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What went wrong?? - Page 2

post #16 of 32
I think with the size of the pan, you should try a heating core. That should prevent the cake from underbaking in the middle next timeicon_smile.gif
post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi Jen,

It is a recipe on here... in the white cake section called Vanilla Bean Cake... got rave reviews.. so must be something I did wrong!? Perhaps too much baking powder? Though I followed the recipe to the T! Unless I misunderstood?

Vicky
post #18 of 32
One thing that come to mind when you mention the baking powder is the problems we had when moving from Germany to Canada and trying German cake recipes with Canadian ingredients.
We always had to use more baking powder than the recipe called for to make it work. So either the baking powder was stronger in Germany, or the flour here is heavier. Probably both.
Maybe the same goes for France.
I am just wondering if you may be having the opposite problems now.
So I would definitely give it a try to decrease the amount of baking powder called for in American recipes.
post #19 of 32
SpecialtyCake, that's a really good suggestion, baking powder and flour is totally different from country to country.

Is this the recipe?

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/17133/vanilla-bean-cake

My thoughts on why/how it could fail...

If you notice the recipe, it says "butter, softened". People think this means "room temperature". That is incorrect. Butter should be 68 degrees or colder for cakes. If it's warmer then the butterfat starts to separate and the chemical composition completely changes. If your cake sunk or seemed "oily" this is probably why.

Recipe does not state cake or all-purpose flour. No origination from recipe, she says she uses all-purpose. Unusual for a white cake, that would make it more bread-like instead of cake-like which is what we expect from a white cake now. Anyway, overmeasuring your flour and adding too much is also a major problem. There is an art to measuring flour, and really the only way to do it right is to weigh. Just short of that, you should always sift into the cup if a recipe does not state how to treat the flour to get a consistent measurement.

I wold not mix this batter for longer then 20 seconds when adding flour, since it's AP flour you run the major risk of over-developing the gluten and making the cake really tough.

Only use whole milk in cakes, and make sure it's room temperature along with your eggs.

That's all I got for the moment.

Jen
post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks Specialtycake & Jen for your suggestions!

The baking powder thing sounds possible... though I've often used recipes from the US/UK etc and not had any problems before! That's why I thought that either I'd added too much (do you think the recipe really calls for 1 tbsp of bp? as is written? seems rather a lot but everyone else raved, so can't be just me that read it that way!?) or perhaps that it was the fault of the cake tin?

I tend to use all purpose flour here as the "cake flour" (when am literally translating from the French) that I've found here... already has raising agents.. so is more like self-raising flour. There are other flours that are meant for "batters" that are more fluidy that need no lumps... like for crepes etc....

Jen... when you say softened doesn't mean room temp.... how is it best to know that it's ok? (short of sticking a thermometer inside it!) I mean... should you take it out from the fridge for a certain amount of time? or what?

And as for sifting into the cup... seriously? doesn't that make an almighty mess? Lol! I do tend to like weighing.. but when the measurements call for cups... I measure out the cups and then put those in the sieve to sift... hasn't particularly let me down yet... I wonder if this one would need your technique? What's best way to do it without covering my whole kitchen in flour? heeh!

I tend to use whole milk in my cakes too (unless I've run out!) and for the most part I try to have the eggs at room temp.

As for the mixing... a) I'm using a hand-held mixer (does that still count for the 20-second rule?) and b) do you mean 20 seconds after each addition? or total?

Now it's my life's challenge to make this cake and have it work! lol!

Your little "motto" is right Jen.... it really is a science! And one you seem to have worked out to a T! Wish I had your knowledge and talent! ;o)

Thanks again you guys!

Vicky

ps - Jen I tried the choc cake recipe you told me about... yummmmmmmm!! so nice and moist and light n soft! The playgroup I took it to all loved it! there was barely any left! It just made a nice 8" round cake.... if I'm going to go for the rectangular 14"x10" one... what do you think... double or triple the recipe? Or maybe 2.5? I'm never any good at estimating quantities!
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgereis

I tend to use all purpose flour here as the "cake flour" (when am literally translating from the French) that I've found here... already has raising agents.. so is more like self-raising flour. There are other flours that are meant for "batters" that are more fluidy that need no lumps... like for crepes etc....



Try and find out what the cake shops there use, or if they all use self-rising, if they do and that's all you can get your hands on, the yes your cake will be WAY over levened. I have zero experience working with self-rising flours so I am no help in how to modify your American recipe to work with French flour icon_biggrin.gif

Quote:
Quote:

Jen... when you say softened doesn't mean room temp.... And as for sifting into the cup... seriously?



