Aaarrrggghhh!!!! Mushycentermushycentermushycenter!!

Baking By emiyeric Updated 26 Aug 2010 , 5:18pm by emiyeric

emiyeric Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 8:20pm
post #1 of 18

I'm working on a bit of a deadline for a cake for tomorrow for a friend (a slab of steak, which in theory shouldn't be too difficult!), and everything seems to be conspiring against me (lost ingredients I had already bought at the grocery store, probably just left a bag at the checkout, and had to go back and get again ... things along those lines). I usually use variations of the WASC, which I know bakes up beautifully and I can fully trust. However, my firend specifically requested Red Velvet, and I decided against committing the travesty of doctoring up a box, since it seems that Southern tastes run so strongly as to completely reject an ill-made RV cake icon_wink.gif.

So! I used the Cakeman Raven recipe, which everybody gushed about, with 1/2 cup oil as many recommended (there are versions with up to 1 1/2 cups oil and many people were complaining about the oiliness), and I doubled the recipe to make a 3-inch 8x8 square cake. It came out perfectly (or so I thought), and I let it cool yesterday, and torted it today. But when I went to separate the layers, the entire middle was MUSHY ... not sure if it's just too oily, or simply underdone (though it torted perfectly), but I can't possibly bring it to the party like this and expect people to have red velvet pudding in the middle of their cake! So I've wrapped the "good" parts of the cake in foil and am currently letting it sit in the oven with the mushy centers exposed .... will go check again shortly ...

Any other suggestions?

17 replies
tiggy2 Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 8:38pm
post #2 of 18

How long did you bake it? Did you happen to use a heating core or flower nail in the center to help it cook? Did it test done?

LindaF144a Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 8:57pm
post #3 of 18

My vision of a mushy center probably wouldn't be able to be split. Can you post a photo by any chance?

emiyeric Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 9:36pm
post #4 of 18

I baked it like I usually bake my 8-in squares ... 300 degrees for 20 minutes, then 325 for about an hour, until the middle of the cake springs back when you press on it. It definitely did all of this, and rose very evenly, very nicely ... didn't fall after taking it out. It's a little late to take a picture, sorry ... I already popped it back into the oven, and two of the layers actually worked very nicely (though I have yet to see if the rest of the cake got dried out too much .... ARGH! Fortunately I have a very moist cream cheese filling ...). The third layer actually got BROWNED on the bottom. I had to torte it once more to shave all the hard bron part off. SO frustrated at this point!!!!! ARGH!!!!

emiyeric Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 9:47pm
post #5 of 18

Thinking I'm going to rebake ... dagnammit, this timeline is totally and completely off. At least it isn't a stacked cake! ARGH!

leah_s Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 10:15pm
post #6 of 18

Baking a 3" thick cake is always a dodgy proposition. Better to bake a thinner layer and torte.

emiyeric Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 10:23pm
post #7 of 18

I hear ya icon_mad.gif . I don't usually have a problem with my WASCs, but then again, I know them so well I could do them in my sleep. Also, I don't usually use a flower nail with a cake smaller than 10 inches, regardless of the depth, but I've learned my lesson: for any cake I don't know well enough, and I don't have time to repeat at my leisure, I'll just need to foolproof myeself as much as possible and use one. Anyhow! No sense crying over spilled milk, I'm off to rebake as quickly as possible to give everything time to sit and cool and settle and such. Looks like I'll be joining the Friday Night Club tonight, Leah icon_wink.gif.

tiggy2 Posted 14 Aug 2010 , 12:22am
post #8 of 18

I always test my cakes in the center even if it springs back. Use a skewer or long tooth pick.

kjxoxo1 Posted 17 Aug 2010 , 2:49am
post #9 of 18

I had this exact same thing happen to me. This was a pound cake recipe which I iced with buttercream. We cut the cake and everyone had some. Next day, the middle was mushy!!! Someone thought I had inserted pudding in the middle and I had not. I mean the cake went from completely done to being mushy in the middle. Im at a loss as well. I used the stick in the middle so I know it was done thru and thru. I am dumbfounded. I would appreciate any feedback from those experienced bakers out there as well.

Herekittykitty Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:08pm
post #10 of 18

I had this happen to me on my 1st-4th WASC cake. The 5th&6th finally came out (non oil WASC). They were fine on baking day but the next day after freezing and thawing - soup in the middle. Never was able to figure out what happened.

