I'm having trouble with my tres leches cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes (pp 211-213). The problem I keep having (9 attempts so far) is that it's not rising, at least not enough. Rather than rising to (or near to) the top of my 9" springform pan, it's rising maybe 1", 2" at best. Not enough. It's still a brick. Best I can tell is that while folding in the flour, my batter goes rapidly from light and airy to pancake batter. I tried 3 times as written, to no avail. I then tried cream of tartar (3/4 tsp), and no deal. I tried not using the non-stick w/flour spray, and it stuck to the pan, and no luck. I tried separating the whites and yokes, beating them separately, and no luck. Finally, I tried separating them, adding the flour (closer to 1 cup than the prescribed 2 cups), to the yokes, but it made mortar. And I couldn't even get the flour to fold.
I am a chemist by trade, so my cleanliness is impeccable, both with removing any grease or fat from my tools, as well as soap residue. I live in Norfolk, VA, so it's always muggy, but it hasn't rained or anything in a week or so. I don't open the door to the oven until it's done baking, and a wooden toothpick always comes out cleanly. The taste is fine, but the height, and therefore the absorbancy, are all wrong.
I'm at a loss. I've been changing one variable at a time, trying to get something to work, but the best I've done so far is when I separated the eggs, added 1/4 of the sugar to the whites, 3/4 to the yokes, folded them together after beating, then folding in about a cup of flour. That got me 3/4 up the side of the pan, my best results yet.
Any help is greatly appreciated.