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What am I doing wrong? :(

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hi
Happy Friday!
Need some advice....
Every time I bake a cake I seem to get an uncooked bit in the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean!
I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean.
I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!!
Is there a trick I'm missing??
Please help icon_sad.gif
Ana x
post #2 of 31

Have you checked your oven temp?  How deep are your pans?

post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee View Post

Hi
Happy Friday!
Need some advice....
Every time I bake a cake I seem to get an uncooked bit information the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean!
I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean.
I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!!
Is there a trick I'm missing??
Please help icon_sad.gif
Ana x

Rather than selling raw or undercooked cake disguised with buttercream (ewww by the way) KNOWING that all your attempts at baking (you said every time) have been unsuccessful why not wait until you can actually bake and yield a good product before you start selling?

Yes check your oven thermometer and baking temperature. Also you said you've used over 30 eggs for a 8/12 combo. Your recipe may have too much liquid.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm not selling them, I'm just baking it and they're paying for the ingredients. Zero profit.
And ok, slight exaggeration, not ALL my cakes turn out like this. Unfortunately used a different recipe and new pans all at the same time.
Pans are 4" deep. Normally I do it in a 2" sandwich tin and double them up, but been seeing all these cakes that are super tall and look so much better! So I attempted a 4" pan...

Actually doing another one now to make up for the super trimmed down one and will just leave it at one layer.

I was just wondering if there were any tricks, like the flower nail that I learnt about recently. Like pastry beads for pastry, or strips of something or other.

I can actually bake.... Normally... Just the last 4 have knocked my confidence somewhat.

Thanks for your replies.
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee View Post

Pans are 4" deep. Normally I do it in a 2" sandwich tin and double them up, but been seeing all these cakes that are super tall and look so much better! So I attempted a 4" pan...
 

 

There's the problem!  I have a texture issue when I use 3" pans (I wouldn't call it "uncooked" but the middle does end up a bit gummy).  Switch to 2" pans and that should take care of your issue.  If you want a tall cake, bake two 2" layers and stack them.  If you only have one pan, that might mean baking twice but you'll have a perfectly cooked cake.  

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennicake View Post

There's the problem!  I have a texture issue when I use 3" pans (I wouldn't call it "uncooked" but the middle does end up a bit gummy).  Switch to 2" pans and that should take care of your issue.  If you want a tall cake, bake two 2" layers and stack them.  If you only have one pan, that might mean baking twice but you'll have a perfectly cooked cake.  

Gummy!!! Exactly! Not literally raw but like fudgy consistency...
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee View Post

Hi
Happy Friday!
Need some advice....
Every time I bake a cake I seem to get an uncooked bit in the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean!
I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean.
I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!!
Is there a trick I'm missing??
Please help icon_sad.gif
Ana x

 

May I ask what you needed 30 eggs for? What kind of cake are you making? Also I only bake in 2" pans too it's easier to stack and fill cakes. If you did bake a 4" cake you'd have to cut it anyway to fill it so why not just use 2" to begin with, it's less headache for you.
"If "Plan A" didn't work. The alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay Cool"


"The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers"
Reply
"If "Plan A" didn't work. The alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay Cool"


"The purpose of a business is to create a customer who creates customers"
Reply
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee View Post

Hi
Happy Friday!
Need some advice....
Every time I bake a cake I seem to get an uncooked bit in the middle. (Bake for longer, I hear you say). I have baked for longer and got mega crusty sides, lower temp for longer. The thing is, I stick a skewer in every time and it comes out clean!
I have started prodding the skewer around in various places to check and it comes out clean.
I bought a flower nail and used that today, inserted skewer, clean, cooled, went to level and... Massive uncooked bit in the middle!!

Any tips? It was an 8" round chocolate in for an hour at 180c

The crusty edged one was a 12" round vanilla in for 2hrs15 at 160c.

