AJust sharing my baking woes today so that other people can avoid the same end result...
I spent my morning preparing to make the ultimate scratch vanilla cake. I let my ingredients come to room temperature, I greased and floured, I weighed and measured, I read and reread instructions. I was SO excited to bake this cake. The batter was delicious, I put the pans in the oven, and watched with glee as they rose perfectly in the oven.
I took them out when they just barely started to pull from the edge of the pan. There were a couple of moist crumbs on the toothpick. They looked beautiful. I was thrilled. Within 60 seconds of removing them from the oven, I watched them literally shrink and sink before my eyes. I've never actually watched a cake sink in real time before.
This is what I ended up with:
These are 6" Magic Line pans. Oven temp was 350 as directed. I have a thermometer in the oven so I know it was accurate. Pretty wonky looking, huh? It's hard to see in the picture, but there is a nearly 1/2" deep crater in the center of each. I finally checked my baking powder. Expired in December 2013. Can you tell I don't bake from scratch very often? Can't even find an expiration date on the baking soda, but I suspect it was probably just as old.
So the moral of the story is: DON'T USE EXPIRED LEAVENERS!
Learn from my mistake and happy baking!
Hey, that kind of looks like Snoopy's dog dish! Maybe you could make a Peanuts inspired cake
AMy sister once used a cake mix that was over a year expired. She also over mixed it (on high till all the lumps were gone). They came out like hockey pucks. Lol
Original message sent by Pastrybaglady
Hey, that kind of looks like Snoopy's dog dish! Maybe you could make a Peanuts inspired cake ;-D
What a clever idea! I wish I has thought of that. I went ahead and trimmed (a lot!) and filled the cake. It ended up about five inches across and just over 2 inches high. Yes only two inches high after being filled, stacked, and iced. Oh well. At least it tasted good. The texture was surprisingly good considering how flat they were.
AHave you used the same recipe before and it turned out fine? Just asking because a couple of months ago I made a cake that looked like a mud pile after cooling, lol. Got a recipe from my niece from Switzerland for the "Swiss cake of the year" - gluten free! Perfect for my friend who's gluten intolerant I thought...Well, never again. We had actually a good laugh looking at the shrunken mess - and it tested delicious (thank goodness it was only for a coffee afternoon) and burned the recipe afterwards :D
AI could be wrong, but that just looks like a case of over baking to me. But for surely replace that BP.
AI think 350 is too hot an oven. I bake at 325 for most things and 300 if it is really deep. At 350 it rises quickly in the middle and doesn't build the structure all around. When it cools, it deflates.
Hm, you've definitely given me a lot to think about.
I've not made the recipe before, but I have never heard anything but rave reviews, so I'm still convinced it was user error. It was the FromScratchSF vanilla cake recipe that everyone loves. It calls for baking at 350, which was unusual to me, but after months of roaming these forums, I have never once seen anything that would suggest a change to the recipe. I'm looking forward to trying it again when I get new baking powder. I bought a scale just for this recipe!
So perhaps just a case of over-baking? The cakes looked fine when I took them out of the oven- they started deflating about 30 seconds later. Would over-baking cause the same end result as expired leaveners?
PS- a cake that looked like a mud pile? Yikes! At least it tasted good!
AI am happy to report that with fresh baking powder, slightly lower oven temp, and shorter baking time my cake is much improved! I'm happy that I tried it again.
Now I just need to find a chocolate frosting that I like. I've wasted a bunch of butter and sugar with a couple recipes with cocoa powder. Off to search the forums for something with melted chocolate instead- I just don't like the taste of cocoa powder.
Thanks for the feedback.
AHave you tried SMBC? No way could I go back to ABC. I'm trying a melted chocolate version this afternoon with scratchSF's yellow cake.
ADitto above. SMBC with cooled melted good quality chocolate and a little Godiva chocolate liqueur - Amazing!
AI tried making SMBC once but found it to taste too buttery for my liking. I actually added powdered sugar to it (don't hate me!). Would the addition of melted chocolate cut the butter taste?
I did just buy some Guittard chocolate chips, and I happen to already have Godiva liquor, so I may have to do some experimenting tonight.
AI made SMBC with a pound of butter and about 7 oz 72% chocolate plus a tablespoon of coffee liquor. It's not super sweet, which is how I like it.
AI've just discovered that I have no eggs! Not only can I not make my planned breakfast, I can't try my hand at SMBC with melted chocolate. Off to the store later...
It can taste buttery, but using a good amount of flavorings and extracts usually covers that up easily. I use a recipe that is 1.5 cups of egg whites, 2 cups of sugar and 6 cubes of butter, which is a little less butter than some other recipes. I also found the least buttery butter (also the lightest in color - not so yellow) by trial and error. Try buying butter that has no added flavors or colors. Also, this is one time I would recommend avoiding the fancy European butters because they are really "buttery". I like Crystal brand, but I think that is a local Northern California dairy. And don't skimp on the flavorings! I use 4 tbsp vanilla in the recipe above if not adding other flavors!
Original message sent by freesia777
I've just discovered that I have no eggs! Not only can I not make my planned breakfast, I can't try my hand at SMBC with melted chocolate. Off to the store later...
Maybe you could try the cooked flour frosting, chocolate variation. No eggs are needed and it is so perfectly yummy! Edit: i usualy use half butter and half shortening in this recipe
AI have actually tried that cooked flour frosting- only the plain vanilla version. I really like the flavor and texture of it. I too use half butter/half shortening. I didn't think of just adding melted chocolate to it- that seems too easy! Haha.
I am however intrigued by the idea of giving SMBC another try. I want so badly to like it, but I grew up with ABC and that's what my taste buds are used to. I'm curious to see if adding chocolate and maybe some extra vanilla will help with the butter overload I experienced the first time.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I really appreciate all the help I've been given.
AI took some of the advice here and tried my hand at SMBC. All I can say is YUM. Apparently all I needed to do was add extra flavoring to lose that stick of butter taste I had the first time I made it. I made a relatively small batch (3 egg whites, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 sticks butter) and added a full two teaspoons of vanilla bean paste. Then I added about 1/4 cup melted Guittard chips and a splash of Godiva liquor. It is soooo good and so creamy. Much different consistency than ABC. Fewer air bubbles too even though I beat the heck out of it with a hand mixer at high speed. I may have to start making meringue buttercreams now. Next time I will try the cooked flour icing with melted chocolate and compare.
I know this is a few days old, but SMBC with Nutella is awesome! Ditto if you mix it with ganache. Mmm, chocolate orange ganache buttercream. Drool.