Perfect Pound Cake. Help!
Posted: 02 April 2014 07:21 AM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2014-04-02

Hi all,

The first time I made this recipe, I made it in cupcake form and I didn’t have any problems. I attempted this in a loaf pan yesterday and much to my dismay, my first one didn’t split, and the interior of the cake had darker spots. The second was a big big fail because I forgot the sugar (we sliced this up really thin and spread jam on it) and the third came out with a really nice natural split, but as it was cooling, it sank to a flat top. It also had the dark spot thing going.

I substituted cake flour with 125g all purpose and 25g cornstarch. The cake was baked at 175C for an hour, foil covered at the 30 minute-mark.

Am attaching a photo - would anyone be able to advise?

Many thanks.

Image Attachments
Photo0013.jpg
Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 April 2014 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1352
Joined  2008-09-27

Was the AP flour bleached?

 Signature 

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

—Hans Reichenbach

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 April 2014 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2014-04-02

I’m not sure, CharlesT. It was the only one available at the baking wholesaler. Which is required for this cake? I can try asking for it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 April 2014 01:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1352
Joined  2008-09-27

Rose’s cakes generally require bleached cake flour. If you substitute all purpose flour for the cake flour, ideally it should be bleached. Using unbleached flour will usually result in a cake that falls, and the butter may settle out of the batter towards the bottom, both of which happened with your cake.

In Rose’s “Power of Flour” article, they experimented with a variety of flours, and the mixture of unbleached flour and corn starch produced a layer cake that fell, although I can’t see a layer of butter in the photograph. Using potato starch instead of corn starch produced an even layer.

Those were layer cakes, though. A pound cake contains more butter, so I suspect that using unbleached flour is probably more important. Not all countries allow the sale of bleached flour, so if you don’t have it in your area, Google on “Kate Flour”, which tells you how to treat your flour to make it work like cake flour.

 Signature 

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

—Hans Reichenbach

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2014 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  632
Joined  2008-01-24

I have used unbleached all purpose flour with Rose’s pound cake recipe many times. While the crumb is not as fine as when I have used cake flour, it is only somewhat less fine. I think there was too much starch. The final cake looks like pudding.

 Signature 

“This pizza is a symphony of flavors”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2014 03:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  674
Joined  2012-01-12

IMHO. Looks like flour is not the only problem here. This cake does not look like it has baking powder, it is simply a brown brick. The taste is probably not affected by the texture. I always use cake flour. Hopefully the next cake will be perfect.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2014 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2014-04-02

Thanks for all the tips guys. Also sent the picture to my aunt - she says it is underbaked. I called the baking wholesaler and they didn’t know if it was bleached or unbleached. I can get both bleached and unbleached easily in Singapore though so I will wait till I go back to Singapore and try again. Funnily enough, the cake tastes great! It’s not pudding-like at all. I was so disappointed because it looked so pretty when it first came out of the oven - it deflated to a flat top 10 minutes later :( Will keep the thread updated with the progress when I get to try again! I think three pound cakes over two days is overdoing it for my family of four at home haha.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 April 2014 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1352
Joined  2008-09-27

You should be able to tell if it’s bleached just by looking at it; bleached is a bright white, whereas unbleached is maybe the color of cream. You might try comparing the color to something like baking soda.

I can see why someone might think it underbaked….the dark, dense layer at the bottom does look like uncooked batter, but you wouldn’t find that at the edges of the pan, only the center.

Regarding the split, I think Rose says that to ensure you get one, halfway through baking run a knife down the center.

 Signature 

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

—Hans Reichenbach

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2014 12:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2014-04-02

Okay. My flour is unbleached. Will try to find bleached flour. I had cake flour back in Singapore - just not here. The other cakes that I’ve made from TCB were mainly when I was in Singapore. My TCB is still there so I wasn’t able to troubleshoot. The split was natural - I was just surprised by how pretty it looked. I am going to try using cake strips and baking at a lower rack for slightly longer.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2014 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  590
Joined  2007-11-18
desselbos - 02 April 2014 07:21 AM

Hi all,

The first time I made this recipe, I made it in cupcake form and I didn’t have any problems. I attempted this in a loaf pan yesterday and much to my dismay, my first one didn’t split, and the interior of the cake had darker spots. The second was a big big fail because I forgot the sugar (we sliced this up really thin and spread jam on it) and the third came out with a really nice natural split, but as it was cooling, it sank to a flat top. It also had the dark spot thing going.

I substituted cake flour with 125g all purpose and 25g cornstarch. The cake was baked at 175C for an hour, foil covered at the 30 minute-mark.

Am attaching a photo - would anyone be able to advise?

Many thanks.

