I baked the German chocolate/chiffon cake with great success the very first time I tried it, but sadly my past 2 attempts have met with failure. The cake layers aren’t rising to the levels they should. I’m pretty sure it’s not ingredients.
Part of the problem is probably that I’m baking 2 layers on 2 different racks in the oven, because my oven will not accommodate two 9” pans on one rack. And to keep the magi-cake strips around the pans, I had to place the pans on small cookie sheets - enough to shield half of the lower cake from the upper heating element. I think the non-rising issue did not happen the first time I baked the cakes because I was too lazy to use the cake strips (but of course the cake ended up a little dry) so I didn’t have any cookie sheets shielding the lower pan, but the upper round pan would have definitely shielded SOME of the lower pan.
The second time I baked the cakes, both cakes rose to only about 1” high and were a little dense. Today, the cake on the upper rack rose to about 1.5-1.75” while the cake on the lower rack, which was partially covered by the upper cake, stayed at about 1” the entire time. The upper cake, although not very high, is less dense than the lower cake, but still very different from my first attempt. If the problem were solely the shielding of the cake pan, the upper cake should have baked normally. So I’m at a bit of a loss. Could another contributing factor be that the upper cake is on the MIDDLE rack instead of in the LOWER THIRD of the oven as Rose specifies? Would that make a difference to how the cake rises?
Anyway I’m going to try baking one cake at a time with the rack in the lower third of the oven, to see if it helps anything. My question is: Should I make 1/2 the batter, bake one cake, and then make and bake the other half? Or would it be alright to make the entire recipe and allow the second pan with 1/2 the batter to sit in the refrigerator while the first pan bakes? I’m concerned about the effect on the leaveners.
Thanks in advance for any advice! Need this cake to work for a birthday in April!