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Chocolate butter cake problem. PLEASE HELP!!!
Posted: 06 March 2013 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I will be making another batch to try baking without the strips so I will be able to post a picture of the batter then.
In the meantime I have a few pictures of the finished cakes for you to take a look at. I added a pic of the pan too so you can see how the corners stuck.


http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i473/SubatomicGraphics/1.jpg
http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i473/SubatomicGraphics/2.jpg
http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i473/SubatomicGraphics/3.jpg

Thanks for the response PrettyCake. I’m a little worried about the sweating but I have plenty of extra MMF so I’m going to give it a shot with the spare test cake.

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Posted: 06 March 2013 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Ah, ok, those edges do look pretty beat up to me, and there is a lot of stuff left stuck in the pan. That is very odd.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 12:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Here are some pictures of the batter. Is this how it is supposed to look?

http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i473/SubatomicGraphics/4.jpg
http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i473/SubatomicGraphics/6.jpg
http://i1095.photobucket.com/albums/i473/SubatomicGraphics/5.jpg

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Posted: 07 March 2013 12:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Those really don’t look wrong to me, but maybe my observational skills are poor. We’ll see if anyone else disagrees.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Will be following this thread as this is a problem i too have faced!! I dont have as much coming off the sides or top but at the bottom, unlikes some chunks i can see the bottom crust is literally stuck to the pan!!! LIKE a fine soft moss on the parchment which also is stuck to the pan !
Also i recently made the chocolate butter cake and my batter looked exactly the same , at that time i just plowed on , but looking at yours the thing that popped to my head was ” is it too much fat ? ” I use lurpak butter which is 82 percent solids. What abt you? and what abt everyone else? I also use valrhona cocoa powder just in case anyone is wondering , not sure how much cocoa butter in there…hmmm i hope the experts chime in and help =)

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Posted: 07 March 2013 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I’m using Darigold brand butter. I have no idea what percent solids it contains. I just know the package says grade AA.

There is a thread on here that discusses the issue with measuring cocoa powder:
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/index_ee.php/forums/viewthread/2751/

I believe it says that the brand you’re using has 20% or more cocoa butter. They don’t mention the brand I’m using, Ghirardelli.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 01:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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What is the cake texture like? Have you sampled it?  If the cake is done, with no wet batter on the inside, it probably was pulled from the oven at the right time, so I’d be reluctant to bake it longer.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 03:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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The texture seems to be good smile

The very first batch, only one of them cooked most of the way through so I could sample it. I made two more batches and they both had the same batter texture but they baked through. They’re spongy yet firm. The flavor seems right too.  So I’m assuming either, that’s how the batter should look or its a minor enough flaw that it means little in the overall outcome.

As for the Neoclassic butter cream filling/fondant combo, I’m doing a test with both cakes. One I filled and covered and left on the counter loosely covered with plastic wrap, and the other I put in the fridge. I’m going to see how they hold up.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Your cakes look flat and sound like the texture and taste were good- congratulations!

re: sides that stick, I would say that this is caused by a combination of lowering the oven temp, using cake strips and not running a spatula around the sides before unmolding the cake from the pan.  Also, a 6” cake will naturally have less browned sides than a larger cake because it takes less time for the oven heat to penetrate to the middle of the pan and finish baking the cake.  Finally, chocolate cakes stick more than other types.  I would suggest pressing a spatula tight against the pan side and running it around the circumference before unmolding.  Also, just to check, did you use shortening to grease your pans? Either that or clarified butter, regular butter will allow the cakes to stick more than clarified or shortening.

re: batter that looks curdled, this is a temperature thing, but doesn’t usually produce serious flaws in the cake.  I don’t have my RHC book to look it up, but there is an ideal temp for the butter, eggs, water etc. (68F? 70F?)  If you let everything sit out longer- eggs, cooling cocoa mixture, butter, that might solve your curdling problem.  The fact that it curdles when you add the cocoa mixture makes me think it may be too warm (or too cool if you were speeding cooling in the refrigerator).  When I make a cake with cocoa that is bloomed in boiling water, I do that first, then prep pans, etc. while it cools.  If you have an instant-read thermometer you can always check to see if it’s ready.  When you increase batch size to make larger cakes, this will take longer to cool.

re: Ghiradelli dutched cocoa, I’ve never seen it here, we seem to only get the “natural” (non-dutched) type from Ghiradelli, so I can’t advise you about cocoa butter content.  A quick email to the company often brings a reliable answer.  Ask for the fat content in 100 grams of the cocoa, because if they give you the amount for a single serving it is often too small a portion to be accurate.  But if you’re not having a problem with dry cake, then I wouldn’t worry about it.

