AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 11:28am
post #1 of

I recently made a scratch recipe and it came out a tad dry. I was wondering if I overbaked it. I checked it at 50 minutes (the earliest time) and the toothpick tested mostly clean (a few crumbs sticking to it), but it was still slightly jiggly in the center. I let it go another 5 minutes or so (can't remember exactly) and then wrapped it while it was still warm. Wrapped it several times in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and froze it for a few days.

When I torted it yesterday I could tell it was a bit dry. My husband and I thought it was dry but everyone thought it tasted incredible. I really want to keep this recipe because of the crumb texture and the taste, but it could definitely use some moisture.

Do you think I could have pulled it when I initially tested it even though it was slightly jiggly in the center?

The recipe is Dede Wilson's Lemon Buttermilk Cake for those of you who have her book. I made the 10 inch recipe. I can't remember all the ingredients off the top of my head, but there's like 3 3/4 sticks of butter in it, plus 8 eggs and a cup plus two tablespoons of buttermilk. I will try to post the recipe when I get back from church.

36 replies
mistypup Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 1:27pm
post #2 of

I'm not familiar with that recipe, but if it's one you like and just want to add a bit more moisture you can add a simple syrup soak when you are filling it. Just bring equal parts water and sugar to a boil, cool, and lightly brush each layer of your torted cake with it before adding your filling.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 3:04pm
post #3 of

Thanks for your reply. I didn't have time to do a simple syrup wash but I did think of that.

Does anyone else have any ideas?

imagenthatnj Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 3:51pm
post #4 of

I only make cakes from scratch and I don't think I've ever have to go to 50 min, but I just checked that recipe and it does say the cake will be done in 50-60 min.

The only thing you haven't told us is if you baked in 2" high pans. Or, if you baked in higher pans.

I used 9" pans mostly because I bake a lot from Sky High (Alysa Huntsman) and those are 9" cakes, 3 layers. My pans are only 2" tall, so not sure what you used. I know some people who don't like baking in anything higher than that. I saw the Dede Wilson recipe specifies 2" high pans.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 3:56pm
post #5 of

I did use 2 inch pans, Magic Line, with baking strips. It came right up to the top of the pan, and that was filling 3/4 full with batter left over.

I'm beginning to think I should have pulled it out early, when it was still jiggly.

imagenthatnj Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 4:09pm
post #6 of

Seems like you did everything right. Yes, you should probably have pulled it out early. I know about the syrup tip, but I usually won't like adding sweetness to my cake. Some recipes do have liquor brushed on them, or poured on them and I like that better.

Just curious, did you have to bake the two cakes all at once in your oven, did they go on the same rack? I noticed that it says it's two pans with batter. I didn't read the whole thing through because I was just looking at an Amazon preview of the book.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 4:23pm
post #7 of

Ok here's the thing...I bought the Magic Line set a while back which only had one of each size, so I only had one 10 inch. So I baked one, then waited for it to cool, then baked the second. So I had one in the oven on the middle rack baking at 350.

I agree about not adding sweetness. I filled it with lemon curd and man that stuff is sweet.

Marianna46 Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 4:48pm
post #8 of

Have you checked to see that your oven temperature is correct? It might be burning hotter or cooler than the dial says and that would affect how your cake finally comes out. I think if you had taken the cake out while it was still jiggly in the middle, that part would have been slightly raw. At least that's my experience with these things!

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 4:53pm
post #9 of

Thanks for your reply. I was worried about the cake being raw so I wanted to leave it in there a bit longer. I have not calibrated my oven, but it's only a few years old so I thought it would be ok. I might try to do that and see what happens. The recipe has 8 eggs so I thought that may have had something to do with it being jiggly.

Thanks again everyone for your help.

AC

LindaF144a Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 6:56pm

A 10" might benefit from a rose nail or other baking core you put in the middle to get it to bake evenly. I know I did that the last time I made a 10".
As for being dry. I don't have the recipe so I can't comment on it. It could be the nature of the cake. Have you googled it to see if there are any reviews? And does she mention a simple syrup in the book? Some cake recipes are forumulated knowing that a simple syrup is going to be added.

