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Creating perfect cake cylinders


gfron1
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When I do individual cakes using my SS pastry forms, say my 3" rings, the cake always pulls away as it cools leaving a non-perfect cylinder. Its not the end of the world, but I really would prefer a perfect shape.

When I've made a large sheet and cut out my circles, I get a perfect cylinder, but the sides are rough instead of smooth which means the extra step of adding a frosting base to get the smoothness, but then I can't get as sharp of edges as I would like.

Is there something I can do to get a perfect cylinder, or is it simply a problem I will have to live with?

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if your cake is pulling away when it cools, it might be an error in method or baking time. i know that you're at a high altitude, but am sure that you've compensated for that before. don't overwhip whites if they're included in the recipe and don't overbake. also, watch quantities of chemical leaveners as that might cause over rising in the oven which will then shrink back when cooling.

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I personally find it far easier to "cheat" -- instead of trying to get the cake perfectly cylindrical I work on ways to make the frosting or coating cylindrical instead. I personally prefer a pourable frosting or mousse that sets up firm so it can be poured into a mold, sometimes used as a thin layer underneath a sheet of marzipan, etc.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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All good suggestions. Alana - I don't know that I've ever had a cake that didn't have some pull - am I complete failure :/ What you're describing is what I'm going for, but I think every cake I've made pulls in from the top (not so much from the bottom).

And the poured frosting/glaze is what I typically do to compensate, but that isn't "perfect" and so I have to do a buttercream base to get ultra smooth sides. And Annie, I do cut while either frozen or very chilled, but same - I get crumb roughness although it is much better than room temp. Maybe a sharper cutter.

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All good suggestions.  Alana - I don't know that I've ever had a cake that didn't have some pull - am I complete failure :/  What you're describing is what I'm going for, but I think every cake I've made pulls in from the top (not so much from the bottom). 

Maybe try baking 5 minutes or so less than you normally do. It sounds like it may be a simple issue of baking just a little longer than might be necessary. Or maybe oven placement?

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no rob, you're not a failure :smile: !! i just find that, especially in smaller molds, people tend to overbake. with the carry over cooking, they can still be a tiny bit moist on the inside and they'll dry out/finish baking once out of the oven without pulling away from the pan. if it is a sponge type cake, don't spray or coat the ring molds so that the sponge has something to hold onto as it is climbing up the sides of the form. to remove, use a sharp paring knife pushed against the metal (so as not to tear the cake) all the way around the ring and you should have nice clean edges.

ditto what devlin said above.

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Have you tried using a scrubbed out tin -- from baked beans or canned corn? When cooked, remove the solid end of the can with a can opener , let cool, and push.

My grandmother got perfectly cylindrical fruit and nut bread with this humble method. It might be adaptable.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Have you tried using a scrubbed out tin -- from baked beans or canned corn? When cooked, remove the solid end of the can with a can opener , let cool, and push.

My grandmother got perfectly cylindrical fruit and nut bread with this humble method. It might be adaptable.

fruit and nut bread tends to be higher fat and different mixing method. as sugarseattle pointed out above (and i implied in my post), the higher fat (creaming method, usually) cakes tend to be denser and hold their shape a bit better than sponge/genoise cakes which are more temperamental. that would be regardless of the container in which the cake is baked. though the method you describe sounds like a great way to use cans!

rob, you can also try using a chiffon type cake which is a bit more sturdy than the usual genoise but is also basic enough to be a building block for a lot of things.

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