Scaling Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake for 10” and 6” pans
Posted: 14 April 2010 03:28 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello fellow enthusiasts!

I have a cake order due Saturday for a 6”/10” stacked chocolate cake. I want to make one of Rose’s cakes (for the first time) for this order, and have concluded the All-American Chocolate Butter Cake from The Cake Bible to be the safest choice. The problem I have is that the recipe calls for ONE 9x1 1/2 inch pan. I use even sized pans, and all are 2’’ (thank you Wilton =P) I have read the back of the book with regards to using the base chocolate cake recipe as well,  the Rose Factor etc. The problem is, I am afraid to make the base cake due to there being no description of what it is like! I know the All-American tastes like a chocolate bar according to the book courtesy of Rose’s Mom’s description, and it sounds heavenly, but I am afraid I would have to triple the recipe for a mere one extra inch of cake diameter. Doubling it wouldn’t do it, even though the amount I would need is miniscule. With all the “beware beware” of altering baking powder levels and pan sizes I am SO nervous to try it at all.

Also, when I calculated the rose factoring, it seems because the 10” pan is grouped with the 9” pan for the baking powder level, I could be asking for trouble due to being at high altitude (4800+ feet). Does anyone have any common sense answers to my problem that I am not seeing? I never bake with odd sized pans! I want to use her recipes so badly, but find it so troubling to have to battle recipes for such small cakes. I AM a newbie, too, so this might seem very hard to me while easy to you!

Please enlighten me, oh wise ones! LOL

Graciously,
Jemoiselle

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Posted: 14 April 2010 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m sorry I can’t help you with your problem, but I’m sure someone else will come to your aid fairly quickly.  I just wanted to say that I have just looked at your cakes on your blog and I think they are wonderful!  Lovely ideas and real fun cakes!  do you do this as a hobby or a business?

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Posted: 14 April 2010 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t have my book in front of me, but in general it is no problem for the butter cakes to switch to the 2” deep standard pans.  If you check the sidebars for the butter cake recipes (front section, not wedding cake section), they usually say that for a recipe that calls for two 1.5” layers, you can make 1 1/3 for two 2” layers or 2/3 recipe for one 2” layer (all 9” round pans).

For your tiered cake, the chocolate base cake in the wedding section is the same as the All-American Chocoalate butter cake from the front.  You can use either, the result will be pretty much the same.

For the All-American recipe in the front, you could use the table of pan volumes to figure out how much batter to make (I think this is near p. 455, but I don’t have my book, lent it to someone).  Then use the Rose Factor charts to figure out baking powder amounts if you want the cakes to bake level (the smaller cake might be domed without an adjustment).

I do think at 4800 feet you may need to make altitude adjustments to the recipes in order for them to work- maybe a small test cake is in order?

Congratulations on getting the book, be sure to try the Domingo and Choc Fudge cakes, they are quite different from the All-American and it’s fun to be able to choose a style.

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Posted: 14 April 2010 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Jemoiselle, I would steer clear of the formula at the front of the book for the Perfect AA Choc in your case because the calculations will be so much simpler and straightforward, if you use the base cake. It’s the exact same recipe, only the one on pp 54-5 has been formulated for the 1.5” high pans (basically Rose Factor 3 with a bp adjustment).

If you were making a 9”, I’d say okay…try the 1.33x ingredients pp 54 and adjust bp back again, then another adjustment for your higher altitude, etc. But where you’re making other sizes, it will be so much easier to use the formula at the back of the book.

I’ll run through what you would do for the 6”. Repeat the process for the 10” and you’ll be set to go. Keep your notes, and you’ll be set for future choc cakes too! My instructions assume that you’re doing two layers for each tier:
1) You need RF2 so multiply all the base ingredients p493 by 2 (42 grams cocoa, 156 grams water, etc.)
2) The 6” is a Level 1 cake in terms of bp, so multiply 7.96 grams by two = 15.92. At sea level, you’d use 16 grams bp.
3) There’s an altitude adjustment table in Rose’s Heavenly Cakes p 435. For the bp, decrease by 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per tsp used at 5,000 feet. There are 3.25 tsp involved for the 6”, so deduct 3.5 x .25 or 7/8 tsp. Bottom line on the bp, use 2 3/8 tsp or about 12 grams instead of the 16.
4) Altitude adjustment for the liquid, same USDA chart, is to increase 2 to 4 tablespoons per cup of liquid. Total liquid in the base is water plus egg. Your 6” will use slightly more than one cup of liquid. Add 4 T water.

As Julie says, a small test cake is sometimes in order. I do a single 6” whenever I’m wondering how some new cake/filling combo or whatever is going to work. Use Rose Factor 1 for the cake. So quick and easy to do, and not expensive in terms of ingredients. You might find that you can use the lower range of the USDA adjustments Rose published in her book for altitude.

Use the other base cake columns, if you prefer working in ounces or volume. Whenever you want to make a conversion, note that Rose has an invaluable chart pp 439-442 for converting all manner of ingredients. The bp, for instance: 1 tsp = 4.9 grams.

When mixing the cake, you can follow the instructions in the front or back of the book. Doesn’t matter. Be sure and put plastic wrap over your cocoa/boiling water mixture while it’s cooling to room temp, or you’ll have significant evaporation. Not good.

The Perfect AA choc is one cake that benefits from the use of simple syrup, if not being served the same day as it’s made. Even then, I usually use the syrup to ensure that it’s moist and fresh tasting. Rose’s base formula is p 505 TCB.

Hope this is helpful. Let us know if you have any more questions.

