Working With Scratch Cakes

Baking By kger Updated 30 Jun 2010 , 10:54pm by bakescupcakes

kger Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 11:26am
post #1 of 10

I baked a scratch cake last night (Chocolate Stout) and let it cool on the counter overnight with a dishtowel over it. This morning I tried to wrap it in clingwrap and it split in 2 pieces.

I would ideally like to bake from scratch because the state of VA requires labeling of all food products (I'm not in business yet, but would like to perfect my recipes). I've never had any issues with cake mixes, but I foresee bad things with scratch cakes.

I'm assuming torting this sucker isn't going to work, but it's just a practice cake that will be sent to dh's work, so I'll still try it out. But for the scratch bakers, how do you find recipes that are moist enough and dense enough to work with?

9 replies
LindaF144a Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 11:52am
post #2 of 10

Start by reading other cake decorating books. They all have scratch recipes in them.

I wouldn't write off scratch cakes yet. I wrap, slice, flip my cakes all the time and I only once did I have a cake mishap. And that was because I didn't use parchment paper in the bottom of the pan.

I am not familiar with a chocolate stout cake recipe to say it was just that recipe. But if that didn't work, I would either move onto the next or re-examine the way I handled the cake to see if there is something I could do differently. Possibly you have to be a little gentler to this cake recipe. icon_wink.gif

Good luck.

minicuppie Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:00pm
post #3 of 10

You probably either over mixed or over baked.
Or it could have been a bad recipe.
Don't set yourself up for continued failure.
Make that recipe once more, following the mixer speed instructions exactly.
Set the oven timer for 10 minutes less and using a wooden toothpick or skewer insert into the middle of cake (don't remove the pan from the oven...check it really quickly where it sits) when the timer buzzes.
You want to see a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
If it looks ready (touch test) and you still have batter on the tester, bake for another 2 minutes and check again.
Chocolate is notorious for going from raw to over baked in a heatbeat.

bakescupcakes Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 12:33pm
post #4 of 10

Thru alot of trial and error. It can take a while to find recipes that you're happy with. But you'll get there. Family and friends are always more than happy to take the 'rejects' or be the taste testers.

For a dense chocolate cake recipe The Planet Cake choc mud cake is a fabulous recipe! will keep for 3 weeks after baking, really dense, tastes great. I'm not familiar with chocolate stout recipe or method used, so I'm not sure why your cake split.

You mentioned leaving your cake overnight with a dish towel over it. I would probably wrap cake in plastic wrap or place in an air tight container. I've found that cakes made from scratch are genarally better after being frozen. I don't know why (wish I was a food scientist) especially chocolate cake, (actually coconut cake as well) seems to be more moist and flavour is great. Actually I freeze all my cakes/cupcakes. Then take out on day of decorating. Happy baking......

kger Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 1:10pm
post #5 of 10

I baked last night, so I left it out while it cooled on a rack on the counter. If I were going to torte, would I wrap, freeze it, then let it come back to room temp, unwrap and then torte and fill and crumbcoat? Then I need to let it settle for 24 hours (on the counter?), and then decorate. Does that sound like the right steps?

I've also been experimenting with my convection feature because when I bake 2 cakes at the same time, they come out really uneven on regular bake. With my 8" rounds, I cook at 300 for about 15 min and they are done. This was the first time I used the 9x13 rectagular pan with the convection, so I did 325 for 25 min, so it could have been overbaked.

I have a yellow cake for Sat that I would like to do from scratch, but may just have to resort to DH. Any tried and true yellow cake recipes? I'll start digging through the recipes list.

LindaF144a Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 1:48pm
post #6 of 10

I have zero experience with convection oven. When it came time to replace my oven I didn't even opt for it (even though DH encouraged it).

I would suggest if this is your first time making this recipe to bake it first without the convection. Then you have a benchmark of what it should look like. Then try it with the convection and then you can bake it till it looks like it did with the nonconvection just before you took that first one out of the oven. Then you will have a good handle on how long your oven takes with the convection on.

This is the very reason why I opted to not get it. I am too set in my baking ways to try and relearn. I wished I had though, because it does seem to be the direction to go and I should have taken the leap. Oh well.

leah_s Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 1:49pm
post #7 of 10

waitaminit. You can get an 8" round cake baked in 15 minutes? Seriously? I always use convection and have for years and my cakes take at least twice that long.

LindaF144a Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 1:59pm
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by leah_s

waitaminit. You can get an 8" round cake baked in 15 minutes? Seriously? I always use convection and have for years and my cakes take at least twice that long.

You know I had a sneaky feeling that this was not long enough. I based that on what you and others have written on CC.

Good hear from someone with experience.

kger Posted 29 Jun 2010 , 6:44pm
post #9 of 10

You know what, you're right. I take that back. They appeared done at 15 min., nice color, clean toothpick so I took it out and let it sit on the rack a few minutes and only then did I notice it was a little mushy. So I stuck it back in for 10 minutes. But that was a completely different cake last week.

I'm not going to torte this chocolate scratch cake because I don't want it to crumble, but I will go through my books and see what recipes I can gather. I'm looking for things with a "tight crumb," right?

bakescupcakes Posted 30 Jun 2010 , 10:54pm
post #10 of 10

Yes baking, wrapping and freezing is what I do. Then bringing back to room temp, torte and crumb coat. Most recipes are fine with this method. As you start experimenting you'll see that the different methods and quantities of ingredients will change the outcome of your cakes. ie The more butter a recipe has the denser/heavier it is.....the longer you beat your butter and sugar for the fluffier/lighter it will be...the method where you melt butter and add to other liquids then fold into dry ingredients will give you a dense/firm crumb.....hth icon_smile.gif

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