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Old 10-10-2011, 03:51 PM   #1
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Dark, light, springy chocolate cake, but dry, need help

Recipe then my request for help follows:

150g - Light Brown Sugar
200g - Unsalted Butter
100g - Dark Chocolate
175g - Plain Flour
50g - Cocoa Powder
2tsp - Baking Powder
1tsp - Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2tsp - Salt
4 - Eggs
2tbsp - Soured Cream

2 20cm tins lined and greased.

Preheat oven to 175 centigrade.

Cream the sugar with 150 grams of butter, until pale in colour.
Melt the chocolate with the remaining butter in a bowl over simmering water.
Once melted and glossy leave to cool slightly then mix into the sugar mixture.
Sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk the eggs together in a jug.
Alternate adding and mixing in the dry then the wet ingredients to the sugar and chocolate mix, about a third at a time until fully incorporated.
Then mix in the soured cream to loosen.
Divide between the two tins and place in the middle of the oven for 20-25mins.
Check to make sure the cakes are cooked through then remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for about 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
Assemble cake using desired buttercream/frosting.

So I made this cake, it rose well and was springy and light, it had a great dark colour and good taste. The only problem is it was totally dry, saved by plenty of vanilla ice cream and saved again the next day by being turned into a bread and butter pudding with orange custard.

Can anyone suggest improvements to the recipe, I don't need alternate recipes as the taste and dark colour of this cake were great. I just need to know what to change to make it moist.

Doing a search I've found a few things that might work but don't fancy wasting a load of time and ingredients seeing which ones work. The ideas for moistness I've seen are:
Less eggs
Oil not butter
More soured cream
Don't use soured cream use milk instead
and freezing it covered in cling film straight from the oven

Are any of these right or does someone know what has made my cake so dry and what needs to change, any definitive tips would be great, thanks.

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Old 10-11-2011, 11:43 AM   #2
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Do you check your cake's doneness with a toothpick/skewer? I always do that and make sure the pick is clean, but damp (if that makes sense). Sometimes that can mean that you pull the cake even if it's before the recommended time window.
If your pans are dark metal, as opposed to the lighter aluminum color, the cake will definitely get done quicker.
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:58 PM   #3
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Does cooking it for a few minutes less really make that much difference? The sponge sprang back when pressed and the skewer came out clean, but can't remember if it was damp, but the taste was so dry that you needed a load of ice cream with each mouthful. Seems that the problem is a bit more than over baking.

Does anyone know what the key ingredients are to making a chocolate cake moist and rough ratios?
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Old 10-11-2011, 02:26 PM   #4
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If you've already made it and aren't satisfied with it, you can use it to make trifle and it would be great like that. I've used stale pound cake before and it came out really good. Nobody knew my cake wasn't fresh.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gastrobaker View Post
Does cooking it for a few minutes less really make that much difference? The sponge sprang back when pressed and the skewer came out clean, but can't remember if it was damp, but the taste was so dry that you needed a load of ice cream with each mouthful. Seems that the problem is a bit more than over baking.

Does anyone know what the key ingredients are to making a chocolate cake moist and rough ratios?
It really does make that much difference. 5 minutes is a long time if it's 5 minutes too long.
A certain amount of heat rise, and evaporation, will occur once it's out of the oven too. So, if it comes out of the oven a bit dry, it will be even dryer once it cools. It's a bit similar to carryover cooking when cooking meat. You have to allow for that temperature rise when it first comes out of the oven.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:25 PM   #6
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I've made tons of various chocolate cakes, and this particular recipe looks like it's missing enough liquid. However, there's no guarantee - the recipe itself could be flawed in other ways.

You can try experimenting with some extra sour cream or buttermilk or brewed espresso. Start with 1/2 cup, and see what the results are, then work your way up from there. Other than that, try another recipe. There are lots of great ones out there.

Also, I agree with Hammster. The toothpick should have some moist crumbs attached. In addition, if using a dark pan, decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees,
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Dark, light, springy chocolate cake, but dry, need help Recipe then my request for help follows: 150g - Light Brown Sugar 200g - Unsalted Butter 100g - Dark Chocolate 175g - Plain Flour 50g - Cocoa Powder 2tsp - Baking Powder 1tsp - Bicarbonate of Soda 1/2tsp - Salt 4 - Eggs 2tbsp - Soured Cream 2 20cm tins lined and greased. Preheat oven to 175 centigrade. Cream the sugar with 150 grams of butter, until pale in colour. Melt the chocolate with the remaining butter in a bowl over simmering water. Once melted and glossy leave to cool slightly then mix into the sugar mixture. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk the eggs together in a jug. Alternate adding and mixing in the dry then the wet ingredients to the sugar and chocolate mix, about a third at a time until fully incorporated. Then mix in the soured cream to loosen. Divide between the two tins and place in the middle of the oven for 20-25mins. Check to make sure the cakes are cooked through then remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for about 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool fully. Assemble cake using desired buttercream/frosting. So I made this cake, it rose well and was springy and light, it had a great dark colour and good taste. The only problem is it was totally dry, saved by plenty of vanilla ice cream and saved again the next day by being turned into a bread and butter pudding with orange custard. Can anyone suggest improvements to the recipe, I don't need alternate recipes as the taste and dark colour of this cake were great. I just need to know what to change to make it moist. Doing a search I've found a few things that might work but don't fancy wasting a load of time and ingredients seeing which ones work. The ideas for moistness I've seen are: Less eggs Oil not butter More soured cream Don't use soured cream use milk instead and freezing it covered in cling film straight from the oven Are any of these right or does someone know what has made my cake so dry and what needs to change, any definitive tips would be great, thanks. 3 stars 1 reviews
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