Printer Friendly

Chapter 22 Troubleshooting.


After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

* Correct common mishaps or prevent them from happening the next time.

* Use common sense when baking, making sure to understand the methods, tools, and equipment needed.

Alas, bakers and pastry chefs are only human and sometimes those wonderful sweet pastries, breads, and desserts do not come out as anticipated. Most often there is a reason why mishaps occur and why the baked good can be "saved"--or not. Lessons should always be learned from mistakes that are made.

If the recipe describes how a particular batter or dough should feel or how a method of mixing should look, use your sense of touch and sight to verify these descriptions. If your recipe does not come close to how the ingredients should behave, maybe something went wrong.

Many times a correction can take place if the chef is aware of what each step should look like. The earlier an error is detected, the fewer ingredients will be wasted. If a correction cannot be made, throwing out a minimum of ingredients is better than having to dispose of the entire finished product.

The lesson to be learned from this chapter is this: Pay attention to mistakes, mishaps, and maloccurrences. They do happen. They can teach us a great deal of information that can be applied the next time the recipe is made.

Many of the "great" pastry chefs of the world have become "great" because they learned from their mistakes.

This chapter is titled "Troubleshooting." The term troubleshooting refers to locating and repairing a breakdown found in any type of work. In this case, the various mistakes that can occur in a bake shop and how to rectify them are discussed. There may be more than one reason why a poor outcome has occurred. It is the baker's job to review preparation techniques to determine which ones to correct.

What Can Go Wrong?

There are so many variables in baking; sometimes it is a daunting task to figure out what went wrong. The following is a general list to help you to determine where a mishap could have occurred:

* Directions were misread, misinterpreted, or not followed properly.

* Measuring of ingredients was inaccurate.

* The designated mixing method was not followed, for example, undermixed or overmixed.

* Inappropriate ingredients were substituted for the original.

* Flavorings were too little or too much.

* The wrong size pans were used.

* The pans were not prepped properly.

* The oven was not working properly.

* The baked good did not come out of the pan.

Directions Were Misread, Misinterpreted, or Not Followed Properly

The most common mistake bakers make is the simplest one to correct. Problems can arise if recipe directions are not read properly, not understood by the reader, and then not followed properly. Read the directions thoroughly at least twice to make sure it is clear what ingredients, tools, and equipment are needed

Measuring of Ingredients Was Inaccurate

There are no shortcuts to measuring. Proper measuring is crucial to the success of a recipe. Choose to measure by weight or volume. If measuring by volume, knowing how to properly measure liquids versus solids is critical to achieving a successful outcome.

The Designated Mixing Method Was Not Followed

There are different methods of mixing for different types of baked goods. If the proper mixing methods are not followed, the final product will be altered in texture, volume, and taste.

Inappropriate Ingredients Were Substituted for the Original

Substituting one ingredient for another may not work unless the substitutions are very close. For example, if you ran out of sour cream for a cake but plain yogurt was available, it would make a good substitution. However, substituting pastry flour for bread flour in a recipe would not yield the same result.

Flavorings Were Too Little or Too Much

Everyone has different tastes, and spices and flavorings may need to be adjusted. A recipe may call for 1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt, but the final product may taste bland to you. Punching up the flavor by adding more vanilla extract or salt would increase the flavor of the final product. This sounds so simple, but the correct flavoring is most important. Yeast breads can be bland if they are underfermented or too little salt is added.

The Wrong Size Pans Were Used

Many times the wrong size pans are used. Baking a cake batter in an 8-inch (20-cm) pan when the recipe calls for a 10-inch (25-cm) pan will result in the batter rising up and overflowing in the oven. Or, in the reverse, pouring batter into too big a pan may result in a thin, dense cake with little moistness.

The Pans Were Not Prepped Properly

No matter how hard you try, a cake will not come out of a pan that was not prepped properly, whether by greasing or by greasing, parchment papering, greasing again, and flouring. Sometimes it is important to know when greasing a pan is not appropriate. If a recipe states that a cake pan should not be greased and it was, the cake may have poor volume because the batter could not climb up the sides of the pan.

The Oven Was Not Working Properly

This is a common problem. Many ovens vary in temperature because they need to be recalibrated. Place an oven thermometer on the middle rack toward the middle of the oven to determine whether the temperature that the oven is set for is in fact the true temperature. This is a smart investment because many baked goods can be overbaked or underbaked if an oven's temperature is incorrect, which can affect the product's texture and volume.

