anaelisabethlee Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 4:08pm
post #1 of

AHi Happy Friday! Need some advice.... Every time I bake a cake I seem to get an uncooked bit in the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean! I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean. I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!! Is there a trick I'm missing?? Please help :( Ana x

30 replies
dukeswalker Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 4:51pm
post #2 of

Have you checked your oven temp?  How deep are your pans?

vgcea Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 5:20pm
post #3 of

A

Original message sent by anaelisabethlee

Hi Happy Friday! Need some advice.... [B]Every time[/B] I bake a cake I seem to get an[B] uncooked bit[/B] information the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean! I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean. I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!! Is there a trick I'm missing?? Please help :( Ana x

Rather than selling raw or undercooked cake disguised with buttercream (ewww by the way) KNOWING that all your attempts at baking (you said every time) have been unsuccessful why not wait until you can actually bake and yield a good product before you start selling?

Yes check your oven thermometer and baking temperature. Also you said you've used over 30 eggs for a 8/12 combo. Your recipe may have too much liquid.

anaelisabethlee Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 5:53pm
post #4 of

AI'm not selling them, I'm just baking it and they're paying for the ingredients. Zero profit. And ok, slight exaggeration, not ALL my cakes turn out like this. Unfortunately used a different recipe and new pans all at the same time. Pans are 4" deep. Normally I do it in a 2" sandwich tin and double them up, but been seeing all these cakes that are super tall and look so much better! So I attempted a 4" pan...

Actually doing another one now to make up for the super trimmed down one and will just leave it at one layer.

I was just wondering if there were any tricks, like the flower nail that I learnt about recently. Like pastry beads for pastry, or strips of something or other.

I can actually bake.... Normally... Just the last 4 have knocked my confidence somewhat.

Thanks for your replies.

jennicake Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 5:56pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee 

Pans are 4" deep. Normally I do it in a 2" sandwich tin and double them up, but been seeing all these cakes that are super tall and look so much better! So I attempted a 4" pan...
 

 

There's the problem!  I have a texture issue when I use 3" pans (I wouldn't call it "uncooked" but the middle does end up a bit gummy).  Switch to 2" pans and that should take care of your issue.  If you want a tall cake, bake two 2" layers and stack them.  If you only have one pan, that might mean baking twice but you'll have a perfectly cooked cake.  

anaelisabethlee Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 5:58pm
post #6 of

A

Original message sent by jennicake

There's the problem!  I have a texture issue when I use 3" pans (I wouldn't call it "uncooked" but the middle does end up a bit gummy).  Switch to 2" pans and that should take care of your issue.  If you want a tall cake, bake two 2" layers and stack them.  If you only have one pan, that might mean baking twice but you'll have a perfectly cooked cake.  

Gummy!!! Exactly! Not literally raw but like fudgy consistency...

scwright Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 6:19pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee View Post

Hi
Happy Friday!
Need some advice....
Every time I bake a cake I seem to get an uncooked bit in the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean!
I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean.
I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!!
Is there a trick I'm missing??
Please help icon_sad.gif
Ana x

 

May I ask what you needed 30 eggs for? What kind of cake are you making? Also I only bake in 2" pans too it's easier to stack and fill cakes. If you did bake a 4" cake you'd have to cut it anyway to fill it so why not just use 2" to begin with, it's less headache for you.

JujuSweetz Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 6:27pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee 

Hi
Happy Friday!
Need some advice....
Every time I bake a cake I seem to get an uncooked bit in the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean!
I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean.
I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!!
Is there a trick I'm missing??
Please help icon_sad.gif
Ana x

Ana, 

here are a few possibilities of what might be happening to your cakes:

1. You may be putting too much batter in your pan. I always fill my pan to a little under half of the pan's height. 

2. You may be mixing the batter too fast which causes A LOT of air bubbles. Once there is a bubble in the middle of the cake, that bubble will not bake. I always mix in slow to medium speed and haven't had any air bubbles since. Once I pour the batter in the pan, I also tap the pan on the counter just like you do with Macarons.

3. Try a different recipe as well

Hope this helps,

Gru

anaelisabethlee Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 6:57pm
post #9 of

AThe 12" recipe I used was 15 eggs, the 8" choc was 8. Again slight exaggeration.... I was having a "oh woe is me, everything is a disaster" moment. Sorry.