Rosie2 Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 5:50pm
post #11 of 18

So, what's the solution for 3' pans?? flower nail? baking strips? heating core? all of the above? I've been buying 3' pans thinking that they save baking time, but it's true about the mushy middle icon_sad.gif
You don't know how much cake I throw away icon_redface.gif

---hobby baker here--- icon_smile.gif

artscallion Posted 18 Aug 2010 , 6:16pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosie2

So, what's the solution for 3' pans?? flower nail? baking strips? heating core? all of the above? I've been buying 3' pans thinking that they save baking time, but it's true about the mushy middle icon_sad.gif
You don't know how much cake I throw away icon_redface.gif

---hobby baker here--- icon_smile.gif




Rosie, if you're baking in 3 foot pans, you might need to throw a brick in there! icon_surprised.gificon_wink.gif

But seriously, I always use both baking strips and a flower nail or two, no matter what size pan. I've had success with 3" pans, but not with all recipes. Fortunately, I generally use 2" pans.

Rosie2 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 1:56am
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosie2

So, what's the solution for 3' pans?? flower nail? baking strips? heating core? all of the above? I've been buying 3' pans thinking that they save baking time, but it's true about the mushy middle icon_sad.gif
You don't know how much cake I throw away icon_redface.gif

---hobby baker here--- icon_smile.gif



Rosie, if you're baking in 3 foot pans, you might need to throw a brick in there! icon_surprised.gificon_wink.gif

But seriously, I always use both baking strips and a flower nail or two, no matter what size pan. I've had success with 3" pans, but not with all recipes. Fortunately, I generally use 2" pans.


LOL sorry I meant 3"inch icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif ahhhhh, most of my pans are 3" (inch lol)...and here I am thinking I'm so smart by buying deep pans to save on baking time, icon_cry.gif
Ok, I'll do the baking strips and flower nails. Thank youuuuu!!! thumbs_up.gif

kjxoxo1 Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 4:12am
post #14 of 18

I still wonder why mines turned mushy after we tasted it and it was not mushy. I baked three cakes from the same batch. Two of the three did not turn to mush. The third one did--it was also the one that I iced with buttercream frosting. The inner core became mushy just like pudding. I would appreciate any input. I hope I am not taking over the original post but this is really irking me.
Thank you sooo much!!

GI Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 2:15pm
post #15 of 18

I had TWO NINE" pans, 2-1/2" tall WASC MUSHY in middle, too! icon_cry.gif I rebaked in THREE 9" PANS and it rose up the 2" tall. (My cakes are scratch, but same thing will happen with the DH recipe, too...grrrr!) I used a cake thermeter on this last set and it baked all the way thru. And I use it all: wraps, inverted nails. NOT the 3" pans because to me the cakes would fall flat as a pancake whenever I used my scratch recipes.

I have found the TOP part of a WASC cake will be a bit gooey after freezing. So what I did was 3/4-way into thawing, I UNwrapped the cakeand let it thaw out the rest of the way in open air (no fan or any breeze of any kind). THIS open air seemed to be the trick.

And another thing, the new ovens out on the market are CRAP for baking. I have to set mine waaaaay down and track it with the digital oven thermometer and bake twice as long on the cakes. (In my next life, my ovens will be perfect! icon_biggrin.gif )

For the RV cake: The scratch recipe here on the website is perfect and I've never had the mushy middles. icon_smile.gif

emiyeric Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 10:09pm
post #16 of 18

So here's my update! I ended up rebaking the whole thing, and again had the same mushy center problem. Fortunately, I took your guys' advice and checked the center (even though pressing down on the top made it totally spring back the way it usually does, no clue it wasn't solid through and through), and it was still underdone, so back in the oven it went. Low temperatures and flower nail, and it ended up with the perfect consistency (the top was crustier than usual, but nothing my Agbay couldn't fix icon_wink.gif ). So thanks for all your help! Won't be baking another RV in awhile, though icon_wink.gif.

Finished product:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1784449

ECSCOOKS Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 4:54pm
post #17 of 18

wow looks great! love the steak do! might have to do this for my dad!

emiyeric Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 5:18pm
post #18 of 18

Thanks so much! It's a lot if fun to do the painting!

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