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Drew Hall

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Pound cake problems...HELP!

by Drew Hall » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:57 am

I make pound cakes to give as Christmas gifts every year and have a very solid recipe. This year, though, they're slightly sunken in the center and I can't figure out what's going on. Oven temp is good, baking powder is fresh. What's crazy is that for every two that turn out the next two are slightly sunken. :cry: Any ideas from the bakers?

Drew
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Redwinger

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Re: Pound cake problems...HELP!

by Redwinger » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:41 am

After consultation with NJ, she's pretty sure something is amiss with the baking powder. You mention it is fresh, but have you "tested it? If not, try this:

To test baking powder: Put a few tablespoons of warm water (warm tap water is fine, but cold water is not) into a small bowl and add a teaspoon of baking powder. The mixture should make a fizzing noise and, after a moment, the baking powder will begin to fizz and the water will become very cloudy with tiny bubbles. The more bubbles, the fresher the baking powder. Baking powder reacts with liquids and heat, but does not react as well with cold water (even fresh powder won’t fizz much in ice water), so do not use it for this test.

You may already do this, but she also suggests that you get the batter into the oven as soon as possible after blending/mixing. baking powder doesn't like to sit around...I guess it loses its potency pretty quickly.

Other than that, it is weird that a tried and true recipe has suddenly gone wonker.
Last edited by Redwinger on Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jeff Grossman/NYC

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Re: Pound cake problems...HELP!

by Jeff Grossman/NYC » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:16 pm

Did you weigh the flour? I suppose not, as it's a tried-and-true recipe. But I am recently learned of the horrors of flour settling and becoming more dense as it sits, hence making cup measures even less useful. (The preceding is a SWAG: simple wild-ass guess.)
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Drew Hall

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Re: Pound cake problems...HELP!

by Drew Hall » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:09 am

I changed two things and the cakes turned out perfect.
1. I adjusted the weight of the flour to match the sugar. Thanks Jeff!
2. Creamed the butter first and added the sugar by spoonful to the creaming process.

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