I'm gettin lazy - here's my blog post about both things: http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/scratch-white-cake-improving-an-already-good-thing-pt-2/

AND, here's a You Tube video of my hero explaining flour and showing how and why you sift to measure... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGcvZlAw4tM

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As for the mixing... a) I'm using a hand-held mixer (does that still count for the 20-second rule?) and b) do you mean 20 seconds after each addition? or total?



Yes, so add dry to wet in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of milk, so add dry, 20 seconds, milk, 20 seconds, dry 20 seconds and so on.

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ps - if I'm going to go for the rectangular 14"x10" one... what do you think... double or triple the recipe? Or maybe 2.5? I'm never any good at estimating quantities!



I assume you want to make a single layer sheet-type cake? I think you'd be fine doubling it, but I'd probably stick my ruler in the pan after I poured all my batter in to make sure it reaches 1/2. If it's a little short that recipe is easy enough to whip up again and add to what you already made. But of course I'm a stickler for exact height cakes, I want all of them 2" when baked!
post #22 of 32
Oh, and this is how I make my white/yellow cakes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rwG-sg0QZk&feature=related
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

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



All the cupcakes in my pictures are IMBC tinted with normal gel paste colouring and I've never had any issues. That's using Americolor and the UK brand Sugarflair.

Maybe you could try adding the colouring before you add the butter?
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaPeps

All the cupcakes in my pictures are IMBC tinted with normal gel paste colouring and I've never had any issues. That's using Americolor and the UK brand Sugarflair.

Maybe you could try adding the colouring before you add the butter?



Interesting! I just checked out your photos, I see 2 bright colored cupcakes, you say one was strawberry and the other passion fruit - would you say that the addition of those fruits helped boost the color? I can get a really nice vibrant pink to my BC by adding strawberries, but I could not reproduce the same color by just using regular Americolor.

I think your government has different standards on what goes into your food dyes there (especially red), and it's possible the formulations are just more suited to European buttercreams since they are more popular there then here - but I cold just be talking out of my butt... I really have no idea icon_biggrin.gif

Jen
post #25 of 32
Thank you Jen!

I took the time to go ahead and rebake using some of your tips (I had no cake flour on hand) and it rose a quarter of an inch higher. Not a big differnce I know but the texture seems alot better and the top also looks alot differnt.

I do have a question, How much is a cup of AP flour suppose to weigh? Cake flour? You google it and you get about 15 differnt answers.

I am a hobby baker who uses doctored mixs and I am trying to get away from that a bit if I can. I thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me!
post #26 of 32
One cup of sifted cake flour is 100gr. Makes it easy to remember.
One cup sifted AP is a little more 125gr I think.
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by shyann_rayne

Thank you Jen!

I took the time to go ahead and rebake using some of your tips (I had no cake flour on hand) and it rose a quarter of an inch higher. Not a big differnce I know but the texture seems alot better and the top also looks alot differnt.

I do have a question, How much is a cup of AP flour suppose to weigh? Cake flour? You google it and you get about 15 differnt answers.

I am a hobby baker who uses doctored mixs and I am trying to get away from that a bit if I can. I thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with me!



I follow Rose's conversion chart from the Cake Bible, 1 c. cake flour = 3.5oz (100g), 1 c. APF = 4oz (114g). She says if you are converting recipes to use these formulas weather it says sifted or not. There are a billion other charts out there with conflicting numbers, but I have successfully converted all my family recipes using the above with 100% success.

Jen
post #28 of 32
You are right Jen. Roses chart is what I use. Didn't have the cake bible in front of me but tried to recall from memory icon_wink.gif
But who can trust that?

But weighing definitely is so much easier and more accurate that measuring. It give me a lot more confidence with experimenting new recipes.
post #29 of 32
I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet as a possible problem with your batter and sorry if it has....BUT, you doubled the recipe. In baking, that can screw things up. I am NOT the expert here on that, but I do know from experience that when you double everything in a cake recipe, there can be real problems. I defer to those who can explain why and how, but it could likely be the problem you had with your from scratch batter.

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

Reply

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

Reply
post #30 of 32
The Vanilla Bean Cake recipe is my husband's favorite. Unfortunately, I don't have any answers for you in regards to what's going wrong other than what's been posted. But I can tell you that I have never had it deflate...in fact, the last one I made was in a shaped pan and I filled it a little too full- it rose above the sides of the pan. icon_redface.gif

For shaped pans I usually drop the temp to 325 and add to the baking time. I've made this as written, and I have also replaced the milk with french vanilla coffee creamer. I use all-purpose flour, and I always use room temp butter, eggs, and milk/cream/creamer.

Hope that helps a little. Good luck!
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