Hey Cakenistas! T
Hey Cakenistas! This information is straight out of my Culinary textbook that I received in school and is so helpful to me.
Problem: Butter Curdles During Mixing.
Cause: Ingredients too warm or cold.
Solution: Eggs must be room temp and added slowly.
Problem: Cake lacks Volume.
Cause: Fat wasn't creamed long enough before the liquids were added to the batter/ Incorrect fat used/ Flour too strong/ Old chemical leavener/ Egg foam under-whipped/ oven too hot.
Solution: Use correct ingredients/ Add a portion of flour then continue adding liquids/ Use a weaker flour/ Adjust oven temp/ Use fresh leavener (baking powder, baking soda, salt) / Use correct mixing method; Do not deflate eggs during folding (most cake methods use the creaming method unless making an egg white based cake).
Problem: Crust burst or cracked
Cause: Oven too hot/ Too much flour or too little liquid
Solution: Adjust oven temp./ Adjust formula; Scale accurately.
Problem: Cake shrinks after baking.
Cause: Weak internal structure/ Too much sugar or fat for the batter to support cake/ Not fully cooked.
Solution: Adjust Formula
Problem: Cake is dense or heavy
Cause: Too little leavening/ Too much fat or liquid/ Oven too cool/ Improper mixing *The longer a cake is mixed after the flour is added, the more the gluten develops, making a denser cake*
Solution: Test for doneness before removing from oven/ Cream fat or eggs properly/ Adjust oven temp/ *When adding flour, mix it just until it's incorporated unless a recipe states different.*
Problem: Texture is course with an open grain/ Poor flavor
Cause: Over mixing/ Oven too cool/ Poor ingredients/ Unclean pan
Solution: Adjust oven temp./ Alter mixing method/ Check flavor and aroma of ingredients/ Don't grease pans with rancid fats.
Problem: Uneven shape
Cause: Butter not incorporated evenly/ Batter spread unevenly/ Oven rack not level/ Uneven oven temp.
Solution: Incorporate fats complete/ Spread batter evenly/ Adjust oven racks/ Adjust oven temp.