Scratch Vanilla Cake Help

Baking By vmertsock Updated 17 Jul 2008 , 1:33am by alanahodgson

vmertsock Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 1:32am
post #1 of 11

I have a recipe I use all the time for work and get raves on. The problem is baking it at home, it always comes out very dense and eggy. I use a gas commercial oven at work, temp set to 300. At home I have a gas oven so I set it to 350, in my old apt I had a gas oven and made this cake once in a 10" pan and it was great, the new place I've only tried making it in sheet pans and it never comes out. Any ideas? I'm wondering if it's a temperature tweaking issue or something. I cream butter and sugar, add vanilla and salt, stream in egg whites then alternate in milk and a mix of cake/ap flour and baking powder. I'd love any ideas on how to make this at home because it turns out so beautifully at work! Thanks!

10 replies
-K8memphis Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 3:48am
post #2 of 11

Isn't that totally annoying though?! I feel your pain.

Are you checking the temperature with a thermometer?

And how often does your oven cycle? maybe the heating cycle is lethargic where the temp can get too low in between reheating of the burners kicking on kwim?

Ooh this is a hard one.

vmertsock Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 10:31pm
post #3 of 11

The temperature is spot on. It's also ONLY this cake recipe, everything else cooks perfectly, typically in the exact time the recipe says even. I'm not sure how often it cycles but I just got a new ignition switch which was oddly making it cycle very slowly, take forever heating up, etc and ever since I've had no problems with anything but this. Even soufflé's turn out well!

-K8memphis Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 10:42pm
post #4 of 11

Maybe consider lighting a candle and dropping a dime into the plate at the local cake god/goddess shrine?? Have you ticked them off or something? (they can be bought you know, try a quarter!)

Wow that's a toughie. I'm clueless. Is there a higher water content in the butter you use at home? I know some butter has way too much water in itf. I've heard pros complaining about it too??? I mean even within the same brand the water content can seem to differ.

Is your baking powder older than six months old?

vmertsock Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 11:19pm
post #5 of 11

Lol maybe I should try lighting candles, nothing else is working!
I'm using the same brands of every ingredient at home and at work, also the baking powder is newly opened. It's rising ok, but the crust is getting a little thicker and it has a much coarser crumb texture at home than at work which made me think it's a temperature issue but I'm clueless too!

MaisieBake Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 6:56am
post #6 of 11

How big is the sheet and how big is the home oven? Do you get good results in the home oven with a smaller pan?

If it's not a size issue, do you have the same power to both mixers? (I'm thinking overmixing at home, which is really counterintuitive.) How about pan grease?

You'd have mentioned it if one oven were convection and one weren't.

vmertsock Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 1:44pm
post #7 of 11

The sheet is actually a half sheet pan which is 13x18. I've not actually tried with a round pan, I haven't had a chance to and thought I'd try to get some help here so I don't have risk throwing out more cake. It's not a particularly cheap recipe to make. Oven at home is a standard size, 30 inch.

At work I typically use a 20 quart Hobart since I make large quantities but I've made it in a pro 5 kitchen aid at work which is the same machine I use at home.

Each pan gets the sides brushed with clarified butter, both at work and at home then lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Neither oven are convections.

Mike1394 Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 2:31pm
post #8 of 11

AHA icon_biggrin.gif A 13x18 in a regular oven is pretty crramped. Are you using bake evn strips, or wet towels around the outside, and a heating core? You don't have the air movement in your home oven that you'll have in a commercial. You'll get a lot of heat from the sides of the oven being so close to the pan.

Mike

MaisieBake Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 4:31pm
post #9 of 11

Agreed. The interior width of a 30" oven is generally around 22". Unless you've got convection that's too small for an 18" pan.

vmertsock Posted 8 Jul 2008 , 11:07pm
post #10 of 11

I definitely hadn't thought of that! I bake 6-7 other flavors on the same sheets the same way at home without any trace of a problem. I don't use bake even strips or a heating core, never had a need to even very large cakes, would this help at home? Is there a way to use those 1/2 sheet pans and have the cake turn out?

alanahodgson Posted 17 Jul 2008 , 1:33am
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

AHA icon_biggrin.gif A 13x18 in a regular oven is pretty crramped. Are you using bake evn strips, or wet towels around the outside, and a heating core? You don't have the air movement in your home oven that you'll have in a commercial. You'll get a lot of heat from the sides of the oven being so close to the pan.

Mike




that was my thought too. Perhaps heat is not circulating properly because the oven is smaller and its such a bit pan.

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