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Coverting a yellow cake recipe to chocolate
Posted: 05 April 2009 10:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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OK. I ran out of steam and never got to make any frosting, so I just cut into the cake ‘cuz I couldn’t stand it any more. grin

The taste and texture are good, but not what I was expecting. It didn’t have that fluffy-like-a-box-mix texture I was hoping for.  I think part of it was that it was under-leavened.  I also wouldn’t mind a more chocolaty flavor.

Next time I think 1/2 tsp of baking soda instead of 1/4 tsp that the recipe called for.  I also think I might add some melted chocolate to the mix to see if I can boost the chocolate flavor.

I’ve attached a pic of the cut cake.  You can tell from the picture that the crumb is a little tight.

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Posted: 05 April 2009 11:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Hi Dan,

Can I suggest replacing the Hershey’s coca with Dutched cocoa? I would also suggest subbing 1 tablespoon of the fat in the recipe with 1 oz of unsweetened chocolate. The chocolate flavor will increase tenfold with just changing those two things. If you used dutched cocoa, you probably won’t need to adjust the leavening (maybe decrease the baking soda a bit).

Also try adding a bit of espresso powder to the cake; it will bring out more chocolate notes in the cake.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Roxanne,

Thanks for both suggestions. I’m using Hershey’s only because I had it in the house and for the exercise of converting the recipe using what I had on hand (that’s the engineer in me coming out). I really should just go get some Dutched chocolate and be done with it grin

DO’B

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Posted: 06 April 2009 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Dan, the cake looks good to me, and I love following your progress on these test cakes!

Regarding increasing baking soda, I would suggest only using the minimum amount of b soda needed to neutralize the non-dutched cocoa.  After that, if more leavening is needed, add in baking powder.  If you turn the batter too alkaline with baking soda, the eggs won’t set well. 

Similarly, if you’re going to switch to dutched cocoa, also switch to baking powder.  According to S Corriher, as you add more baking soda to dutched cocoa, it turns darker in color, but milder in flavor.  So if you’re looking for big chocolate flavor, omit b soda and any milk proteins, which also dull chocolate.  And Cook’s Illustrated points out that in their tests, Rose’s technique of pre-mixing the cocoa with boiling water really helps maximize chocolate flavor.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Julie - 06 April 2009 03:22 PM

Regarding increasing baking soda, I would suggest only using the minimum amount of b soda needed to neutralize the non-dutched cocoa.  After that, if more leavening is needed, add in baking powder.

I figured as much. I haven’t found (and perhaps I haven’t looked hard enough) a ratio of baking soda to neutralize a given amount of un-Dutched cocoa. I’m going to get some Dutch-process cocoa and try it again. The science and math appeals to the geek in me to a point, and then I just want some damned cake already!

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Posted: 06 April 2009 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Thanks for the update Dan. The cake does look good. I was going to suggest that you add boiling water to the cocoa but I see Julie already did. I don’t know how you will have to adjust the balance of the recipe for this but I’m sure you’ll find a way. I was curious to see if you would do the frosting after I saw your comment on Twitter. LOL

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Posted: 06 April 2009 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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The science and math appeals to the geek in me to a point, and then I just want some damned cake already!

Hee hee-  me, too!  I think I spend more time planning and reading about a cake than I do baking it.  And after all that, I just want to eat the thing, which is why a number of my cakes get almost zero decorating.  All the magnificent and generous bakers on this site have inspired me to dig for a little more patience and take a few minutes with the piping bag, for which I’m eternally grateful.

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Posted: 06 April 2009 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Julie - 06 April 2009 03:40 PM

The science and math appeals to the geek in me to a point, and then I just want some damned cake already!

Hee hee-  me, too!  I think I spend more time planning and reading about a cake than I do baking it.  And after all that, I just want to eat the thing, which is why a number of my cakes get almost zero decorating.  All the magnificent and generous bakers on this site have inspired me to dig for a little more patience and take a few minutes with the piping bag, for which I’m eternally grateful.


I wish there was a science and math geek somewhere in me. But alas there isn’t. That is why I blindly (well almost blindly) follow Rose’s recipes b/c I know they work. I will however spend time decorating a cake.  LOL

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Posted: 06 April 2009 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Rozanne,

Baking and cake decorating is supposed to be my “right brain” activity. Funny how the geek in me won’t leave it alone!

I’m also glad to know that someone here reads my Tweets. grin They’ve been leaning very work-related of late. It was nice to get back into the kitchen this weekend. 

I’m surprised that there isn’t more overlap on this site w/ other social media. I’ve only had 1 friend request on Facebook from here, and you’re the first person to admit to looking me up on Twitter…

—DO’B

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Posted: 07 April 2009 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I have a twitter account, but haven’t done anything with it yet.  Will add you as a friend on facebook!

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