Crumbly Chocolate Cake
Posted: 15 January 2011 01:18 AM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2011-01-15

I am in search of the perfect, no-fail chocolate cake.  I have tried many recipes and have had various problems arise with each one.  I tried the chocolate butter wedding cake from TCB this week in preparation for a wedding cake that I will be making next month.  It was very crumbly when cut.  The flavor is perfect but won’t hold up well to make perfect wedding cake slices.  I didn’t syrup the 6-inch layers but I did syrup the 9-inch layers.  I didn’t notice any difference in the texture.  What could be the cause of this and how can I fix it?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 January 2011 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3171
Joined  2010-04-25

Hi, Mrs. Mamby, and welcome!

I’m sorry youo’re having crumbly cakes!  The only things I can think of, since you’re using a Rose recipe, is any of the following are possible:

1] Are you measuring, instead of weighing?  If so, you could possibly have more dry ingredients or less moist ingredients.
2] When you mix your cocoa with boiling water, are you being sure to cover it tightly until it comes to room temp?  Believe it or not, enough liquid can evaporate to dry the cake.
3] Possibly overbaking?
4] Are you using cake flour or bleached all purpose?

I can’t think of anything else. I’ve made the chocolate butter, but not the wedding cake version and not syruped, and I didn’t have any crumbly problems with it.

I hope maybe some of that is helpful.  Hopefully, someone else will have more ideas.

—ak

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 January 2011 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4807
Joined  2008-04-16

In addition to the things Anne said, you could try slightly longer beating times.

Also, what cocoa are you using?  If yours is a low-fat cocoa, there might be an issue with that.  Normally, I think of it as making the cake dry, rather than crumbly, but it’s something to check.  Are you slicing the cake with a serrated knife?

 Signature 

Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  Greek-style yogurt recipe

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 January 2011 04:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2011-01-15

Thank you for your help.  I did weigh all the ingredients vs. measuring them.  I used cake flour.  I didn’t cover the chocolate mixture when it cooled.  I am going to make another test today.  In reading other posts some suggestions were to use all-purpose flour instead of cake flour.  I will try using all-purpose, covering the chocolate and beating it longer.  I watched the cake very carefully last time to avoid over baking.  The crumb was very moist so I doubt that was the issue.  My biggest concern is that the cake will fall apart when cut at the reception.  Unfortunately for me, I have yet to find a chocolate cake recipe that I can make well consistently.  I’m thinking it’s me and not the cake.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 January 2011 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3171
Joined  2010-04-25

Maybe the combination of covering the chocolate and using bleached AP will work for you.  Cake flour makes the most tender cake, so maybe it’s a bit too tender for your needs. 

Did you mention which cocoa powder you use?  It really can make a difference because of the various fat contents!  I know Green & Black and E. Guittard both have a nice high fat content, but whatever you’re using might also.  If you can tell us which it is, maybe someone will know if it’s contributing to the crumbliness.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 January 2011 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1363
Joined  2008-09-27
mrsmamby - 15 January 2011 05:18 AM

won’t hold up well to make perfect wedding cake slices.  I didn’t syrup the 6-inch layers but I did syrup the 9-inch layers.

Perhaps good slicing behavior is diametrically opposed to good eating behavior.  You might try the German chocolate cake base from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.  I found it a bit…elastic…the last time I used it for cupcakes.  Or you might try throwing an extra egg white into the butter cake recipe, which is a technique that the German chocolate cake uses.

 Signature 

If error is corrected whenever it is recognized as such, the path of error is the path of truth.

—Hans Reichenbach

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 January 2011 09:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2011-01-15

I am unsure on the brand of cocoa.  I bought it in bulk at a supply store in Utah.  I put it in a different container and tossed the bag it came in.  That may be the next element to change.  I am very thankful to have found a forum where I can ask questions and get educated answers.  You all are very helpful.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 30 August 2013 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  17
Joined  2012-12-16

I have had similar issues in the past, and now have been asked for a chocolate wedding cake.  We’e you able to solve your issues with the suggestions offered?

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top