Good luck!  You’re a good friend to be undertaking such a large project.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 09:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Hi!

Your cakes look great to me—tall and flat!

As to the corners, I think you just need to make sure you get them better with the shortening and flour (or whatever). Chocolate cakes stick more than other cakes, too.  Sometimes I’ll even let the parchment (or waxed paper—I use that more often) cover the corners, as well, and that helps.  I assume you’re letting the cake rest on an elevated (for circulation beneath the cake) cooling rack?

As to some sticking to the parchment when you peel it off—this is not uncommon for me, either.  I suggest, after it cools, scraping it off with a spatula and eating it.  It’s really good.

I don’t think the problems are too-much-fat related—I routinely add 1T more butter to each 9” layer of Rose’s chocolate cakes, myself.

Hope that’s helpful!

—ak

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Posted: 07 March 2013 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I use the Baker’s Joy type product, and I don’t have any problems with sticking. I never run a spatula around the edges of the cake; I always can just flip the cake pan and it falls right out, leaving the pan pretty clean.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I have used this recipe a number of times but it has been a few years. I don’t have any notes or memory of unusual behavior. Sometimes modern eggs have undersized yolks which might account for some of the mottling in the batter.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Julie - 07 March 2013 01:00 PM

Your cakes look flat and sound like the texture and taste were good- congratulations!

Also, just to check, did you use shortening to grease your pans? Either that or clarified butter, regular butter will allow the cakes to stick more than clarified or shortening.

re: batter that looks curdled, this is a temperature thing, but doesn’t usually produce serious flaws in the cake.  I don’t have my RHC book to look it up, but there is an ideal temp for the butter, eggs, water etc. (68F? 70F?)  If you let everything sit out longer- eggs, cooling cocoa mixture, butter, that might solve your curdling problem. 

Good luck!  You’re a good friend to be undertaking such a large project.

Thanks for the great info. I will need to get an instant read thermometer, they seem to really come in handy!
To answer your question, I am using shortening but it’s an animal fat mixture (I’m just trying to use it up before I buy more :/) but I imagine I should probably be using a vegetable based shortening?

I made sure the chocolate was completely cooled without putting it in the fridge. I prepared my pans while it sat, as you mentioned. I’m thinking perhaps the eggs are too cold? I haven’t been letting them sit as long as the butter… should the eggs be room temp too?

Anne in NC - 07 March 2013 01:59 PM

Hi!

Sometimes I’ll even let the parchment (or waxed paper—I use that more often) cover the corners, as well, and that helps.  I assume you’re letting the cake rest on an elevated (for circulation beneath the cake) cooling rack?

—ak

I was wondering if I should cut the parchment so it covered the corners and not just the bottom. I’ll have to give that a shot. And yes I am cooling them on an elevated rack, so to speak. It sits about an inch off the counter.

Gene - 07 March 2013 04:54 PM

I have used this recipe a number of times but it has been a few years. I don’t have any notes or memory of unusual behavior. Sometimes modern eggs have undersized yolks which might account for some of the mottling in the batter.

That’s a good one! How can I be sure I have the right amount of yolk?


And thanks for the tip CharlesT. I have used Baker’s Joy before and it worked well for me. I just might have to switch to that in stead of the old grease and flour method. Do you still line the bottom with parchment/waxed paper? Or is that spray good enough on it’s own?

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Posted: 07 March 2013 05:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Foxetta - 07 March 2013 09:28 PM

And thanks for the tip CharlesT. I have used Baker’s Joy before and it worked well for me. I just might have to switch to that in stead of the old grease and flour method. Do you still line the bottom with parchment/waxed paper? Or is that spray good enough on it’s own?

I do line with parchment, but I haven’t tried it without. I think parchment is best regarded as the suspenders to go along with the belt provided by the flour.

(And, yes, eggs should be room temperature.)

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Posted: 07 March 2013 05:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Parchment to me is a never fail thing when lining cake pans. By the looks of your cake, to me looks so “holey”. The texture has too many gaps or bubbles.  I have made cake b4 that came out like this because it had too much baking soda plus baking powder. But I think your cake looks fine except for the “casualty” w/c is the part that stuck at the bottom.

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