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White Chocolate Whisper Cake Dilemma
Posted: 14 January 2008 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m having trouble with the White Chocolate Whisper Cake.  I’ve made it twice in the last week and both times it came out dry!  I’m terribly diligent about checking to see if the cake is done near the end, so I don’t think I’m overbaking it, but I can’t seem to sort out the problem.  It sounds like this cake is normally terribly moist and I’ve no idea where I’m going wrong.  Appearance wise it is lovely, and the smell is divine, but it’s dry at first bite.  The first time I made it in the original 9’’ pans, and the second time I made it a 11X15 with the appropriate baking powder, etc. adjustments.  I’d love to make this cake for a baby shower, but if I can’t get it moist there’s no way.  Any help, tips, pointers, would be appreciated.

On a side note: The white chocolate mousseline was amazing!

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Posted: 14 January 2008 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Nerfgirl - did you bake your 11x15 in a glass pan?  If so, did you make the necessary temp adjustment? (lower the baking temp by 25F)

By the way, is this the same person who posted on the blog about possibly using the wrong amount of baking soda for the 9” white whisper cake?  If so, did you see the responses posted?

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Posted: 14 January 2008 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oops, I just realized that was someone asking about the baking soda amount needed in Rose’s yellow butter cake using the cake base and rose factor.

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Posted: 14 January 2008 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sometimes when baking in an 11 x 15 pan, the sides bake faster than the middle.  So if your sample was from the sides, you might have had a piece that was more baked through than the rest.  Was the middle part of the cake dry?

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Posted: 14 January 2008 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Do you weigh or measure by volume?  Somehow, you’re loosing moisture.  If you’ve ruled out over baking, then the next logical choice would be the amount of ingredients used.  If you are measuring by volume, you may be getting too much flour, or not enough liquid—or both.  If you weigh, then I’m not sure.  I’ve made this cake a couple of times, and it has always been moist.

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Posted: 14 January 2008 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I used a magic line pan, so no glass!

Julius - 15 January 2008 01:41 AM

Sometimes when baking in an 11 x 15 pan, the sides bake faster than the middle.  So if your sample was from the sides, you might have had a piece that was more baked through than the rest.  Was the middle part of the cake dry?

I had one from both.  It was the oddest thing.  It was dry throughout, but there was noticeable shrinkage when it came out of the oven, I thought I had underbaked it at that point, despite my cake probe coming out clean.

Do you weigh or measure by volume?  Somehow, you?re loosing moisture.  If you?ve ruled out over baking, then the next logical choice would be the amount of ingredients used.  If you are measuring by volume, you may be getting too much flour, or not enough liquid—or both.  If you weigh, then I?m not sure.  I?ve made this cake a couple of times, and it has always been moist.

I hadn’t thought about that.  I am measuring by volume.  I moved recently and haven’t been able to find some kitchenware including my scale.  I can’t even find my full set of measuring spoons.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. smile

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Posted: 15 January 2008 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I really shouldn’t be…but I’m debating making the Golden Luxury Butter Cake instead.  I don’t like to be beaten by cake!

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Posted: 15 January 2008 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’ve made the white chocolate whisper cake twice…and got perfect moist results every time.  Are you sure your oven temp is correct…if it is, it is probably your measuring.  Good luck…and keep working, this cake is lovely and worth the effort!

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Posted: 15 January 2008 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Nerfgirl you said “there was noticeable shrinkage when it came out of the oven”, Rose recommends taking it out of the oven before the cake starts to shrink (for layer cakes under 10”). Did this happen even with the 9” cake? As Bill said keep working on it b/c it is worth the time and effort. I hope it turns out well. Do let us know.

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Posted: 15 January 2008 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Rozanne - 15 January 2008 08:29 PM

Nerfgirl you said “there was noticeable shrinkage when it came out of the oven”, Rose recommends taking it out of the oven before the cake starts to shrink (for layer cakes under 10”). Did this happen even with the 9” cake? As Bill said keep working on it b/c it is worth the time and effort. I hope it turns out well. Do let us know.

“When it came out of the oven,” as in after, while it was cooling.  It came out pre-shrinking.

Made the third one today, if this doesn’t work out I’m giving up.  I keep an extra thermometer in the oven all the time, so the temp was spot on.

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Posted: 15 January 2008 10:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I guess I misunderstood your posting.

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Posted: 15 January 2008 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I failed at this cake once. It nearly killed me knowing that I ruined all that wonderful white chocolate. Ugggh! Man, that was painful!  (I cooked it too long. I had doubled the recipe and used a larger/deeper pan without a heating core) 
But I’ve made it successfully several times since.  grin

What brand of white chocolate are you using?
What brand of flour are you using?
Where do you live? (high altitude, out of the States, etc) 
Are you mixing it using Rose’s method?

I have several brands of measuring cups and none of them ever agree with the scale.  Without your scale, you may not be getting enough egg whites, milk or sugar.  All of which will effect the moistness. 

I hope your third cake was successful.  Let us know. We’re all pulling for you.  This is an awesome cake.

Tammy

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Posted: 15 January 2008 10:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I’m wondering if the baking powder adjustments are the culprit.  The recommendations at the back of the Cake Bible are for the yellow and white cakes - not for the white choc whisper.  The white chocolate whisper cake I think needs a bit more than the white velvet recipe to start with, and I’m not sure how to adjust it when changing pan sizes.  There was a post in Rose’s blog where she mentions that people have told her that they have baked the white choc whisper without any b.p. adjustments and they worked out fine.  Also, are you using a good quality white chocolate that has loads of cocoa butter like Callebaut?  Maybe the white chocolate you have doesn’t have nearly enough cocoa butter?

Hope these suggestions help.

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Posted: 15 January 2008 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I think I figured out my problem.  I always buy block chocolate, but last time I was in central market I tried Guittard chocolate for the first time and preferred it to the Callebaut.  I’m used to measuring my chocolate with my scale, or at least working from blocks that are of a uniform measure, so no real “measuring” is required least not volume wise, just dividing.  Due to my new white chocolate being in drops rather than bars,  I’ve been measuring the white chocolate wrong.  ie: 6 oz of chocolate doesn’t equal 6 oz when I measure in a measuring cup.  I know this, but argh!  Brain spasm!  Is there such a thing as scale handicapped?

Someone should smash me over the head with all the white chocolate I’ve been through and knock some sense into me.

To answer the other questions, Guittard Chocolate, Central Market Cake Flour, Flat ol’ Texas, and Rose’s Method.

I used additional baking powder, more than the white cake base, less than the full double amount to make it since Rose wrote that the white chocolate cakes need more.

I didn’t experience any “sinking” this time, but it is still dry due to the shortage of white chocolate.  :(

I’m torting and syruping it and calling it a night.

Thanks for the help and suggestions everyone.  I really appreciate it.

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Posted: 16 January 2008 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Nefgirl:
Please don’t fret over your brain spasm…we all have them.  There was the pastry cream debacle of 2007 where I couldn’t get it to come out right at all.  I tried three times.  I was using baking soda instead of cornstarch…..well….they both were in yellow boxes!

Bill

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Posted: 16 January 2008 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Ah yes, brain spasms.  I know of these.

I couldn’t figure out why my egg whites wouldn’t stiffen.  I made sure I used a clean metal bowl to avoid the oily film that usually sticks to plastic utensils.  Then, after the third batch (and a dozen eggs) I noticed I was using a non-metal whisk that has a heat resistant plasticized coating. smile

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