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Old 10-03-2004, 10:26 PM   #1
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Crying in My Cake. Very embarrassing.



Having strung 6 bread baking successes together I decided it was time to have a go at something new.
Cakes.
Who first let men into the kitchen?

I was given a "tried & true", "never fail", "Trust me, even a fool can bake this cake" basic cake recipe: equal measures by weight of egg, sugar, AP flour, butter. To this add your flavoring.

As given
3 X 60gm eggs
180gms sugar
Etc
2 tsp vanilla ext

Method
Cream butter, sugar & vanilla, add 1 egg at a time with third of flour ensuring batter doesn't separate, when mixed transfer batter to a greased tin and bake 350 deg (wasn't given a time).

Carried out the above instructions to the 'T', watched and waited.

At the 30 min mark I though it a good idea to do what I do when baking bread, I rotated the pan 180 deg. BIG MISTAKE. It went down so quick I named it 'The Linda Lovelace Cake".

My questions are:
How long should the batter be mixed and at what speed?
As a kid we used to beat it for about 4 mins on high (twin beater) after eggs added, & this time I only gave it about a minute or so & about 75% speed using a single loop/knife type blade.

Temp & time? Is there a formula for total weight, temp & time to ensure a successful bake?

The AP flour I have is almost bread flour - 10.0% (it shocked me too when I read it).

Brooksy

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Old 10-03-2004, 11:08 PM   #2
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If I had to guess, I'd say your problem is simply that you were too rough rotating the cake in the oven. Some cakes are delicate, and will deflate if they are mishandled. Are you sure you had the right temperature? Do you use an oven thermometer?

You have to provide the exact recipe, as written, including the detailed and specific instructions provided. You didn't mention any leavening agent. Is this a mechanically leavened cake like a genoise, or did you forget to mention the baking soda/powder? If it is a genoise, you must beat the egg mixture with the whisk until it has tripled in volume; your whisk should leave a trail in the mixture. I don't know what your recipe says, but you should very gently fold the well-sifted flour into the mixture after it has been whipped. That is, of course, assuming it is a genoise or genoise type cake. Without more info, it's impossible to know.
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Old 10-03-2004, 11:23 PM   #3
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jasonr,
Consider this a line of :oops: s.

1.5tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp Carb soda.

No I don't have an oven thermometer, just rely on the thermostat.

I shouldna touched it. I must have been on auto pilot, or in my case "auto flop" mode.

I still reckon womens' greatest mistake was letting men in the kitchen


I'm off to look for an oven thermometer.

Brooksy
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Old 10-03-2004, 11:26 PM   #4
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Oh, well if it's just a regular chemically leavened cake, then things are much simpler. Yeah, you're probably right; you should have left it alone, LOL. Sometimes cakes just flop, what can you do?
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Old 10-03-2004, 11:42 PM   #5
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Sorry Jasonr I hit the post button beforw I'd finished.

The recipe was WOM and the method iterated was pretty much as told.

Cream together sugar, butter & vanilla.
Add an egg while beating and it will separate, add 1/3 of the flour and the mixture will come together, add the next egg & 1/3 flour & mix til it comes together, add last egg & last of flour & mix til it comes together & transfer to baking container.

10.0% protein in the AP flour has me a bit concerned though, it's almost bread flour (my white bread flour is 11.0%).

I went looking for Genoise because I hdidn't have a clue what it meant, and found: http://www.sallys-place.com/food/col...er/genoise.htm

Check it out. Appears totally different to what was being explained to me, but the same. Sounds crazy but.........

Has anyone done this type & can post a pic of the result? It is a great benefit to see a final result and work to it.

We plebs do it hard.

Brooksy
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:48 AM   #6
 
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Do not open the oven when cooking your cakes unless you are cooking in a microwave oven. Apart from temp loss, just the slight vibration is sometimes enough to deflate. Often in the last 6 minutes or so it can be done if the cake is set, but unless you know your oven is cooking unevenly to the extent of possibly burning a portion I would leave it well alone. I use the unbleached flour from Aldi's. Cheap and wonderful. I have no Idea what protein level it is and I have no interest in finding out, all I know is it is cheap and makes wonderful bread and cakes. I use it exclusively. Maybe I could get a sponsorship!!
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Old 10-04-2004, 07:51 AM   #7
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"Has anyone done this type & can post a pic of the result? It is a great benefit to see a final result and work to it."