Thank you Gru, that might explain it.

My new 12" round has just come out perfectly, but I have used a 8" recipe so it's really thin. But cooked!! So that's another 6 eggs... I'm going to add it to my super trimmed down but cooked Madeira and have three thin layers.

I love baking!

anaelisabethlee Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 6:59pm

AOh and I accidentally broke an egg in whole trying to separate the whites so the 6 whites already done had to go in the bin. Does that make 30 eggs? My math is crap.

ellavanilla Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 7:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee 

Oh and I accidentally broke an egg in whole trying to separate the whites so the 6 whites already done had to go in the bin.
Does that make 30 eggs? My math is crap.

 

GIRL! dip that egg yolk out using a half eggshell as your scoop! unless you're making a meringue it won't do any harm to your recipe! the yolk sticks to the shell and FYI, i have successfully made meringue after scooping out yolks. 

anaelisabethlee Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 7:04pm

A

Original message sent by ellavanilla

GIRL! dip that egg yolk out using a half eggshell as your scoop! unless you're making a meringue it won't do any harm to your recipe! the yolk sticks to the shell and FYI, i have successfully made meringue after scooping out yolks. 

Good to know!!!! I assumed it was ruined and would never get to soft peak stage! Disastrous day.... About to open a bottle of wine and forget it, I think!

ellavanilla Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 7:17pm

it really does work. i only make IMBC and i've broken plenty of yolks. It always works for me, and if you have to throw some white away, it's better than the entire batch. enjoy that wine!

jennicake Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 7:19pm

Ellavanilla - that IS good to know!  I've gotten in the habit of separating each egg into a little bowl then adding it to the larger bowl just because of stray yolks.  Guess I can stop doing that!

vgcea Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 8:31pm

A

Original message sent by anaelisabethlee

I'm not selling them, I'm just baking it and they're paying for the ingredients. Zero profit. And ok, slight exaggeration, not ALL my cakes turn out like this. Unfortunately used a different recipe and new pans all at the same time. Pans are 4" deep. Normally I do it in a 2" sandwich tin and double them up, but been seeing all these cakes that are super tall and look so much better! So I attempted a 4" pan...

Actually doing another one now to make up for the super trimmed down one and will just leave it at one layer.

I was just wondering if there were any tricks, like the flower nail that I learnt about recently. Like pastry beads for pastry, or strips of something or other.

I can actually bake.... Normally... Just the last 4 have knocked my confidence somewhat.

Thanks for your replies.

Hey, I'm not clairvoyant. Only going by the information you provided. Now that we have more accurate information:

1. If you get "paid" in cash or kind, you're selling them. Profit or not.

2. RE: New recipe and pans. I've found that when I change something up in the caking process, I try to change one variable at a time. That way it's easier to figure out where a problem came from if it occurs. 4 inch deep pans are often used for fruit cakes (but even those don't get filled all the way). I use 3 inch deep pans BUT I only use the quantity of batter for 2 inch tall layers. I like the deeper pans because some of my recipes bake up really tall and I don't like the idea of having to collar for those cakes. I also like the extra space at the top of the pan. Makes it easier to remove the pans from the oven.

The problem is not the pan but how much batter you put in the pan. When cake pans are filled too full the batter cannot maintain its structure and collapses on itself causing a compaction like the one you saw in the middle of your cakes.

3. Tall Cakes: Most tall cakes are just a combination of layers, not necessarily from one cake. What you did before this attempt is the way to go.

4. Possible tips, flower nails and bake even strip work well. I've found they tend to give a flatter top rather than a dome. Recently I've found that using higher quality pans (Magic Line) and low temps (325 instead of 350 for layer cakes) works just as well when I'm feeling lazy. These tend to have a slight dome for some recipes though.

maybenot Posted 23 Aug 2013 , 8:34pm

I bake 2" layers in 3" pans.  I would NEVER try to bake a 4" layer in a 4" pan--with or without heating cores/flower nails.  Those "tall" cakes you see are generally made up of multiple 2" layers with icing/filling in between.

anaelisabethlee Posted 24 Aug 2013 , 4:57pm

AOk, thank you :) That really clarifies some things. Will go back to prev recipes and fill pan less. Certainly worked this last time. Currently mid decorating the cake - have to break to get kids dinner bath and bed and then back on it! Currently sitting next to it, letting jam ooze out of a hole in the icing. This is the most disastrous cake I have ever made.... Iced it this afternoon and have just spotted a BULGE! I have always read about the bulge, and never known what it meant, guess never had the problem before. Argh! So pierced said bulge and letting it come out. Seems to be working. Luckily the icing will be covered with loads of four leaf clovers so I can cover up the mark with that.

