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Question those who bake from scratch

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I made a scratch chocolate chip cake last night. The cake was great, but it was too crumbly. I want to try to improve upon the recipe. Should I try adding another egg or increase the butter? I've read too much cake trivia and too many recipes. I can't remember what strengthens cake structure.

TIA
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post #2 of 17
I would think either another egg, pudding or both would help out.
Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
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Cheryl a/k/a ntertayneme (n-ter-tayne-me)
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post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubblezmom

I made a scratch chocolate chip cake last night. The cake was great, but it was too crumbly. I want to try to improve upon the recipe. Should I try adding another egg or increase the butter? I've read too much cake trivia and too many recipes. I can't remember what strengthens cake structure.

TIA



Mmmm, scratch cakes can be tricky and I have heard from chefs that it can be close to if not as exact as a science. Altering the recipe by adding or subtracting may not give you good results. I would try to find another recipe that calls for more eggs or that sounds more firm. But to alter an existing recipe, I am not so sure about.
Its always about cake!!
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Its always about cake!!
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post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm compulsive. I can't help messing with a recipe. icon_razz.gif The individual cake slices held together. The cake just had excessive crumbing when sliced. I think the recipe is good. It could just be better.

My mom used to add puddings to cakemix. I find that the puddings are now so intensely flavored that they over power the taste of the cake. I probably won't get back to this recipe for another week. I'll let you know how it goes.
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post #5 of 17
Marialovescakes is right in that scratch cakes is a science and altering one ingredient can affect another or affect the entire outcome. They're not as easy to add ingredients to because they don't contain emulsifiers like box cakes. The emulsifiers give the cakes "tolerance", making them able to withstand various additions. If you do play around with it, let me know what happens...

I also recently made a scratch chocolate cake that I've made before that came out extremely crumbly. It's a recipe from the Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum so I emailed her to see what she thinks may cause that. I'll let you know when I hear a response, if you like.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, but I enjoy baking and do not fear a failed cake. icon_smile.gif
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post #7 of 17
I am my no means an expert LOL but I have made a lot of scratch cakes and done a lot of reading on the subject. One of the biggest variables in the ingredients is the weight of the flour. The best way to get consistent results is by weighing your ingredients instead of measuring. The amount of flour you get into your measuring cup varies widely depending on how you put it there(as much as 1-2 ounces).
Mixing also makes a difference in the cake structure. There is a post on egullet about the perfect butter cake. The recipe is from the person who runs the baking911 website(Sarah Phillips I believe). She is very specific in her instructions on mixing the cake-mix on x speed, x minutes,etc.
White and yellow cakes seem the hardest to make with good crumb and be moist.

Sandra
post #8 of 17
That could be it, I really need to get a kitchen scale and go by weight. It would make things a lot more consistent.

Bubblez, more power to you! thumbs_up.gif If you find something that works, please post it.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubblezmom

Thanks, but I enjoy baking and do not fear a failed cake. icon_smile.gif



Good for you bubbles
I have a kitchen scale that absolutely love
If you love baking it is a must have
I got mine from bed, bath and beyond with my 20% off coupon icon_smile.gif
Baking from is science and you also need to figure out what works for you
and which recipe works for you

Happy baking
AShiana
Baking is a skill that can be taught....One catch...you have to love it!!


Be yourself! Everyone else is taken!
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Baking is a skill that can be taught....One catch...you have to love it!!


Be yourself! Everyone else is taken!
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
I know the cake bible author insists everything should be weighed. I can just see my grandma shaking her head in disgust at the thought of me using a scale to measure baking ingredients. icon_redface.gif Grandma didn't even measure ingredients let alone weigh them.

Even though I absolutely love the cake bible, I think her recipes are just tempermental. I know from watching my grandma that you can achieve PERFECT results without measuring a thing. My mom said that grandma used to make perfect souffles but stopped because my mom thought they were icky. icon_rolleyes.gif

Lots to do this week with my inlaws coming to visit. I'll let ya know how the tres leches cake turn out.
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post #11 of 17
Wouldn't it be easier to buy a box mix and doctor it up?
post #12 of 17
Bubbles, funny you mention that. I love the book because it's been very informative for me when it coems to baking and the science behind it. It helps you understand everything that is baking.

But a few of the recipes are what you called "temperamental". Like this chocolate one. I was so surprised at how crumbly it was, I would like to see what she says. I love her white chocolate recipe and it's usually pretty consistent. I have yet to weigh anything so I'll see if I notice the difference when I get a scale.

Ashiana, thanks for the tip with BBB, I always get those coupons in my mailbox.

I made a chocolate cake this weekend using a doctored cake mix and it was the best I've made in awhile. Very chocolatey and moist. I think I'll try that Hershey's one again.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just finished making the tres leches and it is awesome! I used the recipe on MexGrocer. It is a butter cake batter that you fold egg whites into. It creates a cake that acts as a sponge for the milks. It's similar to angel food cake, but without the tough texture.

The milks give a light sweet taste to the cake. I did not pour all of the milk on the cake as I did not have enough heavy cream and had to sub some regular milk. It is amazing how much milk the cake can absorb. The recipe I used did not say to refrigerate the cake. I would refridgerate the cake for a couple of hours to let it absorb the milks. I waited an hour and then skipped making the meringue topping because we were dying to try the cake! icon_biggrin.gif

A fresh fruit topping would go well with the light, sweet taste of the cake.
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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes, making a box cake would be easier, but I've been making those since I was 10. I really want to expand my baking skills. Plus, I figure by the time I add extra eggs, butter, milk, pudding, extracts and sourcream to a box cake.....I might as well make the darn thing from scratch. icon_smile.gif
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post #15 of 17
I agree it may be the flour.

Do you "fluff" the flour and then scoop and scrape??

What kind of flour do you use?

Try cake flour if you aren't using that already.
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