Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Where's Alton Brown?


The Great Applesauce Cake Experiment got underway tonight with somewhat disappointing results. There seems to be something wrong with the recipe, but I'm not sure what, exactly. (No, that's not a photo of MY cake--just one I got off the internet that looks a bit similar.)

For one thing, it's not quite sweet enough. I don't know whether that's because of the applesauce I used or if the amount of sugar is off.

For another thing, it's not quite dense and moist enough. My mom's recipe says to bake for 45 minutes, but then she added "or 1 hr." At 45 minutes, it was still somewhat raw in the middle. Next time I'll test it at 50 minutes, because I baked this one for about an hour and although it was okay, I think it could have baked a little less. That may help with the moistness issue.

I wish Alton Brown was here. I bet he'd know exactly what needs to be done to "fix" it. Now that I've made it once, though, I've gone searching recipes on the internet and I've found two that are similar.

A comment to one of the recipes suggested wrapping the cake while hot in plastic wrap and then foil for moistness. Yep, I'm going to try it. That recipe also had twice as much sugar, although it also had more flour. The real difference between my recipe and the two similar ones I found is that mine doesn't have any eggs and the other two do. I have to wonder whether my mom forgot to write the egg down. Anyone know what adding an egg would do to a cake?

THIS one is nearly the same recipe, but it has an egg. It also has only one cup of applesauce and mine has two. There are a couple other minor details in the spices, but the main ingredients are much the same.

THIS one is also similar but with twice the sugar, two eggs, and more flour.

I wish I was more like Alton Brown and had a little better understanding of what each ingredient does to a cake. I guess I'll just have to keep experimenting unless any of you has an idea?

Hubby's taking the "failure" to work tomorrow. Those guys will eat anything! Seriously, though, it's not BAD; it's just not THE cake. I'll try again tomorrow night and hope for the best. Goodness knows I have enough ingredients to make about 15 of these babies. I just hope they turn out right eventually so people don't start running away when they see me coming, screaming, "Here she comes again with another one of those cakes!"

15 comments:

Gran said...

Gosh, I was looking forward to an award winning event. Sorry to hear that it was not THE cake. My brain is tired tonight otherwise I would try to figure the recipe out. Tomorrow.

Julie said...

Gee, Kim, I don't know for sure but I think eggs act as a levener and make thinks fluffier. That wouldn't solve the densness issue. Our family has an Apple Cake recipe not Applesauce. It turns out really moist & dense but is made with chopped apples sorta like the Apple Hill Cake you posted about awhile back. Maybe your cake needs some oil??? Like 1/4 cup or so and more sugar. Good luck.

Caryn said...

I have a cookbook (The cake bible) that I think has somewhat of a tutorial on what ingredients do for a recipe but I am on my way to work and unfortuantely I can't look at it till later - sorry! How about doing an internet search? I know back when fat free was really the craze applesauce was used to replace the fat in recipes so maybe the 2 cups were to replace the one egg? I feel your pain, I have the same issues with my grandma's irish soda bread recipe - there are definitely missing ingredients!

Eileen said...

Gee, Kim, if Roben was around she knows what everything does. I'll have to see if I can send her the link and if she is online this morning. I would think it should have some eggs.

Beth said...

I'm sure you'll figure it out and it will come out fantastic. It sounds yummy to me. I think most office places are like that, you can put ANYTHING out that is food and people will eat it.

Beth said...

I'm sure you'll figure it out and it will come out fantastic. It sounds yummy to me. I think most office places are like that, you can put ANYTHING out that is food and people will eat it.

Nancy said...

Yesterday I was watching our local educational channel cooking show and "they" were making a dense cake. She used one egg and one egg yolk. She said she didn't want to add the other white as it is mostly water and would negate the dense part....
Check out this link...
http://www.baking911.com/cakes/101ingredients.htm
It talks about all the ingredients in cakes....

PunkiePie said...

I *heart* Alton Brown but I'm not digging his new look AT ALL. He needs a haircut! Embrace going bald. It's a better look for him than the shaggy look he has now. But I digress, I'm sure you will figure the cake out. Sounds yummy!

Jen :)

Judy said...

Too funny! I send everything to my husbands office and they usually eat it in about 5 minutes!

Try them all!

Chocolate Cat said...

Sorry can't help, I am one of these people that need to follow the recipe exactly!!! My Grandmother used to make a chocolate sponge cake and when she died that is the only recipe I wanted and the only recipe noone in the family had. I keep trying to recreate it but its never the same - now I wonder if it is my memory playing up!!!

Candace said...

Hmmm, I would say the egg acts as a binder and it wouldn't hurt to add one and also increase the amount of flour and add a little baking powder? Also, you might try baking it in a pan that spreads the batter out a little more? At least you have enough applesauce to experiment! Good luck, Kim!
Cheers!

Idaho Quilter said...

Sent my recipe from Betty Crocker via email. I hope it helps. Merry Christmas

Amanda said...

I love to bake cakes, but I don't know much about what ingredients do what. I would think egg would add more liquid.

Hopefully, you'll figure it out. At least you won't run out of applesauce! :)

kimquiltz said...

LOVE the self portrait! I found your blog linked from http://reluctantquilter.blogspot.com/, I just had to click on "Kim's Big Quilting Adventure" since I'm a Kim and a quilter. Did you know that if you google "Kim, quilts, nude" you are the first in the list? Apparently I haven't tried hard enough...LOL

Penni said...

That would absolutely never happen to you (the running away thing I mean). I will call one of my "martha stewart" like baking friends and ask her for you. She might have an idea. She makes the best cake ever. Keep plugging away. I have the same problem with my cookie recipes this week. I think my Mom is getting to be Marie Barone. She left out ingredients too. I have to make about 6 double batches of cookies to get the recipe just right. My cookies eventually wound up decadent.