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What went wrong??

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi all!

This is sort of leading on from whisperingmadcow's post above about just giving up.... The other day I needed to make a cake for my nephew's 1st birthday. It was just going to be made using the wilton 3d choo-choo pan.... I'd used it for my son's own birthday a couple of months ago. However.... a few days previously, I'd made a dark chocolate mud cake for my mother's birthday, so this time I decided to use a recipe that got great reviews here... a vanilla bean cake. Sounded soooo nice and aromatic and the reviews were great. Wasn't sure how much batter it would make... so doubled the recipe, thinking I could use the extra batter to make some easter cupcakes for the kids in the family. Poured the batter into the tin.... in the oven.... and baked it for the time recommended.... checked it a minute or two before was due to be done... and was still a bit uncooked... so put back into the oven. Perhaps 10 or more mins later, it was done when my tester came out totally clean..... Cooled the cake as suggested for the tin.... and when I opened it.... the cake was totally deflated! icon_cry.gif

By this time... I had already poured batter into the cupcake cases... but luckily still had some batter left over... just not quite enough... ughhh... icon_confused.gif So made up an extra half-batch while the cupcakes baked.... filled the tin.... back in the oven... and this time kept it in probably a good 20 mins more.... followed all instructions again etc.... it was somewhat better this time... or at least I thought so.... one side was fine... the back... well... also a bit deflated.... but everyone said it was fine and I should just decorate it. (it was just going to be a small family thing) Have to say.. by this time... I had already gotten quite upset... but couldn't give up as I really wanted to make this cake special for my nephew's birthday!

Anyway... with my mom's cake... everyone had said that the BC was too sweet... so I had heard about Italian Meringue BC... that it was far less sweet.. and frankly... DIVINE! lol!! So set about making it.... all was fine.... was definitely delicious... until the moment when I tried coloring it... and everything was just separating and the colors were separating from the icing etc! No idea what went wrong... is IMBC not "colorable?" Or did something go wrong with the icing itself?? If it is colorable.. is it also ok for piping or is it more like a covering/filling?

Needless to say... I was distraught by this point... and just decided to make my usual bc frosting... which... was made fine.... but when it came to decorating the cake after coloring... realised the heat from my hands (and it was relatively warm that day) kept melting the icing! So kept having to shove it in the fridge to firm up! lol!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!

In the end.... I cried.... when it came time to cut the cake... and the centre just wasn't done....and therefore inedible..... I tried it... and it really does taste good... but no idea what went wrong... how I can fix it another time? Does this batter just not work in tins like this? Would it be better in a plain tin? How should I have known not to take the cake out of the oven if the tester came out clean?

If anyone has any ideas.. please do let me know.... Not sure I want any repeats of any of these disasters!

Thanks for listening!!

Vicky
post #2 of 32
I'm sorry! Is the choo choo pan a big one- maybe it needed a heating core?
post #3 of 32
I'm sorry to hear you had such trouble. I don't know the answers, hopefully someone else will.

As for the warm hands melting the frosting, here are a few tips for that. You can make up 2 or even 3 piping bags with your frosting. Use one and keep the other either in the fridge or lay it on a block of ice (freeze some water in a square container or cake pan; it doesn't have to be really thick.) Switch between the bags often. I also will run my hands under cold water before picking up the new bag.
post #4 of 32
So sorry this happened to you! This has happened to me, too. Both problems, actually, but not at the same time. The first time I tried to use IMBC it melted all over and was terrible to work with! I had such a hard time, I haven't tried it again, but I will use some of the tips from others here! As for the sinking cake, that can be caused by too much leavening or too much sugar. I looked at the recipe and the proportions all seem okay. Is there a chance you put in more baking powder or subbed baking soda? To fix it, you could try using a little less sugar or add an egg yolk or two (for structure without drying). HTH!
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone so much for your tips and most of all... for the sympathy! lol! I have to say... this incident definitely shook my baking confidence to the core! I'm not an expert by any means, and am only starting out on the "decorating road".... I've only done a few cakes for my son and some friends etc... but this was the first time for such a disaster... and now part of me is somewhat scared to make a cake for anyone else! Especially if it's for some big occasion and they are paying me for it!!! (having said that.. I currently have a choc/chip banana bread in the oven for my son's class and playgroup! lol But it's just a snack... so if it doesn't work, there are still the veggie sticks & fruit to fall back on! hehe!)

