I recently baked a madeira (Lindy Smith's recipe) to go under choc ganache and fondant. The flavour was good, but the first time I cooked the cake, it came out completely raw inside - I didn't realise until I tipped it out of the tin after cooling, and the entire cake collapsed.
Second time I made sure it was cooked through (took 2hrs 25 mins for an 8" round) - I don't think I overcooked - scooped out the middle as per Lindy Smith's blog, quadruple-wrapped in newspaper, put baking tray on top shelf to stop overcooking, after an hour I added wax paper to stop top drying, added glycerine to recipe to improve moisture...
It looked beautiful, perfect shape, no doming, but when the cake was cut, it was really stodgy and a bit dry (if it's possible for those two things to be true!) - I didn't like it at all.
So.... is it that madeira is supposed to be dense and stodgy? Should I be looking for a new recipe, and if so, what? For same combo, ganache and fondant....
Or if I baked it in two tins, do you think it would cook more quickly and evenly and then be less, well, dense and stodgy... and dry?!
Am tearing my hair out - I hate to go to all the trouble of baking a cake only to have to bin it, or serve it and be disappointed. Also, I didn't fill the cake because it was my first fondant, and I was nervous of having to cut and fill it - seemed a step too far. Maybe if it was filled, and/or a syrup added? But am afraid syrup would make it even more stodgy in the long-run.
If I could skip the baking bit of cake decorating, life would be soooo much easier, ha! We don't have cake mixes where I live, so it really does have to be a from-scratch cake.