Lemon Curd Cake
Posted: 12 November 2008 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This past weekend I made the Lemon Curd Cake from Emily Luchetti’s Four Star Desserts. (I hope its OK to talk about other recipes here) While the flavor was excellent, the texture was odd. It was sorta rubbery/springy, like how a chiffon cake or an angel food cake can be sometimes. I attributed this to the egg whites~ which called for 1-1/2 cups of sugar to be slowly added while beating in a stand mixer.

1) I used a hand mixer, and
2) I think I might have overwhipped them, although they never ‘chunked’

The recipe says to aim for ‘soft peaks’ but it took a heckuva long time to get there (I’m assuming because of the volume of sugar). Could this have been the problem that caused the rubbery-ness? I’d like to attempt this cake again as I still have some meyer lemons sitting at home.

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Posted: 12 November 2008 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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hmmm one sign of overbeating is tunnels in the cake. when you cut or broke it open did you find structures that looked like termite holes?

jen

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Posted: 12 November 2008 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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jen68 - 12 November 2008 10:05 PM

hmmm one sign of overbeating is tunnels in the cake. when you cut or broke it open did you find structures that looked like termite holes?

jen

No, I didn’t. So, perhaps that wasn’t it. Although I’ll tell you my texture didn’t turn out like this:
Lemon Curd Cake at Alpineberry blog

It was more dense around the edges, and more rubbery at the edges as well. The middle was softer & more tender. I’m wondering if whipped egg whites just end up lending an unavoidable springy-ness to cakes that is inevitable. Hmmmmmm…

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Posted: 12 November 2008 07:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I doubt that you overwhipped the egg whites…but anything is possible.  Does the recipe call for cream of tartar?  If it does, this will often prevent over whipping.  If it doesn’t, you might want to try adding cream of tartar 1/8 teaspoon per egg white.  Not sure exactly how many egg whites in a cup and a half..but there are tons of charts you can find to figure that out.  Hope it helps.  Good luck.
Bill

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Posted: 13 November 2008 09:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The ides of a lemon curd cake sounds so good.  But after just peeking at the recipe, I don’t know.  2 cups sifted cake flour to 2 1/4 cups sugar?  Sounds like it would e way to sweet for my liking.  It looks like cake in the picture, though, not like an angel cake.

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Posted: 13 November 2008 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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MALARKEY:
  Good morning to you. I am sorry to learn of your cake baking disappointment. I scrutinized your cake recipe from your website.
I can only post to you from the standpoint from a   “BAKING SCIENCE” viewpoint.

  What I see here is a recipe that is somewhat out of balance. It can still bake but it would require a special ingredient. OR special mixing method such as what Miss Rose likes to employ… 2 STAGE MIXING METHOD.
 
  Whenever the weight of the sugar exceeds the weight of the flour the recipe is known as a HI~RATIO CAKE FORMULA”.
Many baking books discuss this event. In comm. bakeshops a ingredient known as sweetex is employed it is a emulsified shortening. It helps the flour to absorb the extra sugar.
Or employ the 2 stage mixing method. Notice that 2, cups of SIFTED CAKE FLOUR weighs approx 8,oz.  2,1/4 cups of gran SUGAR weighs almost 16, oz.
 
  One more thing to consider. 1 Tbls of baking powder seems too much to me. All that is required is approx 1 to 1 1/4 teas per cup
of flour. Furthermore, your recipe contains acidic ingredients, ie, LEMON JUICE. We should neutrilize this with baking soda. Soda is 4X stronger in leavener power than powder is. Sooo, I think maybe you should use 1/2 teas powder & 1/3 teas of soda.  As you know Whipped whites have some leavening power as well.

  I hope this info helps you to adjust your recipe accordingly. I am rooting for you to succeed in this recipe modification.
Good luck & enjoy the rest of the day.

  ~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 13 November 2008 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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MrsM - 13 November 2008 01:03 PM

The ides of a lemon curd cake sounds so good.  But after just peeking at the recipe, I don’t know.  2 cups sifted cake flour to 2 1/4 cups sugar?  Sounds like it would e way to sweet for my liking.  It looks like cake in the picture, though, not like an angel cake.

It’s really not overly sweet MrsM. I thought the flavor balance of sweet/tart was just right. Unless you prefer lemon cakes/tarts that are mouth-puckeringly sour. (see lemon tart recipe in Bouchon cookbook, imo WAY too sour).

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Posted: 13 November 2008 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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~FRESHKID - 13 November 2008 06:23 PM

MALARKEY:
  Good morning to you. I am sorry to learn of your cake baking disappointment. I scrutinized your cake recipe from your website.
I can only post to you from the standpoint from a   “BAKING SCIENCE” viewpoint.

  What I see here is a recipe that is somewhat out of balance. It can still bake but it would require a special ingredient. OR special mixing method such as what Miss Rose likes to employ… 2 STAGE MIXING METHOD.
 
  Whenever the weight of the sugar exceeds the weight of the flour the recipe is known as a HI~RATIO CAKE FORMULA”.
Many baking books discuss this event. In comm. bakeshops a ingredient known as sweetex is employed it is a emulsified shortening. It helps the flour to absorb the extra sugar.
Or employ the 2 stage mixing method. Notice that 2, cups of SIFTED CAKE FLOUR weighs approx 8,oz.  2,1/4 cups of gran SUGAR weighs almost 16, oz.
 
  One more thing to consider. 1 Tbls of baking powder seems too much to me. All that is required is approx 1 to 1 1/4 teas per cup
of flour. Furthermore, your recipe contains acidic ingredients, ie, LEMON JUICE. We should neutrilize this with baking soda. Soda is 4X stronger in leavener power than powder is. Sooo, I think maybe you should use 1/2 teas powder & 1/3 teas of soda.  As you know Whipped whites have some leavening power as well.

  I hope this info helps you to adjust your recipe accordingly. I am rooting for you to succeed in this recipe modification.
Good luck & enjoy the rest of the day.

  ~FRESHKID.

Thanks for you input!

I might try the 2 stage mixing thing, I’ll look that up in TCB. If you read the recipe instructions (BTW that’s not my website, it’s alpineberry’s website), you aren’t actually mixing 2 1/4 cups sugar to 2 cups of flour directly. 1 1/2 cups of sugar go into the whipped egg whites, so the ratios in the cake are 2 cups flour - 3/4 cup sugar. So all that sugar is incorporated into the cake eventually, but via the egg whites.

I think next time I make it, I’ll reduce the amount of sugar in the egg whites (granted, I still believe it’s the egg whites that cause the rubberiness) but I bet I can leave out at least 1/2 cup of the sugar and still have a successful cake.

As I said above the flavor of the cake was fabulous, but I was wondering more about the texture, and how to avoid that.

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Posted: 19 November 2008 12:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’ve gotten the rubbery effect you describe when trying to reduce the fat in a recipe for those with dietary issues. Is this recipe a little lean, or am I just light-headed from butter deprivation?

Cathy

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Posted: 19 November 2008 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I don’t know about this cake in particular, but in general sugar tenderizes egg whites so they aren’t rubbery, which is why an angel food cake has so much sugar- no fat or yolks to help with tenderizing.  So if you decrease sugar, you may end up with more rubbery-ness, rather than less.

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