Wednesday, October 21

Word-to-the-wise-Wednesday - All about cake failure....

When good cakes go bad
You thought you had a good cake, but lately he’s been hanging out with the wrong crowd - some tough cookies. Soon he’s staying out late and coming home reeking of alcohol-based vanilla extract. Before you know it your angel ( food) is on a one way street to culinary reform school.
It’s tough when good cakes go bad — and here are some of the most common reasons:

In General:

If the cake rose unevenly in the oven:
  • The flour was not blended sufficiently into the main mixture.
  • The temperature inside the oven was uneven.
  • The oven temperature was too high.
If the batter overflowed the pans:
  • Make sure you used the right size pan. The uncooked mixture should fill the pan by no more than two-thirds.
Cakes That Use Separately-beaten Egg Whites And Yolks

If the cake is dense and heavy:
  • The eggs were too small. Always use large eggs when baking.
  • Insufficient air was whisked into the egg and sugar mixture.
  • The flour was not folded in gently. Always mix in the flour at the lowest speed.
  • The melted butter was too hot when added, causing it to sink down through the whisked foam.
  • The oven temperature was too low.
If the top of the cake dropped:
  • The oven temperature was too hot.
  • The cake was not cooked long enough.
  • The oven door was opened too soon, which created a draft.
Cakes That Use Creamed Butter And Sugar Mixtures

If the batter curdles and separates:
  • The ingredients were not at room temperature.
  • The butter and sugar were not creamed together well enough before adding the eggs.
  • The eggs were added too quickly.
  • If the cake’s texture is too heavy:
  • The butter, sugar and eggs were not beaten together long enough.
  • The flour was beaten at too high a speed.
  • Too much flour was added to the creamed mixture.
  • The oven temperature was not hot enough.

If the top of the cake peaks and cracks:

  • The oven temperature was too hot, causing the outside of the cake to bake and form a crust too quickly. As the mixture in the center of the cake continued to cook and rise, it burst up through the top of the cake.
  • The cake wasn’t baked on the center rack of the oven.
  • If raisins, dried fruit and nuts sunk to the bottom:
  • The pieces of fruit were too large and too heavy.
  • The sugary syrup on the outside of the fruit was not washed off- this caused the pieces of fruit to slide through the mixture as it heated.
  • The washed and dried fruit was not dusted with flour before being added to the mixture.
  • The cake mixture was over beaten or was too wet so it could not hold the fruit in place.
  • The oven temperature was too low, causing the mixture to melt before it set to hold the fruit in place.
Pic Courtesy of Photobucket
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