01:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I was thinking this pan would have more sides and angles to it. It’s not exactly star shaped to me! I think it does need a heating core in the middle.

Does this recipe use cake flour? You might want to switch to bleached all-purpose (the same weight as the cake flour). The little bit of extra strength might keep it from dipping in the middle.

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Posted: 21 October 2009 01:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Roxanne,

The recipe in the book calls for either cake flour or bleached AP.  I’ll follow your suggestion and use the bleached AP.  I’ll try this again and use a rose nail.  You think rose nail is enough or should I use a heating core?

Thank you!

Jess

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Posted: 21 October 2009 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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jessjose - 21 October 2009 04:21 AM

Roxanne,

The recipe in the book calls for either cake flour or bleached AP.  I’ll follow your suggestion and use the bleached AP.  I’ll try this again and use a rose nail.  You think rose nail is enough or should I use a heating core?

Thank you!

Jess

I think the bleached all purpose flour with a rose nail will probably work just fine! I don’t think the pan is quite large enough for a heating core. For a little extra security, I might use two rose nails in the middle, spaced at an equal distance from both sides.

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Posted: 21 October 2009 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Thanks for the suggestion.  I won’t have time to try until Saturday.  But I will report back how the test turns out.

I really appreciate the help!

Jess

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Posted: 21 October 2009 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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You’re welcome! smile

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Posted: 21 October 2009 03:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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If you can put your hands on some dark chocolate in, or closer to the recommended range, Jess, I’d do that, too. You’ve probably seen Rose’s favourites, p 451 RHC. Lindt also makes a very good dark at 58%. It’s their bitter-sweet, sold in couverture wafers.

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Posted: 22 October 2009 02:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Roxanne,

I want to thank you again for your suggestions.  The results from last night was bothering me so I decided to squeeze in some baking time tonight to do another test.  I did everything pretty much the same except I substituted bleached AP instead of cake flour per your suggestion.  I stuck with the 70% (I used Green and Black’s) chocolate.  For the center, I decided to use a heating core.

I baked the cake for 35 minutes and the results were much better.  Definitely produced a product that I can work with when I bake this for my niece’s birthday.  Below is a picture.  The hole in the middle is where the core was; we ate the little cake inside the core; but it will definitely work as a filler when I bake and decorate this cake next week grin  .

Oh and the other thing, I didn’t use superfine sugar, just regular granulated.  I didn’t have enough for what the recipe called for so I substituted.  Overall, I am happy with the product structure-wise (not crumbly at all) and with the taste. 

I appreciate all your help!

Jess

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Posted: 22 October 2009 02:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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That looks very good! Are you going to try this with the rose nail so you don’t have to work with a hole?

I kinda like the hole though :-D

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Posted: 22 October 2009 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I think I’m done experimenting with this cake for now.  I’m happy with the results and I have the filler from the core that I can insert in the middle when I decorate.  So I’ll stick with this when I do it next week since I know it works.  But I may try the nail in the future!

Thank you!

Jess

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Posted: 22 October 2009 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Hi Jess - I love your star cake! 

To insulate it, you can always do what they did in days gone by… put your star shaped pan on a sheet tray, cut strips of old bath towels, get them very wet, and form them around the pan.
To make superfine sugar, run granulated sugar in your food processor for a few seconds.  Works like a charm.

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Posted: 22 October 2009 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Just to keep in mind for your next foray into changing pans, you could also try a reduction in baking powder.  Going from a tube pan, where the distance between the side of the pan and the center core is so small, to the star, where the distance between sides is quite large, your cake would benefit from the reduction in baking powder to strengthen structure. 

Your star looks great, congratulations!

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Posted: 22 October 2009 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Patricia, thanks for the tips.  I didn’t know about the towel trick.  Good to know that.  And the sugar trick will come in handy next time I need superfine.

Julie, if I play around with baking powder, is there a formula to follow?  This cake is from the RHC Marble Velvet cake and it calls for 2 teaspoons baking powder (don’t have the book with me right now but I think that’s what it is).  You think 1 1/2 tsp will work?

This was just a test cake.  So I can make a couple more adjustments when I do the final one next week.

Thank you!

Jess

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Posted: 22 October 2009 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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jessjose - 22 October 2009 01:35 PM

Julie, if I play around with baking powder, is there a formula to follow?  This cake is from the RHC Marble Velvet cake and it calls for 2 teaspoons baking powder (don’t have the book with me right now but I think that’s what it is).  You think 1 1/2 tsp will work?

Jess, there probably is a formula, and you’d think I would know it- but I don’t.  In general, the greater the distance between sides/ the greater the surface area, the lower the amount (butter cakes only).  Switching to a smaller pan (like changing a 9x2 layer cake to a loaf or 6C bundt) could mean an increase if you still want a flat top, except that most of the smaller pans look good with rounded tops (cupcakes, loafs). 

Matthew says that theory will get you in the right ballpark, but then practice cakes are necessary to fine-tune the formula, and I believe him. 

By using the heat core, you have effectively cut the distance between the sides in half, and used a stronger flour, so I wouldn’t add in a third adjustment if you’re happy with the texture.

If you’re feeling ambitious, you could figure out how much baking powder the downy yellow uses per 100g of batter at different pan sizes (using the back of the Cake Bible), and that would give you a starting point.

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