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Cakes are DRY- 4th cake recipe in a row -dry

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hmm, can't figure this one out. This is the 4th recipe I have tried in the past 2 days- all are Dry, fluffy texture, but dry. 3 recipes from TCB ( Domingo, all american perfect chocolate cake and white chocolate whisper cake) and 1 milk chocolate cake ( which tasted the best- awesome flavor but dry).

Here's what I know I did right:  weighed all ingredients, oven thermometer, room temp ingredients, baking strips around pan, baked to lower end of range and took out when spring back to touch, didn't over mix, pans filled at least 1/2 way full.  Arrgh-- I just don't know. Glad I am testing these recipes 1st for flavors. Before I frost my cakes, I do put simple syrup on them but as opposed to my recipes that start with box cake mixes and then have white chocolate or sour cream added to them, my scratch cakes are dry.  Why should I continue to take the time make from scratch if this happens, I wonder? I love the idea of fresh, fresh, clean no chemicals or stabilizers- so I'd like to get it right.

Help.

post #2 of 13
When and how are you tasting the cake? I find chocolate cake to taste better the second day.
Are these all-butter recipes? Try subbing 1/3 veg oil.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yes, 3 of them are butter recipes, 1 has whole milk also.  I will try the vegetable oil- replace 1/3 of butter with that amount of veg oil? Hmm, do I use the same weight amount? 

I am tasting them when they are cooled. I guess I'll taste again tomorrow.  Flavor on this milk chocolate one was very, very good.  Just what I was looking for, but dry. The top had a lot of circular cracks on it too.  My cakes don't usually crack.

Thank you for the help. I will get this right yet.

post #4 of 13
Are you baking them in the middle rack if your oven? What is the consistency of the butter at room temp? It should be a bit waxy and firm, not soupy. The bowl of the mixer should feel cool to your hand when you're creaming the butter.

Weight or vol is fine fr the oil. However you usually measure your fat for recipes.
post #5 of 13

What kind of cake did you bake prior to this? Or what was your preference? 

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post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Yes, Sassyzan I did al of those things.  After reading the Cake Bible, I learned about butter temp and weighing,etc. this past week. 

I am suspicious that with today's milk chocolate cake, maybe I over whisked the egg whites that I folded in.  But the other three cakes from The Cake Bible: Domingo, All American Perfect Chocolate cake and White Chocolate Whisper cake- they did not have egg whites, but all were basically butter cakes.  The Domingo was the best of the 3 in flavor though.  But the Milk chocolate cake, as I said tasted the best.

I have made white chocolate almond cake, kahlua cake, key lime cake, white chocolate lovers layer cake, double chocolate cake and a few others I can't think of right now.  Several of these do have a white cake mix in them. I do put simple syrup over them before frosting when they have been in the freezer, too, before decorating. I still need to find an awesome cake for the lemon buttercream I just tried.  It tastes great. The Whisper cake did nothing for it. Even that didn't help the dryness.

post #7 of 13

I just wanted to chime in that, in my experience, many people think the cakes that are made by the reverse creaming method (which is the method Rose uses in her books) are dry. I think the crumb is much finer and denser than what many people are used to - they're used to the lighter springier crumb of an american boxed mix. I love her recipes but when I make a cake for someone else, I use other recipes because I have had negative comments. 

HTH!

RJ

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

What kind of cake did you bake prior to this? Or what was your preference? 

Not sure if you saw this before, but this can really be important. For example, if someone has been used to box mix cakes all their life, switching to some scratch cakes can be a shock. What they are perceiving as dry, is actually quite perfect. It's not dry it's just not oily, like box make cakes. They ain't moist, they're oily. 

 

Temperature when consumed has a big role to play as well. I could go on and on, but I'm just very curious that you're striking out so bad. 

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post #9 of 13

And lowering the oven temp 20 degrees can help too. Bake lower and slower.

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post #10 of 13

And don't bake "till golden brown".  That's a box mix thing.  If you bake a scratch cake based on the same visual cues as a box mix you are over baking it and making it dry.  Also, you need to let the cake mature.  Straight out of the oven has a completely different texture and flavor then a cake that had a chance to cool and mature.

post #11 of 13

Try adding a 1/4 cup more of milk, preferably whole or 2%. That should moisten it up a bit.

post #12 of 13

I respectfully disagree - you can't just add more milk or any other ingredient other then what the recipe calls for and expect it to work.  Milk doesn't make cake "more moist" unless you are using a box mix, in which case the mix still forms and bakes around whatever ingredient you throw in.  

 

Scratch baking is chemistry.  Before making tweaks you need to understand it and understand what each ingredient does in order to achieve the results you want.

 

I mean, you are welcome to give it a try, but it most likely will not work.  :D

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF View Post

And don't bake "till golden brown".  That's a box mix thing.  If you bake a scratch cake based on the same visual cues as a box mix you are over baking it and making it dry.  Also, you need to let the cake mature.  Straight out of the oven has a completely different texture and flavor then a cake that had a chance to cool and mature.

Yes, yes, yes and yes!!

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