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Texture Of Gingerbread Cakes

Asked by Lazzy. Answered on 9th January 2017

Full question

I have tried Nigella's Black Beer Gingerbread, and Cider And 5-Spice Bundt Cake recipes 5 times now (have used the bundt cake mixture in a square cake pan to make squares). Every time they have turned out with a texture like rubber! I have followed the recipe exactly and have been careful not to over mix. I am not a novice baker. What on earth could be happening? Thank you.

Our answer

Nigella's Guinness (Black Beer) Gingerbread (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS) and Cider And 5-Spice Bundt Cake (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) are both similar styles of cake in that they mix the liquid or melted ingredients together first and then the dry ingredients are added. As the batters are quite liquid they will have a different texture to a creamed sponge cake and will have a fine, close crumb. However they should not be rubbery.

As the high level of liquid toughens the gluten in the flour it is important not to over mix the batter as this will toughen the gluten further and could lead to a chewy texture. It is fine to leave a couple of small lumps in the batter. It is also worth checking that the raising agent (the bicarbonate of soda/baking soda and baking powder) are measured carefully, in particular the bicarbonate of soda. Too much raising agent would cause the cake to rise up a lot then shrink back on cooling, giving a rubbery texture. If the surface of the cake is wrinkled or has bubbles, then this is a sign that there is too much raising agent. The raising agents should be measured using measuring spoons (based on a 5ml teaspoon) and should be level. Also make sure that the raising agents are distributed evenly by whisking them into the flour thoroughly, or sift the raising agents, spices and flour together before adding them to the cake batter.

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