There's nothing I can do about these now because its to be iced tomorrow, so they're just going to have to be as they are. Trim the crusty edges and disguise the fudgy bits with buttercream!! . My friend is paying me just for the ingredients so no profit to eat in to to make another two. I've used up 30 eggs already!!
Is there a trick I'm missing??
Please help icon_sad.gif
Ana x

Ana, 

here are a few possibilities of what might be happening to your cakes:

1. You may be putting too much batter in your pan. I always fill my pan to a little under half of the pan's height. 

2. You may be mixing the batter too fast which causes A LOT of air bubbles. Once there is a bubble in the middle of the cake, that bubble will not bake. I always mix in slow to medium speed and haven't had any air bubbles since. Once I pour the batter in the pan, I also tap the pan on the counter just like you do with Macarons.

3. Try a different recipe as well

Hope this helps,

Gru

post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
The 12" recipe I used was 15 eggs, the 8" choc was 8. Again slight exaggeration.... I was having a "oh woe is me, everything is a disaster" moment. Sorry.

Thank you Gru, that might explain it.

My new 12" round has just come out perfectly, but I have used a 8" recipe so it's really thin. But cooked!! So that's another 6 eggs...
I'm going to add it to my super trimmed down but cooked Madeira and have three thin layers.

I love baking!
post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Oh and I accidentally broke an egg in whole trying to separate the whites so the 6 whites already done had to go in the bin.
Does that make 30 eggs? My math is crap.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee View Post

Oh and I accidentally broke an egg in whole trying to separate the whites so the 6 whites already done had to go in the bin.
Does that make 30 eggs? My math is crap.

 

GIRL! dip that egg yolk out using a half eggshell as your scoop! unless you're making a meringue it won't do any harm to your recipe! the yolk sticks to the shell and FYI, i have successfully made meringue after scooping out yolks. 

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla View Post

GIRL! dip that egg yolk out using a half eggshell as your scoop! unless you're making a meringue it won't do any harm to your recipe! the yolk sticks to the shell and FYI, i have successfully made meringue after scooping out yolks. 

Good to know!!!! I assumed it was ruined and would never get to soft peak stage!
Disastrous day.... About to open a bottle of wine and forget it, I think!
post #13 of 31

it really does work. i only make IMBC and i've broken plenty of yolks. It always works for me, and if you have to throw some white away, it's better than the entire batch. enjoy that wine!

post #14 of 31

Ellavanilla - that IS good to know!  I've gotten in the habit of separating each egg into a little bowl then adding it to the larger bowl just because of stray yolks.  Guess I can stop doing that!

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaelisabethlee View Post

I'm not selling them, I'm just baking it and they're paying for the ingredients. Zero profit.
And ok, slight exaggeration, not ALL my cakes turn out like this. Unfortunately used a different recipe and new pans all at the same time.
Pans are 4" deep. Normally I do it in a 2" sandwich tin and double them up, but been seeing all these cakes that are super tall and look so much better! So I attempted a 4" pan...

Actually doing another one now to make up for the super trimmed down one and will just leave it at one layer.

I was just wondering if there were any tricks, like the flower nail that I learnt about recently. Like pastry beads for pastry, or strips of something or other.

I can actually bake.... Normally... Just the last 4 have knocked my confidence somewhat.

Thanks for your replies.

Hey, I'm not clairvoyant. Only going by the information you provided. Now that we have more accurate information:

1. If you get "paid" in cash or kind, you're selling them. Profit or not.

2. RE: New recipe and pans. I've found that when I change something up in the caking process, I try to change one variable at a time. That way it's easier to figure out where a problem came from if it occurs. 4 inch deep pans are often used for fruit cakes (but even those don't get filled all the way). I use 3 inch deep pans BUT I only use the quantity of batter for 2 inch tall layers. I like the deeper pans because some of my recipes bake up really tall and I don't like the idea of having to collar for those cakes. I also like the extra space at the top of the pan. Makes it easier to remove the pans from the oven.

The problem is not the pan but how much batter you put in the pan. When cake pans are filled too full the batter cannot maintain its structure and collapses on itself causing a compaction like the one you saw in the middle of your cakes.

3. Tall Cakes: Most tall cakes are just a combination of layers, not necessarily from one cake. What you did before this attempt is the way to go.

4. Possible tips, flower nails and bake even strip work well. I've found they tend to give a flatter top rather than a dome. Recently I've found that using higher quality pans (Magic Line) and low temps (325 instead of 350 for layer cakes) works just as well when I'm feeling lazy. These tend to have a slight dome for some recipes though.
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