Oily bottom of cake & cases?

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Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Lokelani » June 18th, 2011, 5:48 pm

Every time I make a sponge cake lately the bottom of the tin or cake cases are soaked in oil.

Having given up on the victoria sponge method as it always curdles, I now use the all in one sponge method from the Delia recipe, usually this quantity:

http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuis ... cream.html

Our house is so cold the butter is always solid however long I leave it out, so I now put it cubed in the metal kenwood bowl in the oven for a few mins & then use it warm. Sometimes about half of it is melted before the other chunks are soft enough. Could this be the problem & why the fat is separating out during cooking? I think it's why the traditional method curdles for me because even if I start with the butter & the bowl ever so slightly warm, it still cools & sets a bit as it whisks! Do I need to find a better way to just slightly soften it?

The cakes rise, look & taste fine but this time I made cup cakes & the oily cases were quite off-putting.
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby pinkmacaroon » June 18th, 2011, 6:46 pm

I would cook this at 180 (160 - 170 fan) her temps are too low IMO. I have used liquid butter and it has come out fine. I wouldn't worry too much if the mixture looks curdled - just little bits are OK.

Do you remove the cakes from their tins immediately? The condensation from the cooling cakes can make the bottoms look oily.

Where do you live - it sounds like the Arctic as your butter is so cold!
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby miss mouse » June 18th, 2011, 9:24 pm

pinkmacaroon wrote:
Where do you live - it sounds like the Arctic as your butter is so cold!


I would like to know the answer to this as well. :shock:
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby 4dogsagain » June 19th, 2011, 5:29 pm

Do you butter/oil the tin excessively? I always smear with aa little softened butter (using my fingers), then shake in a couple of tbsp flour, bang the tin down hard, and tip out the surplus flour. It gives a rather nice 'crust' that tips out of the pan easily.
Yes, where is this cold place that you live?
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Suelle » June 19th, 2011, 6:15 pm

I can't really suggest why this is happening, but if your cakes aren't very nice, then why not give up on butter altogether and make cakes with oil? I've made quite a few lately, as my son is controlling raised cholesterol by diet, and some have turned out quite well. Mayonnaise Brownies were another butterless success. Have a look at the posts tagged 'low saturated fat' on my blog; in many cases you will need to follow a link to a recipe:

http://mainlybaking.blogspot.com/search/label/low%20saturated%20fat

This chocolate sponge is very good, and the nearest thing to a Victoria Sandwich:

http://mainlybaking.blogspot.com/2011/01/chocolate-sponge.html
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Lokelani » June 20th, 2011, 10:30 am

I could try a hotter oven, see if that makes the difference. It never used to happen with my old oven, not sure I was using this recipe then though.

I usually take them from the tins after maybe a minute, it's definitely oil though, not condensation. I use a baking paper circle in the bottom of tins, or in this case individual paper cases & they're all definitely soaked with oil. At first I thought it was because I'd tried using alternatives to butter (like Lurpak spreadable) as it was softer & that maybe the oil content caused it, but it happened this time in the individual cases & last time in the tins when I used all butter.

I used to butter & flour tins before I bought these circles, now I just wipe the edges round with a butter paper or a kitchen tissue with a little oil on, so there's no visible residue at all. I didn't oil the paper cases at all of course.

I think I'd rather fix it than abandon butter altogether at this stage, particularly as they still taste fine & when it is a whole cake no one knows but me I guess! It's more of a problem with cupcakes though, unless I change the cases! Maybe I've not noticed before as I sometimes use the silicone ones. I think I'd probably miss the flavour of butter a lot. I've not loved any of the oil cakes I've tried. No harm in trying another though.

West Sussex, not the arctic! Just have a cold house, barely any heating in winter & efforts to shade & keep it cool in the summer. Both us humans & even more so our siberian husky like it cool. Baking however, doesn't!
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby 4dogsagain » June 20th, 2011, 11:16 am

I don't think that spreadable butter is suitable for cake making (unless specified). In fact, many recipes say do not use soft margarine or butter. You cannot beat good old block butter for cake making. Even if a cake specifies oil, which I absolutely hate in cakes, I use melted butter. You just cannot beat the flavour.
On cold days, if the butter is hard, I fill the mixing bowl with very hot water, and leave to heat through. I also add the beaters to the hot water. Then I dry them both, toss in the chopped-up butter, and find that it will cream quite easily after an initial battle with the lumps.
The oven: does it give the right temperature? It would be an idea to buy an oven thermometer, so that you can make sure. Oven temperature guages are rather like car speedometers - they do not always tell the truth!
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby ianinfrance » June 20th, 2011, 3:48 pm

