Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

9
asked July 11th 2012

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?

Jx

0

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???

Thanks

Jenni

0

Having just read about too much leavening being a possible cause I've checked my quantities and I think I have rounded up the baking powder and bicarbonate when i scaled up the recipe and this might be the culprit! When I baked it in a 6 inch tin I used half a teaspoon of each and 3 eggs. This time I used a 6 egg mix but one and a half teaspoon of each. Will try it again later in the week with just one teaspoon of each. Really hope this the answer as I don't generally like chocolate cake but I like this one!

0

It's interesting to read more results with Paul's chocolate cake. I posted some while ago that my cake had sunk slightly in the middle otherwise perfect. I have a fan oven, so after reading so many negatives, I preheated to 135c fan but reduced to 130 once the cake was in to see whether that made a difference. As I've said, mine came out great apart from a small dent in the middle.Other members have also baked the recipe up without problems, question still remains whether it is the temp or the recipe. Interesting also comments from Doodlecake on Jane Hornby's recipe which is always my first 'go to' cake for any special occasion. I've baked her recipe over and over again and it turns out without any problems. Paul's recipe isn't that far removed from Jane's so I was quite surprised when it did sink, albeit insignificantly enough to make a difference to taste, structure or height. I am also going to reduce the sugar next time I bake it. I've just had the mother of disasters with my white chocolate cake, similar sort of problems as being experienced with Paul's, can't rescue this one!! Again amount of sugar is in question.

0

Maybe it's not the weight of the sugar but rather the type of caster sugar,  ours is a very fine white caster sugar and maybe I should use a granulated sugar  - I am so wary of trying again but hate to give up so I might just give it another go.

0

Hi everyone. I've recently registered so am new to this but I've just made Paul's chocolate cake and like many others mine came away from the sides of the cake tin as expected but it sank in the middle with a crispy crust. I left it in the over for the prescribed time of 2 hours and I never opened the oven, I even used an oven thermometer to ensure that the temperature was correct. I am very disappointed as I followed the recipe exactly. It did taste amazing though which was an added bonus.

0

Hi Flan

It seems to be hit and miss amongst us! I saw a professional making a chocolate cake at the cake and bake show. Their's too had a crust and sunk in the middle! She just levelled the top off and used it. It even looked a bit underdone in the centre but she said it was supposed to look like this. I bet it tasted great though like yours (and mine). It's an expensive recipe to keep playing with. Watch this thread for tips to try.

Jx

0

My grandchildren made lovely truffles with the trimmings but it doesn't do my waistline any good having all these leftovers :0)

Jx

0

Hi everyone I always seem to have problems with this cake but I love the taste of it so much, I've tried other cakes and although they are really good this one just has the edge for me. So after reading comments about the quantity of sugar I baked a 10x8 today and only put 450gms of sugar instead of 600gms. I baked it at 130 for 2hrs and 40 mins. Good news - it didn't sink . I'm hoping 150gms less sugar won't have too much affect on the taste

0

Hi Michelle

That's good news! I have stated in previous posts that reducing the sugar by 20% could help so you've just proved it can be done without any ill effects to the taste.
Thank you sooo much for this very valuable piece of feedback. xx

0

I haven't tasted it yet as its still in the tin cooling down but I will cut a slither off the corner when its out and let you know how it tastes - fingers crossed its still delicious 🙂

2

I've done the taste test and it tastes just as good. I think next time I will reduce the amount of sugar by 100gms instead of 150gms and see how that goes - very happy though

0

I tried a red velvet, with awful results so 3 hours out of my day......it sunk in the middle, was not red, and undercooked even tho the top was crusty and when I put the skewer in it came out clean! Think I will carry on ordering my cakes in....it is cheaper and a lot less stressful

0

Go on hub pages best mud cake its more of a choc cake never fails .can carve beautifully so esy

4

I Havn,t made this cake but I think Paul,s cake will end up in the guinness book of records for the most disasters

0

I made this cake this afternoon because I was curious as to what the result would be, given all the comments I have read. I searched on here for the 9" round ingredients list which I eventually found. The recipe seems to be the same as a Mississippi cake, with added chocolate. I thought the sugar lever was very excessive and I actually reduced it by 30 grams, made my own buttermilk, baked it at 150 degrees for the two hours. Came out of the oven, flat on top, no sinking in the middle, but had not risen very much. Should I make this one again I would make a few changes. I would reduce the sugar level a lot more and put it in the oven at 180 degrees (my oven actually runs a bit lower than it should) which should take approximately 50 -70 minutes. The cake was beautifully moist and still a little too sweet for my personal taste, as for the cost, well as a special celebration cake it would be a good seller, assuming people would pay for it. Finally my other half has just tried it, he loved the texture, soft and moist without being too wet. I used Callebaut dark easy melt chips, this is the chocolate I use when creating my chocolate work, as its a higher percentage than Paul uses, the high amount of sugar is balanced with the bitter cocoa taste. I shall actually cost this out tomorrow to find out if what difference this would make to the cost of a celebration cake. The down side is, as a high percentage of cakes are generally made for children, by the time you add ganache, fondant etc, this cake would not be really be suitable for children. Maybe more thoughts later.

1

I have just found Paul's site while looking for a moist choc cake recipe and have just made the most delicious choc cake ever!! I followed each step with Paul in the tutorial and it's turned out amazing so can't understand why people are struggling? I wouldn't mess with recipe tho....maybe the oven temps are a it off? Please persevere people cos your missing a treat!! Tracey556

0

I have made this cake about 10 times and I set oven at 140℃ fan and only use 500 g suger and it has came out perfect every time and still tastes amazing with less suger.

0

Hi dannymarell

That's great! Thanks for your feed back. Happy days!!

0

Hi all, i'm a newbie on here and just reading the answers to these posts is so helpful to me.. so a big thank you to you all for sharing..
I made this recipe twice and the first time i used exactly the same pan sizes as Paul used, and they turned out just fine, only a slight dip in the middle though..
But my biggest trouble is changing the cooking time to suit the pan sizes though.. i attempted to make a round 12 inch a week later, and after 2 hrs 20 mins, the cake still wasnt done.. and by my checking it every other 5 mins, im pretty sure i caused the huge sinking in the middle.. i'd love to see a scale of times for each cake tin size..also, i too have no idea what 'rape seed oil is, so i used macadamia oil (as Paul mentions the nutty taste the rape seed oil gives)..thought it might be a suitable substitute.. oh and the golden castor sugar? we don't have that on the shelves here in Australia, so the closest i could find was Raw castor sugar.. i used this instead.. the cake tasted better than anything.. very moist, dense and great for carving, but definitely got the timing all wrong for the 2nd attempt with a different pan size..
thanks again all 🙂

0

I've baked it twice, they both rose well but one sank in so badly whilst in the oven. The other had an elephant skin and didn't sink but when pressedit a bit it, the crust broke off and there was a huge hollow crater. What worries me is that how did he bake the one on the tutorial? I'm disappointed because I'm a newbie to this course but I have no cakes to decorate. Any chance of having some other recipes that he has used for his tutorial ones coz they look great.