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55
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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I gave this recipe  a try and stuck to exactly what Paul  had done ...it was perfect and no sinking. I do remember him saying to leave it in the oven for the whole baking time without being tempted to open the door...as I am often tempted to check a cake if I think it looks done sooner than the advised time.  Anyway I can definately say this was a great success and I will make it again.

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Hi Debbie, so good to get your feed back, I'm really pleased it worked for you too. x

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Hi, baked Jane's cake again last night, but this time left it in the tin to cool completely - as I should have done - and it turned out perfectly.  I will try Paul's recipe maybe next week just for myself.  As this cake was for someone else I didn't want to take any risks with a new recipe.

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Hi Michelle, this is very encouraging feed back, I shall be making this cake again because we too love it just as it is without any filling. Good luck with teddy!

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Hello, just thought i would put in my pennys worth, i made Pauls moist choc cake and the choc buttercream today, both recipes turned out perfect,no sinking,no crispy bits, i have a fan ass oven and i baked cakes at 130 on middle shelf for the full 2 hours,very tempting to open door but i resisted and did other cakey bits n bobs, i didnt use round tins, i used a 5 and a 0 shaped tin,once cooled buttercreamed the cakes and covered them with fondant, will definately use this choc cake recipe for all my choc cakes,moist,soft,yummy, thankyou Paul :o)

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Thanks for your 'penny's worth' treacle, enjoy your cake!

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Hi there MIWL. Whilst shopping in Sainsbury's this morning I came across wrights packet mix of Toffee cake.  I've read on here somewhere that Wrights Madeira cake is very good so I've bought a few packs of the toffee. Just thought I would let you know as I know you are looking for a toffee sponge recipe also. Don't know when I'll get round to trying it though

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Hi Michelle

Thanks for thinking of me, It was me who originally posted about the Wright's mixes. I'm useless with baking mixes but did try the madeira and found it baked up without me ruining it. I use it if I'm pushed for time, it's a really lovely mix, much lighter than an all butter maderia which I use for shaped cakes. I've never tried any of the other Wright's cake mixes so, I'll try the toffee and hope it works for me.  Have a look in Lidle's well, they had the Wright's on promotion for £1.30 or 40 can't remember now, but I think it's still on for that price. Thank you again. x

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Hi I'm a complete novice , this was actually my first proper cake I'd made , I was delighted with the results , I made it for my daughters birthday , so the taste test would be done then . A resounding success !!!!! Everyone loved it , now I'm very critical of anything I do , but this was a real boost to my confidence . Thank you

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Thank you for sharing your successful result with all of us auds50. I'm so pleased for you, happy baking always!

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Hi Jayess, i followed Paul,s receipe to the letter for 12" and 6" round...i then made 2x8" round cakes in exact same way...again perfect cakes.....i did not change anything...maybe luck!! or i am a brilliant cook lol xx

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I have made the maderia  & chocolate fudge cake they are beautiful & the chocolate one is very moist.

So glad you posted about these mixes Michelle.

 

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I've just made the toffee one - it smells and tastes delicious. I only used one packet and baked in a loaf tin just to see what it is like. Will def use again to make a bigger cake 🙂

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Hi Jennie, congratulations on your successful cakes!  Who knows what goes wrong for those of us who are failing?  I realised I should have used more mixture when I made my 8" square but this should have only resulted in a shallow cake.  Still at least mine tasted good and I didn't have to throw away.  Can't keep eating my mistakes though!  I will try again one day,

Jx

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I baked Paul's chocolate cake again.  No sinking this time and it was lovely.  But have to say - no offence Paul - my preference is for Jane Hornby's recipe, it just has the edge on taste and moistness.  But I love to try new recipes because you never know!

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Hi Susan

I'm so pleased Paul's recipe worked for you too. Paul's cake recipe is lighter while Jane's is all butter and denser in texture, they're both delicious. I will be baking JH cake for bigger occasions but enjoying Paul's with much more frequency we just love it.

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I made Paul's cake again and this time I filled and covered with ganache.  I gave it to my hubby to take into his work to let his workmates taste it - to be honest I'm not a great chocolate cake lover - because I wanted to see what they all thought.  He received phonecalls from about 5 people saying that it was brilliant and a couple said it was the best chocolate cake they had ever tasted!  So, praise indeed for Paul's recipe!!  I will be making it again. 

Although, I have got to say that the first one I made I tasted right away.  The second one I wrapped and left overnight before tasting and it def improves so much once it has rested.

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Hi Susan

Great praise too, for your baking abilities!! I'm baking all different chocolate cakes for comparison reasons. Today we cut the Fiona Cairns choccy cake and it doesn't hold a candle to Paul's. It may be because I'm not very good at folding in whipped egg whites. Next week will be the Lindy Smith recipe. I don't like making recommendations for recipes because everyone bakes differently, but I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Paul's and Jane Hornby's. There is one big problem though, waistline is expanding!!!! Thank you for your additional feedback, it will be so encouraging for members who haven't succeeded with this recipe to try again. I do think it is a case of really knowing your oven and how different external temperatures affect it. My oven is a monster, but I can't afford to change it.

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Hi miwl, I believe Lindy has two chocolate cake recipes - one in her "bible" and one on her website.  A friend of mine didn't rate the one in her book very highly, but really liked the other.    Also, I tried a new madeira cake recipe yeaterday from my  M&S Classic Cakes book and it was so lovely - one of the best ones I've tried!  All this "trying" though is costing me a fortune!!

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I know what you mean about costing a fortune! I never seem to stop baking, we have so many birthdays, anniversaries and you name it 'I want a cake', but no one seems to know the cost! I've got the cake bible on order and, was going to use the recipe from the Cakes to Inspire and Desire book. I'll do an 8" for my nephew's birthday so it shouldn't be too costly. Then back to Paul's for our bowling club function, we have a touring club coming and I want to give them something really nice. Is the M&S  Classic a recent book? I have their cupcake book but haven't tried any of the recipes, no patience with cupcakes! too fiddly for me!