Thanks anyway. I'm learning a lot from you guys.

Should I post a pic when I'm finished or is nobody really bothered...?

X

scwright Posted 24 Aug 2013 , 5:12pm

A

Original message sent by ellavanilla

GIRL! dip that egg yolk out using a half eggshell as your scoop! unless you're making a meringue it won't do any harm to your recipe! the yolk sticks to the shell and FYI, i have successfully made meringue after scooping out yolks. 

Yes what she said! Except please don't use the egg shells to separate your Eggwhites the shells can carry bacteria so just use your hands to separate or get an egg separator :-)

scwright Posted 24 Aug 2013 , 5:14pm

AShould I post a pic when I'm finished or is nobody really bothered...?

yes definitely post I love seeing fellow bakers finished creations its amazing!

anaelisabethlee Posted 24 Aug 2013 , 5:25pm

A

Original message sent by scwright

Should I post a pic when I'm finished or is nobody really bothered...?

yes definitely post I love seeing fellow bakers finished creations its amazing!

Haha! I wouldn't class myself as a baker just yet, v naive newbie more like! Ps. I wash my eggs before I separate them.... Always been told that was ridiculous but always had a paranoia over salmonella!

anaelisabethlee Posted 24 Aug 2013 , 11:13pm

AFinished! Oozy hole repaired... [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3085768/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

shebysuz Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 12:36am

AAdd this cake to your list of proper cakes. I think it turned out great! What a relief... Now you can clean your kitchen, have a glass of wine, & relax. Girl, I KNOW you are cake tired!

Nadiaa Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 1:52am

The cake turned out so well!! You should be proud of yourself! I hate those cakes where everything seems to go wrong and you just don't want to keep going with it. They always seem to turn out well though in the end, lol! Give yourself a high-5 and have a glass of wine :)

MBalaska Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 2:23am

Quote:

Originally Posted by jennicake 

...........I've gotten in the habit of separating each egg into a little bowl then adding it to the larger bowl just because of stray yolks..............

Agreed, same here. Using a clear glass bowl. It's a habit now but it's also for spotting any shell bits.

scwright Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 4:34am

A

Original message sent by anaelisabethlee

Haha! I wouldn't class myself as a baker just yet, v naive newbie more like! Ps. I wash my eggs before I separate them.... Always been told that was ridiculous but always had a paranoia over salmonella!

that's good your not being ridiculous ignore those that tell you that

scwright Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 4:36am

A

Original message sent by anaelisabethlee

Finished! Oozy hole repaired... [IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3085768/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

Class yourself as a baker? Naive newbie? Pish posh you are a baker to me especially after seeing this wonderful cake, good job!

scwright Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 4:38am

A

Original message sent by shebysuz

Add this cake to your list of proper cakes. I think it turned out great! What a relief... Now you can clean your kitchen, have a glass of wine, & relax. Girl, I KNOW you are cake tired!

lol @ "cake tired" I know the feeling!

jennicake Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 6:03am

Wow, that turned out great!

shebysuz Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 3:19pm

re: being cake tired- sometimes it takes me 3-4 days to recover from making a big cake. And during that time I don't even want to look at a cake pan, a rolling pin, fondant, or anything cake related. I am spent. My creativity is zapped and my body and brain is drained. I have to clean and put away all my cake paraphanalia and get back to my regular life: my job, my kids, husband, housework, & gym. Then after about a week I start getting the itch to create another cake and the whole process starts again. Anyone else get this way?

scwright Posted 25 Aug 2013 , 5:17pm

AOh yes definitely ! I do admire the members on here that are able to crank out multiple cakes every week, when I do big cakes that are customized I need time to recover its a lot of work!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%