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Why did my cake completely fall apart?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I made this cake as part of a brownie/mousse/cake cake (known as Chocolate Overdose).  I followed all the directions (below).  The cake stuck  some to the sides and sunk a tiny bit in the middle.  Then when I inverted it, it completely fell apart.  Basically broke into 4 pieces.  icon_sad.gif

 

What did I do wrong?

 

Here is the cake recipe:

 

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 cup hot water
7/8 cup sugar, divided
7/8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, soft

 

To make the cake, line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with a round of parchment paper.  Grease and flour the sides of the pan.  Combine the chocolate, cocoa and hot water in a medium heatproof bowl; set the bowl over a saucepan containing 1-inch of simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.  (Note: at this point, my mixture was pretty thick and I thought I had ruined it, but mixing in the sugar was like magic and it made it smooth and liquidy again.)  Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.  Combine buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and yolks on medium-low speed until combined, about 10 seconds.  Add remaining sugar, increase speed to high, and whisk until fluffy and lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes.  Replace whisk with paddle attachment.

Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg/sugar mixture and mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated, 30-45 seconds, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed.  Add softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing about 10 seconds after each addition.  Add about one third of the flour mixture followed by half of the buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition (about 15 seconds).  Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture (batter may appear separated).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at medium-low speed until batter is thoroughly combined, about 15 seconds.  Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.  Pour into prepared pan; smooth batter to edges of pan with an offset spatula.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean.  Transfer the pan  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto the wire rack and allow to cool completely.

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffytheBakingSlayer View Post
Then when I inverted it, it completely fell apart.  Basically broke into 4 pieces.  icon_sad.gif

 

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto the wire rack and allow to cool completely.

After inverting, did you flip it again to cool on its flat bottom?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

That is what I was trying to do when it completely fell apart.
 

post #4 of 9

I don't know if it makes any difference but the original recipe says bake at 325, yours is 350. Maybe you just need to let it cool completely before flipping the cake again.

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffytheBakingSlayer View Post

That is what I was trying to do when it completely fell apart.
 


IMO, it's nearly impossible to have it split if you're using a corrugated circle on the bottom as you flip it.  What did you use?  It should have support on both sides, sandwiched between two boards or a board and cooling rack.

post #6 of 9

Yes...it shouldn't be "flipped"..it should be sandwiched and turned....It sounds to me though it was under cooked in the center if it sunk. Have you tried using a flower nail inverted in the center of your cake pan before adding your batter? It works as a heating core making your cake cook more evenly plus it makes your cakes come out nice and level...no hump!

“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

Reply
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I guess maybe undercooked in the center.  It has already pulled from the sides.

 

It is a 10" round pan.  Does that usually need a core or nail?

 

Maybe I screwed up the temperature, but I think maybe that was just a typo here on my part, trying to par down the recipe for here.  I cannot be sure at this point.

 

I don't usually leave a cake in the pan to cool completely, but maybe I need to in this case. I am flipping it properly (with sandwiching or support, or however you want to think of it).  Also I don't have a tighter mesh cooling rack.  I only have the standard cookie type.

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuffytheBakingSlayer View Post

I guess maybe undercooked in the center.  It has already pulled from the sides.

 

It is a 10" round pan.  Does that usually need a core or nail?

 

Maybe I screwed up the temperature, but I think maybe that was just a typo here on my part, trying to par down the recipe for here.  I cannot be sure at this point.

 

I don't usually leave a cake in the pan to cool completely, but maybe I need to in this case. I am flipping it properly (with sandwiching or support, or however you want to think of it).  Also I don't have a tighter mesh cooling rack.  I only have the standard cookie type.

I always use a large flower nail in my 10 inch...If you don't have a large one you can use a couple of the small ones. A lot of things can play a roll in how evenly your cake will bake including how dirty your oven is. I know it sounds nuts, but a dirty oven can cause hot spots inside your oven causing the heat to not be evenly distributed.

“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

Reply

“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

Reply
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I made the cake again today.  I used a #7 flower nail.  The cake turned out so much better than before.  It is hard to flip it out of the pan with the nail in.  But it stayed all in one piece.

 

I froze it (which was my plan all along) and will make the mousse and ganache tomorrow and assemble.  So we will see how the cake holds up thawed and as part of the final assembly. 

 

Thanks for the help...and in advance for anymore help that i will probably need. icon_biggrin.gif

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