Problem with butter cake batter
Posted: 30 January 2008 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi there, I’m new to this forum…

I have a question about a yellow butter cake as well as a pound cake I made last night.

Most of the cakes I’ve made have been sponge cakes, but I do make butter cakes sometimes. Last night I made a pound cake and I noticed as I was putting the batter in the pans there appeared to be black or dark streaks in the batter. I wasn’t sure if I was seeing things so I asked my wife to take a look and she thought it was just the lighting in the kitchen. Ok, then I made a couple of sponge cakes and didn’t notice anything… then I made a yellow butter cake and there they were again… only this time it was more obvious… there were really there and not just my imagination or the lighting smile

I was concerned if it was something from the bowl or paddle of my mixer (Kitchen Aid), but I don’t recall seeing it before and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there when I made the sponge cakes.

Sorry for the long post… I’m just curious if anyone else has seen that… it’s probably either the (quality of) ingredients I was using or perhaps just poor technique on my part, maybe it’s from over mixing or ingredients at the wrong temp, I’m not sure… I was concerned it was metal or something harmful, maybe from the bowl or paddle (I did use the whisk attachment for sponge cakes and didn’t notice the streaks). The recipes weren’t from Rose’s book, maybe that’s where I went wrong smile

I’m hoping someone else has seen this or has an idea what it could be… Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Take care,
Mike

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Posted: 30 January 2008 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My guess is that it is from metal—possibly on your pans.  What type are you using?  My only experience with something like this is from making tortillas.  My tortilla press is cast iron and it will sometimes leave a dark streak on the first tortilla I flatten, which I usually just discard.  I think it can also happen when you are rolling pasta in a new machine.  It could be when you greased the pans, the fat caught a bit of carbon or metal and then it transfered to your batter.  I can’t think of anything in the ingredients that would cause dark streaks—-other than vanilla?

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Posted: 30 January 2008 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks Matthew!

I use heavy aluminum pans so I don’t think that’s it… plus I use them often but don’t recall seeing this before. Now that I think of it, I first noticed this last night as I was scraping the batter from the bowl, so it was there before the batter reached the pans. My Kitchen Aid has been a little “wobbly” lately so it probably needs to be serviced… I’m thinking it might have something to do with the paddle attachment since I don’t recall ever seeing this with sponge cakes I’ve made and I use the whisk attachment for that.

Thanks again for the fast reply!

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Posted: 30 January 2008 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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i have heard that the quality of aluminum can cause them to bleed.  But don’t know.  Black streak…pretty scary, maybe it is the butter melting if ingredients/evironmant were to warm and the lighting and metal from bowl and pan made them look black??? confused
Hope you figure it out!!!  Let us know what it was when you do!

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Posted: 30 January 2008 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hmmm - is your KitchenAid paddle coated with porcelain or is it one of the newer aluminum ones?  If it’s aluminum, do you wash it in the dishwasher?

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Posted: 30 January 2008 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I had this same problem with my Kitchen Aid and the paddle attachment when the bowl was not fully locked into place on the back of stand.  The bowl is then just off enough that the paddle scraped the bottom and transferred black metal to my dough.

My paddle also had a very slight nub, which I had filed down.

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Posted: 01 February 2008 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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If your mixer is wobbly you can have it adjusted—I think that is your problem, as the paddle is wider than the whisk and is probably just misaligned enough with the bowl that it is scraping against the sides and causing thoses metallic streaks. If your Kitchenaid is the one with the lever (5 qt or 6 qt as opposed to the tilt-head 4.5 qt) it might work to check and tighten the screw that holds the prong in the back.  Another thing is especially if you have the metal paddle (not the white-coated one) don’t wash it in the dishwasher.

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Posted: 01 February 2008 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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In event that you have washed your aluminum attachments in the dishwasher, you can remove most of the dark yucky oxidation by using a metal polish called Maas - you can find it in the cleaning dept at Wal-Mart, the hardware store, or the drugstore.

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Posted: 04 February 2008 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi, Mike!

This to me doesn’t sound like an ingredient problem (unless your recipe calls for brown sugar…which is doubtful in a yellow cake).  What are the ingredients, btw?  this might be helpful to know…

I think you might be getting some residue from your mixer’s rotating mechanism.  If you’re used to make sponge cakes, you may not get any residue, but butter cake ingredients are heavier and cause your mixer to work a little harder, which may cause anything trapped in the rotating mechanism to drop down into your batter.  If you look and notice something, take a pin or something and clean it out…the space is tight so you’ll need something small.  Also, make sure to clean the attachment fitting.

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