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Spur of the moment sheet cake turns into ugly mess.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I decided to make my first chocolate sheet cake this morning. I'm a better cook than baker so when I managed to have nothing go awry by the time it went in the oven, I thought I was home free. But I was following those directions exactly and totally spaced that I had to compensate for using a 9x13 cake pan instead of a 15x10 jelly roll pan. So when that frosting went on top of seemingly ready cake, it fell straight through the middle. Horror! I whisked that cake/frosting disaster back in the oven and I left it there until I smelled crispiness. What I just took out of the oven looks terrible and I think it's straddling that border between over done and inedible. I'm willing to accept my failure and try again later today, nothing risked nothing gained and all, but I wanted to ask for some advice. What is the best way to adjust a recipe to compensate for using the incorrect sized pan? Should I be upping the temp and keeping the bake time or should I do the opposite? Buying more pans is going to be my permanent solution but I'm pregnant and if I don't get a good chocolate cake today I think someone is going to get cut.

post #2 of 5

Just call it a Brownie and eat it!  :D

 

Good story.  Save it for when your kids are older.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ruined cake, I name the Brownie! Hahaha! Good advice, thanks. :)

post #4 of 5

One of the things that is part of the directions is the size of the pan.  You can't ignore that, it's essential.  Once someone asked the recipe for a cake i made.  I wrote it out in all its detail, and he made fun of me that i also gave the exact measurement of the pan. I said it was important, but he scoffed.  Later he said the cake came out bad.  I asked abunch of questions, and then i asked, well, what pan did you use.  "Oh, well,  i didn't have the size you said, so i used another size."  "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE PAN! I WAS SERIOUS!" 

Anyway, the size does matter. 

You used a smaller but thicker pan, and that would need a longer cooking time.  In fact, a 15 X 10 is the same volume as a 13 X 9, but the latter is deeper and needs mjore time.  Never rely only on time anyway, no oven is perfect.  After the time recommended you should in any case check the cake.  If it moves when you touch it leave it much longer.  If you touch the top and it leaves a dent, it's not ready.  If it springs back, then take a toothpick and stick it in the middle.  If it comes out clean, or at least dry with at most a couple of crumbs on it, it's ready.  Take out and wait ten min.  Remove from pan.  COOL COMPLETELY before frosting. 

 

Anyway, for your chocolate cake need, most cake recipes are written for 13 X 9 anyway, so just use one of those, or use one for a layer cake - two 9 inch diameter pans = one 13x 9 pan

Here's one from the cake bible:

 

Preheat oven 350

prepare 13 x 9 pan: grease with butter, line with parchment paper and then grease paper, and flour it. 

 

ingredients

1/2 + 3 tbsp cocoa (dutch processed)

1 cup boiling water

3 large eggs

2 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 + 2 tbsp cake flour (leave out the 2 tbsp if you use all purpose)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter at room temperature - not cold, not melted.  (if you have a microwave with settings, put it in on very low, just for half a minute, mash with spoon, and put in again if not yet soft.  don't melt!

 

mix cocoa and boiling water till smooth. cool to room temp

combine eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture and the vanilla

in large mixing bowl of mixer, combine the rest of the ingredients, and mix to break up lumps and combine.

add SOFT butter and remaining cocoa mixture (the 3/4 you set aside) and mix on low till combined, then beat at medium speed for 1 1/2  minutes.  If by hand, beat vigorously for about 2 - 3 min.  1 1/2  min at high speed if using a hand-held mixer. 

Scrape bowl

add egg mixture in three parts, beating 20 seconds after each.  scrape into greased and floured pan (i put a piece of parchment paper over the butter and then butter and flour that. 

 

Bake at 350 for ABOUT 35 to 45 min, checking after 35 to see if it's ready. 

"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.'"
Reply
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post

One of the things that is part of the directions is the size of the pan.  You can't ignore that, it's essential.  Once someone asked the recipe for a cake i made.  I wrote it out in all its detail, and he made fun of me that i also gave the exact measurement of the pan. I said it was important, but he scoffed.  Later he said the cake came out bad.  I asked abunch of questions, and then i asked, well, what pan did you use.  "Oh, well,  i didn't have the size you said, so i used another size."  "WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT THE PAN! I WAS SERIOUS!" 

Anyway, the size does matter. 

You used a smaller but thicker pan, and that would need a longer cooking time.  In fact, a 15 X 10 is the same volume as a 13 X 9, but the latter is deeper and needs mjore time.  Never rely only on time anyway, no oven is perfect.  After the time recommended you should in any case check the cake.  If it moves when you touch it leave it much longer.  If you touch the top and it leaves a dent, it's not ready.  If it springs back, then take a toothpick and stick it in the middle.  If it comes out clean, or at least dry with at most a couple of crumbs on it, it's ready.  Take out and wait ten min.  Remove from pan.  COOL COMPLETELY before frosting. 



You nailed it.

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