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Posted: 14 April 2010 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Carolita- WOW! Thank you so much! You put a ton of hard work into that and I really appreciate it! I will use the base for AA as you suggest. I studied the rose factor process last night and feel my basic understanding should serve me well enough in this case to go with your thorough directions. I don’t know why I didn’t think to use RF1 and one base recipe to try it out lol. Silly me, that’s what I get for staying up WAY too late =P Thank you so much for all of that! I am going to bake a test I think, then the 10” and 6” in one bowl in my mixer if I can. I have a KA600 Pro. We shall see, I will add up the batter volumes and try to see if it will all fit! If not, then the 10” and 6” will be two batches, easy peasy. I’ve had to do far more batches on other days! LOL Thank goodness for the RF And you guys!

Julie- Thank you as well. I did see that margin note but was intimidated by figuring it out for the 6 inch, and didn’t know what to do about the liquid and baking soda adjustments with the altered recipes. Once again, that may perhaps be an aversion based on fear of not having done it before. I did read the high altitude part thoroughly, it’s just scary! I know I’ll get over that someday, and I am so thankful for your comments and help! Just for kicks, what is your opinion of the three cakes? Domino, AA and Choc fudge?

Jeanette- Thank you!!! You are so sweet, sometimes just knowing someone is there is such a relief even if it doesn’t solve the problem right away. I do my cakes as a hobby but it has turned into the equivalent of a part time business, for now. I didn’t plan it that way hehe, it just happened and rolled with it, made adjustments, did some learning etc. I started making cakes in October of last year, and the requests flew in faster than I could make them! Soon, the quantity was more than I could afford to make them all, too hehe. I don’t advertise, just friends family and word of mouth. I have dreams of maybe opening a small shop *someday* but want my Husband to retire first! Also, I wouldn’t feel worthy of such a thing without studying Rose’s works, methods and recipes until I know them, well, like you all do! Who knows where this will lead me, I’m just following my heart and soul…Rose’s work inspires me in such a profound way.

I sincerely wish you ALL a blessed, special morning wherever you are in the world. Many thanks for your time, your wisdom and effort. You are appreciated!

Jemoiselle

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Posted: 14 April 2010 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I also wanted to agree on what Carolita said about covering the chocolate mixture. You can read more about it here:

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2006/11/blogger_aaron_solves_dry_choco.html

My favorite is the Domingo, but it is very rich, sometimes it is almost “too much” when you add buttercream smile The AA is a good place to start. This will also be your first time using Rose’s mixing method? Be sure all your ingredients are at room temp. and that you butter is squishable (softened). I also think you should make a test first, esp. since you’re doing high alt. adjustments. Good luck!

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Posted: 14 April 2010 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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...one other thing, make sure you are using Dutch-process cocoa powder.

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Posted: 14 April 2010 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi Matthew!

Thank you! Yes, it is my first time using Rose’s mixing method (I am so excited!!) and even though I am feeling lazy I will certainly do a test cake, right now, in fact I am working on my mis en place! Hehe, now I feel special! I said it! *snickers* I did pick up some Hershey’s Special Dark (Dutched Cocoa) and will be sure to have all ingredients room temp. I am pretty fastidious about that, sometimes too much. I am learning how to not allow the butter to get too soft, it is a dance isn’t it?

I will report back very soon with results, and if it isn’t horrific, a pic!

Jemoiselle

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Posted: 14 April 2010 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Test batch initiated, waiting on cocoa water mix to cool to room temp at present to move forward with the rest of the recipe. Mis en place, check! How fun! I did precisely what you all advised, with the addition of increasing flour by 2.5% per Rose’s suggestion on page 435 of RHC based on the General Mills study. The baking powder was decreased 25% (1/4tsp for each tsp) correct? Everything else is staying the same, except for the addition of 2 TBSP water (RF 1). I’m THRILLED! This is a big moment for me, and am so honored to be making one of Rose’s recipes for the very first time with you all!

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Posted: 14 April 2010 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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cheese  It’s in the oven now! If the cake tastes any bit as delicious as the batter, I am in heaven. I used to be one who thought in order to have a good pure chocolate cake one must use real chocolate in the batter! The flavor really does translate through much better when used with cocoa powder and water, as opposed to milk etc. Rose’s book talked about this, but I had yet to taste the demonstration. So far, so good. I feel accomplished! 17 minutes to go….but who’s counting?

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Posted: 14 April 2010 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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OK, it’s done. It smells great, took about 30-35 minutes to bake, but domed up at the top and cracked. I think it looks moist, though, and the top sides are high enough I will be able to level it and use it just fine. Oh, I wish I knew how to make a level or even slightly domed cake instead of these volcanoes! I used silicone strips around the pan, decreased baking powder for high altitude…I don’t know what else to do on that note. Anybody have any suggestions? I’ve attached pics to help…

Here is the recipe I used, too weighing ingredients:

Dutch cocoa 21g
boiling water 79g + 2 Tbsp for high altitude
1 egg (50 g)  I actually took out some egg white because the one egg weighed 58g, to make it 50 per the recipe
Vanilla 3g
Cake flour 80.95g (The original recipe for base called for 79, before 2.5% increase via Rose in TCB and RHC)
Sugar 100g
B. Powder 5.97g (Reflects the original BP amount of .28oz minus 25% or 1/4 tsp for every teaspoon)
Salt 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter 75.67g

My batter weighed 14.5oz/410g, a little higher than the original due to the extra 2 Tbsp water, and 2.5% flour increase (1.95g)

I baked at 375 per Rose’s suggestion for High Altitude, and employ the use of an oven thermometer at all times.

Thanks for helping in advance =)

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Posted: 14 April 2010 08:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I think I am going to make this a new topic as the original question has been answered, I hope to not offend anyone in the process!

~Jemoiselle

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