What happened to my cake?
I made the CI recipe for Yellow Cake with Old Fashioned Chocolate Frosting. The recipe calls for using 2 9-inch pans. I made it in a Bundt pan, skipped the frosting and added fruit to the batter and a swirl of brown sugar, nuts, and coconut. The volume was perfect and the cake tasted very nice but...
The texture was the weirdest thing. The Spouse likened it to a steamed Chinese rice pastry. I thought it resembled a kugel. The outside was beautiful if a little bit dark, the outer layer of the inside had a proper crumb for about an 1/8 of an inch all around and the inside was pudding-like and rubbery. I baked for 65 minutes.
The technique on this cake is a little odd. The recipe has you mixing together mixing together the dry ingredients, then using a stand mixer to "cut in" 2 sticks of butter until you get pea-sized clumps. You then add 1 c. of the mixed together liquid ingredients, beat to combine, then beat until fluffy. You add the remaining ounce or two of liquid in a thin stream, beat to combine, and bake. The batter is very pale and light weight. I stirred in my fruit right at the end and swirled in the nut/sugar mixture in the pan.
Any ideas how I came up with a tasty Superball of a cake and how I could correct it?
P.S. (Five minutes later) I looked over my recipe printout again, compared it to the online version, and saw that my printout called for 1 3/4 c. cake flour, sifted vs. the online recipe's 2 1/4 c. cake flour, sifted. Did 1/2 c, flour make all that difference?
The added fruit may have done it.
Once we added a jar of what is probably just cherry pie filling to a brownie recipe to take a drastic shortcut to black forest flavors. It tasted good enough but the texture was rubbery and strange, not cakey.
I think it was a combination of increasing the liquid proportion by adding fruit and decreasing the dry with less flour. How the heck did CI's recipe print out with 1/2 c. less flour? Did you have an old uncorrected version of the recipe?
It takes quite a bit of experience in baking in baking to just wing it. It's usually better to find a recipe you might like and follow that pretty precisely. Some new recipes have dozens of failures before they're published.
In addition to not having enough flour, with the inclusion of the brown sugar and fruits, I think you changed the pH of the batter which screwed things up.
Fruit has a lot of moisture to it, maybe placing the fruit at the bottom, add the batter to the top. Kugel like? I got that same result with pineapple upside down cake with coconut in the batter and the fresh pineapple was just too juicy.