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Welcome to the Cake Decorators Q&A

56
asked July 17th 2012

‘Paul’s moist chocolate cake’ My feed back

Recently Paul posted his chocolate cake recipe for us all to try. Many members have had various difficulties baking it up. The most predominant 'failing' is that the cake sinks in the middle. We've all at some point answered with feed back and suggestions as to why this may be happening, sooo with great trepidation I baked 'The Cake' this morning. My cake was scaled down to 8" square, using my hubby's conversion chart, which is posted on the site under 'ingrediants' (spelled this way to find in search). I baked in a dark heavy duty tin, greased and floured fairly generously then lined with parchment paper, exactly as shown on the cake tutorial. I have a fan assisted oven which I set at 135c. Once the mixture was in the tin I reduced the heat to 130c and baked for a complete two hours.  After an hour, through the oven glass door, I could see that the cake had risen but, had also become wrinkly, like elephant skin,towards the middle. I realised this was the prelude to the 'sink'! However, I just continued baking for a further hour, then opened the oven part way to check the cake for doneness, which it was, thoroughly. The cake had sunk slightly, and formed a hard crust only around the outer rim which resembled ginger snap biscuits. After the cake had cooled completely I turned it out,  to find a beautiful deep, moist cake with no hint of the dip present on the other side. This evening at 10.30 we cut the cake 'proof of the pudding' style and have enjoyed a very pleasant dessert. Prior to turning the cake out,and quite soon after removing it from the oven, I prematurely posted under 'Paul's chocolate cake, timing' (in search), that I had doubts whether this cake would hold up to carving and stacking. Having cut, inspected for structure and sampled it, I can conclude that it definitely will to both.

I hope this feed back will help members who may want to attempt baking the cake again. Finally, Jayess has posted many times to try and solve the concundrum of 'the chocolate cake sinking in the middle'. She has raised a salient point about the amount of sugar used in the recipe which may, or may not be a contributory factor to some of the problems experienced, although on tasting, sweetness is not excessive, and baking science is some thing I understand not! Happy baking folks x

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madeitwithlove, my encyclopedia of cake stuff.
I've baked Paul's cake tokay, just like the recipe. Great results no sinking on both tins 10 & 6 inch. In fact best chocolate cake (homemade) I've ever made. Hubby even opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate my baking success.

Now, my next challenge is to make the cake in a 12inch (4inch deep) tin. Could you let me know how to work out the correct ingredients and baking time please ?
Many thanks.

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Hi Maria

I'm so pleased you've had such a successful bake!
The recipe can be scaled up in the site cake calculator here: https://www.cakeflix.com/cake-calculators
Paul's recipe is already loaded in, just select it from the drop down menu and fill in the ingredients grid for your new recipe. Unfortunately baking time can not be predicted acurately because all ovens are different, the best guide is to keep an eye and nose on the cake. As this is your first time increasing the ingredients it will be a game of watching and waiting! For a 12" round x 4" deep cake, I would guesstimate 2.5 hours without opening the door. Check through the glass door of the oven for signs of doneness. Tentatively open the door very slightly to feel the top of the cake and if it feels set, check with a wooden skewer. For more information on baking times and why it is difficult to give a definitive answer, you might find the following blog of interest:

Baking Problems and Solutions by madeitwithlove

Hope you have another great bake. To help other members, feed back of your results would be greatly appreciated. x

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Awesome. I knew I can count on you.
I'll let you know my feedback when I baked 12inch one, hopefully soon, when the in-laws are gone.
Thanks a million 🙂

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Look forwards to seeing your results, Good luck! 🙂

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Hi Cherelyn

You can use any flavour icing you prefer, it doesn't have to be dark chocolate. How about trying a milk chocolate orange flavoured filling? This will compliment the flavour of the cake. If you don't want to use a chocolate filling, you could use buttercream either made with butter and icing sugar or a meringue based recipe such as Swiss or Italian. For more flavour ideas please take a peek here:
https://www.cakeflix.com/questions?s=other+fillings+and+flavours
Hope this will help.

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hi Paul, i have a quick question please

what temperature and for how long does it need to bake for half of this recipe?

Thank you,
Regards
Sundas

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Hello Sundas

Half the recipe will bake a 7" square or an 8" round cake. Using half the mixture in a deep 10" pan will not give the same depth cake but it will bake far quicker. The best thing would be to keep an eye on the bake and jot down the fininshed time for future reference. Hope this helps.

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The recipe says this is for 2 cakes one 10" and the other 6" so is it a total of 16" cake recipe?? I'm confused in that!
coz i was about to use cake calculator but idk if i should select 16" as the original cake or 10"?

