So I did a 2 tier cake with intricate 3-d sculpted animals, fondant details, etc. The cake was a vanilla chiffon cake which I use simple syrup between layers. I got an email saying hate to complain because the cake was so beautiful but it was a little dry. I have another order coming up for her so she asked if there was anything I can do to make it not so dry.
The cake itself by nature as a chiffon is not what people are used to say compared to a box mix so I'm wondering if maybe that's the issue. I tried a piece of the cake from the same batch that was baked for a cake that was carved and I thought it was ok. Ideas??
Americans do not expect Chiffon cake and unless the customer specifically requested it, I would not be using Chiffon. It's very easy to overbake and it does stale a little faster than a regular batter style cake. Most Americans grew up on boxed cake so that's the texture they're looking for. (Even in a scratch cake.)
I only bake from scratch, and haven't made a Chiffon cake since culinary school.
leah- THanks for your quick response. I pick the chiffon as I found it firm enough to hold up to carving and light enough for stacked cakes to not have a ridiculously heavy cake but I see your point. I guess the question is now that this customer had the chiffon, do I offer her a new cake for the next order or do I just try to improve the chiffon for the next order?
I'd explain to her that you'd chosen a different, but "classic" style of cake. If she'd prefer a more "traditional" style of cake you can provide that also.
But yes, I'd get off the Chiffon bandwagon.
Agreed, Chiffon cakes are dry by nature, that is why they pair so well with syrups and fruit compotes. They are sponge cakes. They are meant to soak up something. I consider Chiffons and other sponge cakes to be symbiotic. They really rely on the moist element to bring out their best qualities, without it, they just are too dry to please, and their delicate flavors loose their charm due to the dryness. And simple syrup to me is just awful tasting and does nothing to assist truly with moisture.
leah- THanks for your quick response. I pick the chiffon as I found it firm enough to hold up to carving and light enough for stacked cakes to not have a ridiculously heavy cake but I see your point.
I make a super moist and SUPER dense and HEAVY cake...........the weight of the cake has nothing to do with stacking them, you're relying on your support for that. I could stack concrete blocks as long as I can get my sps legs down through them lol.
As for carving, as long as your cake has a nice tight crumb to it, regardless of how light or dense it is...it will carve fine. Fluffy, airy cakes on the other hand don't fare as well with carving!
Khalstead- I wasn;t referring to the weight in having problems stacking them but rather dealing with the full weight of the cake when it comes to boxing it up, and me carrying to transport. I think we'd all agree it's easier to carry a stack of pillows then a stack of concrete blocks
oh, I gotcha........I thought you meant for stability!
Hi, I had a problem very similar a few months ago, and I had to replace the cake. But I wanted to share with you if you get a chance to buy this book which I have found very useful it's named Cake for dummies. The recipies it states in this book (chapter 6) have been great not only for me but for my customers.
Take a look on it, and I'm sure you will not regret.
Have a nice day, and good luck with your cake, I'm sure you'll do it fine this time.
I don't care for chiffon myself....and with the syrup to me it just tastes like "soggy stale cake" haha....
I use doctored box mix for my vanilla cakes and then scratch for pound, chocolate, and some other flavors. Everyone raves over all of them equally. I agree people are looking for that "fluffy" bakery style cake flavor. When I can find one that tastes like it from scratch I may make the final switch but so far I have not! Plus, I like using the boxes at times because if a customer orders "chocolate and vanilla" or "marble" it works great because my chocolate recipe is very dense and will not bake up well with a vanilla fluffy cake.
You might ask her if she ate the cake cold, straight out of the fridge--we had big problems with that at the bakery. Almost all complaints of dry cake were because the cake was not allowed to come to room temperature first. (bigger think with butter cakes, but it seemed true with sponges as well--I think the syrup gets cold and solidifies a bit and seems "dry")
I would suggest to her that she order a different flavor for next time. I would not offer a refund. She will see with her next cake that it is not you, the baker, who does not make tasty cakes, it is the flavor that was used at the time.
When customers place an order I always tell them to pick the cake up well in advance because it needs to come to room temp. When they're cold then they're hard and not very good, actually. They need to get cozy at room temp and let the flavors develop.