The Baked Good Did Not Come Out of the Pan

Nothing is more frustrating than spending time baking a wonderful product and then it does not release from the pan. Remove cakes while they are still barely warm but not cold. Wait a few minutes before removing dropped and rolled cookies from the pan to allow them to firm up. It is important to follow each specific recipe's directions on how to remove the baked good.

The remaining portion of this chapter is devoted to listing--in chapter order--the many common problems that could occur while baking and the reasons for each. When appropriate, solutions are given. Sometimes there may be several explanations why a mishap has occurred. The baker should be able to determine exactly what went wrong and how to correct it.

WHAT IF ...?      REASON                     SOLUTION

Custard comes     Eggs were not tempered     * Add hot milk or cream
out lumpy and     properly.                    in a slow stream to
curdled.                                       eggs while whisking

                  Custard was not            * Strain the custard to
                  strained into a bowl         remove the lumps.
                  over an ice water bath
                  and carryover cooking
                  caused eggs to curdle.

                  Custard was overcooked     * If there is only a
                  and the temperature          slight amount of
                  went over 185[degrees]F      curdling, process the
                  (85[degrees]C), causing      custard in a blender,
                  the egg proteins to          then strain the
                  lump together and            custard to remove
                  curdle.                      lumps.

A pastry cream    The alpha-amylase, an      * Be sure the custard
thickens          enzyme in the egg            comes to a boil to
nicely, but       yolks, dissolved the         destroy alpha-amylase.
when left         starch so the custard
overnight in a    thinned out.
it thins out.

A skin forms      Casein, a protein in       * Place plastic wrap
on a custard      milk, dries out when         directly onto the sur-
left in the       exposed to air.              face of the custard or
refrigerator.                                  cover it with some
                                               melted butter, while
                                               still hot, to prevent
                                               any exposure to air.

After stirring    The custard was over-      * Blend in flavorings
in flavorings,    stirred, causing the         gently, never
the custard       starch granules to           vigorously, while the
thins out.        break down.                  custard is still warm.
                                               Once it has set, try
                                               not to overstir it.

                  Too much sugar or          * Be sure to add citrus
                  acidic ingredients were      juices after the full
                  used, causing the            thickening power of
                  starch to break down         the starch has
                  and release liquid,          occurred.
                  thinning the sauce.

After             This is a common           * Keep the yolks and
combining egg     occurrence when eggs,        granulated sugar
yolks and         especially yolks, and        separate until ready
sugar             granulated sugar are         to begin the recipe,
together,         placed together in a         then continuously
small, hard,      bowl and allowed to          whisk them together
yellow clumps     stand unmixed for            before tempering them
develop.          several minutes. The         with hot milk.
                  yellow clumps are
                  actually proteins in
                  the egg that have dried
                  out and joined
                  together. The sugar's
                  hygroscopic properties
                  draw water from within
                  the egg toward the
                  sugar, leaving the egg
                  yolk dry, appearing
                  curdled and "cooked."

Yeast Breads

WHAT IF ...?                 REASON

Bread does not rise well.    * Yeast was not alive.

                             * Salt was added directly to the yeast.

                             * Flour had too little protein, causing
                             little gluten to develop. The less gluten
                             developed, the less carbon dioxide
                             can be trapped within the dough.

                             * Dough was overmixed or undermixed.

                             * Oven temperature was too high and formed
                             a crust before the bread had time to rise.

Bread splits open.           * Dough was overmixed and gluten was

                             * Dough was not fermented or proofed long

                             * After shaping, seam was placed on top.

                             * Dough was not formed well during makeup.

                             * No cuts were made in the dough to allow
                             the dough to expand.

                             * Not enough steam formed to keep the top
                             crust moist, allowing it to expand.

                             * Oven temperature was too high and
                             expanding gases split the bread.

Bread is too dense with      * Not enough liquid was used.
small holes.
                             * Too much flour was used.

                             * Not enough yeast was used.

                             * Too much salt was used, which slowed

                             * Dough was not fermented or proofed long

Bread is too coarse with     * Too much liquid was used.
large holes.
                             * Too much yeast was used.

                             * Dough was not properly mixed.

                             * Dough was proofed for too long.

Bread breaks apart and       * Flour used had too little protein.
                             * Not enough salt was used to strengthen
                             the gluten.

                             * Dough was overproofed.

Pies and Tarts

WHAT IF ...?                 REASON

Crust is too tough.          * Flour had too much protein.

