Jump to content


Photo

Chocolate Guinness Cake


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Lauren

Lauren

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,925 posts

Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

I made this cake for a dinner party last Saturday.

Something very odd happened to the cake. When I took it out of the oven, the very center of the cake had an odd texture. Like lava. And it was quite hard - I tapped on it and it sounded like I was tapping on a firm surface. A 2 to 3 inch ring around the cake was fine. I figured I'd just trim it off before frosting. After the cake cooled, that center portion had totally sunk. Does anyone know why that happened? Could it be that my baking soda is old?

The cake tasted great. I filled the sunken part with more icing and no one commented on it!
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#2 Steven Dilley

Steven Dilley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,950 posts

Posted 21 March 2012 - 09:53 PM

I've been having the same problem with an almond cake recipe from Karen DeMasco's book. She actually addresses the problem but her suggested steps haven't fixed things.

I think I'm going to try that Guinness cake... sounds good. Hmmmm... either that or Claudia Fleming's Guinness spice cake, which I haven't made in yrs.
Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

--H.L.Mencken


.............................
Sissies and wastoids

#3 foodie52

foodie52

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,340 posts

Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:28 PM

I wonder if this is addressed in Shirley Corriher's new book on baking. Or you may try to look it up in Harold McGee's.

This is what Shirley says on her answer website:

Cake Sinks in the Center

There are many absolutely delicious cake that sink in the center. They have too much sugar and butter to have great structure. If this is a loaf cake, double the recipe and make it in a small Bundt pan. When you invert it, it will look perfect and taste great.


It's kind of a cool idea, to remove the middle! End of problem...hehe
[size="4"]Visit our website for updates...Friends of Colombian Orphans

Donations are always gratefully accepted.

#4 Lauren

Lauren

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,925 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:17 PM

Yeah, Joy of Baking also says too much fat and sugar.

Rose Levy Beranbaum says it's caused by either the wrong type of flour or too weak a structure:
The Wrong Type of Flour
If using unbleached flour for a butter cake in which the butter is used in softened form, as opposed to melted as for a genoise, the cake will dip in the center about 5 minutes after baking. This is because the smooth flour particles of unbleached flour cannot effectively hold the butter is suspension. So use bleached cake flour or bleached all-purpose flour.
Too Weak a Structure
This is usually due to too much leavening. Try dropping the baking powder by 1/4 teaspoon. The larger the cake, the less amount of baking powder per cup of flour is used. This is because the distance from the sides of the pan to the center are greater so that they batter needs a stronger structure to support itself.

Two and a half teaspoons of baking soda does seem like a lot. I think I'll try two teaspoons next time and see what happens.
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#5 Steven Dilley

Steven Dilley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,950 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:10 PM

Here's DeMasco's take on battling things (obviously, didn't work for me):

Very soft butter... allows more air into the structure of the cake and helps with the emulsification of the eggs.

One egg at a time.

Gentle addition of flour.

Don't open oven door for at least 40 minutes.

So, basically, same as every other recipe on the planet.

I love her desserts (esp the desserts at Locanda Verde) but have had mixed results with her book.

Anyway, Guinness cake is in the oven. Cut back on the sugar and used an 8" springform instead of a 9".
Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

--H.L.Mencken


.............................
Sissies and wastoids

#6 Suzanne F

Suzanne F

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 16,497 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:19 PM

Here's DeMasco's take on battling things (obviously, didn't work for me):

Very soft butter... allows more air into the structure of the cake and helps with the emulsification of the eggs.

One egg at a time.

Gentle addition of flour.

Don't open oven door for at least 40 minutes.

So, basically, same as every other recipe on the planet.

I love her desserts (esp the desserts at Locanda Verde) but have had mixed results with her book.

Anyway, Guinness cake is in the oven. Cut back on the sugar and used an 8" springform instead of a 9".

Uh oh, watch out, because with the thicker/denser center, it is less likely to bake through in the time given. And end up wetter. Just sayin'.

I don't want to seem obsessed with this, but . . . -- Sneakeater, August 13, 2014

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#7 Lauren

Lauren

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,925 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:56 PM


Here's DeMasco's take on battling things (obviously, didn't work for me):

Very soft butter... allows more air into the structure of the cake and helps with the emulsification of the eggs.

