I made the Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake twice in one day trying to get the perfect cake for my sons 13th birthday. Both times the cakes turned out very flat and dense. Measured all ingrediants using scales and cooked as per reciepe! Everyone else seems to have success with this cake - any ideas what I am doing wrong?!
Nigella's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake (from Feast and on the Nigella website) is a perenniel favourite and has been made by many people. Usually if cakes are not rising correctly the fist thing to look at is the leavening in the cake. This cake uses a combination of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to give a good lift. However these ingredients do have a limited shelf life and may have expired, meaning that the cakes will not rise properly. Check the packaging for use by dates and also bear in mind that they may degrade more quickly in a humid environment.
Also the cakes should be baked as soon as they have been mixed, otherwise the raising agents will act and then expire before the cake is baked. Make sure that you preheat the oven and prepare the baking tins before you start mixing the cake. Too much leavening can also make the cakes rise up and then sink back drastically, so use proper 5ml measuring spoons to measure the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.