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Old 07-16-2012, 03:34 PM   #11
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all right duly noted, i'll add more cocoa
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:34 AM   #12
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What does conventional ovens need to do?
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:54 PM   #13
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I am having the same problems. The cake looks done, when the skewer is stuck in the middle it comes out clean, but as the cake cools it sinks in the middle. I am wits end. I've tested the temperature and it is correct. I preheat the oven and bake at 350F as the recipe calls for. I've tested the baking powder and baking soda for freshness. What else can I do? Should I decrease the temperature to 325?
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by rafisqui View Post
all right duly noted, i'll add more cocoa
A coincidence - today I made this chocolate cake (I didn't ice it) and it was really good. Don't know if it will help with the amount of cocoa you use?
Mary Berry's chocolate cake recipe - Recipes - goodtoknow
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by kansasteddybear View Post
I am having the same problems. The cake looks done, when the skewer is stuck in the middle it comes out clean, but as the cake cools it sinks in the middle. I am wits end. I've tested the temperature and it is correct. I preheat the oven and bake at 350F as the recipe calls for. I've tested the baking powder and baking soda for freshness. What else can I do? Should I decrease the temperature to 325?
Upon rereading this topic I'm surprised I didn't mention this before. There is an important difference between a gas oven and an electric oven. A gas oven is heated by burning usually natural gas (butane?) or propane (e.g. rural areas). The heat is created by combusting (oxidizing) that gas, and the products of that chemical reaction are heat, carbon dioxide, and water vapor.

An electric oven is heated by running heavy electrical current through a heating element. The principal difference is that a natural gas (or propane) oven differs from an electric oven in that the humidity will be higher inside the gas oven vs. the electric oven.

I suggest you should experiment with placing one or more pots or pans of water in your oven. Since your temperature is more than 212 degrees F the water will heat up and release water vapor inside your electric oven.

That is my only new idea to contribute at this time.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:45 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by kansasteddybear View Post
I am having the same problems. The cake looks done, when the skewer is stuck in the middle it comes out clean, but as the cake cools it sinks in the middle. I am wits end. I've tested the temperature and it is correct. I preheat the oven and bake at 350F as the recipe calls for. I've tested the baking powder and baking soda for freshness. What else can I do? Should I decrease the temperature to 325?
Falling middle can result from a group of causes, but one common one is worth considering. The repeat the obvious, leavening, making powder and baking soda work by producing carbon dioxide bubbles, thus the rise, as the batter and the small bubbles form a spongy mass. If the formation of carbon dioxide is too vigorous, the bubbles can become so large that collapse before the batter becomes hard enough to hold the form. The fault is mostly the bubbles, not the speed of cooking the batter.

It can be on account of just plain too much leavening. Or it can be a mistake in an ingredient that activates the process. Baking soda requires an acid to work, and it works immediately upon exposure to the acid.

Baking powder incorporates ingredients that break down to form the needed acid. If you use too much, there's too much carbon dioxide generated. Most baking powder today is "double-acting", meaning one ingredient becomes active at room temperature and caused one rise, while another is only active in the oven, causing a second rise. If an old recipe meant to use single-rise, or single rise is used where double-rise was intended, the leavening action will be faulty.

You question implies that the recipe includes both baking soda and baking powder. Sometimes, this is done to neutralize acid in another ingredient. Baking powder has the proper balance so that all the acid it generates is consumed by combining with it's soda. If you want neutralize an independent acid, you add a little baking soda. It doesn't contribute much lift, just mostly affects flavor. But you can see how a recipe fault or mistakes in measuring can cause bad things. It's kind of a tricky business using baking soda to balance when you've already got baking powder, since your trying to nail that excess acid so it doesn't alter the action of the baking powder.

Too much baking soda in a recipe where baking powder will be contributing an acid can cause too rapid rise and the fall you're seeing. The baking soda doesn't have enough independent acid to get to work early, so it combines with the soda in the baking powder to cause a heavy reaction when the heat-activated acid in the powder gets to work in the oven. Boom! The cake blows up. (Too much baking soda in a recipe using soda alone is not so much of a rising problem, since the acid will be consumed and the carbon dioxide will stop. It does, however, become a flavor issue.)

Take care in measuring, if you try it again. Make sure the leaveners are completely distributed evenly throughout the mix, so there's no concentration of soda. Don't omit the independent acid. It's there for a reason. If you do omit the acid, omit the baking soda and bump the baking powder up a notch.

And of course, proper temperature and oven position matter, because the timing of when the batter interior is heated determines when part of the rise happens. Middle rack, if not told otherwise. If a cookie sheet is used under the pan, don't make it so big that it hinders the normal convection in the oven.

(If this is a case of trying to increase yield by scaling up the recipe, that's entirely another story, the matter of adjusting time and temperature, which is absolutely necessary for scaling baked goods.)
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Old 10-26-2012, 11:48 AM   #17
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I suggest finding a really good local bakery.
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