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Flat Cake Top Tip - now, with photos!
Posted: 17 March 2014 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, all!

I read this tip and tried it, and I was pretty happy with it, so I thought I’d pass it along. 

After you fill your cake pan, tilt it around so thath batter coats the sides of the pan all the way up to the rim, then bake.  The batter crisps and gives the cake edges something to climb, so you get a totally flat cake. It domed slightly while baking, but upon cooling, it was falt.

IT WAS A TOTALLY, TOTALLY, TOTALLY FLAT CAKE.

I should have taken pictures, but I didn’t.  I’ll post the composed cake, probably, even though it’s not a Rose cake.

However, there is a downside, so you have to weigh the pros and cons:  The sides of the cake aren’t as neat as when you don’t do this.  They’re a bit crumbier.  If you slowly, and firmly, go around the edge, it’s cleaner, but I got about 3T of crumbs removing the cake, which, I will admit, allowed me to confirm that it was an excellent cake. 

Has anyone else tried this?  What do you think?

Happy day!

—ak

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Posted: 17 March 2014 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Anne in NC - 17 March 2014 09:17 AM

Hi, all!

I read this tip and tried it, and I was pretty happy with it, so I thought I’d pass it along. 

After you fill your cake pan, tilt it around so thath batter coats the sides of the pan all the way up to the rim, then bake.  The batter crisps and gives the cake edges something to climb, so you get a totally flat cake. It domed slightly while baking, but upon cooling, it was falt.

IT WAS A TOTALLY, TOTALLY, TOTALLY FLAT CAKE.

I should have taken pictures, but I didn’t.  I’ll post the composed cake, probably, even though it’s not a Rose cake.

However, there is a downside, so you have to weigh the pros and cons:  The sides of the cake aren’t as neat as when you don’t do this.  They’re a bit crumbier.  If you slowly, and firmly, go around the edge, it’s cleaner, but I got about 3T of crumbs removing the cake, which, I will admit, allowed me to confirm that it was an excellent cake. 

Has anyone else tried this?  What do you think?

Happy day!

—ak

What a cool idea! I’ll try it next cake I bake. Thanx

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Posted: 17 March 2014 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks!  Let me know if it worked for you, too, or if mine was just a fluke!!  Make sure you do it on a cake you plan to frost, because the edges aren’t very neat ...

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Posted: 17 March 2014 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Anne in NC - 17 March 2014 09:17 AM

... I got about 3T of crumbs removing the cake, which, I will admit, allowed me to confirm that it was an excellent cake.

Hee hee, the technique is worth it just for the taste treat smile

Interested to hear how it works for others.  Did the uppermost edges burn a bit?  I would be worried about overly browned/burned flavors permeating the cake…

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Posted: 17 March 2014 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I didn’t notice any obvious overbrowning or any burnt taste in the crumbs that fell off or the ones that adhered to the pan and were subsequently removed (and none escaped me).  However, with the disclaimer that I tend toward liking slightly burnt anything (and thus I might not be the best judge), I don’t recall any overt burntness.  Sadly (in this sense only), the cake is absolutely wallowing in coffee buttercream, so I cannot reinspect.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I see that you mentioned the cake was not a Rose recipe.  Was the batter as thick as hers are?  Do you think you’d need an offset spatula to do this with a thick Rose recipe?  Or do you think tilting with a thick batter would work (I’m worried about the parchment peeling off)/.  I have wondered about doing this because my cakes aren’t always straight on the sides and slope and thought it may help.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi, Sherrie!

I don’t parchment the sides of my pans.  OMG, I tried it once, and it was so insane.  I’ve never had a problem not parchmenting, either.  However, I would think that with parchmented sides, you would have neater sides than I did!!!  All you do is tip the pan, and the batter flows, and then sort of rotate it.  The batter I made (a Baked recipe) was reasonably thick, but I can’t quantify it side-by-side with Rose’s from memory because I haven’t made cake in a while.  Maybe if you tip it first in the direction of the parchment seam it will sort of glue it together and keep it from coming off as you go around when you rotate it???

If you try it, let me know how it works for you!

—ak

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Posted: 17 March 2014 05:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi Anne, I don’t parchment the sides…THAT would be insane!  Lol.  I do the bottom, but I thought it may slide or wrinkle.