DESSELBOS:
  Good morning. Sorry to learn of your baking disappointment The best way to determine of the “WHY” you had this baking failure is just Identify the recipe you have employed or post the recipe & handling of this bake.
We then can tell first if the recipe is in proper balance to the dictates of baking science. The recipe can be fixed if it requires it.

Till then have a nice day.

  ~FRESHKID.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 04 April 2014 10:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2014-04-02

Hi Freshkid, I used the Perfect Pound Cake recipe from TCB.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 April 2014 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  590
Joined  2007-11-18
desselbos - 02 April 2014 07:21 AM

Hi all,

The first time I made this recipe, I made it in cupcake form and I didn’t have any problems. I attempted this in a loaf pan yesterday and much to my dismay, my first one didn’t split, and the interior of the cake had darker spots. The second was a big big fail because I forgot the sugar (we sliced this up really thin and spread jam on it) and the third came out with a really nice natural split, but as it was cooling, it sank to a flat top. It also had the dark spot thing going.

I substituted cake flour with 125g all purpose and 25g cornstarch. The cake was baked at 175C for an hour, foil covered at the 30 minute-mark.

Am attaching a photo - would anyone be able to advise?

Many thanks.


DESSELBROS:
  Good morning. Thank you for the timely reply. I suspect you live in a UK country. If you do that explains to me why you have sustained a baking disappointment with this recipe.

I am judging from your photo as well as my experience in my studies of baking science.

I have the TCB on this recipe. It features 1.5, oz of milk (Hydration) which ordinarily is not an ingredient in a pound cake.
However, there is a problem now…here it is, you have subst. AP flour / cornstarch for the cake flour in this recipe.
CAKE FLOUR is bleached in such a manner that it’s main feature is that it can accept more liquid than the other choice of flours.
So, you have more hydration in your baked product & it is somewhat out of balance. One more thing, extra hydration leads to a more compact dough. Take notice in your photo.
As a result the baking powder amount as stated becomes in sufficient. It would have required 1 to 1,1/8th tsp worth.

The black coloring as you described…. I have no answer for that. However, the cake sinking in the middle after cooling happens MOST OFTEN because the sugar wasn’t fully melted.( Coarse perhaps) & or a chemical leavener problem (As stated). In the future I would consider pulverizing the sugar in your food proc or blender, so that it will melt quicker. in it’s allotted baking time.

My opinion for this recipe is this, if you do not wish to locate another recipe You should re~do this recipe employing the creaming method of mixing. My very, very strong opinion is that this choice is much more forgiving in a baked product for we amatuer bakers than to employ the 2 stage mixing method which Miss Rose likes to use. Many knowledgeable prof bakers do not see the merit of this mixing method…It is best left to prof & very expericent bakers.

If you should decide to re~do this recipe & you need help in using the creaming method post back I can help you. Or many other members can help you as well, we have many skilled cake bakers here as members that would be happy to guide you.

I am finished now. Enjoy the rest of the day my friend.

  ~FRESHKID.

 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 April 2014 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2014-04-02

Hi Freshkid,

I am actually in Southeast Asia. My mum and I went searching today and we managed to get some cake flour. My family apparently enjoyed the cake so they want me to make it again. I will try it with just the cake flour next week and see if that solves the problem.

Would it be too much trouble to ask the difference between the creaming and mixing methods?

Thank you so much for your time and for sharing your knowledge, Freshkid. I really really appreciate it!

desselbos.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 05 April 2014 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1352
Joined  2008-09-27
desselbos - 05 April 2014 07:59 AM

Would it be too much trouble to ask the difference between the creaming and mixing methods?

Creaming is where you beat the sugar into the butter before adding the liquid ingredients. It whips in more air than Rose’s method, so the texture might be fluffier, but the result is also less tender. Sometimes you want that when you need a sturdy cake. Rose thinks her own two-stage method is more reliable, because the butter temperature isn’t as critical as it is when creaming. Cooks Illustrated magazine also endorsed the two-stage method as producing a more tender cake than creaming.

Rose’s pound cake is a great recipe and I’ve gotten many compliments on it, which is surprising since there isn’t much to a pound cake. I wouldn’t tamper with the recipe.

 Signature 

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

—Hans Reichenbach

Profile
 
 
Posted: 06 April 2014 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  7
Joined  2014-04-02

Hi CharlesT,

Thanks for the explanation. I am not sure I want to sacrifice the texture (also my stand mixer is also over 25 years old - my mum had it before she had me - so I don’t want it to overheat with all that mixing) so I will try the cake flour with Rose’s method and bake for slightly longer and see if that works. Am baking this tomorrow!

Yes yes I know what you mean! My family was surprised when they tried it! I was when I made the cupcake version too smile I’m just upset that it sank and there was that uneven colouration when I made it in the loaf pan.

desselbos.

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top