Sunday, June 26, 2011
Nothing Worse Than An Overdone Dry Cake
See that cake? It was actually so moist that it collapsed in transport. ohyeaH (<- think Joe Dirt) it did! That and it was an outdoor reception and 100 degrees - but this post isn't how to improvise-engineer cake retaining walls out of display board and skewers. The cake was so flavorful and moist it was completely consumed with many smiles, giggles and second helpings and that's the end goal, isn't it?
It starts with the batter, of course. Whackerslap/bang/shake and generally disturb a plain cake batter to make most of the air bubbles rise to the surface and pop. If you've bunches and bunches of trapped bubbles in the batter it will bake that way, leaving a vesicular texture to fill with air and make the cake dry. Please oh please don't treat any cake with chocolate chips, fruits, nuts, or all three in this manner. Not a good idea, as banging the batter makes all that settle on the bottom of the pan. Yikes. The lone angel food cake I've ever made didn't stand up to it either. In hindsight, I realize it defeated the purpose of beating the egg whites to fold into the cake batter if I was just going to slam it back out again. Annnnyways. The batter should be smooth and relatively free of bubbles before baking.
Can you see that the cake has pulled away from the edge of the pan?
I really do this by the timer. See my Dollar General timer? Every time I spend more than $2.00 on a timer it gets dropped, skiefed, or melted. Beeping puts me on edge anyways. When the cakes come out of the oven set the timer and let them cool in the pans for five minutes.
That's how I do it. Watch the cakes to start pulling away from the sides of the pans;cover with wax paper, top and bottom; and then cover with something heavier to keep the paper against the layers.
Thank you all so very much for your thoughts and prayers during the last week as our family has dealt with the sudden death of the oldest brother. For all of his lack of playing the Favorite Child game and constantly spoiling my fun (he did take his roll as oldest child very seriously) a constant element from every single day of my life is missing. Your support is felt... Thank you.