But a simple syrup will not make a dry cake moist. I have tried, it doesn't work. It just helps to hold in the moisture that is there. I did try a cake once that someone try to moisten up by adding the simple syrup to the slice. It was an utter fail. The parts that had the syrup were moist where the rest was dry. I actually left 3/4 of the cake behind.

Can you give me the title of the book? I would like to see the recipe with 8 eggs. I'm curious. It could have 8 eggs because of the amount of batter made. Two 10" pans need a lot of batter. It is what is in the rest of the recipe that will determine if 8 eggs contributed to the jiggliness.

imagenthatnj Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 7:08pm

Agree with everything LindaF144a says. I've tried the simple syrups. I only put them in if they're part of the recipe and most of the time they're more than that. I make a pina colada cake and it's a brown cake brushed with rum because the buttercream has coconut in it. It's more a flavor than a way to make the cake moist. The cake is already moist to start with.

Linda, I searched all over for the recipe and for reviews on it, and I couldn't find anything. So I went to Amazon and googled her book and then inside the book I did a search for the recipe.

This is the book.

http://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Cake-Book-Dede-Wilson/dp/0028612345/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1297623817&sr=8-2

Just go into the preview and search for: Lemon buttermilk cake. It's on page 107.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 8:46pm

Here's the recipe:

5 2/3 cups unsifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of baking powder
15 oz (3 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 3/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon oil
8 large eggs
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Sift together the cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside. Place the butter in your mixer's bowl. With the flat paddle, beat the butter until it is light and creamy on medium-high speed. Add the sugar gradually, beating well between additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Beat in the lemon oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will seem soupy, but as the butter-sugar mixture absorbs the eggs, it comes together into a creamy mass. Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients alternately in 5 batches, mixing well after all the ingredients are added. Bake 50 to 60 minutes at 350.

The notes say this freezes well for a month or can be kept at room temperature for four days.

There is a section in the book about the simple syrup, but nothing says that is required for this specific recipe.

There is a 6 inch recipe and that calls for 3 eggs, but that is the smallest size. She lists recipes for 6, 10, and 14 inch cakes.

Thanks again for taking time to help me out. I really like this recipe. Actually, I made the 10 inch for my wedding but I didn't torte it, so I can't tell if it was dry. But everyone at the wedding flipped out over it so it must not have been too bad.

Thanks again,
AC

CakeandDazzle Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:04pm

there isnt enough leavening it looks like to me, but i dont think that would have anything to do with dryness...
try subing a stick of butter for 1/2 mayo... i swear by mayo... but it actually seems like alot of butter...
probably a good flavor though because of the amount of lemon oil in it...

LindaF144a Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:14pm

I don't want to go against someone who has written a book and has used it this way for years. But I don't like the mixing method. It is not a true creaming method, which is the method I would use.

Plus all the ingredients amounts are in line with a doubled recipe, except for the buttermilk. I've seen recipes that have 2 cups of buttermilk for a single batch with half of the other ingredients.

It might be me because I can never leave well enough alone, but I would be tempted to up that buttermilk. The measurement is wierd. 1 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons is 2 tablespoons shy of 2 cups. Really? 2 whole cups is not going to throw the whole thing off.

Plus, the amount of baking soda and baking powder seems low. The standard is 1/4 tsp soda for each cup of flour or 1 tsp of baking powder per cup of flour. Now this varies given the size of the pan, so it may be why it is so low, and it will not raise and come out even like you want. But leavening also acts as a tenderizer to some degree which can in turn make the cake feel like it is less dry than it actually is.

The other thing is cake flour. It absorbs way more liquid than AP flour, so again the amount of liquid. So this means you can put more liquid into a cake than you would with AP flour.

Plus what is with all the "plus a pinch" stuff. That is not very precise. I highly doubt that a pinch of something could throw it off, but it screams amateur IMO.

If you used it before than obviously it works and I'm just being anal. I think that we all have our own interpretation of dry. I've been testing cupcakes all week that I think are terribly dry, but I am the only one out of all the ones my DH and DD are sharing these with, so go figure.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:14pm

It definitely rises though! That sucker rose above the pan the first time I made it.

