Flawed Cake Recipe
I have tried to make my dad a cake from one of his mother's recipes on several occasions now, but every time the cake comes out wrong. Usually, the cake (loaf) will be slightly overdone on the edges but gooey in the middle. It appears and tests done when I take it out, but after a couple of hours, the middle will fall, causing the gooeyness and a very hollow cake. The edible parts are pretty coarse and dry. I'm always very careful to follow the recipe and with monitoring the oven temperature (through the window, not by opening the door). So either I'm doing something completely wrong or there is something wrong with the recipe. Could someone take a look and give some advice? Recipe follows:
Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake
2/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
12 oz chocolate, ground
Mix oil and sugar together. Add eggs. Alternate addition of milk/vanilla with flour and baking powder. Mix until just smooth. Fold in nuts and chocolate. Bake at 350 for one hour.
I have made this both with a had mixer and by hand with a wisk (except for the folding, which I use a rubber spatula). This most recent time, I took it out of the oven after 53 minutes, because it tested done.
I'd really appreciate any insight that you can give me!
It's also possible that your measuring cups aren't measuring the same amounts that your grandmother's were--I don't know if these things have changed over the years or not, but it's a guess that her measuring implements could have been off a bit.
I've gotten pretty good at controlling the oven. I set it at 325 for a 350 oven and check it every 10 minutes or so. If the temperature climbs, I readjust the setting but don't do anything to bring it down (ie, opening the door), I just wait for it to adjust itself. I will try the eggs first method too.
And the "ground" chocolate might not actually the best term, but its the one on the recipe. The chocolate ends up being somewhere between the size of regular chocolate chips and mini chocolate chips. If they're too big, they tend to sink to the bottom; too small and its not really a chocolate chip cake.
Per the KAF article on quick breads you want a teaspoon per cup of flour, plus an extra 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour if you have "add-ins" (which are your sugar, oil, nuts, and chocolate chips).
So try adding another teaspoon of baking powder to the mix and see if that helps.