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Sponge cake emergency!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Anyone got any idea why the crust sometimes lifts off my sponge cakes? It makes if very difficult to ice. I always use the same recipe and can't seem to work out where the problem lies. Here's the recipe I usually use;

Weigh the whole eggs, add equivalent weight of soft margarine, caster sugar, self-raising flour and a little milk. I then cream the mixture in a kenwood mixer. Cook in an oven at about 180 degrees until a skewer comes out clean.

Thanks for reading!
KC

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post #2 of 7
My guess is that the top cooks too fast and the bottom is cooking slower. Is the pan too close to the top of the stove? Does the oven have uneven heat? When there is too much heat at the top in some cases i find that the top makes a crust too soon, which in a sponge cake is pretty tight, and the crust holds in the air that is produced as the bottom of the cake cooks and lets off gas and it makes a space between the cake and the crust. But i'm an amateur and that's just my reasoning on it, it may not correspond to the actual chemical/mechanical explanations.
Anyway, the question is, is the cake near the top of the stove, and does the stove have even heat.
And this may be a prejudice, but I get the feeling that fan ovens, whenever i've used them, seem to dry out the surface of whatever is being cooked. That may account for the crust getting dry and holding in the air, leaving a space.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Thanks for your suggestions. I will certainly look at the temperature I am baking my cakes at. When I am doing other baking I do tend to just put them in at whatever temperature the oven is at the time. It's usually around 180 or so in a fan oven so maybe that is too hot. I will be very happy to solve it as its a pain when the icing comes off and leaves the cake behind. I will let you know how it goes.
post #4 of 7
When you make a sponge cake that is whipped and whipped, what forms on the top is basically a thin, crackly layer of meringue. Since you have to whip the eggs in a spongecake, there's really no way of getting around it except for to slice off that layer. I do that, and I consider it my treat for having baked the cake in the first place! The bonus is that, once you slice off that thin layer, you can easily soak the cake w/a syrup. The meringue layer is almost waterproof, and your syrup will likely just sit on the top or run over the sides of the cake.
Jenni
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Pastry Methods and Techniques
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Jenni
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Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Thanks for that. Doesn't help the waistline much though! Do you think over-beating could be part of the cause? I am inclined to leave the mixer on and sometimes get carried away with what I am doing and forget how long its been going. I suppose if I was taking the logical approach then I would experiment with timings etc.
post #6 of 7
If the cake has chemical leaveners in it, you might want to ease off on the beating. If not, thorough whipping is the only way you'll get a good rise. I vote to just let her rip and then trim off the very top crust of the cake. Good luck with it!
Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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Jenni
Pastry Chef Online
Pastry Methods and Techniques
We're all home cooks when we're cooking at home.
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post #7 of 7
The top lifting problem should only really be an issue in flourless cakes or cakes that use a genoise-style or aseparated egg foam mixing method. A cake made with creamed ingredients shouldn't normally be doing that.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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