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No it is not for 16" cake. The recipe is for two cake, one 10" round cake and one 6" round cake or the entire recipe can fit into one 10" square cake. You have to select 10" square. This is dealing with the mathematics of volume. Please peek at my answer setting out how the math is worked out here:

ingrediants

If you are still confused, let me know what you're trying to do and I'll work it out for you.

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Oh got it. Thanks a bunch. I wish I could pit the picture here of my cake. Although it sank from the middle but I cut it and leveled it and put mocha buttercream icing with espresso beans on top. It turned out so awesome so thanks to you guys for helping me out in every way possible.
P.s that cake was for someone so I haven't tasted it yet 😛

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Happy it worked out for you Sundas. You can post pictures of your cake on PBSS facebook. I will be able to see it on there. 🙂
https://www.facebook.com/PaulBradfordSugarcraftSchool/

Hope your customer enjoys the cake! 🙂

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Ok. here some update from my last bake of Paul''s chocolate cake.
I baked it on a 12 inch ×5" deep and 2 cake of 6inchx 3"deep.
All ingredients calculated using the cake calculator that madeitwithlove advised to use.
As you can imagine it was a huge quantity of ingredients to mix..I had to use my biggest cooking pot to mix them all and had a very tired arms after stirring it. Best advise to ask your hubby or whoever in the house with muscles.. unlike me..do it yourself as everyone was out of the house.

Anyway, both cake of 12" and 2x6inch turn out perfect with a bit of crust on the top.
I use Silverwood tin for the 12inch and 2 of my old waitrose tins.
I baked them both at 150°C (fan oven) for 2hr and 45minutes... DO NOT open the door until your timer is up.
Well I opened mine after baking it for 2hr and 10min to check if the 12inch cake it's done or not. Then add another 35 minutes then leave it in the oven for 15mins until it's cooled down.

Here are the Recipe i use for both tin sizes if you're interested :
I mix all ingredients in one big cooking pot then divided between 3 tins accordingly.

Unsalted LURPAK butter: 808.6gr = 809gr
Dark chocolate CALLEBAUT= 809gr
Instant coffee NESCAFE = 21.4 tsp= 21.5tsp
Water = 588ml
Cocoa powder CADBURY = 183.8gr = 184gr
Plain flour (HOME PRIDE brand ) = 465gr
Self raising flour (Home pride brand ) =466gr
Bicarbonate Soda (Dr.Oetker brand) = 3.1tsp =3 tsp
Golden caster sugar (BILLITONG'S brand) =1764gr
Large eggs (waitrose) = 15.3 = 16eggs
Vegetable oil (I use HillFarm brand of rapeseed oil) = 26tsp = 130ml
Buttermilk (St.Ivel brand from tesco)= 404.3ml = 404ml

Hope you all have a great day and happy baking 🙂

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Hi Maria

Thank you for giving your feed back and your quanitites used. It's so very helpful.
So glad this worked so well for you. x

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hi maria
did your cake sink from the middle?
i've tried it a lot of times now and it always sinks. i don't open it in between but still not able to get the reason.

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Can someone put in the Jane Hornby,s recipe please I've used Paul's and had the same issues crust breaking on the top but just cut those off for tasting (lol) I have one in the freezer waiting to be used.

Thank you

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Hi JillHolmes

There is an alternative mud cake recipe on the site here: https://www.cakeflix.com/how-to-make-chocolate-mud-cake
and here is Jane's recipe https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4577/wedding-cake-rich-dark-chocolate-cake

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Hi, I love this cake and so pleased with how it turns out, everyone loves it. I need to bake a bauble cake with this recipe but not sure how lucky big iy will take to bake, could anyone advise me. Thank you.

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Hi sylviescakebox

As you haven't mentioned the size cake you are baking, to give you an idea of ingredient quanitiy and baking time, I will refer to an 8" round cake compared to an 8" ball cake.
The total ingredients (both hemisheres) for a ball cake is 25% more than for an 8" round 3" deep cake. The batter has to be divided equally between the two hemispheres. For timing, because the batter is in two halves, it will take slightly less time than an 8" round cake. I would keep to the given time and keep an eye and nose on the baking. It's difficult to give precise timing as all ovens are different .

Addition information on how the quantities vary for different size hemisphere pans:
For a 4" ball cake the amount of batter required to fill both hemispheres is a third less than that is required for a 4" round cake 3" deep;
For a 6" ball cake, to fill both hemispheres compared to a 6" round cake x 3" deep, use the same amount as you would for the round cake.

Hope this helps. 🙂

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Hi everyone, I plan to make Paul's chocolate cake. I'm just wondering with your cakes sinking could it be the oven temperature is too low?
I wonder did the cakes that did turn out ok did the cook theirs at a higher temperature.

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I have baked this cake six times. The first attempt was perfect but unfortunately the later have been sunken so bad i've had to throw away. It is a delicious cake but too unreliable for me!

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