help with English gingerbread and cake shrinking from the sides
Posted: 24 December 2009 01:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  210
Joined  2009-10-01

Hi, I’ve just made the English gingerbread cake. It is sunken in the middle. Why would that happen. It sank while it was in the oven.

Secondly, all my cakes, even using Rose’s strips, pull away from the side of the pan while at the end of the baking time. Is the oven too hot?

Third, should the gingerbread cake be kept refrigerated because of the lemon/butter syrup?

I know you all are far to busy to answer these questions, but I thought I’d ask any way.

Beth

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 December 2009 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  266
Joined  2007-11-18

There are lots of reasons why the cake could of sunk: high altitude problems, mis-measuring the flour, oven temperature too low (go buy an oven thermometer, most ovens are inaccurate), not mixing properly, using the wrong size pan, expired leavening agents, mis-measuring leavening agents.

Make sure your oven is accurate, your measuring ingredients properly (preferably w/ a scale), and that your leavening is fresh.

Most cakes will shrink somewhat away from the pan when they are finished baking. If the shrinkage is excessive, or it shrinks before the middle is done, then the oven temperature is most likely too high.

The gingerbread cake does not need to be refrigerated. In fact it should remain unrefrigerated for at least 2 days to allow the the syrup to penetrate all the way through the cake.

Happy Christmas!

 Signature 

Visit my blog: The Mile High Baker at http://www.milehighbaker.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 December 2009 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  210
Joined  2009-10-01

Thanks, Roxanne. Merry Christmas to you. No high altitude, flour was weighed, pan is correct, leavening is fine and measured well. I should probably get a different oven thermometer to check things out. Consistently the edges shrink from the sides - on every cake I have done this fall (when I started baking cakes again).  My oven does take a lot of abuse - lots of bread and pizza baking.

About the mixing: I too had problems with little lumps of flour (my husband and I always call them “grumi,” from when we read our first instructions in Italian about what to avoid when making white sauce). I broke some of them up with my fingers, but didn’t do so with all of them. Also, I was using Rumford.

I tasted the cake right after baking. It was very light in texture then. Now it is getting much denser. Of course my kitchen is quite cool, so that could enter into it (with the butter soaking in, I mean).

Beth

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 December 2009 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  6
Joined  2008-01-12

Hi everyone!  Just to set the scene - it’s snowing here in Western Ma - I have a house full of friends and family - been baking and cooking for days!  But the highlight is the English Ginger Cake.  While I was looking for things to bake - what caught my eye in the recipe was the use of Golden Syrup - I brought my first tin home from a trip to Australia in ‘99 and have loved it ever since.  I use it in chocolate chip cookies and anything that calls for honey or corn syrup.  (I know Lyle’s is English - the Australian version is a bit stronger).  It’s been much easier finding it lately in supermarkets - and small specialty markets.  I set the sideboard with cakes, cookies, cupcakes, homemade marshmallows—by far the the biggest winner was the ginger cake!

Sorry I can’t help with a problem in the baking - but I had to add what a wonderful cake this is!!

(another thank you Rose for the tip is the Pourfect bowls the flour goes perfectly into the mixer bowl - I’m amazied how well it works!! - I bought all of them - and the new flat beater for the Kitchen Aid - no scraping necessary - )

So that’s it for now—I have to start taking pictures and posting them!!

Happy, Healthy New Year to all

Meryl

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 March 2010 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2010-03-14

Living and baking at 4,365 feet, I ran into the same sunken gingerbread cake problem—about halfway through baking, a central square deflated.  excaim

This is the 8th cake I’ve baked from this book and the first that did not respond well to my usual high altitude baking adjustments: more flour, less sugar, less leavening, higher heat. This was, however, by far the soupiest batter, suggesting that the cake structure didn’t have time to firm up before it collapsed under its own weight.

If the cake tastes yummy, then I may try it again but with these kinds of adjustments: still more flour, beating the batter with a mixer, less syrup, maybe a tad of lemon juice (for acid) or a buttermilk substitution.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2010 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  266
Joined  2007-11-18

Hi Ms.Disk,

I live in Denver, CO (5,280ft), what I do w/ this cake is increase the flour by .5 oz, decrease sugar by .5 oz, add an extra egg (2 oz worth), eliminate the baking soda entirely so the batter stays acidic and decrease the baking powder by about .25 tsp (doesn?t need much decrease since the baking soda is eliminated). I also don?t increase the baking temperature. I find this unnecessary in most of my cakes. Increasing the baking temperature in high altitude baking is pretty much a myth. With the batter strengthened and more acidic, increasing the temperature is unnecessary and will actually result in an over baked cake because the sides will bake faster than the middle; the middle will dome up too much and take longer to bake than the outside edges.

Hope this helps you!

 Signature 

Visit my blog: The Mile High Baker at http://www.milehighbaker.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2010 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  2
Joined  2010-03-14

Many thanks, Roxanne! I had not thought of altering the egg at all and will add that to my repertoire of high altitude fixes.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 09 January 2013 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  79
Joined  2011-03-01

Just made this today and even though we’re supposed ot wrap and wait a day b4 consumption, the household opinion was to take our chances- lol. This is soooooo satisfying and delicious, perfectly balanced in spices and flavors and the Lyle’s makes it perfectly sweet w/o being too sweet.

Does baking soda expire? I had some of the same issues as the orignal post, but nothing so off-putting to keep us from digging in.

This would make great picnic food as it needs NO adornment-other than a hand to stuff it into your mouth.

Happy New Year, fellow bakers!

 Signature 

kyle

http://www.adventuresingoodfood.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2013 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4789
Joined  2008-04-16

K Nelson, I don’t think baking soda expires in the same way that baking powder does, but I checked the box in my pantry and there is a use-by date stamped on the bottom.

You mentioned similar problems to the original post, was your cake sunken in the middle (oven too cool, flour not bleached or too much leavening) or did it pull away from the sides before the end of baking (oven too hot or baked too long)?

 Signature 

Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  How to Make Sourdough More (or Less) Sour

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top