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Cake Disaster
Posted: 13 March 2009 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Well I have a cake disaster of my own to share and any help would greatly be appreciated. I need to make a cake for my Sisters Birthday which we are celebrating tomorrow. She requested chocolate and I know that she likes her cakes not too sweet. Therefore I chose the salted caramel chocolate cake from the “Baked” cookbook.
These boys are all the rage right now and I have visited their bakery in Redhook NY and was very impressed so I was sure of success. Unfortunately the cake was a disaster. A few things in the recipe sent up red flags to me. First was the leavening amount, 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon baking soda - it seemed like a lot to me. The second was mixing the cocoa powder in hot water to dissolve but then adding the sour cream to this mixture which aslo melted it. Lastly was the oven temperature which was to be set at 325. The cakes took much longer to bake than the printed 35 minutes. Stayed very liquid most of the the baking time in the oven. Rose to a very puffy height and then promptly fell with a broken ragged edge around the rim of the pan. Even though I followed the directions to the letter it was a mess. I really get angry when a recipe doesnt work especially from a book/company that is so lauded in the press. I use good quality ingredients when I bake (Organic Butter and Valrhona cocoa powder) so this was a time consuming expensive excersize in failure. The worst thing is that I can’t figure out what went wrong!  Did I do something? Did I overbeat the batter? Was it the oven? Could the printed recipe be wrong? Should the oven temp be 350 like most cakes? The killer is that I still need a cake for tomorrow and I am wondering if I should try the same recipe again or switch to another? HELP!

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Posted: 13 March 2009 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Sorry about your cake disaster!  I don’t have any answers to your questions except that PERSONALLY, i would switch to a different cake lol because thats just the way I do things.  That would be going the ‘safe’ route.

Also, just to make you feel better, i wasted 2lbs of butter and 12 oz of bittersweet chocolate last night haha.

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Posted: 13 March 2009 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Andy, it is hard to say what went wrong, if I had to bet I would say the oven temp was off.  But a dramatically fallen cake usually means more than just underbaking, it could also have been something like too little flour and/or too much baking powder/soda, though the amounts you mention don’t sound unreasonable.

For a complex, not too sweet chocolate cake (and I know the recipe is well-crafted, as many here have had success with this cake), try the chocolate fudge cake from The Cake Bible.

Ski, don’t throw that overly soft buttercream away!  Bring it to the event, melt it over a double boiler and pour a little on the plates or over the cake as a sauce.  Or use it to make some of the cake pops that people are talking about on another post.

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Posted: 13 March 2009 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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too late i already dumped it haha.

Oh, ANdy, the cake i made last night was the choc fudge cake and it is WONDERFUL. (that cake actually came out good, it was more of a frosting disaster).

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Posted: 13 March 2009 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Welcome AndyNYCK! Sorry to hear about your baking disaster. As Julie suggested the Choc Fudge cake from TCB is wonderful. Borrow a copy from the library if you don’t have one or you could try this recipe from Rose http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/02/the_missing_pbs_recipes.html  All Rose’s recipes are not too sweet, just the right amount of sugar. If you followed the recipe to the letter, chances are it is your oven. Good luck!

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Posted: 13 March 2009 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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thx everyone for helping cake dissaser.  for sure if you are frosting the cake and don’t want it too sweet, avoid powder sugar classic frostings.  Rose’s neoclassic is the easiest to make, it is on the pbs video, the chocolate version tastes awesome.

I love mousseline and say I had my many shares of disasters, but glad didn’t give up as it is a buttercream worth mastering.

I haven’t seen any videos of mousseline, maybe an opportunity for you all successful and unsuccessful bloggers to share thru youtube how each of us makes the mousseline and once for ever demystify this awesome buttercream!

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Posted: 13 March 2009 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ANDY/NYC:
  Good afternoon Andy. Welcome to our culinary club. I am also sorry to learn that you had a baking mishap. I see you live in
Brooklyn, NY. I was born there & I now reside in Las Vegas, NV.
Andy I will be brief. We can troubleshoot your baking failure. As a culinary college student you know that we will require the recipe & it’s directions & pan sizes & any subst. you made if any. Your mixing technique would be helpful. Andy you received xlnt advice from the members. Time is of the essence so try the cake that is advised to you. Once we fix this recipe for you ..you can re~do it later on. I generally do not allow myself to speculate..however, If I did I would venture you have a un~balanced cake “HI RATIO CAKE FORMULA”  question which in essence is a SUGAR problem. But they can be easily modified to bake properly. Till then Andy my friend enjoy the rest of the day

  ~FRESHKID. cool hmm

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Posted: 13 March 2009 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi Andy,