                             * Too little fat was used.

                               * More fat prevents gluten from forming
                               and creating a tough crust.

                             * Too much liquid was used, which
                             developed gluten.

                             * Dough was overmixed.

Crust falls apart easily.    * Dough was dry and crumbly because not
                             enough liquid was used.

                             * Too much fat was used, causing little
                             gluten to form, making the dough too

                             * Too little fat was used, which prevented
                             the dough from holding together.

                             * Fat was cut in too completely,
                             preventing any gluten from forming and
                             creating too much tenderness and
                             little structure.

                             * Flour had too little protein so dough
                             had little structure to hold together.

                             * Dough was not mixed properly.

Crust is undercooked on      * Filling had too much liquid.
                             * Filling was hot when placed in pie

                             * Used wrong dough. Mealy dough for bottom
                             crust prevents sogginess.

                             * Crust was underbaked.

                             * Oven temperature was too low.

                             * Crust was not baked on lowest rack in
                             oven or directly on the bottom, which
                             would place the crust closest to the heat.

Crust shrinks down from      * Too little fat was used.
                               * More fat prevents gluten from being
                               developed and decreases the likelihood
                               that the crust will shrink.

                             * Flour had too much protein.

                             * Dough had too much water, which
                             developed too much gluten.

                             * Dough was overhandled and too much
                             gluten formed.

                             * Dough was not rested long enough and
                             gluten did not relax.

                             * Dough was stretched to fit into the pan
                             and sprang back during baking.

                             * Pie weights, such as raw beans, were
                             not used.

                             * Dough was not docked or stippled before

                             * Rolled-out pie shell was not chilled
                             before baking.

Crust is not flaky           * Too little fat was used.
                             * Incorrect fat was used, which melted too
                             quickly in oven.

                             * Fat needed to be colder or frozen for a
                             short time to keep it from melting too

                             * Dough was overhandled or overheated, and
                             the fat melted into the dough.

                             * Dough was overmixed and fat was blended
                             in too well, resulting in a tender crust.

                               * Increase the amount of solid vegetable
                               shortening because it has a higher
                               melting point and decrease
                               the amount of butter.

Dough is too elastic to      Too much gluten formed from one of the
roll out.                    following:

                             * Flour had too much protein.

                             * Too much liquid was used, which
                             developed gluten.

                             * Dough was not rested.

                               * Add a small amount of an acid (e.g.,
                               citrus juice or vinegar) to
                               decrease or break up gluten formation.

                               * Refrigerate the dough for a short time
                               to relax gluten.

Quick Breads

WHAT IF ...?                 REASON

Quick bread is tough.        * Dough or batter was overmixed, causing
                             too much gluten to form.

                             * Flour used had too much protein.

                             * Bread spent too long in the oven and was

Tunnels or knobby shapes     * Batter was overmixed, causing too much
appear in and on top of      gluten to form. In the oven, trapped
quick bread.                 gases are unable to escape through the
                             thick network of gluten in the dough and
                             explode in the batter while baking,
                             forming large holes and tunnels.

                             * Chemical leaveners were not evenly
                             distributed in batter, causing pockets of
                             gases to form and creating holes.

                               * Use flours with low protein.

                               * Thoroughly blend dry ingredients with
                               chemical leavening agents before
                               adding wet ingredients.

Batter does not rise         * Not enough leavening was used or chemical
well.                        leaveners were old.

                             * If creaming method was used, fat and
                             sugar were creamed improperly.

                             * Oven temperature was too low.

Muffin is not cake-like.     * Not enough air was beaten into the fat
                             and sugar.

                               * Creaming method should be used instead
                               of the muffin method.

Muffins do not rise          * Paper liners were used.
above the edges of the
muffin pan.                  Solution:
                               * Grease muffin pans and omit liners for
                               higher muffins.


WHAT IF ...?                 REASON

Cake does not rise well.     * Not enough leavening was used or
                             chemicals leaveners were old.

                             * The oven was not hot enough, causing
                             the cake to fall.

                             * The oven was too hot and set the cake
                             before it had a chance to rise.

                             * The fat and sugar were not creamed for
                             long enough.

Cake overflows in oven.      Cake pan was overfilled or too small.

                               * Fill pans no more than one half to two
                               thirds full.

Cake is too dark.            * Oven temperature was too hot.

