Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A
Paul’s chocolate cake – timing
I am going to have a go at Paul’s recipe but I noticed he left both the 6″ and the 10″ cakes in for 2 hours. I didn’t think the 10″ one looked quite done even though the knife came out clean. I am planning an 8″. Any tips on cooking times please?
Sorry Jayess, my question comes under ‘Paul’s chocolate cake tutorial’. x
I had the same problem with this cake. Despite doing everything right it sunk whilst in the oven. I won’t try it again. I have another chocolate cake receipe that has oil and sour cream as ingredients (similar to Paul’s) but mine only has half the sugar. Much better for those not wanting too many calories.
I have just made Jane Hornby’s chocolate cake and it has also sunk in the middle! I’ve baked it in 6 inch round tin before and it was perfect. This time I used a 9 inch square tin and after an hour it had risen beautifully and the top was flat. Had another look half an hour later (through the door) and could see it had started to sink back down, not just in the middle but all over. Checked it after another fifteen minutes and it was cooked but by this time the middle was about half an inch lower than the sides. it’s for my husband’s birthday so we will be eating it anyway but really disappointed as thought I’d found a reliable recipe! I have a fierce oven so turned it down to 130 but now wondering if that’s too low?
the first imd I baked this cake it was amazing and so was the next few, I didn’t make it again for a while and when I next made it it sunk and the next and the next. I asked for advice and tried reducing the sugar but still it sunk. I was very upset as I had come a ing way in perfecting all my bakes but I won’t be beaten so I went back and flowed each step along side the video and guess what I had forgotten to beat the cake once all ingredients where mixed together. Now my cakes are fabulous once more beautifully level and tasting yummy, I always remember to use my mixer now when making this cake x
Hi Jayess, I asked an almost similar question ‘Paul’s chocolate cake’ on June 26 because I was a bit confused as to how both cakes are baked together even though they are different sizes. My question is answered by Paul and it may be of some help to you. Personally, I think an 8″ cake will take the full 2 hours and I wouldn’t open the oven until time up for fear of making the cake sink. If you’re baking in a fan assisted the oven temp should be reduced by 20 degrees (but I think you’re aware of that any way). Good luck with it. x
Thank you MITWL. I did try searching the site before asking but didn’t see anything. I’m having a go at weekend!
Please could you post and let us all know how your cake turns out, I think it would help others with timing too. xx
The cake is terrible! I set my fan oven to 130 degrees (and tested with an oven thermometer), lined around the tin with newspaper covered with foil and put a baking sheet on the shelf above. The cake is sunk in the middle (this is how it cooked, it didn’t sink after removing from oven), has a very cripsy top with a gap underneath the crust (someone else had this problem), it is very risen at the edges. Cooked an 8″ square with 4 egg mixture (checked calculations very carefully) for 2 hours, wasn’t done so left another 20 minutes. It tastes alright but unuseable apart from truffles. Shan’t attempt again!
Hi Jayess, it seems quite a few people have had the same problem and I have no other solution but to bake it myself and see why this is happening. I’ll do it next week, can’t take a chance with my wedding anniversary cake which I’m baking tomorrow for Monday. I wish now I had done it last week but got way laid on another project. I’m sure it will turn out ok, it’s a straight forward enough recipe, so wish me luck. Thanks for posting. xx
Thanks MIWL, the ingredients are too expensive to keep trying. I will be interested to see your results. It’s strange how so many people have it go wrong on them and Paul suceeds. It tasted lovely so at least, although unusable, it’s edible. Not doing my diet any good though :-). I was lucky as it was for a family birthday and not an order. I rarely make a chocolate cake but the ones I have have been ok but not as delicious as this recipe. Let’s hope someone can sort all our problems. Good luck in your attempt! Lots and lots of it!
ps this makes interesting reading http://laurassweetspot.com/beattys-chocolate-cake/( update)
hi does anyone have paul’s chocolate cake recipe??
