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# Tunnels in High Ratio Cake

Hi everyone, I am a professional baker, but I haven't been making high ratio cake for long.

I have a question about tunnles in my high ratio cakes. I make a high ratio cake and I have tunnels in them, and I am a little frustrated as they really tast good. I mix them with the 2-stage method, and I am very careful in following the mixing procedures. Also, I have checks the balance of the formula, and have found that it falls within the guideline of a balanced cake.

In my books, there are some discussions on this subject and I have been working carefully on trying to eliniate each problem. I am at the point where I have to look at the persentage of sugar and or the richness of the formula. I have room in the balance formula to increas the sugar percentace in the cake and that is the next thing that I have to try.

The tunnels look like they start from the top and when you cut the top off to level it you can see the tunnels and they for a circle in a round cake about 1 inch from the edge.

Any Ideas. Does this sound like a richness problem?

Thank you.
Baker63,
just curious, any other things happening? cracks, domes, dips,specks etc.
It sounds like you have gone through all but I have to ask.
Temp of shortening when blending?
Second stage is in three or more additions with scrapes?
Greasing the sides of pans?
Good cake flour? %?
temp of liquid?
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Had a peak and cracks when we got a new rack oven. We had a horizontal rotery oven and backed at 350 (still had some tunnel, but the rest was ok), when we got the new rack oven we were told to bake at 325, but our cakes showed signs of too high (peaks, cracks thick crust) We bake fine at 300.

Now the flour we use is cake flour, the Pillsbary commercial,

we grease the sides of pans
I scrape well and add the liquids and eggs in stages.
The shortenening we use is either sweetex or Nutex liquid shortening. I have not noticed a difference there. The temp is about 68-7or room temp

the eggs and liquid are cold 45-50. This does not seem to affect the butter cakes or pound cakes.

Also, I don't let the batter sit before baking, I pan and bake.

There are no specks, but a slight dome. Maybe 1/2" at center from the edge. it is as dome and not a peak. No cracks or if there are some, the are very very shallow, jsut on surface.
Bake
If some are good and some are not it could be pan positioning. You probably do this but if you stagger the pans the the next level must be the opposite. You should not have one pan positioned over another. It has to be symetrical for even air flow.
Check also to see that a damper might be stuck open in a section of the oven. Are you on low fan or off?
pan
Nutex shouldn't be brought up like solid shortening.
You will obviously work it out with you experience.
If I was consulting, I would first suggest to make sure your batter is not to cold. 70-75 will give you a good roll. Your liquid volume might be bringing your batter to low. I would also suggest running a couple without greasing the sides if your roll becomes to fast.
good luck
pan
hope someone else will jump in. We do all our cakes in decks.
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!

### I remember

Hello,
Well right when you said that tunnels were forming in your cakes it brought me back to culinary school where I remember my chef telling us that tunnels are caused by overmixing the batter...I'm a chocolatier but I do remember that from my chef...look into it and try to mix as minimal as possible....

Good Luck,
Robert
chocolateguild
I'm going to pay a little closer attention to the batter temp. Over mixing can cause tunnels, but I am certain that I am not over mixing. I am mixing at low speed throught the mixing process and I really am only mix as long as need to make sure that I end up with a very smooth even batter.

I am going take a little better care on my batter temps, then I may play around with the richness of the formula. That I have read can also cause problems.

One thing at a time though so this may take a bit before I figue it out.
Baker
undermixing can cause many problems also. Mixing till smooth is not always the solution. It sometimes takes more mixing to encapsulate ingredients to get a good crumb.
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Thanks for all your input. I solved my problem. With the yellow cake a 5% increase in short and 10% increase in sugar did the trick. It was a tad lean Did the same for the choc cake and increased the milk a little. The past 7 batchs have baked fine. The flavor and texture are good and the students like them better.

Than you for the advive
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