The flavor is truly awesome. I love that it uses lemon oil, although it's expensive. I've been buying the drams of lemon oil from Lorann-it takes like 5 of them to make the 10 inch, and they're about 1.50 a piece.

I thought it would be really moist too with all that butter and the buttermilk.

Thanks for your suggestion about the mayo.

LindaF144a Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:22pm

I was reading in Heavenly Cakes (I think) or Cake Bible that Mayo is one of those odd ingredients for cakes that works. After all mayo is just emulsified egg yolks, vinegar and oil.

I would just be careful of which mayo you use. Some of them have mustard in that also as I found when I went ingredient hunting last week. I think I'll stick to good old Hellman's when I do try it. Although it does have soybean oil and I am not a fan of using that. We get way too much soy in our food chain as is with me purposely putting it into a cake. I did find a Canola oil may in the organic section of my grocer (Wegmans, CakeandDazzle). But at $5.00 for a pint it was pricey. Still I'm leaning towards trying this or just making my own mayo.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:30pm

Thanks Linda for your reply. I thought the plus a pinch business was strange two. So how much total leavening would you add? I will up the buttermilk to 2 cups.

I'm going to pull out my Cake Bible and see what's up with the mayo.

Thanks again!

imagenthatnj Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:35pm

Anniecahill, I am posting the Vanilla Buttermilk recipe I have. It's about the same ingredients as the Dede one you posted, but mixed differently. It has vanilla extract as the flavoring which you could try as is, or you could substitute for lemon oil. Maybe you want to try this one and see if it's comparable to the other one.

This one has less egg whites than yolks for moistness.


Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

This might be one of the best yellow cakes to come out of my kitchen, and I will certainly be coming back to it to try it in cupcake format soon. My notes are the same as for the chocolate cake above: you cannot scrape the bowl down enough. Otherwise, the cake is really quite simple, a relief when youve got, oh, 6 layers of it to bake.

Makes one three-layer 9-inch round cake [Equivalent in batter to an 8-inch square; we scaled it up for a 10-inch square/middle tier of the wedding cake]

3 3/4 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1/3 cup buttermilk
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter three 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.

2. Combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and 1 1/4 cup of the buttermilk. Mix on low speed briefly to blend; then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and the remaining 1/3 cup buttermilk until well blended. Pour one-third of the egg mixture into the cake batter at a time, folding it in completely after each addition. There will be 9 cups of batter; our 3 cups batter into each pan.

4. Bake for 26 to 28 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5. Turn the layers out onto wire racks by placing a rack on top of a pan, inverting it, and lifting off the pan. Peel off the paper liners and let cool completely. When the layers have cooled, place a cardboard cake board on top of a layer, invert again, and lift off the rack. To make the layers easier to handle, wrap them on their boards completely in plastic, so they dont dry out, and refrigerate them.

I have the Sky High book, but I'm posting this here, because it's already out there on the internet.

This is the link to the blog:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/07/project-wedding-cake-the-cake-is-baked/

CakeandDazzle Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:40pm

use my white cake recip & replace the vanilla & almond with lemon oil (or lemon juice & zest!)

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 9:48pm

Thanks for posting that recipe. I might give that one a try. I had seen that blog before and I've heard a lot of good things about that book. Have you tried many recipes from the Sky High book? I might pick it up if it's worth buying. Does that recipe you posted use the reverse creaming method? It looks like it to me with the creaming of the dry ingredients with the butter and the buttermilk. That is another method I wanted to try in my scratch recipes.

C&D, would you share your white recipe? Do you just replace the extracts to make it lemon?

imagenthatnj Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:03pm

I've tried about 12 recipes from Sky High. There were more than 100 bloggers baking from that book two years ago, and posting their success. They baked exclusively from it for a year (the Daring Bakers). That's when I bought it.

All her cakes work to perfection. I've never had a bad experience with any of them. She's a pastry chef so I very much trust her recipes. I do change the frostings, though, because she uses a lot of heavy cream-based frostings and I make IMBC. I just pick up the flavor she's using and use it in my IMBC. But the fillings and cakes are amazing.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:08pm

I'm reading the reviews on that book right now. What irritates me about Dede is that she's a pastry chef too...you'd think she'd come up with something better than "a pinch of whatever." Haha.

