This morning was the first time I tried a WASC recipe. I used a 6" and an 8" round for the tiered cake I'm in the process of making. Here's the problem - first 15 minutes of baking, sides rose, middle not as much. Second 15-20 minutes of baking, middle domed/peaked/and cracked. At this point both centers are still not cooked (skewer test).
I really think this is directly related only to the temperature of my new oven which I'm having a hell of a time reading/getting used to. I have to tone it down 20 degrees from every recipe because it cooks so hot. Do any of you have other suggestions?
I suppose the solution is just to cut off the dome to level it and go from there. Now I'm into a timing crunch too however. I just got off work and am too exhausted to ice it tonight - and it'll be too early to do it tomorrow morning before work. So not only is the SMBC that I made not perfect (salted butter instead of unsalted), now my timing is all over the place. What are your suggestions on how to finish this and when?
Perhaps a little more foresight and not so much ambition would've helped me out here.
PS: From what I can tell, the recipe I used for the cake is unbelievable and the rounds themselves smell delicious and feel fantastic. Can't wait to try it.
What box did you use?
I have been using the WASC recipe from macmoms gourmet flavor list. I think its Rebecca Sutterby's. I use the BC white mix. It bakes so well - no lumps, no cracking, and its DELISH! SOunds like it may just be getting used to your new oven. Good luck. I hope it all turns out.
Too late now but if all possible I will use bake-even stripes and bake cakes at 325degrees. A larger cake like sheets, I will use a flower nail or two and the bake even stripes.
Flower nail? Never heard of that. Then again, I am still new on the block. What do you do, stick it in the middle? I got a core. Does it work as well?
It works like a core. Spray it with pam or whatever and place it in the center of your cake. Sure helps when baking a larger cake. I don't have a core so I don't know if it works as well or not.
I've tried , DH, Pils, and BC with the WASC recipes, and even though I prefer the taste of Pils, when I use the flavored WASC BC never sinks in the middle and comes out perfect everytime.
metal flower nail works good....I prefer my core for larger cakes....maybe reduce temp and bake longer
Reduce your oven temp - and bake longer. I don't use a flower nail unless it is a 12" or bigger round.
My bet is the DH mix. After they reformulated a few yrs ago I've not had luck w/ them & WASC. Other things: bake at 325 w/ bake even strips. I DO use a flower nail, even in my 6" & they come out beautifully!!! (but it does cut down on the baking time). Don't over mix, which will cause a domed & cracked top. Go to baking911.com and type in cake problems into the search box---great info!!!! I have tried to post the link & it gets blocked, why I don't know. Don't open your oven door to check, the opening will cool the oven & cause temp variation.
Not saying you do these things, but others reading might. As for this time: I would level the cakes & make up for the height w/ extra filling (just make sure you have a strong dam!!!! You can mix a little buttercream w/ those cake scraps for a sturdy dam or you can make some lovely cakeballs, or just plop some leftover icing on the scraps & chow down baby & chug on a cold glass of milk!
I am a night owl so I would crank up the coffee & finish leveling, filling & icing then decorate in the morning. I would toss & turn & not sleep well if I left it unfinished. If you don't want to do that get up a few hours early or some people could go take a 30 min nap, get up finish & go back to bed. If you choose to get up early, go ahead & have everything sitting there ready to decorate, don't wait 'til morn to gather everything.
And it is a great recipe. This link has a lot of recipe variations. http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=df4f9hbq_46cs9f28fs . This has some tips as well http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-614554.html
I use only DH mix with the WASC and never have doming, cracking, sinking. Always perfect. I bake at 325, use bake even strips and my oven tests to be accurate. I am very careful NOT to overbeat. Learned my lessons on overbeating from cracked cheesecakes.
Grandmom, I will tell you, you're in the minority. Almost everyone has issue when using DH. So, kuddos to you for it working! hopefully you'll never have problems. If you do, change to BC.
So, what did you end up doing?
My mix of preference is DH too, never have any problems with it. I sift it when I use it and make sure to NOT overmix - works fine - and no flower nail either.
Ok well first of all, thank you for all the responses! Second of all, I actually think that at this point I'm too tired to save it. I can't imagine making fondant tonight and finishing the whole thing before I have to go to work tomorrow. It's not even iced - so I may just try a plain piece to see how the recipe tastes, donate some to the neighbors and call it a night.
Obvious lessons learned are the flower nail (never heard of that - would like to know more), bake even strips (although I've heard good and bad), not to open the oven, and try 325 for a longer period of time (which I think is about 310 in my oven).
Will keep you posted - I'm also going to dump the SMBC I tried, and try again with unsalted butter.
*Sigh* - doesn't seem like a very productive cake week...
Paraphrased from the movie "Meet the Robinsons": we learn from our mistakes, from our successes - not so much.
You'll feel much better when those neighbors gobble up that donated cake and are thanking you between bites.
One bit of advice:
Have your oven calibrated so it registers the correct temperature.
With the flower nail, just coat it w/ your pan grease (non-stick spray, whatever) & put the flat part against the bottom of the pan. Fill your pan & stick it in the oven. With the strips I usually put them in a bowl of cold water before I start mixing my ingredients & they're fully saturated by the time I need them. Then I squeeze slightly, some just pinch it & slide their fingers down the length. You want to get rid of excess water, not squeeze it out like a towel.
If you haven't dumped your SMBC you could put it in the fridge & when you make another batch take a small amount (1/4 c or so) and mix equal amounts of reg SMBC & see how it turns out. It might be ok that way. Another thing is it might go well w/ a caramel cake. Salt & caramel go well together!
Sorry it's such a time issue! The WASC really is my all-time favorite and absolute go-to recipe. And for the record, all I use is DH, so that's not to blame. But I could not agree more with the other posters: Bake longer at a lower temperature. As a matter of fact, I bake at 300 for the first 20 minutes (per Kakeladi's instructions on her original recipe, before Rebecca Sutterby's version where it's basically a double recipe), then at 325 for the rest of the time. The result is a minimal dome, and it can go as long as it needs but is pretty much always perfect throughout. Good luck!!!