I think the owners of Baked made the same cake you are speaking of on the Martha Stewart Show, and there is a video online that might help if you want to give this specific cake another try.  http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/site/mslo/menuitem.fc77a0dbc44dd1611e3bf410b5900aa0/?vgnextoid=59a35e7c716e0110VgnVCM1000003d370a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=default
I’m a visual person so I always do better with pics and videos as opposed to regular written recipes.  wink

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Posted: 13 March 2009 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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ANDY~NYC:
  Hello again. Andy no need to post the recipe as THANKS to Gia she helped provide the source. Andy like I posted…Yes it is not your fault that you had a baking disaster. Too much Sugar. Whenever the weight of the sugar exceeds the weight of the flour you have a HI RATIO CAKE FORMULA. It then requires a ingredient that you do not have.“EMULSIFIED SHORTENING or known as sweetex. (12.5, oz Flour Approx to 18.5 oz of sugar.) Eggs can be employed because they can emulsify a batter as well as shortening thats why your recipe has a 1/2 cup of it. The recipe author is not learned in Baking science. But you would need many more eggs probably another 5, eggs… % more crisco.
  This recipe can be modified to work. I can do that..However, I believe you should use Miss Rose’s recipe & forget this lollapoolza. Go to where member Rozanne signaled you to & use that recipe. If you wish to do this recipe out of curiosity in the future I will post the necessary fix to you if you ask me to. No guarantees but I have done it many times before with these out of balanced recipes.
  Good luck & enjoy the rest of the day. Oh Andy, I cannot guarantee this but I believe this recipe will bake in a bundt pan. They are very forgiving of this style of recipe.
 

~FRESHKID. cool hmm

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Posted: 16 March 2009 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Hi Everyone, and a big, big thank you one and all for your kind posts about my cake disaster. I would have posted a reply sooner but my Sisters Birthday (a big one) was Saturday and we had relatives in from out of town for the weekend festivities. Well, I took your advice Rozanne,and made Roses chocolate fudge cake and I am glad I did. What had attracted me to the Baked cake was the salted caramel and the sprinkling of salt on the frosting as a finishing, and so of course I made the whole cake. I love the contrast and flavor boost that Fleur de Sel provides chocolate. I use it on my chocolate chip cookies and it works like a dream(thanks to Dorie Greenspan and the NYTimes). So I added the salted caramel as a topping to the cake layers and did the frosting in the baked book plus a salt garnish and it worked like a dream! Rave reviews! That you for your thoughts Freshkid and while I may try your solution I just did not have the time to deal with experimentation since I was really down to the wire. So Rose comes through again with her foolproof recipes. It is great to have the support of this form. What s God-send! And it helps to know that I am not the only one out there that has problems like this. I thought that pastry school would wipe away the issues but with every cake that I make I learn something, with or without a companion disaster. I hope that someday I can just go in that kitchen and produce flawless cakes every time - FAT CHANCE I know - Thanks again everyone and ahppy St. Patricks Day, AndyNYCK

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Posted: 17 March 2009 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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AndyNYCK, I’m so glad your sisters b’day cake was a success. Re the cookies are you referring to Dorie Greenspans World Peace cookies? I have been meaning to try them. Do you add more salt to the recipe or do you just make it as per the recipe?

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Posted: 01 April 2009 09:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Re the World Peace Cookies: the Tuesdays with Dorie group made them in early February. The group’s home page is http://tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com  I ma.de mine with the amount of salt called for in the recipe. They weren’t noticeably salty to my tastes. They WERE really great!
See also this link on Dorie’s site:  http://www.doriegreenspan.com/2009/02/tuesdays-with-dorie-world-peace-cookies.html

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Posted: 01 April 2009 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Rozanne - 17 March 2009 09:17 PM

AndyNYCK, I’m so glad your sisters b’day cake was a success. Re the cookies are you referring to Dorie Greenspans World Peace cookies? I have been meaning to try them. Do you add more salt to the recipe or do you just make it as per the recipe?

Rozanne - I’ve been meaning to make these cookies too… shall we do them together via the web like we did before?

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Posted: 01 April 2009 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Patrincia - 02 April 2009 01:08 AM

Rozanne - I’ve been meaning to make these cookies too… shall we do them together via the web like we did before?


Sure, it’s a deal. Let me know what day is convenient for you. See how easy it is to make me eat chocolate…..no arm twisting required.  LOL

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Posted: 02 April 2009 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’d love to make the cookies, too! They look divine! Let me know when y’all make them and I’ll try to join in.

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Posted: 02 April 2009 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Count me in, too, if you’re open to larger numbers of bakers!  I actually made these several weeks ago, but want to tweak a couple of things and try again.  They didn’t seem all that salty, so I thought I would try the Maldon, and I need to use a lower % cocoa mass chocolate (the cookies were too bitter last time, so I’m thinking that may help). 

How about one day next week?

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