Does the Quality of Your Ingredients Matter?

Paul Bradford Sugarcraft School member Amy Johnson recently emailed us sharing some of her views and findings regarding the Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe. Our Q&A section regularly has questions and feedback from other members, a small number of these stated their attempt at the cake resulted in a sunken centre. Of course, this is not what you’re after when baking a cake, especially when carving the cake for use in one of our courses.

Amy of did some tests and experimented with different bakes under the same oven and cake tins. After the cakes were complete (see picture below). Amy found the cakes made using cheaper Lidl butter sank in the middle (possibly due to extra water content in the butter) and also didn’t taste anywhere near as good.


Another factor which changed the consistency and quality of the cake was the brand of chocolate used. Amy found that using Dairy Milk chocolate in the cake produced a stickier cake and opted to use Green and Blacks chocolate in her cakes which produced much better results.

Amy’s main ingredients of choice in her cakes (baked using the Moist chocolate cake recipe course available here for free) is to use Green and Blacks chocolate and Connacht Gold butter. Amy states “Other than the ingredient changes I did everything exactly as Paul teaches in the video lessons. I did find that the heavy, loose based metal pans worked better than my silicone ones but a reasonably good result was achieved with both.”

We do understand that Amy’s findings won’t necessarily be the same as other members who have successfully baked up Paul’s recipe, many of our members have had good results using the less expensive ingredients including member madeitwithlove who regularly uses Lidl’s own brand butter and Asda / Lidl dark chocolate (just make sure to use chocolate that contains 50 – 60% cocoa) although her favourite chocolate to use is Callebaut dark chocolate.

Another tip shared by madeitwithlove is to reduce the sugar in the recipe by about 100g for better results.

Of course everyone has their own tweaks or different ways to achieve the perfect chocolate cake, to share some of yours or to read about how other people are getting on with this check the comments made here.


So, if you’re having trouble with the recipe and can’t get to that perfect cake try some of the advice above and see if it works for you! Please comment below if you have your own secret that might help other members out.

Thanks to Amy Johnson for providing this information to us, you can see Amy’s original facebook post on her page here.
And thanks to madeitwithlove for sharing some of her knowledge on the matter.

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