Finally a cake that I’m proud of. A cake that rises! Haha
About 2 months plus ago I baked a very simple marble cake simply because I wanted to learn the basic of baking. The first trial did not went so well. The outcome was a shorty cake!
I re-examine what I did wrong.
Here’s a recap:
1. I used a different cake tin size.
- I’m suppose to use a 20cm cake tin. Mine is 24cm. Figured surely no problem. What do I know?
- Guess it’s time for me to invest a new pan.
2. Baking powder is too old?
- According to Troubleshooting Butter Cakes @ Joy Of Baking, usage of old baking powder is one of the cause.
- Tested my baking powder for ‘fizziness’ with hot water (to see if the baking powder is still good). It has some fizz effect but I won’t know it’s good until I have a new one to compare.
- Baking powder expiry date is December 2010.
3. Wrong creaming method/Over folding.
- Seriously I always thought creaming of butter and sugar is simple stuff. After reading Baking 911′s Creaming Method, I don’t think so anymore.
- My mixture became lumpy after adding flour and milk. It’s suppose to be like that but I didn’t know at that time so I over mixed it. Gulps!
I can take point 1 and point 2 out. Point 3 = main suspect.
For this 2nd trial, I used exactly the same ingredients and cake tin but I did 2 things differently.
1. I make sure my butter is in room temperature.
When I think back, I realized my ‘room temperature’ butter was on its way to melting (during 1st trial). That’s one of the problem.
2. Previously I added the eggs to the butter+sugar mixture in about 3 rounds. But this time it’s like more than 10 rounds. Read EXTRA TIPS… far below.
The result of my 2nd trial:
Looks short ain’t it? (camera trick?) I assure you the highest it goes is 6cm and the shortest is 4.5cm.
Compare the above with this:
LOL. 2cm in height!!! Hahaha
The only thing I’m proud of is its swirling. Very pretty eh.
Ahh now you see it? It’s tall eh? Hahaha
The only thing I don’t like is its swirling. Can’t really blame myself as I limit the amount of chocolate used in this recipe. I just hate the taste of Van Houten cocoa powder. So I divided the cake mixture into 2/3 vanilla and 1/3 chocolate.
Ohhh I see so many air bubbles. :)
The texture is light and smell of the delicious butter. However like others who had tried this recipe, I agree with them that this cake is a little dry. Those who are trying this recipe should consider adding a little bit more butter I guess.
Question: Why do we need to add milk? HELP anyone??
225g butter, at room temperature
225g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
225g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g cocoa powder, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Butter and flour the sides of a 20cm cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3. Whisk the eggs and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture, beating all the time. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently to mix, then add the milk and mix gently to combine.
4. Tip half of the cake mixture into another large bowl and, into this bowl, fold in the sifted cocoa powder.
5. Place the cake mixtures into the prepared tin by alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla batter with the chocolate batter, then with a skewer or similar implement, gently draw swirls through the cake mixture to ‘marblise’ it. Don’t overmix or you won’t have that wonderful marble effect. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool before serving.
Cream butter – cream butter until it looks like plastic (2-3 mins)
Beat sugar & butter until mixture is light and fluffy – beat with mixer about 10 minutes
Gradually add eggs to sugar+butter mixture – add little by little
(according to Rachel Allen: if eggs are addded in large quantity, the butter & sugar will not be able to absorb the egg properly. Whole mixture will curl thus give you a slightly heavier cake)
Sift in flour & baking powder – sift them ALL in
Gently fold in the flour – fold gently. Don’t beat coz it will toughen the cake. Once you’ve added baking powder to the cake mixture you need to work quickly because the baking agent will take effect.