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Cold batter = level cakes?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I made my normal mudcake recipe this week:

http://www.exclusivelyfood.com.au/2006/07/chocolate-mud-cake-recipe.html

but I had refrigerated the batter overnight, and they baked very level. This recipe is delicious, but always rises and cracks in the middle no matter what temp it's baked at, or what I do with baking strips etc.

Has anyone who has baked cold batter found this?
post #2 of 15
I haven't ever tried refrigerating batter before baking, but I may now!! I logged on this morning to ask "why are my cakes falling"? Time after time. I've been at this about 4 years, and have tried everything I can think of. Heat cores, rose nails, baking strips. I use the WASC cake and my cakes fall every time. So discouraging. I bake in different ovens, and that makes no difference. I live in a high altitude, wondering if I should be compensating some way. I will try the chilled batter idea.
Does ANYONE have input for me on this?

Thanks!
Jackie
post #3 of 15
I'm not sure about the cold batter - never tried it. But, as for the WASC cake falling, I recommend using a little self-rising flour with the all purpose. I usually bake from scratch, but a couple of weeks ago, I had two last minute orders come in for an already busy weekend. So, I decided to do the WASC for those cakes. I ran out of flour for the 2nd one and used some self-rising that I had on hand. It helped the cake rise some so it wasn't so dense, and it may help with your cakes falling. But, it does make the cake softer. You have to be more careful with it and don't add too much self-rising if you need a really sturdy cake.
post #4 of 15
just curious did you refrigerate the batter in the pans or pour the refrigerated batter into pans before you baked?
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Both! I had refrigerated half the mix in the tin and put it straight in the oven next day, then scraped the rest out of the fridged bowl later with the same results.
post #6 of 15
So many people here are crazy about frozen batter for cupcakes. I don't see why this wouldn't work also. Cake is cake.
post #7 of 15
The cold temps may have suppressed the bake powder action somewhat so that the cake center and sides all rose at the same time. Definitely worth a testing. icon_biggrin.gif
yummmm...cake!
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yummmm...cake!
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post #8 of 15
I'm so interested to try this method.


However, whatever happened to "always remember to have all your ingredients at room temperature prior to mixing a cake batter" rule?

From what I understand from reading tips from here, the reason for the above is so that the ingredients can react 'correctly' with each other scientifically during the baking process (as well as right before the batter goes into the oven)?

If we can freeze (from the cupcake thread previously) / refrigerate batter and straight away pop it into the oven, why bother having all the ingredients (like eggs or milk or butter) at RT prior to mixing?
Does that mean I can use cold milk or eggs?
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Maybe my result had something to do with the recipe - it's a mudcake, so melt butter, chocolate and liquid and mix into dry ingredients. I always use everything straight out of the fridge for this. But perhaps a 'cream the butter and sugar' recipe might be different? I have no idea.
post #10 of 15
Ingredients need to be at room temperature for the mixing phase in order for them all to emulsify and become a homogeneous mixture. Once you have a properly mixed batter then chilling it is fine.
yummmm...cake!
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yummmm...cake!
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post #11 of 15
Thanks katnmouse for the answer!
post #12 of 15
........WASC cake and my cakes fall every time. So discouraging. I bake in different ovens, and that makes no difference. I live in a high altitude,.............

High altitude may indeed have something to do with it. I like the suggestion of using some self-rising flour - sounds 'right' to meicon_smile.gif
When I lived at 8500 ft, the only change I had to make was add almost double the liquid. I only made two or three cakes there and I don't remember if there was any problem like falling in the center or not. Sorry I can't help more.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sister340

I haven't ever tried refrigerating batter before baking, but I may now!! I logged on this morning to ask "why are my cakes falling"? Time after time. I've been at this about 4 years, and have tried everything I can think of. Heat cores, rose nails, baking strips. I use the WASC cake and my cakes fall every time. So discouraging. I bake in different ovens, and that makes no difference. I live in a high altitude, wondering if I should be compensating some way. I will try the chilled batter idea.
Does ANYONE have input for me on this?