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Posted: 17 March 2014 07:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Oh, dig it!  I have a friend who always parchments the side, so I thought that’s what you meant.  When I do parchment,  I grass the bottom & sides,  put down parchment, and then grease the parchment, which sort of presses it down, and the grease under it acts ss a kind of glue.  Then I flour it all.  You pour all of the batter in the pan, so even though you tip it around, most of the batter weight is still on the bottom—I had no problem with the parchment wanting ti come up, so I think you’re okay there!

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Posted: 18 March 2014 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi, all!

Here’s the cake!  You can see the super-flat layers (sorry, that pic is a bit blurry)—no trimming.

Here’s the recipe for the main cake, which is the “Chocolate Coffee Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache” (I did two 9x2 layers, rather than three 8x2 layers—I didn’t bother adjusting the leavening, and it worked perfectly):       

http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/chocolate-coffee-cake-with-dark-chocolate-ganache

But I also put a layer of salted caramel on each of the layers before frosting them (it’s a component from the “Sweet ‘n’ Salty Cake”):

http://www.marthastewart.com/317707/caramel-with-salt

Both are from books by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito – the first is from “Baked Explorations,” and the second is from “Baked: New Frontiers.”  Their cakes are very good, but completely different from Rose’s—They use (mostly) unbleached AP flour and the traditional creaming method (and almost always use a combination of shortening—I use Spectrum—and butter), and their frostings are almost always the eggless, cooked “flour frostings,” which I really like—the sugar is dissolved in the “white sauce,” so they’re super smooth, but also very light and fluffy.

Cakes from the Baked books (I’ve made 3—Sweet & Salty, Maple, and this one) usually get “Best Cake Ever” status among co-workers.

—ak

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Posted: 19 March 2014 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Oh Wow! They are AMAZING! Gorgeous cakes Anne!

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Posted: 19 March 2014 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks, FG!  It’s actually only one cake, posing at different angles!  And thanks also for your contact with Baked—I used your info from the Baked folks to weigh the AP flour at 140g/cup.

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Posted: 19 March 2014 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Anne in NC - 19 March 2014 10:50 AM

Thanks, FG!  It’s actually only one cake, posing at different angles!  And thanks also for your contact with Baked—I used your info from the Baked folks to weigh the AP flour at 140g/cup.

  It is really stunning Anne! I’m glad the weight worked for you. Actually he told me 139g and Rose’s chart in P&PB; is 142g so you got it just right! grin

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Posted: 21 March 2014 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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ak——I bought some Coffee Extract and wondered what I’d use it for!!  I printed out this recipe and hope to get to it this weekend since I have a birthday cake to make for some folks here at work. I also have to try the German Chocolate Cake again since I left the sugar out of it last Sunday night, Can you believe it. I wondered what in the world was wrong and then I found the sugar sitting on the table, perfectly measured but left out. That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. But I’ll try again.

Flour gilr, I made the wowie cake again with some good cocoa and used white distilled vinegar. It was so good. You couldn’t even tell the difference. It was wonderful but I did have trouble with my new 8in aluminum pan. I didn’t use my oil/flour spray so it stuck pretty good. I managed to salvage most of it.

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Posted: 21 March 2014 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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abbey - 21 March 2014 10:31 AM

ak——I bought some Coffee Extract and wondered what I’d use it for!!  I printed out this recipe and hope to get to it this weekend since I have a birthday cake to make for some folks here at work. I also have to try the German Chocolate Cake again since I left the sugar out of it last Sunday night, Can you believe it. I wondered what in the world was wrong and then I found the sugar sitting on the table, perfectly measured but left out. That’s the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. But I’ll try again.

Flour gilr, I made the wowie cake again with some good cocoa and used white distilled vinegar. It was so good. You couldn’t even tell the difference. It was wonderful but I did have trouble with my new 8in aluminum pan. I didn’t use my oil/flour spray so it stuck pretty good. I managed to salvage most of it.

Yes, you need to spray the pan. With this cake, in particular, you need to spray the cooling rack too. Also, I use a parchment round on all cakes I bake.

I’m so glad you like it! I have a cocoa version in my cake holder now.It does have a consistency close to regular cakes.

Nice to see you Abbey.

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Posted: 21 March 2014 12:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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What a nice cake. I love tall cakes. Looks very delish too.

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