Can anyone help me with my sad flat cake? Advice?
I'm not a baker and will never ever claim to be, but tonight I tried to make a red velvet cake, only it turned out brown, flat and discus. I basically didn't have any ingredients for a red velvet so I just kind of winged it so I guess I really didn't know what I was making.
1 cup non-fat yogurt
1 cup skim milk
1/2 c oil
1/4 c light brown sugar and 2 packets of white sugar probably from Starbucks (it's all I had!!)
1 T vanilla extract
1 T almond extract
10 drops red food coloring
2 cup sifted AP flour
2 T cocoa powder
1 T baking soda
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
Oven at 350
When I checked it after 1/2 an hour, it had risen and was really nice and puffy but about 15 minutes later when I took it out of the oven, it totally deflated right in front of me. :(
lol It's really flat, almost like a fruit tart right now, about 1/4 of the height that it should be. .
Shoot, I am the first to reduce sugar, but you need more sugar!
In baking, until you're pretty experienced, winging it usually results in something like what you got. I love to wing it myself, so I sympathize, but next time just bite the bullet and beg, borrow, or buy some more sugar. And try not to mess with the liquid/dry ingredients ratio, and definitely not with the amount of leavening.
Also, if you aren't accustomed to baking, cookies will be way more forgiving and easier than cakes.
I always thought red velvet was choc. cake and food coloring but when I read through the jillion+ recipes, the history of the cake, and of course, the all important wikipedia 8), turns out red velvet is really a buttermilk cake w/ anywhere from 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa, plus vinegar, which would give the cake an inherent but unique flavor that's isn't chocolate.
The traditional frosting is also made with a cooked flour paste which I didn't realize (I always thought it was just some plain white or cream cheese frosting of some sort). Of course, my sad, dark and heavy shot put of a cake has no frosting accompaniment to it.
A general guideline for leavening is 1 tsp baking powder OR 1/4 tsp soda per cup of flour. Many recipes call for up to double this for an extra high rise, but too much can both collapse and taste bad. Too much baking soda can also cause a cake to bake weirdly. A cake layer of normal thickness doesn't usually take much more than 30 minutes, and should have been fully baked and collapse-proof by 45 minutes.
How did it taste?
re: babette feasts
Bland. And heavy.
It's kind of a cross between a compressed brownie, chocolate bread and a flat tire, with just barely a hint of sweetness. I thought the yogurt would give the cake the cultured sourness of buttermilk but it didn't do much to impart real flavor. At one point I thought about adding mayonnaise into the mix to see what would happen but didn't do that either.
You're an adventrous spirit for winging a cake recipe! I don't usually have the guts.
A few initial thoughts about what led to the deflation:
1. Leavening. Are your baking soda and baking powder fresh? I suspect this wasn't the issue since it did rise in the oven, but worth checking. The amount of the leavening seems like a fairly high quantity for the amount of flour as well, so I don't think you shorted yourself in that respect. It might be more about....
2. Liquid/flour proportion. Seems like there was a fairly high amount of liquid in proportion to the flour. Was your batter fairly thin? I suspect the proteins in the cake batter (gluten from the flour and the protein the the egg) could not support the weight of the liquid in the batter. Did a "toothpick test" in the center of your cake have signs of any gooey batter?
Sorry it didn't turn out to be a total success.For what it's worth, I've been meaning to try this red velvet recipe out for a while: http://pinchmysalt.com/2008/11/10/red...
Thanks Snis. I purchased the baking soda/powder about a month ago so they are still fresh. I had made a horrific pumpkin cake with prunes last week and didn't have this problem. The cake rose quite high. I did have problems trying to get people to eat it though.
As far as liquid, I was unsure of measurements because I didn't want to use too much oil so I compromised and threw in the skim milk at the last minute. I figured since the liquids were fat free and used less oil....
Ah, I did do the toothpick test with a bamboo skewer, I poked at the cake about six times in different areas, Maybe that led to me poking all the air out of it. :)
You had way too much leavening. You needed about 1 teaspoon of baking power and maybe a teaspoon of baking powder if you needed any of that at all. When a cake has too much leavening gas expands too fast for the gluten to trap it and it all escapes leaving a flat disc.
You were light on sugar too but I suspect you know that. You needed at least a full cup.
A little light on the cocoa powder... 4 Tablespoons would have been better.
Heavy on the salt 1/2 teaspoon would have been better.
Throwing something together when baking is pretty dicey. Baking requires specific formulas and ratios. Better to have run down to Walgreen's and picked up a cake mix.
Nice try though.
Hopefully, I wasn't too far off. I didn't think it was fair for me to look up a recipe and then start exact corrections. I winged it.
re: Hank Hanover
Thanks for the reply Hank. I do try follow recipes exactly and to measure everything when I bake, just not this time, haha. Before I made made my chocolate frisbee I looked at so many different recipes I think I may have gotten confused and combined 3-4 red velvet recipies into something that wasn't one.