Thanks!
Jackie

I've read on a few baking sites to replace the water in a mix with buttermilk, as water evaporates so fast at high altitude. I'm at sea level and use buttermilk in WASC cake instead of water and it works great. I also use self-rising cake flour in place of AP but adding self rising at high altitude wouldn't be such a great idea.

A short article on high altitude baking from Epicurious.

Almost all recipes are developed for use at sea level and, when used at or above 2,500 to 3,000 feet in elevation they will require adjustments for optimal results. Baking above sea level can be tricky because one set of adjustments emphatically does not fit all situations; each recipe, altitude, and set of atmospheric conditions is unique. However, different kinds of baked goods do tend to follow certain patterns. Below, are general guidelines for baking cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, quick breads, and yeast breads at high altitude.

Cakes
The delicate formulas that make cakes rise and maintain texture are strongly affected by changes in elevation. Some rising problems crop up between 2,500 and 3,000 feet; above 5,000 feet, cakes typically rise during baking, but may fall or cave in; or they may have a heavy, coarse crumb. Batter may be strengthened by reducing sugar, or adding eggs, egg yolks, or slightly more flour. Acidity helps batter set quickly in the oven's heat, so replacing regular milk with buttermilk, sour cream, or yogurt can be helpful. Leavening is usually reduced, while flavoring agents are increased. Oven heat is sometimes increased 25°F or the temperature is kept moderate (350°F) but baking times increased. Boxed cake mixes often include high-altitude adjustments, but bewarethey are designed to work up to about 6,000 feet only; above that, cakes crash. Fortunately, many boxed cake mixes can be fixed using the same methods as you would for cakes made from scratch.





You might also want to check out Susan Purdy's book on high altitude baking. Link is below. The book has garnered a lot of of positive reviews.

I bought Purdy's perfect pie book last year (love it) and just recently found her perfect cake book at a local book store's spring clearance sale. I've only scanned through the cake book so far, but am pretty sure Purdy's Chocolate buttermilk cake will be my first go, as I always have too much buttermilk in my fridge! icon_rolleyes.gif



http://www.highaltitudebaking.com/index.htm

HTH
Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
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post #14 of 15
I like this thread. Very helpful!
"No tool is more beneficial than intelligence. No enemy is more harmful than ignorance."

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid
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"No tool is more beneficial than intelligence. No enemy is more harmful than ignorance."

Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Harithi al-Baghdadi al-Mufid
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post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sister340

I use the WASC cake and my cakes fall every time... I live in a high altitude, wondering if I should be compensating some way. I will try the chilled batter idea.
Does ANYONE have input for me on this?

Thanks!
Jackie



Hi, Jackie, I live at around 6300. You should DEFINITELY be compensating. icon_smile.gif Baking at higher altitudes is certainly different. Through trial and error I have found what, for the most part, works for me. I bake both from scratch and mixes. I've found that some scratch recipes simply don't work, no matter what I do. The book Chocolate Snowball by Lettie Halloran Flatt has been really helpful to me. She lives and works at Deer Valley, Utah and is the executive pastry chef at the resort there.

At the most basic level, you'll need to:
decrease sugar by 2 tbs per cup
increase liquid by 2 tbs per cup
decrease leavening by 1/4 tsp per tsp
I've also recently heard that adding an egg may help.

When using a cake mix (straight or doctored) add 1/4 cup of flour and increase liquid as stated above even if the box says you don't need to.

It also helps to separate your eggs; beat the whites to stiff peaks; fold them into the batter at the end. I don't always do this, just sometimes.

I bake at a slightly lower temp (325) for a slightly shorter time. If a recipe says 35-40 minutes, I start checking at 25 minutes. I've recently read of baking at higher temp but since the lower has always worked for me I'm not going to bother to try it.

HTH thumbs_up.gif
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