What Am I Doing Wrong?! Please Help!!

Decorating By chocaholikk Updated 18 Mar 2013 , 7:20pm by chocaholikk

chocaholikk Posted 16 Mar 2013 , 10:09pm
post #1 of 16

AHello all u luvly cakers. I have a poblem that I cant seem to fix with whatever size cakes im baking. Basically I have subscribed to a cake decotating magazine and I follow all the directions of the recipie so im guessing im doing it right. I made a 10" chocolate cake today and put all the batter in the tin and thought id cut it in half to fill it but when the cake csmw out of the oven it had shrunk from the sides to like an 8inch and the cske had risen to its max but it wss only about 3 inches high... What am I doing wrong? Ive now had to bake another of the same cake so that I can sandwich them together...

Please help!!

Thabks in advance xxx

15 replies
denetteb Posted 16 Mar 2013 , 10:28pm
post #2 of 16

Have you checked your oven temp with a separate oven thermometer?  Are you overbaking the cakes?   3 inches high is actually pretty high for a single layer of cake.  How high are you intending it to be?  I think you may want to consider not trying to get such a high cake and aim for a 2 inch finished layer and use two together with filling or icing in between.

Popfizz Posted 16 Mar 2013 , 11:45pm
post #3 of 16

What sort of flour did the recipe ask for? Does it have a rising agent incorporated, or do you have to add some baking powder?

 

If it didn't rise, usually I found flour with rising agents tend to go a bit flat if the pack has been opened too long. If the recipe has no rising agent in, then it could be that air is principle rising agent - as you bake, the heat expands the air bubbles in the mix. A rising agent does something similar as a gas is the product of a chemical reaction in the baking powder or rising agent.

 

If it is shrinking that much, it may mean your oven is set too high.

chocaholikk Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:11am
post #4 of 16

AHi. Thank you so much for yout replies. I used 338g sugar, marg (flora) 6 eggs and 338 cocoa 263 self raising flour and 75 cocoa. I set it to 180 degrees on my fan assisted oven for 45 mins. The cake shrunk from the sides by about 2 inches and only rose less than half way up the tin. Also when I was layering the cake there were holes incthe middle like an aero chocolate... Sorry to sound sill but im very new to baking... Thanks for your help in advance xxx

Chellescakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:23am
post #5 of 16

Sounds like your temp was too high and you baked a bit long. I would swap the marg for butter too as that seems to make a difference. 

chocaholikk Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 9:26am
post #6 of 16

AThank you for your reply. How long would you bake for and at whst temp? Which butter is best for cskes? Lurpack??

Chellescakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 11:57am
post #7 of 16

It is impossible to give you a definitive time and temp for baking , it is something you are going to have to work out with your own oven. Everyone's oven is different. 

 

It would be wise to get yourself an oven thermometer , to see what the true temp of your oven is and usually as a rule of thumb you wipe 20 degrees off a fan forced oven. 

I cook a cake until it smells right , but I have been baking since I was a small child . I usually use the recipe as a guide when cooking something for the first time and start checking my cake about 5-10 mins before the recipe says it should be done.  The recipe you have up there seems to be for a chocolate Genoise sponge . It is done when it springs back lightly to the touch . 

Chellescakes Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 12:01pm
post #8 of 16

As for butter , I don't know the brands you have in the UK . I just use a supermarket brand here in Australia . I do like the Aldi one the best though. 

Oboeplayer Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 12:22pm
post #9 of 16

Hi Chocaholikk. Just a thought   Are your magazines from the US? I live in UK but used to live in America. I had some real disasters trying to bake tried and tested recipes from UK in the US. The flour and fats are quite different and from my experience recipes from other countries don't necessarily work out the same. 

Oboeplayer Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 12:28pm
post #10 of 16

I just re read your post and realised you said you were using Flora. It's really meant for spreading, not baking. Try Stork instead. 

