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Chiffon Cake Problem -- help!


ChocoChris
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Hi,

I am so disappointed because a chiffon cake that I was making for Thanksgiving dinner fell out of the inverted pan after 7 minutes of cooling. I caught it and it broke into three big chunks. My husband put the pieces together in an attempt to convince me that it could be salvaged. My guess is that it did not bake long enough even though it seemed to be firm to the touch on top. Maybe still too moist in the middle. So two questions:

1) Does anyone have any advice on what may have happened?

2) Should I rebake it or salvage it...

a) if salvage it, could I "paste" it together with some glaze between the pieces

b) is there another way to hold it together that would be better?

Thanks for your advice. I'm feeling so discouraged right now and wondering what I did wrong. I need to make it tonight because tomorrow we will be traveling.

Chris

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Disclaimer: I am NOT much of a baker. However, I once had this problem when I used the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Seems they decreased the amount of flour from the standard recipe. Any chance your recipe was from them?

(And like you, I was doing a practice test-for my friend's 60th birthday party.)

Hi,

I am so disappointed because a chiffon cake that I was making for Thanksgiving dinner fell out of the inverted pan after 7 minutes of cooling.  I caught it and it broke into three big chunks.  My husband put the pieces together in an attempt to convince me that it could be salvaged.  My guess is that it did not bake long enough even though it seemed to be firm to the touch on top.  Maybe still too moist in the middle. So two questions:

1) Does anyone have any advice on what may have happened?

2) Should I rebake it or salvage it...

    a) if salvage it, could I "paste" it together with some glaze between the pieces   

    b) is there another way to hold it together that would be better?

Thanks for your advice.  I'm feeling so discouraged right now and wondering what I did wrong.  I need to make it tonight because tomorrow we will be traveling.

Chris

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My recipe actually came from Fine Cooking. I had made the cake in the past with no problem...

Disclaimer: I am NOT much of a baker. However, I once had this problem when I used the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. Seems they decreased the amount of flour from the standard recipe. Any chance your recipe was from them?

(And like you, I was doing a practice test-for my friend's 60th birthday party.)

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Since the cake is for a special occasion, I think it's worth taking the time to rebake.

To test for doneness it is usually necessary to poke a skewer or knife into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it should be done. Just touching the top is not as accurate for most cakes and may be misleading.

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This might sound too obvious............but you didn't grease your pan.... did you? It should have stuck to the sides of the pan. If it was underbaked it seems to me the sides still would have been stuck to the pan and you would have had a cake that sunk in upon release.........or the center areas of you cake would have fallen out in globs.

Besides not greasing your pan, I do NOT invert my chiffon cakes while they are cooling. I find it's not needed at all with this cake, it will not shrink or be less-then for not inverting. Unlike an angel food cake which is also baked in a ungreased pan then inverted while cooling- the chiffon cake is MUCH heavier! It's also far more solid and the microscopic air pockets thru out the cakes structure doesn't deflate from pressure exerted on it (like when you slice it). It has either or both baking soda and powder and that makes it more stable then an angel food cake.

So definately rebake this and make sure you don't spray your pan, then don't invert it as it cools. Also do not remove it from the pan until it's completely cooled to room temp..

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Besides not greasing your pan, I do NOT invert my chiffon cakes while they are cooling. I find it's not needed at all with this cake, it will not shrink or be less-then for not inverting. Unlike an angel food cake which is also baked in a ungreased pan then inverted while cooling- the chiffon cake is MUCH heavier! It's also far more solid and the microscopic air pockets thru out the cakes structure doesn't deflate from pressure exerted on it (like when you slice it). It has either or both baking soda and powder and that makes it more stable then an angel food cake.

Actually this depends on your recipe. I've seen some chiffon cakes that can be baked as layers and have enough structure not to have to be inverted, but others (such as those from the Cake Bible) are much more like an angel food cake and must be inverted to cool or they will deflate into a rubbery pancake. And yes, I do know this from embarrassing experience.

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This might sound too obvious............but you didn't grease your pan.... did you? It should have stuck to the sides of the pan. If it was underbaked it seems to me the sides still would have been stuck to the pan and you would have had a cake that sunk in upon release.........or the center areas of you cake would have fallen out in globs.

Besides not greasing your pan, I do NOT invert my chiffon cakes while they are cooling. I find it's not needed at all with this cake, it will not shrink or be less-then for not inverting. Unlike an angel food cake which is also baked in a ungreased pan then inverted while cooling- the chiffon cake is MUCH heavier! It's also far more solid and the microscopic air pockets thru out the cakes structure doesn't deflate from pressure exerted on it (like when you slice it). It has either or both baking soda and powder and that makes it more stable then an angel food cake.

I have

So definately rebake this and make sure you don't spray your pan, then don't invert it as it cools. Also do not remove it from the pan until it's completely cooled to room temp..

I just cann't help when i see this post. Just few weeks ago one of my staff grease the pan when doing chiffon cake because he has hard time unmolding them afterward :blink: .

i think it all depend on the recipe, I have seem some ppl didn't invert after baking and still retain the shape, but our recipe contain less flour so it will sink if not invert after baking.

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I never grease cake pans;I want the pans clean and dry. I want the cake to lift and hold on. I also never cool chiffon cakes upside down. I don't refer to the Cake Bible (or own it). It does nothing for me as a professional pastry chef- the methods are weird and confusing. I fit a circle of parchment on the bottom of a clean cake pan (and wipe the sides to make sure there is no grease). I get full volumne of my cakes that way.

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