Funnily, my father had also mentioned the "too much baking powder" thing... but am sure I measured it right.. and definitely used baking powder as baking soda isn't so easy to come by here in Paris... and I have it in a separate little container. hmmmm.... might have to try the cake once again in a normal pan and see what happens... and perhaps just leave it in that bit longer... and perhaps add the egg yolks as was suggested?? Will let you know what happens! lol!

Thanks again!

Vicky
post #6 of 32
Sorry you had so much trouble!

Meringue buttercreams don't tint easily, and you have to use oil-based colors, NOT your regular gel colors. Why? Well, when you make crusting buttercream, the color attaches to the sugar crystals from the powdered sugar. But in a meringue buttercream you have no crystals, so the color has nothing to grab.

I have heard of people taking a tsp or so of buttercream, adding regular color to it, popping it in the micro to melt it and slightly heat it up, letting it get back to room temperature then using that to tint their meringue buttercream, but I've never personally tried it.

Better luck next time icon_biggrin.gif

Jen
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi Jen and anyone else that can answer!!

Just thought of something... as I still have the IMBC that I had made.... was going to use it as a filling in another cake I am due to make.... just wondered if it needs to be refrigerated once it's in? Or is it like normal buttercream and can stay out?

Thanks
Vicky
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgereis

Hi Jen and anyone else that can answer!!

Just thought of something... as I still have the IMBC that I had made.... was going to use it as a filling in another cake I am due to make.... just wondered if it needs to be refrigerated once it's in? Or is it like normal buttercream and can stay out?

Thanks
Vicky



I only cover and refrigerate to save the cake from going stale, not to save the buttercream. So no, once the cake is finished it does not have to be refrigerated. I have eaten a cake with unrefrigerated SMBC 7 days after it sat on my counter and it was fine.

Jen
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you thank you thank you!!! I just love the taste.. but was worried about leaving it... will probably be decorated the day before... so wanted to make sure it wouldn't spoil by the time I got it to her!! Had enough disaster already with the cake above! lol!!

Best,
Vicky

ps - gosh you're fast! lol!
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgereis

Thank you thank you thank you!!! I just love the taste.. but was worried about leaving it... will probably be decorated the day before... so wanted to make sure it wouldn't spoil by the time I got it to her!! Had enough disaster already with the cake above! lol!!

Best,
Vicky

ps - gosh you're fast! lol!



You are welcome!

LOL I'm fast cuz I'm sitting on my bum on maternity leave waiting for this baby to decide to be born icon_biggrin.gif Can't really do much else these days.

Jen
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Awwwwww... how exciting!!! Do we know if it's a pink bump or a blue one? heeh! Congrats in advance!! Can't wait to hear the good news!! Only question is.... who's making your baby shower cake? hehe!

Take care!

Vicky
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgereis

Awwwwww... how exciting!!! Do we know if it's a pink bump or a blue one? heeh! Congrats in advance!! Can't wait to hear the good news!! Only question is.... who's making your baby shower cake? hehe!

Take care!

Vicky



A girl, and I already did - it's the owl cake in my photo gallery. It's the 1st time I've made a cake for myself icon_biggrin.gif

And I ate a TON of it. Ahem, BABY ate a ton of it.

Jen
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Awwwwww.... a little girly!!! How precious! I have a 3-year old boy... and all my caking interest started with his 3rd birthday when I made his cakes for nursery and home party!hehe! Love love loveeeee the owl cake!! OMG you are so talented!!! If you're ever in Paris... I'd love to get some lessons from you! ;o)

Just outta curiosity.... have any fantastic chocolate cake recipes you're willing to share? Moist, and chocolatey without being too rich cuz it's for kids? Normally I've used a dark chocolate mud cake... which always stays nice and moist.. but it's quite a rich and dense cake...

Anyway.. I guess if you do... you can pm me?

Thanks and good luck yet again!!! Get lots of sleep now.... it goes downhill after bubs is born! ;o)

Vicky
post #14 of 32
I just made this cake last night, and it didn't work for me either. I baked in 8x2 pans with wilton bake even strips. It only rose up to 1 1/4 inches. I baked for around 55 minutes, tester came out clean and it bounced back. I tasted a crumb and I agree it is very sweet. I have no time to rebake because I am going out of town. This cake is for family, I may have a very short underdone cake come Sunday icon_sad.gif
post #15 of 32
Which recipe are you talking about for the cake? Is it here on CC?

Jen
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