Margaret393 Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 1:12pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by chocaholikk 

Hi. Thank you so much for yout replies.
I used 338g sugar, marg (flora) 6 eggs and 338 cocoa 263 self raising flour and 75 cocoa.
I set it to 180 degrees on my fan assisted oven for 45 mins.
The cake shrunk from the sides by about 2 inches and only rose less than half way up the tin.
Also when I was layering the cake there were holes incthe middle like an aero chocolate...
Sorry to sound sill but im very new to baking...
Thanks for your help in advance xxx

 

Hi chocaholikk

 

Over mixing the batter can cause the formation of air bubbles - which burst during the cooking process, causing holes to appear in the finished cake. Alternating the addition of the wet ingredients with the dry - at a slower speed helps avoid this happening. You described the appearance of your finished cake as " areo chocolate"  This is a common enough problem, mainly among cake beginners  - so don't worry, your not alone!

 

I agree with the other posters, your oven temperature was too high for a FAN assisted oven. Try lowering temperature to between 150 -160. However cooking times vary - depends on type of recipe, consistency of cake batter, depth and size of the cake.Cake recipe mixes divided between 2" high sandwich tins, will cook in a shorter time, than the same mix in a 3"  tin or higher. Using a cocktail stick or cake skewer - check cooking progress about 10mins before the actual recommended cooking time. If stick/skewer comes out clean the cake is done, and if not, leave in oven, and check again at 5 min intervals thereafter.

 

You will find that the more cakes you make, the better the results. Success comes with experience - often through TRIAL and ERROR, so don't be too hard on yourself! Good luck in the future. Happy Baking!!!

 

Regards

Margaret393

Norasmom Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 1:16pm
post #12 of 16

Also, using bake-even strips, they are so helpful!  I make my own with towels.  Metal flower nails as heating cores might help as well.

chocaholikk Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:36pm
post #13 of 16

Hi,

Thank you everyone for your replies.

The Magazine i have subscribed to is 'Cake Decorating' im guessing thats a UK magazine.

The reason i use flora is because it was suggested by a cake maker but i will definately try stork aswel.

all your replies have been very very helpful so thank you from a very new cake baker.

i have made a few cakes and i think for a beginner im doing pretty ok...what are your thoughts on my pictures? please be honest i wont be hurt if you dont like them infact your honest opinion will be helping me to improve in the future...

 

thanks a bunch! xxx

chocaholikk Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:47pm
post #14 of 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These cakes have been baked in this order. so i think im getting the hang of it...what do u think? any suggestions would be much appreciated xxx

Spireite Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 6:14pm
post #15 of 16

Hi Chocaholic.... one or 2 points that MAY help....or may not...every oven and every cake is different.

 

Margarine....Stork is the best...and I now use the foil wrapped block following a tip from here and NOT the tub.  Sainsbury's do an own brand that is slightly cheaper, but I'm still experimenting with that!...For special cakes I always use proper (unsalted) butter.

 

Fan assisted oven, I always start my cakes at 160 degrees and then drop to 130 after about 40 mins.  Each of my cakes is different so I keep a record in a little kitchen note book, as sometimes the 130 stage takes 25 mins and sometimes 40 mins!!!  It really is trial and error (still!!) for me! I test them with a metal skewer to check for doneness.

 

I've never tried the bake easy strips, as I always put a shallow roasting tin with water in (about an inch deep) in the bottom of my oven to humidify it.  This gets placed in a cold oven  and THEN I heat my oven.  I find this especially useful for rich fruit cakes so they don't dry out.

 

Another tip from here is to line your tins with greaseproof paper so it sticks up around the tin so when it rises, it doesn't 'spill' over the edge and look like a muffin top!! I haven't tried this tip yet!!!

 

Happy baking and good luckicon_biggrin.gif

chocaholikk Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 7:20pm
post #16 of 16

AThabk you spireit. All info taken on board. Thank you so much for ur help!

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