I've been making the WBH Chocolate Butter Cake recipe for a few months now, and twice, most recent cake included, it has just sort of burst into crumbles upon contact with a knife. Tiny little fine crumbs just mound into a pile on the cake board.
Why does this happen and how can I keep it from happening?
(Several times the cake has come out and cut beautifuly, so I don't think it's the recipe itself.)
I just thought of something. Each time the cake has been crumbly, it has been one covered with ganache.
I know someone knows the answer!
I'm afraid I haven't got a clue. Not made that recipe before so cannot tell where problem might lie. is there anything that you have done differently with the 2 cakes which have had this problem? eg, used a different brand of some ingredient, using different sized eggs? that sort of thing. One of life's lovely mysteries..
edited to add: not using a different knife to cut it with are you - seems a silly question I know.
It sounds like it may need a little more liquid? Are the crumbs dry or moist? Maybe use larger eggs? Most recipes call for eggs and I use large eggs--one time I used medium sized ones and the cake was dry and crumbly. Just a thought.....
Could be a different brand thing. Maybe.
The funny thing is the crumbs were so moist and good!
Someone even ate basically a plate of cake crumbs and was RAVING about it, even asked if I could do a cake for her.
Ah well ... just have to try again and hope that if I do the cake for her, it won't burst into crumbs then.
Ganache will make it slightly moister in my experience. It is a LONG shot but I know I have had a ganache covered cake just kind of fall apart while cutting it. Maybe try to crumb coat your cake in BC before pouring the ganache. Just make sure it isnt too warm or the BC will melt.
My trusted 1962 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook says the following about causes of failure:
Too much leavening
Not enough liquid
Insufficient mixing with increased amount of shortening and sugar
Too slow an oven
A dry cake:
Too much flour or leavining
Not enough shortening or sugar
Overbeaten egg whites
Hump or cracks on top:
Too much flour
Too hot an oven
There's more, but none of the others even remotely resemble your problem, I thought these might though. It seems that you would have the same problem every time though if any of these were the culprit. My guess is overbaking just enough to make it crumbly, but not enough to dry it out.