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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:12 am   #1
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Default Baking, Sponge cake

Help, is it me, my oven or ingredients here?
I have been making celebration cakes for a long time, but I can not get a simple bloody victoria sandwich right here. Is it the flour? Any one else had problems, or even a recipe for a birthday cake sponge that works please.
Jane
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:14 am   #2
 
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by gop
Help, is it me, my oven or ingredients here?
I have been making celebration cakes for a long time, but I can not get a simple bloody victoria sandwich right here. Is it the flour? Any one else had problems, or even a recipe for a birthday cake sponge that works please.
Jane

its the flour its shite....my advice by some packet mix they work brill
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:18 am   #3
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by gop
Help, is it me, my oven or ingredients here?
I have been making celebration cakes for a long time, but I can not get a simple bloody victoria sandwich right here. Is it the flour? Any one else had problems, or even a recipe for a birthday cake sponge that works please.
Jane
Weird... I've found the flour to be slightly different in texture but no different baking cakes.

I use a Nigella Lawson recipe for vic sponge:

225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
200g self raising flour
25g cornflour (this adds extra lightness)
1tsp baking powder if mixing with a processor otherwise leave it out)
3-4 tblsp milk

What exactly is happening to the sponge? Middle sinking? Not rising enough? big bubbles? Hard top?

I've found that if I'm in a crappy mood I can make really bad Vic sponge - completely flat! Also, if the weather's too humid that can help sink a sponge, and then if your oven isn't working properly, it might contribute...

Describe what's happening ....
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:19 am   #4
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

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Originally Posted by biggy
its the flour its shite....my advice by some packet mix they work brill
But a packet mix IS flour... the SAME flour, plus fats!
You have to add eggs and milk, but there's no difference to what they use...
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:28 am   #5
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

Hi several things really, rises but never seems to cook, sinks flat in the middle, very greasy. I bought an oven thermometer which tells me the oven is out by about 30 deg , and because its a fan oven do I go by the thermometer or deduct the usual amount said for a fan. Personally I think the oven is crap. Used my usual recipes that I have been using for years.
But I also agree with the flour being different , just about to try some 00 I found. Jane
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:33 am   #6
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

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Originally Posted by gop
Hi several things really, rises but never seems to cook, sinks flat in the middle, very greasy. I bought an oven thermometer which tells me the oven is out by about 30 deg , and because its a fan oven do I go by the thermometer or deduct the usual amount said for a fan. Personally I think the oven is crap. Used my usual recipes that I have been using for years.
But I also agree with the flour being different , just about to try some 00 I found. Jane
This sounds like the oven to me too, I agree. Sounds like it's not getting up to temp, or there's a leak in the seal around the door?
Sounds also, if it's greasy, that maybe the ingredients are separating a bit?
I would cut the fats down a little - maybe by 25g...
Flour is different and the absorbability is different, so increase flour by 25g and see how that goes. I'm told they process the flour by taking EVERYTHING out of it here... There's usually more bits left in it in the UK. I tend to use way more flour when I'm making a rue than I would with UK flour.
But that dip in the middle sounds like the oven.. Up the temp a little, move the cake to one lower rack. Fan ovens 'say' they get the same heat all through but I've yet to meet one that actually does.
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:39 am   #7
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by gop
Help, is it me, my oven or ingredients here?
I have been making celebration cakes for a long time, but I can not get a simple bloody victoria sandwich right here. Is it the flour? Any one else had problems, or even a recipe for a birthday cake sponge that works please.
Jane
I weigh my eggs (in shell) and use the exact same weight of flour, sugar and butter.
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 8:41 am   #8
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

Quote:
Originally Posted by iPom
This sounds like the oven to me too, I agree. Sounds like it's not getting up to temp, or there's a leak in the seal around the door?
Sounds also, if it's greasy, that maybe the ingredients are separating a bit?
I would cut the fats down a little - maybe by 25g...
Flour is different and the absorbability is different, so increase flour by 25g and see how that goes. I'm told they process the flour by taking EVERYTHING out of it here... There's usually more bits left in it in the UK. I tend to use way more flour when I'm making a rue than I would with UK flour.
But that dip in the middle sounds like the oven.. Up the temp a little, move the cake to one lower rack. Fan ovens 'say' they get the same heat all through but I've yet to meet one that actually does.
Thanks I will certainly give that a try. Its my daughters birthday next week and I`m getting panicky! Although I must admit I am having lots of problems cooking here nothing tastes the same.
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 9:20 am   #9
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

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Originally Posted by gop
Thanks I will certainly give that a try. Its my daughters birthday next week and I`m getting panicky! Although I must admit I am having lots of problems cooking here nothing tastes the same.
Really? Everything I'm cooking seems ok...
I do think that eggs taste different though and that might be part of the issue. I solved this by finding some really good organic free range and they taste just the same as the free range organic I was using back in the UK.

It could be your taste buds...

PS - given that the flour doesn't absorb as much (imo) maybe a little less liquid too could be the answer. If the sponge is too heavy to rise, then this can leave it sunk in the middle.
You could also try adding a tsp of baking powder to your flour too, just to give it an extra boost...
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 9:33 am   #10
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

No I think my taste buds are just fine. Although we are now trying to buy food from smaller organic farmers and the like. All my lot are complaining that the veggies etc from Coles taste like nothing, and oh hates the meat from there.
Back to the cake it rises well but when it looks (and should be) cooked , you test it and its like a skin on the top that collapses, I`ve not come across a problem like this before, strange one, I still think its a mixture of the flour and the oven!
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 9:39 am   #11
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

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Originally Posted by gop
No I think my taste buds are just fine. Although we are now trying to buy food from smaller organic farmers and the like. All my lot are complaining that the veggies etc from Coles taste like nothing, and oh hates the meat from there.
Back to the cake it rises well but when it looks (and should be) cooked , you test it and its like a skin on the top that collapses, I`ve not come across a problem like this before, strange one, I still think its a mixture of the flour and the oven!
We're getting our veg from a fruit/veg market which is excellent quality. I hadn't noticed Coles stuff was off, but then I guess it depends on your local supplier at the end of the day. We're picking up a lot from a wholefoods co-op and an organic supplier. Did draw the line at organic pineapple at $29 per whole!!!

If the cake's liquid in the middle or just doughy, then I'd plump for the oven too... Could be the thermostat is off. Even if the flour's crap it should at least cook!

Good luck with it... maybe let us know what works?
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 9:45 am   #12
 
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

Hi I'm in the UK but have a fan oven and its crap! just cant get the temperatures right with anything I do.
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 9:59 am   #13
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

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Originally Posted by possoms
Hi I'm in the UK but have a fan oven and its crap! just cant get the temperatures right with anything I do.
I had an oven like that and then I discovered the thermostat was blown when we bought the thing, brand new too! Spent 4 years wondering why things weren't right.
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 10:04 am   #14
 
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

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Originally Posted by iPom
I had an oven like that and then I discovered the thermostat was blown when we bought the thing, brand new too! Spent 4 years wondering why things weren't right.
sounds about right, I inherited it when I moved in with my OH it had never been used in 10yrs!!
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Old Oct 3rd 2006, 10:05 am   #15
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Default Re: Baking, Sponge cake

Same here a whirlpool was replaced three times in the end decided it was just a crap oven. In rented house at the moment but in the garage is my neff which I will get oh to set up for me at the weekend. Ilove cooking and always cook when stressed, but it the cooking that is stressing me at the moment
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