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Too much oil in this chocolate cake recipe?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone,

 

I tried out a chocolate cake recipe last night and it didn't turn out well so I'm hoping for some input.  I've made other chocolate cake recipes that call for boiling water/coffee - I know the batter is suppose to be very thin.  But this batter was oily and had the consistency of pure water.  I was pretty skeptical which should teach me a lesson for not testing out the recipe first.  I had already doubled the ingredients so I could made a four layer 10" cake (the original is for a three layer 8" cake).  At this point all I could do was bake them and see what happened.  I used a baking nail in each 10" pan to help distribute heat which I always do with my larger pans.  The cakes took a lil longer than expected (~40m) to set up.  I cooled them for 20m and then had THE hardest time trying to release them from the pan.  I always use Wilton's cake release with great success.  Ironically, this oily cake was stuck to the bottom of the pan.  I managed to remove them all with only a few small chunks left behind.  My guess was that they were too soft - sturdier cakes have their weight to help release them when inverted.  These cakes were still warm but so impossible to handle.  I've never had such a hard time with a chocolate cake.  They were way too moist (not usually a complaint I know) and had a greasy shine especially on the bottoms.  I swear this recipe called for too much oil but you be the judge.  The wet to dry ratio was pretty much 1:1.  I was reading about high ratio cakes on ********* but this recipe seemed to push the limit.  I still wrapped them up and stuck them in the freezer in hopes I can decorate them later this week.  I know freezing actually improves moister but I'm worried because these are already too moist.  I did taste test a leftover chunk this morning and it seemed fine - no oily taste. I'll have to work fast to fill and ganache these straight from the freezer I guess so they don't fall apart on me.  The completed cake stand about 5" tall and its a single tier so I'm not too worried about structure.  Once ganach'ed I will be covering the entire cake in fondant - hopefully a very thin layer. 

 

2½ cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup + 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1½ cups strong black coffee, hot
¾ cup vegetable oil (I used safflower)
4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Just a note - I did weigh out my dry ingredients even though weights were not provided (probably a sign I shouldn't have trusted the recipe).

post #2 of 10

Between the eggs, the buttermilk, the coffee, and the oil, that DOES seem like a lot of liquid. 

 

Edit: That being said, just because it doesn't have weights doesn't mean it is a bad recipe. All just trial and error. :)

post #3 of 10

Your recipe is very close to the Hershey back-of-the-box recipe, which is a thin water-like batter. (But the Hershey recipe has a little more flour.) Yours should set up fine and not give you too much trouble.... I use parchment for all my cakes and let them cool to room temperature. This recipe in particular would benefit from waiting until it's chilled before depanning.

 

There are a lot of bad recipes around. Before scaling up it's really best to try a small batch with any new recipe. Let us know how it turns out. 

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post #4 of 10

Try this one sometime, it's a good one! I make a variation of this at times, if I'm not making mud cake. I sub butter for the oil though, because I just don't care for oil in anything. 

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Double-Chocolate-Layer-Cake-101275

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post #5 of 10

Goes without saying as well, the better your chocolate and cocoa, the better the result.

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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

Try this one sometime, it's a good one! I make a variation of this at times, if I'm not making mud cake. I sub butter for the oil though, because I just don't care for oil in anything. 

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Double-Chocolate-Layer-Cake-101275

This is the recipe I have used. I find that it is not too oily.

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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Very true, I should have waited longer to de-pan.  And I wished I had the chance to test this recipe out first.  I thought I would save myself the time and ingredients but this proved me wrong icon_sad.gif  I'll report back after I try to decorate them...hopefully with a happy ending. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I definitely agree that the cake is only as good as the quality of its ingredients.  I used King Arthur's double-dutch cocoa which I personally enjoy and consider "good".  After this experience I don't think I'm a fan of oil in baked goods either.  Thanks all for your input and I appreciate the recipe link. 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by KateCoughlin View Post

Very true, I should have waited longer to de-pan.  And I wished I had the chance to test this recipe out first.  I thought I would save myself the time and ingredients but this proved me wrong icon_sad.gif  I'll report back after I try to decorate them...hopefully with a happy ending. 

I learned the hard way to always test it out ahead of time if i have never made it before. It saves me a headache and having to rush to finish. Hope it all works out!! :)

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bct806 View Post
 

I learned the hard way to always test it out ahead of time if i have never made it before. It saves me a headache and having to rush to finish. Hope it all works out!! :)

 

So true!  I reduced the oil in the recipe to 1/2 cup for a future test cake and it turned out delicious.  Moist but not oily!  And with the better structure I was able to de-pan them with ease.

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