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Old 04-26-2005, 08:05 AM   #1
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Carrot cake problem...

I've used the same carrot cake recipe for some time with good results. Two times ago it didn't rise as high as usual. I only use one pan (sheet cake not layer), so I halve the recipe and thought I must have made a mistake there. This time I paid meticulous attention and know I halved the recipe correctly, but it rose even less. My baking powder is very fresh. My baking soda isn't quite as fresh, but has been working fine in biscuits - am wondering if a carrot cake is heavier and needs more lift? Or, any other suggestions? It tasted fine, but I would like a better rise and a more open texture.

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Old 04-26-2005, 09:22 AM   #2
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How about your eggs? I've had trouble before if they're not fresh, too. Are you using the right size?

You have me stumped, otter! Since you've made the recipe before with good results, I can't think of anything else offhand. I'll think about it some more and see if I come up with anything else.
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Old 04-26-2005, 09:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Baker
How about your eggs? I've had trouble before if they're not fresh, too. Are you using the right size?
I used correct size, they were reasonably fresh, and I brought them to room temperature.
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Old 04-27-2005, 07:58 AM   #4
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What size pan did you use for your 'half' recipe? I've gotten into trouble when I've mucked about with a recipe and then used a too-large or too-small pan.
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:38 AM   #5
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What size pan did you use for your 'half' recipe? I've gotten into trouble when I've mucked about with a recipe and then used a too-large or too-small pan.
Can't be that - receipe called for two 9x9x1.5 pans and I used one. I make this about once a month, so I'm going to try it with some freshly bought baking soda next time - don't know what else it could be.
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:01 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Carrot Cake Rising

Hi there,
I am thinking if you used cake and pastry flour instead of all-purpose maybe and try separating eggs to make a egg white whipped and then fold into rest to make alittle fluffier. I would try also getting some fresher baking soda (or was is powder?)
Just a suggestion...let me know!!!
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:42 AM   #7
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Some recipes don't take well to being changed - either reduced or multiplied - it may be that one. I don't usually change a recipe. If I only need one layer, I prepare one for freezing and use the other. If I need more, I make an additional recipe.
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:24 PM   #8
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Baking soda is merely bicarbonate of soda and shouldn't be adversly affect by age. Baking powder, on the other hand, will definitely be affected by age and lose some of its leavening potential.

That being said, I would have to think that mixing more air into the batter, either through vigorous whisking, or the use of an electric mixer wouldn't help the volume.

Your carrot cake rises due to the carbon dioxide given off by the chemical reactions of the acid and alkalye ingredients in the baking powder, and by the alkaye baking soda reacting with the acidic egg-white. Also, the egg protien couple with the wheat gluten helps trap that gas, causing the cake to rise.

Are you using a double-acting baking powder? This has more leavening power than ordinary baking powder. Also, the amount of oil in the recipe can make the cake heavy. Cooking too quickly can have an adverse effect. When you make the original recipe, do you cook both cakes simultaneously? That will cause the available heat energy to be devided by the two cakes, increasing the cooking time. This may allow the cakes to rise better. If that's the case, decrease the oven temp by about fifteen degrees.

I have found that adding additional baking powder, about an extra tsp., will make the cake lighter, but can also make it too "loose". That is, the crumb won't hold together. The cake will literally crumble when trying to remove pieces from it. But your cake is too dense, and this might just do the trick for you.

My recomendation, decrease the cooking temp, and add an extra tsp. of double-acting baking powder to the recipe.

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Old 04-27-2005, 12:43 PM   #9
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I don't bake so my very uneducated guess is that sometimes when doubling or halving a recipe you don't double or halve all of the ingredients proportionately. It's that science thing which is why I stick to cooking! lol So, bake the whole thing and freeze one - of I could PM you my address. I'll ice it when it gets here
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:50 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North
That being said, I would have to think that mixing more air into the batter, either through vigorous whisking, or the use of an electric mixer wouldn't help the volume.

Your carrot cake rises due to the carbon dioxide given off by the chemical reactions of the acid and alkalye ingredients in the baking powder, and by the alkaye baking soda reacting with the acidic egg-white. Also, the egg protien couple with the wheat gluten helps trap that gas, causing the cake to rise.
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Goodweed, I am sorry, but I'm not getting this.

It was my belief that if your egg whites are whipped and folded into your cake batter, the eggs can make your cake rise better. I thought that this was the purpose.

Now if I am wrong....feel free somebody to jump in.
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