Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Dimply Plum Cake

Over the years, I've gotten pretty good at basic kitchen chemistry. Although I still can't remember whether fudgier brownies means more eggs or less, or anything that requires specific memorization, I'm getting pretty good at substitutions. I more or less know what effect new ingredients will have on a recipe, and I have a good sense of what will work and what will be a disaster. I can gauge batter texture and tell when it needs more liquid. This confidence can sometimes be overconfidence when I'm not paying attention, or when I have a persistent block against remembering the properties of an ingredient.

In this case, my nemesis is a truth that should be easy to remember after all my bread adventures: Whole wheat flour is more absorbent than white. It eats moisture, andwhen one substitutes it for 1/3 of the flour in a recipe, it's a good idea to add some more. This is what I did not do, and this is why my Dimply Plum Cake (actually made with peaches) was kind of terrible. About ten minutes into the baking, I realized what was going on, and poured a little milk over the top. This saved the top, but the bottom is still more biscuit-like than anything else, and the whole thing is kind of unappetizing. This is why I usually try to make a recipe as directed once before I muck around, but scarcity of ingredients made that tough last night. Maybe I'll make it again, but, to be honest, I got a sense of what it might be like and I think I'd prefer to put my fruit into the Yogurt Cake. Haven't made one of those in a while, actually. Hmm....

7 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Actually, did you try wrapping it up and waiting until the next day? Mine was very crumbly the day of, and softened up nicely after a day wrapped up in the fridge.

Catherine said...

i saw on America's Test Kitchen that melted butter instead of softened or creamed butter makes things fudgier.

PheMom said...

Hmmm... sorry it bombed on you. I try to remember to make things as is before mucking around too because of the same memory issues as well LOL!

Lori said...

oh, i just hate it when that happens to me. we didn't like this one so much, so i second your idea about putting your fruit and energy into a different cake.

HoneyB said...

Oh, I'm sorry it didn't turn out so well for you. I hate it when something isn't as good as I anticipate it and then nobody eats it. Yup, it happens here. Fortunately, my parents saved the day and took my cake home. Grumpy and my son weren't interested in it.

Christine said...

I am so sorry that this didn't turn out for you. Can't wait to see what you do next week!

Barbara said...

Aha! Maybe that was why mine was dry. Thanks for the tip!

As I was eating mine I thought "I might add some yogurt or sour cream next time." Maybe I'll check out that yogurt cake instead.