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Old 01-11-2011, 09:35 PM   #1
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Should the cake have risen more?

Hi everyone,

I just made the Chocolate and Almond cake from Julia Child's book (the cake was also shown in the movie Julie & Julia). Now that I've taken it out of the oven I've noticed that it really didn't rise much. There is almond meal mixed in with the flour so I'm assuming that would mean the cake wouldn't rise that much. I used Self Raising Flour as stated in the recipe, but it was the 'cake/biscuit/pastry' self raising flour rather than usual SR flour. Wondering if I've stuffed it up or whether cakes with almond meal generally don't rise too much. I should mention too that in the middle I got that 'peak' with a crack . By now you've probably figured out I have very little experience with cakes

Any help or advice for next time is much appreciated.

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Old 01-11-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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I can't answer your question, but....how does it taste?? That's the real test in my book.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:00 PM   #3
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Good question! Just waiting for it to cool completely before I do the icing. Will let you know later ;)
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:01 PM   #4
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BTW, good job on trying a Julia Child recipe. Talk about starting out with a bang!
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
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Thanks! Yes I thought it was quite brave of me I'm pretty good with regular meals but cakes I usually just buy from a patisserie.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:38 PM   #6
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Do you mean to say that you peeked at the cake while it was baking? Don't peek at a cake until it has been in the oven for at least 20 minutes. It can flatten your cake. It's really best to just leave it alone until the baking time is complete. But I am guessing that the almond flour probably also had something to do with the lack of height.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:16 PM   #7
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I know this cake well - I've made it many times.

The Reine de Saba or Queen of Sheba cake, is moist, dense, chocolatey, and only about an inch or an inch and a half high. It's almost creamy in the center.

The only thing I'd worry about with that crack, is whether you cooked it too long. The key to its creamy dense interior is to pull it out when it's just barely baked - almost, but not quite, underbaked. ANY chocolate cake starts to lose flavor if it's overbaked.

Just cover it in sweetened whipped cream, and serve it proudly.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:43 PM   #8
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Everything silversage said...I have also made this cake and the texture that the almond meal adds is heaven. And underbaking is the key.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:22 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

Joesfolk, I peeked at 20 minutes then put it back in for a few more.

Thanks so much Silversage! That sounds about right. Thanks LPBeier, I'll keep that in mind for next time I make it. The recipe did say that it should have movement in the middle but I was worried that it might be completely runny which is why I put it back in for another few minutes. Still haven't tried it! We're having family over to join us for dinner tonight (still afternoon here in Sydney) - so we'll have it for dessert. I shall report back after I've tried it.

Thank you all again so very much - I'm so excited to have found this forum. Friends and family say I'm a great cook but I'm keen to learn more about baking as it's something I've not done that much of compared to other cooking.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:57 AM   #10
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Good for you Twimum not the easiest of cakes to start with, there are some very good bakers here who give advice not criticism.
For your next test try a Lemon,Polenta and Almond cake, its one of my favs, dense and moist with a citrus edge.
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