Wednesday, April 15, 2009

dad's birthday cake: progress report

The cake came out of the oven after 70 minutes looking okay, started sinking within minutes, and this morning, when I went to torte it, was so damp I could probably have wrung chocolate juice out of it. Into the trash can, immediately. (Those of you who are cringing at the waste, please don't - I don't think it could have been salvaged. Given more time, that might have been an interesting experiment, but I was out the door to work.)

I and asked my baking-expert friend, Anna, for a recipe suggestion. She mentioned the most delicious double chocolate layer cake she'd ever had and, moments later, walked into my office with the same recipe I used last night.

Admittedly, it has 4 forks and about 1275 reviews on Epicurious. There was reason to believe it would turn out well. So let's analyze.

I've taken to measuring the batter by weight and volume before baking. This is mostly in case I decide to make the cake ever again and want to make a smaller or larger size cake - I have the info on hand to do "cake math" and figure out how much batter I need for each size pan. This recipe made the standard 7 cups of batter, but in comparison to the yellow cake I made the other week, which weighed 3.25 pounds, the batter weighed 4.5 pounds! That's a lot of batter.

The recipe calls for baking in two 10x2" pans, which I don't have. I used one 9x3" pan, and the batter filled it between halfway and 2/3 full. The baked cake entirely filled the pan. Despite that it tested as done (I pushed down with my fingertip to test springiness and used a cake tester to skewer it), the fact that it sank and was SO damp tells me it just wasn't. Anna says that it is a very moist cake, but this was way too wet. I'm guessing there was just too much batter. However, the taste was very good... rich and dark. It was almost Oreo cookie-colored. I think it's worth another try.

Plan B: Bake it again, using the 9x3" pan, but make only 2/3 of the recipe. It will actually divide very easily in thirds.

I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Sandra Dee said...

C -

Suck as it might, sometimes you actually need to follow directions as given...I am not good at that AT ALL....

Good luck...I can't wait to read about the success and SEE PICS.