I am a late starter in baking. I am trying to make yam cake, which we call "ube cake" here.

Some recipes suggest that after baking, immediately invert the pan over a wire rack. Why is it so? Doing so results in vertical parallel lines appearing across the face of the cake. How do I remedy that?

The recipe also calls for cake flour. I use a substitute of all-purpose flour + cornstarch. What will be the result if I will just use all-purpose flour?

I did two trials:

1st trial: I mixed the dry ingredients (substitute cake flour, baking soda, salt, sugar) and then poured the wet ingredients (unmixed - yam, oil, milk, egg yolk, color) over the flour mixture. Then I combined dry & wet ingredients but they were rather tough to mix, because it became thickened. The egg white was mixed separately with cream of tartar & a tbsp of sugar, and folded in. The baked result turned out okay though the surface was strangely brownish.

2nd trial: The sugar in the dry mixture was decreased from 4 tbsp to 3 tbsp). I increased the yam portion a little, (from 3-1/2 tbsp to 4 tbsp). Then I mixed (using egg beater) the yam along with the other wet ingredients (oil, milk, egg yolk, color). After that, I poured the flour mixture into the wet mixture in 2 batches, using an egg beater to mix the combined ingredients. I did not experience the dough-like consistency as I did in the first trial. The sugar in the egg white mixture was increased from 1 tbsp to 3 tbsp.

The second trial resulted in a two tiered appearance. The upper portion is fluffy, while the lower portion was dense. Why was it like that?

  • Was it due to mixing all the wet ingredients to included the mashed yam?
  • Was it due to increased portion of the yam from 3-1/2 tbsp to 4 tbsp?
  • Was it due to over mixture of the egg white?
  • Was it due to increase of the sugar in the egg white mixture?
  • Was it due to putting dry ingredients over wet ingredients?
  • Was it due to using 2 batches of the dry ingredients to pour into the wet ingredients?
  • Was it due to overall over mixing?
  • Should the yam not undergo beating anymore?

Also, how do I prevent the surface from being brown? The inside was purple though. I hope you will bear with my numerous questions.

  • 6
    You're asking about 20 questions here, you could and should split this up into at least 3. – ElendilTheTall Nov 30 '13 at 13:33
  • 1
    These are all good questions, but as has been pointed out to you, you really need to ask one at a time. Not only does it help future visitors, who will have an easier time searching for an issue that's relevant to them, but it also helps you, because most people are willing to answer a short and focused question but won't even make an attempt to answer one this long. – Aaronut Dec 1 '13 at 13:41

I'm just going to answer the inverting question. The rest should be moved out into another question.

When you bake a cake or anything that rises, it tends to form a dome. If you turn it upside down while it is warm, the weight of the cake itself will fix that dome at least somewhat. If you put it on a flat plate, water may condense there and the surface may stick to the plate, hence the wire rack.

Most people cover the wire indentations with icing or other toppings. Others cut the dome off with a breadknife and then present the side that was the bottom, which has not got the wire lines, as the top surface. Still others decide that a bit of a rounded top is not a problem and let it cool dome side up and then either ice it or not as they wish.

  • And some of us ice the cake upside down, so the dome is hidden and you have a nice clean corner at the top of the cake. – Joe Dec 1 '13 at 23:47

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