Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

asked December 2nd 2018

Paul’s Moist Chocolate Cake

This is my first of probably many questions I'll ask.
I decided to have a go at making Paul's Chocolate cake but I have a couple of questions following my overall cake result.
I made a 6 inch cake as a trial but I did split the mixture between two tins and still cooked for two hours, I was scared to open that oven door that Paul kept talking about!
My cake did not sink or crack - I use the PME cake levelling belts when putting my cake tins in the oven.
I seemed to have improved my cake results since doing this.

However my cake was a little hard and crusty on the top which Pul explained in his video.

I wonder the fact I split the mixture could this have been down to this, and also I did forget to reduce the temperature 20 degrees as I have a fan oven so it was baked at 150 degrees.

Once cooled I also decided to freeze it, and see whether the crusting on top would come out a bit softer. I am now waiting for it to defrost.

1. Should I have used one six inch cake tin or two for the mixture - I know some people like to cut their cakes in half some people like to bake in two tins.
2. If I split the mixture into two tins should I have reduced the cooking time to half?

I can see that the cake has a dense structure to it and would be great for carving. I am looking for a really nice chocolate cake recipe.

Thanks in advance for any help and I'll update on my results as I have read on here that many people get very varied outcomes.


Hi TTbelle

As with any cake recipe, if the batter is split into two tins it is much shallower than if baked in one deep pan and will take less time to bake. Although not necessarily half the time. You'll need to keep an eye and nose on the baking to gauge the doneness. It's good that you are experimenting and already your results are interesting.

The hard crust which forms after baking Paul recipe is normal and mainly to do with the high content of sugar. The crust does sometimes soften if a tea towel is placed on the surface of the cake once it is removed from the oven. Moisture from freezing the cake can also help. I usually crumble the crust and mix it in with the filling so nothing is wasted.
However, the hard texture of the sponge will most certainly be as a result of baking in the shallower pans for too long and at a higher temperature. It is better to reduce the temperature of a fan oven down by approximately 20 degrees to prevent burning and drying out. Hopefully next time, reducing the temp for the fan oven will give better results.

For more hints and tips on Paul's recipe, please take a peek at the following link:

‘Paul’s moist chocolate cake’ My feed back

(There are thirteen pages to browse through. The page numbers for the thread are at the base of my initial feedback and not at the base of each page. )

I was hoping to give a couple of link in the blog section. One is on baking problems and solutions and another on a similar recipe which you may find useful for carving. However, the blog section appears to be unavailable at the moment. As soon as it is available, I will set the links for you.

Here is one of the links. I'll post the other as soon as I can get a hold of it.

Baking Problems and Solutions by madeitwithlove

Edit: ... and here is the other:

How to Make Chocolate Mud Cake

Please do post again if you need more information. 🙂