One great big stupid bubble
Posted: 11 June 2008 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi you guys! I have been making this pound cake for years, and the last 3 or 4 times I made it, there was a great big bubble under the surface, the top crust area was completely detached, and the rest of the moisture in the cake was not evenly distributed.  Sometimes there would be a wet rubbery area at the bottom, or there would be excess moisture splotched throughout the rest of the cake.  It’s not falling per se, but it’s definitely not rising as beautifully as it used to.  I’m using the same pan, the same ingredients, the same mixer, the same techniques (I’m pretty sure), everything!
1 stick butter
1 stick margarine
1/2 brick cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
vanilla
1 1/2 cups swan’s down
actually no other leavening except eggs!! I don’t want to add any because I know this recipe works without it
cold oven to 350F for about 50 mins
Also I’ve always used the traditional technique of creaming fats and sugar, add eggs, yadda yadda.  Yesterday I made a strawberry cake by adding very soft butter to dry ingredients and mixing to sandy consistency, then gradually adding berry puree, eggs, dairy.  It turned out beautiful! Should I try that with the pound cake?
Thanx y’all!

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Posted: 11 June 2008 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Some quick thoughts—have you changed to a different brand of margarine or cream cheese, or a different size of eggs?
Have you had the oven temperature checked recently? Are you measuring the flour differently than you used to? Are you using a different pan? Are you mixing differently?

That second way of mixing is called “high-ratio” and it should work for any recipe where the weight of the sugar is greater than the weight of the flour. A cup of sugar weighs 7 ounces and a cup of flour measures anywhere from 3.5 ounces (sifted cake flour) to 5 ounces (unbleached flour, dip-and-sweep method). Swans Down is a cake flour, isn’t it? It measures around 4 ounces a cup if you gently spoon it into the cup, or around 4.5 ounces a cup if you use dip-and-sweep. Either way, this recipe should work with the “high-ratio” method.

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Posted: 11 June 2008 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanx, Barbara!
I used the same loaf pan, (I’m not sure of the size, a regular loaf pan) the same butter, cream cheese and margarine, I’m pretty loyal to my brands.  My sister said I could be overbeating, perhaps? I will try the high ratio method, it turned out so nicely, I’m sure the sugar weighs more than the flour, I sift, then spoon into measuring cup and sweep.  I don’t know what changed, perhaps one or more of the companies changed a formula, I know trans fat is being removed from alot of things, probably margarine. I’ll also take note of my mixing time.
Thanx again!

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Posted: 12 June 2008 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Sounds like you’ve ruled out quite a few of the things that could be causing the problem—let us know how it turns out next time!

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Posted: 12 June 2008 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I found out what the problem was - or is.  My oven does not get hot enough fast enough (I just moved, duh, I don’t know why I didn’t think of this).  My thermometer consistently reads about ~50 degrees cooler, but since most of my recipes call for a preheated oven, there isn’t a problem.  I noticed the color of the flame was orangey yellow, I looked because that’s not a color you should see if your hydrocarbon is burning efficiently, it struck me strange.  A blue flame is a hot flame, yellow or orange is cooler.  Once I noticed this, I started the oven at 150ish, and raised the temperature to 365 or 370. I used my regular creaming method, I was just stubborn about that ‘cause I’d been doing it that way for years, but the cake still didn’t bake off right, not as rubbery at the bottom, no giant bubble separating the crust from the rest of the cake, but moisture still not distributed right, not a good rising, and the crust was unappetizingly dark.  So I’ll just call this one off until I get the oven fixed, and stick to cakes that call for a preheated oven.  I’m doing another strawberry cake, the last one baked off wonderful, but not quite enough berry flavor.  So I am dehydrating a bunch more berries in a cool oven, since that’s the kind of oven I have apparently, so that I can add more flavor without the excess moisture.  I will add the dehydrated berries to the cup of mashed berries, may reduce those on the stovetop also.  Should I increase the soda for the acid in the berries?  Tell me what y’all think,
Thanx y’all, Larissa

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Posted: 13 June 2008 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Many poundcake recipes call for a preheated oven. I wonder if this one would work that way. But yes, getting the oven fixed sounds like a great idea!

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