Cake Baking Suggestions?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2015 1:33 AM GMT
    I have been experimenting with baking cakes - sponge cakes, genoise - etc - Cakes made with separately beaten eggs with a smaller amount of flour.

    I have noticed a problem - the cake comes out fine, then rests overnight. But after a day or so, begins settling in the center area, with a result of the air bubbles getting smaller at the center of the cake, but not at the outside edges. Ends up having a slightly concave upper surface, as the center compresses, as the air bubbles in the center get smaller. It was thoroughly baked.

    Any thoughts? Needed more flour?

    This particular cake had 6 eggs, separated, and 1 cup of flour.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2015 2:02 AM GMT
    icon_confused.gif Eat the cake faster?
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    Jan 29, 2015 2:25 AM GMT
    Freeze it. Really. Freezing makes a cake better.

    If you're interested in the mechanics of cakes and other stuff, get Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio. You'll need a digital scale to follow his recipes. It's one of my favorite books about cooking. He gives you the basic building blocks for various things, for example sponge cakes, which is 1 part flour, 1 part egg, 1 part sugar, and 1 part fat (butter). A large egg is about 50 grams or 4 ounces so you start by weighing your eggs. He's also a good writer so his books are enjoyable reading.
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    Jan 29, 2015 12:49 PM GMT
    baking powder, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a bit of milk, beat the egg white longer and harder.
  • joxguy

    Posts: 236

    Jan 29, 2015 4:32 PM GMT
    Easy after putting the cake mix in the cake pans, you have to pick the pans up and hit the bottoms against the counter top and watch the bubbles show up. Keep hitting the pans on the counter until no bubbles show up.
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    Jan 29, 2015 5:16 PM GMT
    sometimes when this happens it is usually due to over mixing. While you need to incorporate air in the batter, you don't want too much. Also slamming the cakes on the granite works as someone else mentioned
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    Jan 29, 2015 8:53 PM GMT
    If you have a convection oven, by all means use it, as the circulating air makes cakes, pies, and pastries almost foolproof. It's also great for everything else, especially take-and-bake cheese pizzas, which I like to doll up w/ fresh veggies, meats, and spices of my own choosing. And, you save money by baking/ roasting at slightly lower temps and faster. Best kitchen investment I ever made!
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jan 29, 2015 10:26 PM GMT
    No need to get too violent, but yes, pick up the can of cake batter and drop it from a height of about 2-3 inches onto the counter a couple of times to eliminatelarger air bubbles.

    Sounds to me like you need to bake the cakes a bit longer. Test with a toothpick or broomstraw. Another way to test is with an instant read thermometer, though I have never done that. Of course, if you are baking an angel food or chiffon cake you need a tube pan to assure thorough baking.

    PS; Barook, granite and counter are not synonymous.
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    Jan 29, 2015 11:09 PM GMT
    Well, Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible is my go-to reference for recipes as well as for what can go wrong. She has genoise down pat. If you wanna experiment, you do that with the fillings, etc., NOT with her cake recipe. This book has been out for years so you can get a cheap used copy at sites such as Alibris. http://www.alibris.com

    For genoise, she cuts her cake flour 50/50 with corn starch. She explains that the structure of this type of cake comes mainly from the egg protein and that all you are looking for from the flour is starch to reinforce it. Her eggs are beaten warm and the butter is added warm. She says a small amount of baking powder adds volume without endangering the fragile structure. There's a lot more--I don't want to try to republish all her wisdom in this tiny space.

    That said, my own theory (as opposed to Rose's) is that your outer circumference is baking faster than the middle, so you actually are getting two cakes--one with a structure that holds up well over time and another (the center) with a structure that does not. You solve this with Wilton Baking Strips. They are soaked in water, then wrung out and wrapped around the outer edge of the pan before it is placed in the oven. That moderates the amount of heat that reaches the outer circumference and allows that part to bake at the same rate as the middle.

    I don't know if slamming genoise batter on the counter is such a good idea. I know that is done with porn stars and butter cakes but an egg foam batter wants a man with a slow hand, a lover with an easy touch. (As the Pointer Sisters would say.)

    I'm up for a chat anytime, bro. Cheers and Happy Baking!
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    Jan 30, 2015 1:37 AM GMT
    JDuderrr saidWilton Baking Strips

    Great suggestion.
  • mybud

    Posts: 11835

    Jan 30, 2015 11:50 PM GMT
    You're over beating the batter.. Also, after you fill the cake pan, gently slam it of the counter, three or four times.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jan 31, 2015 1:36 AM GMT
    cream of tartar will stabilize beaten egg whites, and if you gently fold them into the batter if should help
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    Jan 31, 2015 9:02 PM GMT
    HikerSkier said... Ends up having a slightly concave upper surface, as the center compresses ...
    concentrate on the chemistry if you will but if you add in a lot of flavoring you might just the adjust physical shape your looking for by freezing the cooked material and trim it with a knife.
    Discard feed the crumbs to the dog.
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    Jan 31, 2015 9:28 PM GMT
    HikerSkier saidEnds up having a slightly concave upper surface, as the center compresses, as the air bubbles in the center get smaller.

    Since I love frosting that would be an excellent excuse for me to add more frosting to the sunken part to make it level. icon_twisted.gif
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    Feb 01, 2015 1:01 AM GMT
    Thanks for the tips.

    For the first cake, the oven was too hot (dark colored pan).

    The air bubbles in the 1st cake were very tiny. ALso not enough batter in the pan


    Tried again lowering heat and putting on an insulated cookie sheet. Much Better. Added more cream of tartar - had not been using nearly enough. Also added a small amount of baking powder for 3rd attempt.

    I didn't have a problem with large bubbles, so jarring tha pac to dislodge bubbles would not help.

    Egg whites can be tricky - I had overbeaten them for the first cake. Subsequent tries came out right.

    Both butter sponge cake and almond torte eventually turned out fine. Cakes eventually combined under frosting into one larger cake (someone is allergic to nuts.)
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    Feb 01, 2015 1:03 AM GMT
    JDuderrr saidWell, Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible is my go-to reference for recipes as well as for what can go wrong. She has genoise down pat. If you wanna experiment, you do that with the fillings, etc., NOT with her cake recipe. This book has been out for years so you can get a cheap used copy at sites such as Alibris. http://www.alibris.com

    For genoise, she cuts her cake flour 50/50 with corn starch. She explains that the structure of this type of cake comes mainly from the egg protein and that all you are looking for from the flour is starch to reinforce it. Her eggs are beaten warm and the butter is added warm. She says a small amount of baking powder adds volume without endangering the fragile structure. There's a lot more--I don't want to try to republish all her wisdom in this tiny space.

    That said, my own theory (as opposed to Rose's) is that your outer circumference is baking faster than the middle, so you actually are getting two cakes--one with a structure that holds up well over time and another (the center) with a structure that does not. You solve this with Wilton Baking Strips. They are soaked in water, then wrung out and wrapped around the outer edge of the pan before it is placed in the oven. That moderates the amount of heat that reaches the outer circumference and allows that part to bake at the same rate as the middle.

    I don't know if slamming genoise batter on the counter is such a good idea. I know that is done with porn stars and butter cakes but an egg foam batter wants a man with a slow hand, a lover with an easy touch. (As the Pointer Sisters would say.)

    I'm up for a chat anytime, bro. Cheers and Happy Baking!


    Some great ideas - the one about the baking strips proved especially useful (that, and reducing the oven temperature.)