Chocolate cake failure - help please

Baking By PEIgirl Updated 13 Apr 2013 , 6:45pm by MsNeuropil

PEIgirl Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 5:52pm
post #1 of 15

I need some help with my chocolate cake. For the longest time I used the Hersey recipe ( https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=184 ) and found that it is easy and well loved.  Recently though, it has failed on me several times. I don't think I am doing anything different than before. I did some reading on this forum and saw that it was suggested to reduce both the baking soda and baking powder to 1 tsp and use 1 cup sour cream instead of milk.  The first time I made it with the changes, it was excellent. Now I made it today and I can tell that it failed..it's heavy and fell flat and I just know when I cut into it, it will be thick fudgey like ... in a bad way.  It's like it never cooks even though the toothpick comes out clean. I even left it in the oven for a little longer but with no difference.  Do you think this could be my oven?  I don't seem to have trouble with any other cake though.  Do you think I should have a new recipe all together and if so, I would love some new chocolate cake recipes to try.  (p.s. I had all my ingredients at room temp).  I'm feeling discouraged that I am having so much trouble with a simple chocolate cake

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14 replies
cakeyouverymuch Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 6:52pm
post #2 of 15

Have you changed the brand of any of your ingredients recently?

kazita Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 6:54pm
post #3 of 15

AI've been searching the internet and cc and this chocolate cake recipe gets high reviews. I've never tried it it just keeps coming up with good reviews.

www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Double-Chocolate-Layer-Cake-101275

HAPPY BAKING. :grin:

PEIgirl Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 7:04pm
post #4 of 15

I don't think that I have changed any ingredient brands lately. 

 

Is it possible that my ingredients were too warm?? I set my eggs and sour cream on the window sill to warm up and the sun was shining brightly on them and seemed really warm in that spot. Perhaps I over did it... is that even a possibility?  The last time when I was trying to make sure that my eggs, milk/sour cream were warm, the same thing happened to my cake.

 

I just cut into my cake and it has to be thrown out..it's like a mousse cake or something....doesn't look or feel right :(
 

kazita Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 7:08pm
post #5 of 15

A

Original message sent by PEIgirl

I don't think that I have changed any ingredient brands lately. 

Is it possible that my ingredients were too warm?? I set my eggs and sour cream on the window sill to warm up and the sun was shining brightly on them and seemed really warm in that spot. Perhaps I over did it... is that even a possibility?  The last time when I was trying to make sure that my eggs, milk/sour cream were warm, the same thing happened to my cake.

I just cut into my cake and it has to be thrown out..it's like a mousse cake or something....doesn't look or feel right :(

 

Oh that's to bad :-( I'm sorry that you did all that work for it to turn out badly.

PEIgirl Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 7:11pm
post #6 of 15

I'm in dire need of another recipe stat.  I have to bake 4 layers of cake in the next couple hours!

kazita Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 7:15pm
post #7 of 15

AI posted a recipe.....But I can't swear by it, it just has s very high review.

kazita Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 7:26pm
post #8 of 15

AHere's Toba Garretts chocolate cake recipe

www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Chocolate-Fudge-Cake-109712

PEIgirl Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 8:05pm
post #9 of 15

thank you for the recipes!  

 

I've tried to calm myself down and I realize that using a new recipe in a blind panic is perhaps the wrong way to go about fixing a bad situation. I am trying my recipe again and hoping it works. If it doesn't I will doctor a mix (blech) but it will help me in a pinch.

 

I am going to try both of those recipes very soon though, thank you!
 

PEIgirl Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 8:07pm
post #10 of 15

and in the meantime, if anyone has any technical advice, I would welcome it.   All my cakes seem to bake in the normal time indicated on their recipes EXCEPT my chocolate. Chocolate says 30 minutes and it's always about 42 or 47 before the toothpick comes out clean icon_sad.gif

Narie Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 8:24pm
post #11 of 15

Are you having failures on the original recipe or just on the doctored versions?  If the failures are with the recipe that you have changed slightly, just go back to the original and don't mess with it.  I use the Black Magic version of the same cake. ( it uses coffee instead  of water and I have never had a problem with it.)

cakeyouverymuch Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 8:34pm
post #12 of 15

What is the fat content of your sour cream?  Are you always using the same, or do you switch between the regular and light sour cream?

PEIgirl Posted 12 Apr 2013 , 8:39pm
post #13 of 15

Both recipes are failing actually so I really must be doing something dreadfully wrong!

auzzi Posted 13 Apr 2013 , 3:37am
post #14 of 15

If it is not the recipe, and not you, then it has to be the oven ... check your temperature with a thermometer  ..

MsNeuropil Posted 13 Apr 2013 , 6:45pm
post #15 of 15

I had a similar problem and found my oven was wildly cycling the heat.  Of course I found this out when I was pre baking cakes for a wedding cake last summer.  Come to find out I have a 75 degree flucuation.  In other words I can put the cake in at 350 but my temperature was dropping 75 degrees at times before kicking back on to heat back up to 350.

 

You might try a long preheat at 400 before putting cakes in then reducing heat to 350 or 300 depending on size of cakes.

 

Since my landlord is tired of replacing his stoves with  yet another "scratch and dent" stove I have had to cope with it.  (His selections of stoves just don't like people that bake bread at high temperatures which causes electronics to go out every 7 years or so.)  He can't understand why I can't just go buy a loaf of bread....which I have not done in many decades.  SOoo I cope with it.

 

What I did was start using my stone hearth insert for cakes as well as pies and of course BREADS.  Preheating oven to 400 for 30 mins or I first bake bread at 500, then let temp drop to 400 and put a oven full of cakes in...watch the thermometer...reduce to 350 after 5 mins and my cakes now will bake fairly consistently without the dense pudding cake disasters my cakes were occasionally reduced to.

 

Also...is the vent from your stove being blocked by a pan??  While you might want a blocked vent for 10 mins of a bread baking you do not want that vent covered or even partially covered with a pot or a pan on the stove.  This will affect cakes as well as pies.

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