What The #$^& Happened

Decorating By Mchelle Updated 28 Aug 2007 , 6:01pm by chefmom

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Mchelle Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:44pm
post #1 of 17

I used this recipe from Michelle Bommarito and it sunk in the middle icon_surprised.gif icon_cry.gif . What did I do wrong? I know this is not the whole recipe because it has dollops of cream cheese swirled in, could it be that it failed because I omitted that? I thought it had enough fat in it to work. I really like the taste, but want it to work. Can anyone help me? Here is the link to the original recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_30220,00.html?rsrc=search

Rich Chocolate Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cocoa powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 whole eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled


16 replies
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noosie Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 12:54pm
post #2 of 17

Wow, that really is a "rich" recipe. I don't think the missing cream cheese swirl is the culprit. What size pan(s) did you bake it in. Did u use 3 9" as stated in he recipe? I know they say anything larger than a 10" pan a heating core or flower nail should be used, but in this case I think a flower nail will definitely prevent the cake from collapsing in the middle. JMO HTH

Good Luck

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Mchelle Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:25pm
post #3 of 17

I used three pans as stated, and all three collapsed. Could it be because I opened the door to check and see if they were done? Maybe did I not beat it enough? Also, I did use powdered buttermilk. So many questions. I need help to figure this one out.

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USMC_SGTs_Lady Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:28pm
post #4 of 17

this recipe is very similar to a recipe i tried to use a while back...when i made the cakes in 9" round pans they turned out okay, sunk a bit in the middle...so when i used the recipe for a half sheet cake i used 3 flower nails and it didn't sink at all...so maybe all ya needed was some flower nails...some other CCers suggested that the reason my first attempt at the recipe kinda failed was b/c of the amount of baking soda or baking powder...can't remember which one...but that may have had something to do with it also...

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allycook Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:39pm
post #5 of 17

It could also be that it didn't get done. Did you check it in the center for doneness? a good indicator for me when a cake is done is that it begins to pull away from the pan. I have had a few sink in the middle and this always seemed to be the problem.

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moxey2000 Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:42pm
post #6 of 17

It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem was, but one solution I can offer is to use the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa can for Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake. It's easy, delicious and comes out perfect every time. It's my standard chocolate cake recipe and everybody loves it.

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karensue Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:49pm
post #7 of 17

I talked to a baker/scientist friend of mine when this was happening to me. He said to add a couple extra egg whites to the batter--the extra protein helps stabilize the fat. I forgot to do that recently and had my cake sink in the middle again. Won't forget again.

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Mchelle Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 2:54pm
post #8 of 17

I thought the same thing, maybe it wasn't done, but it was. The outside inch had risen fine, but the middle sank all the way down to about a 1/4 inch. I thought that I over beat it, but it came together very quickly and I mixed it until combined like the instructions said. So the only thing that I can think of was underbeating it??

I'm going to try the flower nail and see if that helps, but I am trying to eliminate all other possible problems that I may have.

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Lazy_Susan Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 3:02pm
post #9 of 17

Every now and then my chocolate cakes sink a bit in the middle too. Heck... I just lop them off even and voila they are fixed icon_smile.gif


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felecia Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 3:05pm
post #10 of 17

I used to use a flower nail when i first started baking. I bake with a pan of water under my cake and they never burn this way. You may what to try this and see if it works for your. Also check the temp. icon_smile.gif

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Mchelle Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 5:40pm
post #11 of 17

Okay, I'm going to try these suggestions and see how they turn out. Looks like I'll be baking again this weekend. I'll keep you all posted on what happens.


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awela Posted 27 Aug 2007 , 5:57pm
post #12 of 17

I think we all go through these problems at one time or another but eventually by taking baking courses, reading or by visiting this unique forum, we learn the right way to do most everything. There are several reasons for a cake to sink in. One of them being the sudden change in temperature when the oven's door is opened before is time to do so. Also, at what temperature did you bake it, for how long, was the cake almost done at the time you opened the door? did you insert a flower nail/heat core before placing it in the oven? do you use a portable thermometer to measure the right temperature? When I had my old stove, never had this problem - however- after I got my new one I did have some cakes sinked in. I asked my baking teacher and he told me to buy an oven thermometer to get the correct reading (regardless of my NEW stove), always bake at 125/130 degrees but add more time, never open the door within 40/45 minutes. I also use the heat strips to protect the sides of the cake from burning, insert flower nails when cakes are larger than 10", and place a pan with water at the bottom of the oven to keep it moisted during the baking process. Let us know how your next cake comes out and good luck.

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Mchelle Posted 28 Aug 2007 , 1:12pm
post #13 of 17

Thank you all for the helpful responses. I think that it maybe a couple of things that I did. When I opened the door I may not have been careful enough (opening and closing the door). My son came in and said Mom, I would check the cake icon_surprised.gif, so I ran down to check the cake of course I pulled open the door, it wasn't done icon_confused.gif . So I closed the door back. Also, I will try the nail for the added peace of mind. I will probably try it again maybe this weekend. Thank You all for helping me and I will keep you posted.


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LadyMike Posted 28 Aug 2007 , 1:32pm
post #14 of 17

You might try putting 2 TBSP of meringue powder in your batter if you don't want to use egg whites. I find this helps in some of my recipes, and I don't have to throw away the leftover yolks. Good Luck!!!!

Happy Baking/Decorating!

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Mchelle Posted 28 Aug 2007 , 1:33pm
post #15 of 17

Thanks for the tip LadyMike

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LadyMike Posted 28 Aug 2007 , 2:27pm
post #16 of 17

You're welcome Mchelle. Hope it helps!

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chefmom Posted 28 Aug 2007 , 6:01pm
post #17 of 17

I have used a recipe very similar to this in the past and had the same problem. I dug out my books from school and one of the reason listed was too much baking soda. I reduced the amount of baking soda and it helped. There seems to be a lot of baking soda in that recipe too. Just throwing in my two cents. icon_smile.gif

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