One egg at a time.

Gentle addition of flour.

Don't open oven door for at least 40 minutes.

So, basically, same as every other recipe on the planet.

I love her desserts (esp the desserts at Locanda Verde) but have had mixed results with her book.

Anyway, Guinness cake is in the oven. Cut back on the sugar and used an 8" springform instead of a 9".

Uh oh, watch out, because with the thicker/denser center, it is less likely to bake through in the time given. And end up wetter. Just sayin'.


When you measure a pan do you go from the inside or the outside? My pan measured 8 1/2" inside and 9" outside. It took about 7 minutes longer than the recipe said.
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#8 Lauren

Lauren

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,925 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

Here's DeMasco's take on battling things (obviously, didn't work for me):

Very soft butter... allows more air into the structure of the cake and helps with the emulsification of the eggs.


One egg at a time.

Gentle addition of flour.

Don't open oven door for at least 40 minutes.

So, basically, same as every other recipe on the planet.

I love her desserts (esp the desserts at Locanda Verde) but have had mixed results with her book.

Anyway, Guinness cake is in the oven. Cut back on the sugar and used an 8" springform instead of a 9".


The butter is melted with the Guinness in this cake, which I thought might be part of the problem too.

I'm anxious to hear how your cake turns out!
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#9 splinky

splinky

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,736 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:01 PM

the recipe was a nigella one, yes? i used to find that recipes calling for plain flour require slightly less ap flour. try taking out a tablespoon or two from each cup measure of ap flour.i think i'm remembering that correctly.

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#10 Lauren

Lauren

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,925 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:04 PM

the recipe was a nigella one, yes? i used to find that recipes calling for plain flour require slightly less ap flour. try taking out a tablespoon or two from each cup measure of ap flour.


I'll add that note to my file. So what is "plain" flour? I assumed it was the same as AP. All Purpose = Plain seemed to make sense to me!
Transmogrified by smoke and salt

You deserve a triumphant mouthful of meat........Lily to Marshall as he searches for the best burger in NY on HIMYM

#11 splinky

splinky

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 19,736 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:08 PM


the recipe was a nigella one, yes? i used to find that recipes calling for plain flour require slightly less ap flour. try taking out a tablespoon or two from each cup measure of ap flour.


I'll add that note to my file. So what is "plain" flour? I assumed it was the same as AP. All Purpose = Plain seemed to make sense to me!

it's pretty much the same thing a medium gluten type flour and pretty much the same grind. i just remember being frustrated making cakes from my us books when i lived in the uk until i figured out that adding or subtracting a tablespoon made the diff. i'm pretty sure it was subtracting but basically fiddle with the volume of flour until you hit cake nirvana. all this cake talk, now i feel a powerful need to bake a cake.

“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. 'Oh, no!', I said, 'Disneyland burned down.' He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
~Jack Handey

*proud descendant of cheese eating surrender monkeys*

 


#12 Steven Dilley

Steven Dilley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,950 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:31 PM


Here's DeMasco's take on battling things (obviously, didn't work for me):

Very soft butter... allows more air into the structure of the cake and helps with the emulsification of the eggs.

One egg at a time.

Gentle addition of flour.

Don't open oven door for at least 40 minutes.

So, basically, same as every other recipe on the planet.

I love her desserts (esp the desserts at Locanda Verde) but have had mixed results with her book.

Anyway, Guinness cake is in the oven. Cut back on the sugar and used an 8" springform instead of a 9".

Uh oh, watch out, because with the thicker/denser center, it is less likely to bake through in the time given. And end up wetter. Just sayin'.


I only used 80% of the batter.

Cake looks good, but it did crater a bit in the center.
Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

--H.L.Mencken


.............................
Sissies and wastoids

#13 foodie52

foodie52

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,340 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:41 PM

Bundt pan, dude.
[size="4"]Visit our website for updates...Friends of Colombian Orphans

Donations are always gratefully accepted.

#14 Steven Dilley

Steven Dilley

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,950 posts

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:50 PM

Not in a bundt mood.
Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

--H.L.Mencken


.............................
Sissies and wastoids