Author Topic: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.  (Read 860 times)

Kai

  • A flea circus and
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 86960
  • Richard Feynman fangirl.
    • View Profile
The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« on: April 22, 2012, 01:06:45 pm »
Wherein we ask questions about cooking experiments where things did not turn out right, and everyone else guesses what the problem might be.

-----

So, last night I was attempting to make a gluten-free sponge cake as a ladyfinger alternative in tiramisu. My best friend has either a gluten allergy or celiac, I can't remember which, and I was trying to make this for her birthday. I found a recipe that was as follows:

4 eggs

equal amount of sugar to eggs

same amount of gluten free flour to the rest (I used one half potato flour and one half almond flour)

1. I beat the eggs and sugar together till it was light

2. gently folded in the flour

3. and put in the oven for about an hour and a half at 300 F. Mind you, convection oven. Which was maybe the problem.

The "cake" is lighter than my first attempt, but it did not bake fully. It feels like all the liquid settled to the bottom. Not really sure if I can salvage it.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

The Right Reverend Nigel

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 604251
  • v=1/3πr2h
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 02:29:54 pm »
I experience that pretty much every time I bake with almond flour... it can be a really good thing, but not for fluffy light cakes. ECH probably has better advice because he's the gluten-free master, but maybe try again with rice flour instead of almond flour?
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
― Assata Shaku

Kai

  • A flea circus and
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 86960
  • Richard Feynman fangirl.
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 02:46:00 pm »
I experience that pretty much every time I bake with almond flour... it can be a really good thing, but not for fluffy light cakes. ECH probably has better advice because he's the gluten-free master, but maybe try again with rice flour instead of almond flour?

Okay, next time I'll use rice flour. :) For now, I'm just going to cut them up into ladyfinger-sized pieces and work with it. 
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

East Coast Hustle

  • Missile Command
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 45759
  • Omnimalevolent Polyfather of Exsanguination in Red
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 08:06:52 pm »
For gluten-free baking, tapioca flour is a godsend. I've never tried to make gluten-free lady fingers, but I think it would help you. It works a little differently than other gluten-free flours and takes a little more labor to prep, but it makes awesome rolls, baguettes, etc. For something like lady fingers I'd first get used to working with the tapioca flour and then start experimenting mixing it with some rice flour and/or coconut flour to lighten it up a little.
Rabid Colostomy Hole Jammer of the Coming Apocalypse™

The Devil is in the details; God is in the nuance.


Some yahoo yelled at me, saying 'GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH', and I thought, "I'm feeling generous today.  Why not BOTH?"

Kai

  • A flea circus and
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 86960
  • Richard Feynman fangirl.
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2012, 01:25:08 am »
For gluten-free baking, tapioca flour is a godsend. I've never tried to make gluten-free lady fingers, but I think it would help you. It works a little differently than other gluten-free flours and takes a little more labor to prep, but it makes awesome rolls, baguettes, etc. For something like lady fingers I'd first get used to working with the tapioca flour and then start experimenting mixing it with some rice flour and/or coconut flour to lighten it up a little.

Thanks ECH. I will definitely try tapioca powder next time, though I wonder how easy it will be to get ahold of it. My local grocer did not even have quinoa flour, which is what the recipe called for (instead of almond flour).
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

East Coast Hustle

  • Missile Command
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 45759
  • Omnimalevolent Polyfather of Exsanguination in Red
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2012, 10:54:03 pm »
If there is an even halfway-decent asian market near you they'll have tapioca starch.
Rabid Colostomy Hole Jammer of the Coming Apocalypse™

The Devil is in the details; God is in the nuance.


Some yahoo yelled at me, saying 'GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH', and I thought, "I'm feeling generous today.  Why not BOTH?"

Kai

  • A flea circus and
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 86960
  • Richard Feynman fangirl.
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 12:13:19 am »
If there is an even halfway-decent asian market near you they'll have tapioca starch.

I can probably get some at Woodman's then; means a trip to Appleton, but you can get practically anything at a Woodman's.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

Triple Zero

  • DO NOT ABUSE EXCEPT FOR URGENT FURNITURE MOVING EMERGENCIES
  • One-Armed Jizz Moppers
  • Deserved It
  • **
  • Posts: 80835
  • Horrible and Sexy Queen of Cheese
    • View Profile
    • Random BIP
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 12:50:23 am »
I have no experience with gluten-free flour, nor (much) with cake making. But from a process/chemistry point of view, if you feel the liquid has settled to the bottom, maybe it has. And what might help in that case, would be to bring the egg mixture up to temperature a bit before you fold it in the flour and put it in the oven. Wikipedia says egg coagulates starting at 144F, so keep it below that. Microwave at 30% power might work if you nuke 20s then stir then nuke 20s then stir, etc. Thermometer helps.

The idea being, that if the egg is warmer, it'll coagulate sooner as you put it in the oven, and therefore capture the liquid before it's got time to sink to the bottom.

THAT SAID, I am aware that baking cakes and cookies and such really is one of the higher sciences in cooking, and without much experience in those (I'm just not a big fan of sweets), maybe this is really stupid advice. On the other hand, afaik the proportions of ingredients are most important with these recipes, and I don't see why the process of heating and baking would not adhere to my laws of common sense ;-)

So I apologize if this advice ruins a batch of your ingredients.
Ex-Soviet Bloc Sexual Attack Swede of Tomorrow™
e-prime disclaimer: let it seem fairly unclear I understand the apparent subjectivity of the above statements. maybe.

INFORMATION SO POWERFUL, YOU ACTUALLY NEED LESS.

Kai

  • A flea circus and
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 86960
  • Richard Feynman fangirl.
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 09:27:21 pm »
I have no experience with gluten-free flour, nor (much) with cake making. But from a process/chemistry point of view, if you feel the liquid has settled to the bottom, maybe it has. And what might help in that case, would be to bring the egg mixture up to temperature a bit before you fold it in the flour and put it in the oven. Wikipedia says egg coagulates starting at 144F, so keep it below that. Microwave at 30% power might work if you nuke 20s then stir then nuke 20s then stir, etc. Thermometer helps.

The idea being, that if the egg is warmer, it'll coagulate sooner as you put it in the oven, and therefore capture the liquid before it's got time to sink to the bottom.

THAT SAID, I am aware that baking cakes and cookies and such really is one of the higher sciences in cooking, and without much experience in those (I'm just not a big fan of sweets), maybe this is really stupid advice. On the other hand, afaik the proportions of ingredients are most important with these recipes, and I don't see why the process of heating and baking would not adhere to my laws of common sense ;-)

So I apologize if this advice ruins a batch of your ingredients.

It might gather the liquid better, but the egg is also the leavening. If it coagulates early, the cake may be flat.

I tend to believe that the issue was the almond flour, which while probably quite good in biscuits, is not a good flour to use in light textured cakes.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

Her Royal Majesty's Chief of Insect Genitalia Dissection
Grand Visser of the Six Legged Class
Chanticleer of the Holometabola Clade Church, Diptera Parish

hirley0

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 33775
    • View Profile
    • TNM
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 11:18:30 am »
ido really wish U would use a SECOND OVen too.

Sir Squid Diddimus

  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 42581
    • View Profile
Re: The "What did I do wrong?" thread.
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 04:29:39 am »
BAKING SODA


you need some kind of leavening.