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Baking connoisseurs, please help :

(24 Posts)
Monkeysmom Mon 04-Apr-05 09:48:33

I have baked a cake yesterday as a trial for the “ real “ one which I need to make on Saturday for my ds 1st birthday. I have never baked a cake before.
It was an absolute Disaster. I have used self-raising flour, (no baking powder or other raising agent ?), and baked it on gas mark 4 for 1 ¼ hrs.
I have followed the instructions to the letter but it did not raise at all and was burnt on the bottom.
Were did I go wrong ?

tarantula Mon 04-Apr-05 09:53:29

what kind of cake is it you are trying to make?

Monkeysmom Mon 04-Apr-05 09:59:28

Just a chocholate sponge cake to cut into layers and fill and cover with chocholate icing. The icing turned out very, very nice. I have used souerd cream and it is yummy.
Thank you.

cupcakes Mon 04-Apr-05 10:01:38

I would try a different recipe tbh. One with plain flour and baking powder. Have you many cookbooks or access to any others?

throckenholt Mon 04-Apr-05 10:18:39

sounds like a very long and low temperature for a sponge cake.

Agreed - try a different recipe - try googling for chocolate sponge cake.

throckenholt Mon 04-Apr-05 10:19:57

how about this one ?

http://www.thrale.com/myfamily/recipe/recipe4.php

clary Mon 04-Apr-05 11:23:29

monkeysmom I would say it is easier to bake a layer cake in more than one tin IYSWIM (ie rather than slicing up a very deep cake)
Two tins would probably be fine, I use 8" pans and my recipe is 225g marg or butter, 225g caster sugar, beat, add 4 large eggs, beat, fold in 225g SR flour (and cocoa powder for choc cake).
My mother has much smaller tins (6-7") and only uses 2 eggs and 100 g of the other stuff.
Bake at gas 4 for ?30 mins depends a bit on yr oven.
1.25 hrs sounds like along time as throckenholt says. To avoid cakes sticking I always line the tins eg with baking paper (available in asda etc) cut in a circle for the bottom.

clary Mon 04-Apr-05 11:24:40

good idea to try it out first btw. If you get some individual tins I should do another trial run if poss.

SoupDragon Mon 04-Apr-05 11:29:39

Try this one:

Delia's apparently fool proof sponge cake (you can omit the cocoa and add 2-3 drops of vanilla essence for a plain one). I call this "apparently foolproof" since both I and another non-baking friend have made this with great success. It hasn't failed me yet!

4oz Self Raising Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4oz soft marg
4oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 7 inch cake tins lightly greased & lined with greaseproof paper

Preheat oven to Gas 3/325 F/170 c
Sift flour/baking powder
Add the other ingredients and whisk. I prefer "Bung all ingrediants into food mixer/processor" though and this seems to work fine!
Add some water if the mixture doesn't drop off a spoon easily.

Shove in the oven for 30 minutes (centre shelf). When cooked, leave in the tin for only 30 seconds.

SoupDragon Mon 04-Apr-05 11:30:36

I use Delia's recipe for all DSs' birthday cakes. I tend to make 2 and sandwich them together rather than faff about slicing them in half.

sansouci Mon 04-Apr-05 11:30:38

Thanks, clary. I have the same problem with cakes. They never seem to rise and if they do, they sink after baking. BTW, does anyone have a good recipe for banana bread/cake that doesn't have the texture of rubber?

sansouci Mon 04-Apr-05 11:32:07

Thanks for that recipe also, soupdragon. Dd's b'day is looming large...

throckenholt Mon 04-Apr-05 11:33:23

my mum who has a miserable history with cake (don't tell her I said that) also makes good cakes with Delia's recipe.

SoupDragon Mon 04-Apr-05 11:39:40

Nigella's banana bread is pretty good.

SoupDragon Mon 04-Apr-05 11:40:12

Nigella's banana bread

100g sultanas
75ml bourbon/rum (I've used apple juice sccessfully though!!)
175g plan flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
half teaspoon bicarb
half teaspoon salt
125 g butter (melted)
150g sugar
2 large eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
60g walnuts (I've never put these in)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
loaf tin, buttered and floured or lined with greaseproof paper

put sultanas & rum in saucepan, bring to the boil and leaave for an hour or until the liquid's mostly been absorbed. This plumps up the sultanas. Drain.

Preheat oven to GM 3 170 C

Put flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a bowl and mix.
In a nother bowl, mix butter & sugra and beat until blended (or use a mixer!!) Beat in eggs one at a time and then the bananas. Stir in walnuts, sultanas and vanilla. Add the flour mix 1/3 at a time, stirring well each time. Scrap into loaf tin (I've had to pour it on occasions!) and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 - 1.2 hours. Leave in the tin to cool.

SoupDragon Mon 04-Apr-05 11:40:49

(BTW, I typed these on other threads on Mumsnet and have just copied/pasted them from the archives!)

sansouci Mon 04-Apr-05 11:42:33

Thanks. sounds fantastic. Maybe I'll have more luck with Nigella than with Delia.

SoupDragon Mon 04-Apr-05 11:44:36

The Nnigella one can be slightly rubbery but I find it's just the right side of rubbery IYSWIM Might make some today actually - it's great to freeze in slices.

Monkeysmom Mon 04-Apr-05 13:53:49

SoupDragon. If i use 2 8" pans, do I need to double the quantities given in your recipie ? What about cooking time ?

Thank you everybody ! I have noticed in all recipies received, self-raising flour as well as baking powder. Maybe that's where I went wrong. I have only used SR flour.

jangly Mon 04-Apr-05 14:05:25

You only use baking powder as well as self raising flour if you are doing the all-in-one method - as in Delia's. If you do a traditional victoria sponge, ie beating sugar and marg together, beating in eggs with a little flour each time, then folding in flour,the self raising flour is enough on its own.

jangly Mon 04-Apr-05 14:06:42

For 8" tins, use at least 3 eggs, 6ozs everything else. A deep mixture is best.

vwvic Mon 04-Apr-05 14:33:41

Here is a weird thing about banana cakes. Mine only go rubbery if I use any metal implement after mixing in the mashed banana. Exhaustive (DDx2 love banana cake!)testing have always proved this for me and my friends. For reference, my recipe is:

125g butter/marg
125g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
1 large mashed banana.

Beat butter and sugar together until creammy, then beat in eggs. It will curdle horribly, don't worry. Beat in flour, then stir in mashed banana with a wooden or plastic spoon. Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes at 175 degrees.

I know that it sounds odd, but if I use any metal implements to incorporate the banana the whole cake goes rubbery, and often doesn't cook properlyat all; it just sinks! My MIL and various friends have found the same. Ideas anyone?

SoupDragon Mon 04-Apr-05 14:51:09

Monkeysmom, I make 2 separate cakes, so effectivly doubling the ingredients (I only have one tin ). Cooking time is the same.

vwvic - no idea! Some sort of chemical reaction??

clary Mon 04-Apr-05 15:00:52

i have a great honey and banana bread recipe, really yummy and lasts no time, even ds1 who doesn't like bananas eats it!
don't have it to hand but will try to remember to post later.

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