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Carrot cake troubleshooting

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

 I recently make carrot cake twice, first attempt it was too soggy,  I did a mistake, I cover the top of the tray with the oven aluminium so there is no direct heat, so later on after trying the cake, heated oven to the correct temperature and bake 15 minutes and no longer soggy and cake rise despite I cut out some already for testing, so lesson learned, don't cover it from direct heat. Usually I put water in a container on oven floor, I didn't do it this time, so I stopped direct heat. Second time around I used another different recipe, it firmed nicely and i didn't stop the direct heat, it rise abit and deflate but no hole in the middle, when i ate it, it was quite dense and slightly wet, looks different from the recipe photo. Followed instructions to the last dot except i adjusted the sugar amount and  use unprocessed sugar and lessen the amount of sugar used, but there is still a tray of water at oven bottom. Not sure if it is because of the water tray at the oven bottom but it has not been a problem with my chocolate cake, the water at the oven bottom is to prevent cracking and the cake getting burnt on the top. I also use italian flour type 00. It works well for my chocolate cake but i heard european flour absorb less moisture than USA flour, could this be the reason why the cake is on the wet side? A lot of carrot cake recipe out there ask for so much oil , many ask for one cup ++ of oil and on top of that some ask for buttermilk and in proportion wise to dry liquid it looks like it has a lot of moisture in it but of course their end result the cake looks moist and fluffy and mine look dense, wet and not fluffy though it taste quite good. People always praise me for my chocolate cake i make, but somehow I am not sure what is lacking with my carrot cake, in this case, too dense and wet and not fluffy at all. The carrot cake taste quite good other than it being dense, slightly wet and not fluffy.What do you think went wrong with my baking?

post #2 of 11

@strawberrylover,

Without seeing the recipe it's hard to tell. One thing is not to put added moisture in the oven. The fresh carrots have a large amount of water that will steam out in the baking process. Most formulas for carrot cake start out with a quasi mayonnaise type of batter. Mixing the oil slowly into the egg mixture. The oil needs to be drizzled in slowly at best. hths post the recipe

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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply panini,

 

I was cooking this recipe the second time around.

 

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/best-carrot-cake-10000000257583/

 

and if i make carrot cake again, i might use this recipe as below.

 

 

http://threemanycooks.com/recipes/sweet-treats/my-perfect-carrot-cake/

 

Thanks for your input on the moisture, it wasn't a problem for my chocolate cake putting a tray of water at oven bottom. I read an article which says when the steam touch any surface it will evaporate, but nonetheless I may not add the tray of water at oven bottom and see if there is any difference if I decide not to put a tray of water at oven bottom if i do bake another carrot cake. I know cheesecake is important to have tray of water to prevent cracking and overburnt.

post #4 of 11

Moist, slightly dense, and not fluffy is a good description of a good carrot cake.  It will never be like a regular sponge cake texture.

 

Here in the US we only put water pan in oven for humidity when baking rustic crusty bread, and sometimes as a baine marie for cheesecake or custards... but not for cake.

 

If you want another recipe option try this (and watch the video too):  http://www.joyofbaking.com/CarrotCake.html

post #5 of 11

@strawberrylover,

I took a peek at the second recipe. Should be fine. Again, the importance of adding the oil to the egg mixture. Your are trying to create some volume here. Just mixing it will not do. It should start to gain volume and a lighter color as you are drizzling the oil. No moisture in the oven. You have to let the livener work, ie baking soda. It won't create bubbles inside the cake. Also most formulas for this type of cake are adjusted for the water content of the carrots so don't use old carrots. Mix it, put it in the oven, don't keep checking, every time you open the door you loose heat and it takes time for the oven to recover to temp.  and you will have a very nice cake. happy baking

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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks BrianShaw, on my second post which I posted two recipes, I say I may back the carrot cake recipe on the second link i posted, once I baked that recipe, maybe i will try out that recipe you posted which there will be a high chance i will bake the recipe you posted once i am done with the first, I will be baking the recipe you posted after that if i will still be baking carrot cake in the future after I bake the carrot cake recipe on the second link. Thanks for the recipe and you input. Your input was indeed very helpful to me. Thanks again.

post #7 of 11

@BrianShaw,

I agree with your post. I also took a look at the video. That recipe calls for beating the eggs and sugar then adding the oil. This is just me personally,:talk: I think that is bass ackwards. The mixture of eggs, sweet, oil has to achieve volume as a homogenous mixture. Which is why there is baking powerd in that formula. just sayin

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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

panini: I agree with your method, thanks for your input, only part i didn't agree was drizzling the oil, it will take ages, pouring the oil slowly is fine,but drizzling one cup ++ of oil will  take ages. I usually just dump in the oil. Anyway I will definitely add oil to the eggs and whisk it and make it airy and see the difference. I know just by beating eggs, it will change colour if it whisks long enough. I will add the oil and eggs and whisks it until it incorporates oil. WIll also not put water in container at oven bottom. I will also put the cake at the lowest oven level to prevent the cake from getting burnt. I know using fresh ingredients is important,  many times a good recipe can be ruined by substandard ingredients whereas a mediocre recipe can taste nice when the ingredients are fresh. I was surprised cakes shouldn't have water at oven bottom except custard based cake as my chocolate cake turned out well. But nonetheless panini, your input was definitely helpful and I appreciate it. By the way, fresh carrot is crispy and you can grate it whereas frozen carrot is soft and can't be grated. Is there any difference if you just blend up the frozen carrot, I know some of the carrot juice will drip off and just incorporate everything into the mixture or there will be a difference in texture as grated carrot, the juice didn't come out. I bought some frozen baby carrots and it is harvested at the peak at what the packages came, I can get fresh australian carrot at my country. I come from Malaysia by the way. The key to make good ice cream is to get very ripen fruits, not sure if applies to carrot cake. But since the baby carrots is frozen it can't be grated as it will be soft when defrosted, i know I can get australian baby carrot but the size is so small it is hard to grate.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post
 

@BrianShaw,

I agree with your post. I also took a look at the video. That recipe calls for beating the eggs and sugar then adding the oil. This is just me personally,:talk: I think that is bass ackwards. The mixture of eggs, sweet, oil has to achieve volume as a homogenous mixture. Which is why there is baking powerd in that formula. just sayin

Whether it is correct or bass ackwards... who knows.  It is the only way I've made carrot cake and I've rarely had a flop.

 

I think we are in agreement.  Bbut both "the second recipe" (which looked great to me) and the link I provided have the same "flaw - they assume a bit of process knowlege.  One thing I really wish all of these recipes would explicitly mention is what you are saying -- drizzle oil into the egg/sugar slowly while continuing to beat to ensure the mixture is fully emusified.

post #10 of 11

I am once again late to the party... just had to get my 2 cents in lol.

@strawberrylover whatever recipe you chose to make (and there are hundreds and more out there) follow the ingredient list and INSTRUCTIONS exactly.

If you don't or won't just pass it by and find one that fits your style if you expect good results.

 

mimi

post #11 of 11

This is what I do... #1...  Add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar. It will make the leavening (baking soda) react more and produce more bubbles which will raise the cake more. #2... Whip egg whites and yolks separately with some sugar and fold into batter. #3... When combining the dry ingredients Do Not over mix. #4... Try using a smaller tin to bake. #5 For every teaspoon of baking soda add an additional 1/4 teaspoon.  I have done this and my carrot cake rises very well. These extras should give you excellent results.... enjoy.

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