White layer cake (reverse creaming)

For a few weeks now I have been trying to perfect a white layer cake (with different added flavors) using the reverse creaming method. The base recipe is from The Perfect Cake.

#1 Coconut layer cake

Results

  • Cake was too dense and did not rise much, although flavor was good.

Notes and changes

  • Since the recipe on The Perfect Cake for 2 9inch layers, I scaled the recipe down for 2 8 inch layers, probably a mistake
  • I used AroyD coconut milk instead of the suggested coco lopez. I also added more than the suggested ratio of coconut milk, which probably contributed to the dense texture.
  • I cut down on the sugar, which I think was a good move but I forgot how much I added exactly ):
  • I used all purpose flour instead of cake flour. I think that was ok. However, I realized that 2.25 cups of cake flour =/= 2.25 cups of all purpose flour by weight, so I probably added less than the totally volume of flour required. I converted cups to grams of cake flour and added that amount of all purpose flour.
  • I used a cream cheese and mascarpone butter cream frosting, which is slightly too sweet for my liking

#2 Strawberry dream cake

Changes

  • Did not scale recipe
  • Reduced sugar by ~40g

Results

  • Cake was still too dense and did not rise much
  • Maybe baking powder was expired?

#3 Strawberry dream cake take 2

Changes

  • New baking powder
  • Used 288g of all purpose flour
  • 340g sugar
  • Baked two versions
    • Original recipe in book
    • Same ingredients and proportions but egg whites were whipped to soft peaks with half the sugar and folded in at the end

Results

  • The original version with no whipped whites turned out ok in texture. However, it was domed in the middle and did not rise much at the sides. Batter was slightly curdled.
  • The version with whipped whites rose more evenly. However, it collapsed slightly after cooling, causing it to be denser and more doughy tasting. Initially I thought that this was because the cake was underbaked, but the next attempt (see #4) suggested that it might not be the case.
  • Both cakes were similar in taste and slightly too sweet for my liking.
  • I left portions of the cake in the fridge, or at room temperature. For both cakes, keeping them in the fridge (wrapped in cling film) caused them to be more moist but also more dense.

#4 Lemon layer cake

Changes

  • Wrapped cake tins with kitchen towels soaked in cold water to encourage even rise of cake
  • Baked for a longer time (40mins)
  • Added less sugar (170g + 150g) total
  • Used 2% fat milk only
  • Made 2/3 portion of lemon curd with 240g sugar, 6 egg yolks, 2 eggs. This was just enough for the cake. The curd is a bit sour so I would either add more sugar to the curd or to the cake next time.
  • Made 2/3 portion of honey cream cheese frosting. I added honey to taste. This was just enough for a thin layer of frosting.

Results

  • Original version rose nicely evenly, but sunk a little in the middle. Nice even crumb.
  • Whipped whites version shrunk and collapsed after cooling. Large uneven holes in the cake.

Notes

  • Batter was curdled, probably because the milk/egg mixture was too cold or I added it too quickly. I need to be more careful about this next time
  • I buttered the sides of the cake tin, but I don’t think that caused the whipped whites cake to shrink since I did not butter the sides the previous attempt.
  • Perhaps use whole milk next time
  • I used the lemon curd recipe in the book and a honey cream cheese frosting.
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Strawberry cobbler

FullSizeRenderLast week I bought a really sour punnet of strawberries. So sour that I couldn’t eat them straight. So I thought, why not make dessert? This strawberry cobbler turned out really well and the baking process really brought out the sweetness in the strawberries.

This recipe is from smitten kitchen. I added less sugar to the cake, and coated the strawberries with one tablespoon of sugar beforehand. I also realized I had to bake this cake for almost twice as long.

Ingredients

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup  milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (450 grams) strawberries, hulled and halved

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan (what I used).

Coat strawberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar. In a separate small bowl, whisk flour and salt together. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Mix in egg, milk and vanilla until just combined. Add dry mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.

Pour into prepared pie plate. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon sugar over berries.

Bake cake for 10 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake cake until golden brown and a tester comes out free of wet batter, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes (or more). (Gooey strawberries on the tester are a given.) Let cool in pan on a rack. Cut into wedges.