I agree with 4dogsagain here. Use real butter, the spreadables either have water or oil emulsified in, which is what makes them spreadable. Neither of those additions are a good idea for a baking recipe where relative proportions tend to be important.
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby aero280 » June 20th, 2011, 4:34 pm

I used spreadable butter instead of real butter in some scones recently - not nice :(
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Riocaz » June 23rd, 2011, 7:11 pm

Actually Ian IIRC Anchor spreadable is merely whipped to make it spreadable.

(It's also grossly misleading as the reason I read the packet and discovered this was that on the one occasion I bought the stuff it was impossible to spread straight from the fridge).
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Suelle » June 23rd, 2011, 7:38 pm

Riocaz wrote:Actually Ian IIRC Anchor spreadable is merely whipped to make it spreadable.

(It's also grossly misleading as the reason I read the packet and discovered this was that on the one occasion I bought the stuff it was impossible to spread straight from the fridge).


I can't spread any of the so-called spreadable butters, whether they are whipped or have added oil, straight from my fridge. My son is on a cholesterol reducing diet, so we are eating Flora Buttery at the moment - it isn't really buttery, but it's not bad for a low fat spread!
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby pinkmacaroon » June 24th, 2011, 7:53 am

Sue, you will have to make him an olive oil cake or bran and apple muffins - I know he likes his cake! I would sooner eat that than those horrible spreads.
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Suelle » June 24th, 2011, 9:58 am

pinkmacaroon wrote:Sue, you will have to make him an olive oil cake or bran and apple muffins - I know he likes his cake! I would sooner eat that than those horrible spreads.


i've been cooking cakes with oil, or using other low saturated fat recipes for about 5 months now - there's a lot on my blog about what I've found succesful, and more importantly, tasty! :D
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Lokelani » July 5th, 2011, 5:10 pm

Yes I rather quickly gave up on the spreadable ones & went back to real butter. The problem was the same though.

The oven temperature is definitely what I'll try next. In spite of being on the third oven from De Dietrich, it's still way below temperature & always complete guesswork. I usually add about 20 degrees rather than deducting as you should for a fan oven! I'll try it hotter still.
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby 4dogsagain » July 5th, 2011, 5:40 pm

Buy an oven thermometer that hangs on the shelf - then you can be sure of the temp.
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Lokelani » July 6th, 2011, 7:48 am

There is one of those in there 4dogsagain, & I even have a digital probe one bought when I was first trying to test it. It's more the fact that it just constantly fluctuates that makes testing it impossible.

I've never known an oven like it, I loathe it & started a thread about testing temps when I first bought it years ago. If any of the good brands made a double pyrolytic oven I'd get rid of it!
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby aero280 » July 6th, 2011, 9:40 am

To reduce cholesterol, try oats. That's what the diet nurse told me. Porridge, oatmeal and flapjacks. That sort of thing.

But back on topic...

I suffer from oily bottoms too! But it only seems to be with non-stick pans and the silicone baking sheets. I'm thinking that it's normal but that it's only noticed on non-stick type stuff where the thin film of oil that would normally stay a thin film, turns into globules on the non-stick surface. Does this sound plausible?
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby suffolk » July 6th, 2011, 7:28 pm

aero280 wrote:................I suffer from oily bottoms too! But it only seems to be with non-stick pans and the silicone baking sheets. I'm thinking that it's normal but that it's only noticed on non-stick type stuff where the thin film of oil that would normally stay a thin film, turns into globules on the non-stick surface. Does this sound plausible?


That's my experience too, and I've assumed the same as you. :D
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Re: Oily bottom of cake & cases?

Postby Lokelani » July 8th, 2011, 5:47 pm

Glad it's not only me! I guess I have only noticed it since using the baking paper circles, so maybe it just makes it more noticeable. Although I've not seen anyone else's fairy cakes or cupcakes with oil soaked paper cases like mine were. Hmm. Still not sure.

I made brownies today so that was no help in diagnosing it, I need to make a proper cake again soon & try with the hotter oven temperature.

So glad it happens to others though! :lol:
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