Why do cakes sometimes sink in the middle
Many of the faults that occur in cakemaking are a result of the ingredients in the recipe not being 'balanced' for the type, size and shape being made. This balancing of ingredient ratios is important to ensure the correct aeration and structure for the baked product. Whether the collapse occurs during baking or after baking is an important clue as to why the problem is occurring.
In the case of the sunken top the following ingredient effects are relevant:
• The sugar level may be too high. The late gelatinisation of the starch means that the transition from foam to sponge does not occur before the end of baking (see 10.30).
• The baking powder level may be too high.
You may need to rebalance your recipe to eliminate this problem.
There are other reasons why a cake might sink in the middle. If a cake is removed from the oven before it is thoroughly baked it will drop in its centre. The centre of a cake is the last portion to bake so that if the product is removed from its source of heat when it is still fluid the crust will be unsupported and the cake sinks.
If the cakes are knocked or moved about while they are baking and before they have become properly set there could be a premature release of gases which can cause the cakes to sink in the centre (Fig. 28).
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