You have undoubtedly already seen this cake about a million times in your life, as it is one of the most common cake bases in existence. Ironically, I'm finding it hard to describe it, nevertheless :) It is light, fluffy, and dry on its own, which is why you need to use a cake syrup to moisten it and give it flavor. Here is an image I found on google.

http://pastryhajimenoippo.hp.infosee...-062403-03.jpg

The nice thing about cakes is that it's one of the few places where you don't have to be married to a recipe. Once you have a few basic cake bases mastered, you can just mix and match, and make your own recipes. Genoise is like the utility man on the baseball team; it can play any position and be used in almost any context. The classic thing to do with one would be to cut it into two layers, brush it with vanilla syrup, and then fill and frost it with chocolate buttercream.... mmmm.... buttercream
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:36 AM   #8
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pound cake!

Your recipe isounds like it's for a good old fashioned Pound Cake--so named because the traditional recipe calls for a pound of eggs, pound of butter, pound of sugar and pound of flour (less gluten/protein is better, but I find that cake/pastry flour is too light and can't hold the weight--so AP flour is good) plus vanilla or other flavoring extract.

The technique is the thing that gives it rise and structure--the butter and sugar must be creamed--beaten at medium high speed until light and fluffy, then the eggs added in one at a time and beaten well, then the flavoring(1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or the flavor of your choice), then the flour folded in gently. If you beat it after adding the flour it will lose some of it's air and go flat and dense.
The batter is then scraped into the prepared pans(usually two loaf pans or a bundt pan that has been greased and floured. Then baked at 350deg F for 40-55 min. A tester stuck in the middle should come out clean.

Cooled in the opan for a few minutes, then turned out onto their sides on a rack to cool completely. The bundt pan version is inverted and cooled on a rack.
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Old 10-04-2004, 06:33 PM   #9
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Re: pound cake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefcyn
Your recipe isounds like it's for a good old fashioned Pound Cake--so named because the traditional recipe calls for a pound of eggs, pound of butter, pound of sugar and pound of flour (less gluten/protein is better, but I find that cake/pastry flour is too light and can't hold the weight--so AP flour is good) plus vanilla or other flavoring extract.

The technique is the thing that gives it rise and structure--the butter and sugar must be creamed--beaten at medium high speed until light and fluffy, then the eggs added in one at a time and beaten well, then the flavoring(1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or the flavor of your choice), then the flour folded in gently. If you beat it after adding the flour it will lose some of it's air and go flat and dense.
The batter is then scraped into the prepared pans(usually two loaf pans or a bundt pan that has been greased and floured. Then baked at 350deg F for 40-55 min. A tester stuck in the middle should come out clean.

Cooled in the opan for a few minutes, then turned out onto their sides on a rack to cool completely. The bundt pan version is inverted and cooled on a rack.
Except Brooksy's recipe is leavened with baking soda & powder. Here is a recipe for pound cake from The American Woman's Cook Book that is leavened by whipped eggwhites:

1 lb butter
1 lb sifted cake flour
1 lb sugar
10 separated eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter, gradually add flour until meally. Beat yolks, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Gradually beat in first mixture. Fold in stiffly beaten eggwhites. Beat vigorisly 5 min.. Bake in 2 8" x 4" loaf pans lined with waxed paper at 325 deg. F., 1.25 hrs..

I never made this but it seems to me that, if you beat vigorously for 5 min., then there is no point to folding and you can just dump in the beaten eggwhites any old way. (folding preserves air bubbles, beating reduces it) Probably, there is no point to separating the eggs, which is why your recipe doesn't.
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Old 10-04-2004, 09:19 PM   #10
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Thanks very much guys (& Gals). great help, great suggestions.

Looking at these recipes, it seems that the ingedients can be ratioed to fit the desired pan(s). Folding flour or egg whites is scary for this "dump & burn" wannabe, but as soon as my wife forgives me for the mess in the kitchen yesterday, I'll give them a shot for sure.

I did the unspeakable yesterday. I decided in desperation to buy a premix choc cake (Cadbury Velvet) w ganache. Chocolate everywhere! All I had to do was look at it & choc would fly all over the place. Turned out ok but not a real cake. Heaps of great stuff here, it is just a matter of getting the procedure right.

Brooksy
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