Paul’s recipe can be found on the free on- line tutorial.
FAO MIWL, have eaten most of chococolate cake :-). On cutting into I think it could have been cooked a bit longer with no harm. I cooked the 8″ square for 2 hours 20 minutes, fan oven 130 degrees. I don’t think undercooking caused sinking though as it was done but a bit moist. On googling ‘why has my chocolate cake sunk’ it seems a very popular question to ask. with many answers. I said I wouldn’t try again but I am tempted. Don’t like to be defeated. Might try less sugar as this was an answer no-one on this forum has tried yet (I did think it was a lot).
Still wishing you every success on your attempt!
Hi J, firstly thanks for the link, I know this recipe very well, I bake it all the time without incident. Paul’s recipe seems to have caused a big stir though! I know it’s disappointing to have this out come but as you say it may just be the sugar. This is not the only chocolate recipe which behaves thus, you’ve also discovered the same as I have. It’s got me totally perplexed but, I definitely know there is an answer! I’m baking this in the morning so will report back later in the day. I love choccy cake, waistline hates it!!! x
Hi Jayess, I’ve baked the cake with more or less similar results. Mine rose beautifully then started to wrinkle like elephant skin. When I removed it from the oven there was a outer rim of crust which was very sugary, same sort of consistency as ginger snap biscuits. It has baked all the way through and took exactly two hours on 130c fan. Smells amazing and can’t wait to try some, however, it won’t really do for carving or stacking. I think your idea of trying less sugar may well be the answer. I would try again but we have too much cake on the go at the moment. I definitely think it’s worth another attempt. There are some members who have had a degree of success with the recipe. If you try it again we’d all be interested in the result. Cheers for now.
hi madeitwithlove , I am sorry it didn’t work out.I really hoped you would find the answer but I don’t feel so bad about mine going wrong as everyones seems too :-). Like you I can’t do again just yet I am supposed to be losing weight but chocolate cake is not helping! I’ll post again when I get around to baking again.
J, I think I may have posted a little prematurely, I should have waited for the cake to cool. Now that it has cooled right down the wrinkly dip is still there but on turning out the cake it is remarkably deep and well structured. Still not sure whether it will carve or stack once I’ve trimmed off the top. Like your’s my cake has been scaled to 8″, I used 2/3 ts of baking soda, I greased, floured and lined the inside of the tin, not the outside and no baking strips (or what ever they’re called). I’ve read your answer to jennie, perhaps she may see your suggestion about the sugar content. x
Hi, I made this cake using half the mixture and two 4″ round tins. I baked at 140 degrees Fan and they took an hour. They did rise and have to say slightly more mixture than necessary really but once tops were levelled the next day they were fine.
Have to say they were perfect and I have been unable so far to make any choc mudcakes whether white or dark – BUT – when I sampled the cut off tops, I realized I hadn’t put in the sugar. However, when the ganache goes on you don’t miss it, it seems sweet enough.
So now I’m wondering if it will be as successful WITH the sugar – will try it out soon.
Hi Gina, very interesting answer. Good cake, no sugar. If I try again I may reduce sugar to see if that helps. I will also try 2 tins instead of one.
I tried Paul’s cake yesterday and it was an unmitigated DISASTER – cost a fortune for all the ingredients and I followed the recipe to the letter but my oven on 150 is too hot I think – did not use the thermo fan maybe I should have. It was beautiful round the sides but the middle had a hard crust and did not rise at all. When I scaped off the hard bit it came off very easily but the cake was totally unusable. I lined my baking tin with silicone paper but it did scorch underneath. I was very concerned at using 720 g castor sugar seemed a bit (used white because I could not find golden castor sugar and instead of rape seed oil, thought Paul said grape seed oil and so used that. Not sure if it’s my oven or the recipe but I don’t think I will be trying that again. Having read the comments about other people having had problems with the recipe perhaps Paul can assist with the sugar qty. Never ever baked a cake with almost a kg of sugar???