I'm glad you posted that particular recipe because I liked how the other one had the butter and the buttermilk. It was really rich tasting. Lots of flavor.

Do you think the recipe you posted would work for two 10" rounds?

One more question...in the book are there recipes for the different sizes of pans? That is one feature I like about Dede's book.

imagenthatnj Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:16pm

For some of the recipes, at the end of the book there are recipes for different size pans, only because they're wedding cakes. Otherwise you will have to scale. I think you can try using the 2 10" pans. I've done the same recipe with 3 6" pans plus a few tiny 2 and 3" pans. I test recipes continuously and we can't eat that much cake so fast, so I make 6" cakes that I can give away. I'm not selling anything. Just baking for fun, so It's good this way. I have every book out there and this is the only one I bake a lot from because people like those cakes.

Well, I have every book out there except for Dede's. lol

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:21pm

Ok that's great. Yeah I can't keep a bunch of cake around here either. I like doing little tester cakes.

LindaF144a Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:21pm

I like what I read about the mile high cake book. The only thing is I do not like the taste of cake flour.
There is more to just changing out the amount of flour you use to using cake vs AP in a recipe. I'll have to take the time to see if the one posted is easy to change. If it is, I think I'll be buying the book. Thanks for sharing.

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:26pm

Dang I didn't know there was a taste difference between the two flours. I use Softasilk because it's all I can find here.

imagenthatnj Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:49pm

Sky High uses a lot of cake flour. I still haven't found the slightly sour taste after the cake is baked. Maybe it's because a lot of her recipes have buttermilk, lemon and other flavorings like those.

Her chocolate cake has sour cream, vegetable oil and vinegar in it, so maybe that's why I can't find the "different" cake flour taste I'm looking for.

AnnieCahill, this is a good blog for you to read all about flours and other pastry stuff.

http://www.joepastry.com/category/baking-basics/flour-basics/cake-flour/

LindaF144a, if you ever bake from this book, let me know if you can find the "taste" of cake flour in the cake. Maybe I've never had a bad cake flour cake so I really don't know what I'm looking for. I know you're very experienced in scratch cakes. I read this forum a lot. I wish I had more time to test different recipes. I have a friend who's baking 4 banana cake recipes at the same time, 4 carrot cake recipes, 4 chocolate cake recipes, and having a blind test with her friends. Very surprising what people choose! I wish I had the time to do that!

AnnieCahill Posted 13 Feb 2011 , 10:54pm

Thanks for the link to that blog. I am really looking to hone my scratch skills so I love reading all kinds of cookbooks.

LindaF144a Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 12:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

Sky High uses a lot of cake flour. I still haven't found the slightly sour taste after the cake is baked. Maybe it's because a lot of her recipes have buttermilk, lemon and other flavorings like those.

Her chocolate cake has sour cream, vegetable oil and vinegar in it, so maybe that's why I can't find the "different" cake flour taste I'm looking for.

AnnieCahill, this is a good blog for you to read all about flours and other pastry stuff.

http://www.joepastry.com/category/baking-basics/flour-basics/cake-flour/

LindaF144a, if you ever bake from this book, let me know if you can find the "taste" of cake flour in the cake. Maybe I've never had a bad cake flour cake so I really don't know what I'm looking for. I know you're very experienced in scratch cakes. I read this forum a lot. I wish I had more time to test different recipes. I have a friend who's baking 4 banana cake recipes at the same time, 4 carrot cake recipes, 4 chocolate cake recipes, and having a blind test with her friends. Very surprising what people choose! I wish I had the time to do that!




The only time I have been able to taste cake flour is in a recipe where i use milk alone. When I use sour cream or buttermilk I don't notice it. In fact I didn't believe it had a different taste until I made a cake without buttermilk, then I could taste it.

I'll see if they have this in my local library and make a couple of cakes before I buy. It may work out after all.

LindaF144a Posted 14 Feb 2011 , 1:50am

I thought I remembered this recipe coming up before in conversation. I was cleaning out my watched topic section and noticed this discussion. I thought you might like to see it.

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-682552.html

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