                             * Too much baking soda was used. Because
                             acidic batter does not brown easily,
                             too much baking soda neutralizes the
                             batter's acidity, causing it to brown
                             more intensely.

                             * Too much sugar in the batter caramelized
                             and burnt.

                             * Cake was overbaked.

WHAT IF ...?                 REASON

Cake falls apart and is      Too little gluten was formed because:
crumbly.                     * A flour with too little protein was
                             used, there was too much fat or sugar,
                             or there was too little liquid.

                             * Batter was improperly mixed.

                             * Cake was removed from the pan while
                             still too warm.

Cake is tough.               * Too much gluten was formed because a
                             flour with too much protein was used,
                             too little sugar or fat was used, or
                             batter was overmixed or improperly mixed.

                             * Too much egg protein.

Cake is heavy and dense.     * There was not enough leavening.

                             * Oven was not hot enough.

                             * Batter was improperly mixed.

                             * Too much sugar or fat was used.

Cake has large holes or      * Batter was overmixed, forming too much
tunnels throughout.          gluten because trapped gases are unable
                             to escape and consequently explode in the
                             batter during baking.

                             * Chemical leaveners were not evenly
                             distributed in batter, causing pockets
                             of gases to form and creating holes
                             in the cake.

                             * Oven temperature was too high.

Cake does not come out       * Pans were improperly prepared before
of pan.                      baking.

                             * Cake was not removed while still warm.

Egg-foam cake collapses.     * Excess air was incorporated into the egg

                             * Too little air was incorporated into the
                             egg foam.


WHAT IF ...?            REASON                    SOLUTION

Fudge frosting sets     * Not enough corn syrup   * Place the fudge
up too fast before      or cream of tartar        over a double
it is spread            was used to prevent       boiler or in a bowl
on the cake.            crystallization.          set over a hot
                                                  water bath and
                                                  allow it to melt
                                                  down. Cool it down
                                                  until it is of a
                        * Frosting was            consistency.
                        overbeaten and sugar
                        crystals solidified
                        suddenly, causing the
                        fudge to stiffen.

                        * The fudge was cooled
                        too rapidly and beaten
                        while still too warm.

For buttercreams using hot sugar syrups
There are lumps in      * The sugar syrup         * Do not stir the
the buttercream.        formed lumps or           sugar syrup while
                        crystals on the sides     it is cooking. Wash
                        of the pan during         down any sugar
                        cooking, which were       crystals that
                        poured into the           appear on the sides
                        eggs during beating.      of the pan with a
                                                  pastry brush dipped
                                                  in water.

                        * The sugar syrup was     * Pour the sugar
                        stirred, precipitating    syrup down the
                        crystals out of           sides of the bowl,
                        solution.                 not directly onto
                                                  the whip.
                        * The sugar syrup was
                        poured directly onto
                        the whip while beating
                        it into the yolks.

Buttercream looks       * Butter was too cold.    * Be sure butter is
broken and curdled.                               softened by leaving
                                                  it at room tempera-
                                                  ture or microwaving
                                                  it on low power
                                                  until softened but
                                                  not melted.

                                                  * To save a broken
                                                  butter-cream, beat
                                                  in a small amount
                                                  of melted butter
                                                  until it comes

Buttercream seems       * Butter melted because   * Beat sugar syrup
to melt and not         it was added before       and egg mixture
thicken up.             the beaten sugar and      until the bottom
                        egg mixture was cool      of the bowl feels
                        enough.                   cool to the touch
                                                  before adding
                                                  the butter.

                                                  * Whisk thin
                                                  buttercream over an
                                                  ice water bath to
                                                  firm up, and then
                                                  beat it to smooth
                                                  it out.

Buttercream is          * Buttercream was         * Do not overbeat
grainy.                 overbeaten.               buttercream.
After freezing,
buttercream is too      * Buttercream was not     * Defrost butter-
stiff to spread.        softened first.           cream in the
                                                  refrigerator and
                                                  when ready to use
                                                  leave it at room
                                                  temperature until

                                                  * Place stiff
                                                  buttercream in a
                                                  bowl and set over a
                                                  hot water bath.
                                                  Stir briskly until
                                                  it smooths out
                                                  and softens a bit.


There are so many variations of cookie recipes that certain
characteristics may be desirable for some and viewed as mistakes
by others.

WHAT IF ...?             REASON                     SOLUTION

Cookies are too pale.    * They were underbaked.    * Add some baking
                                                    soda to neutralize
                         * Oven temperature was     any acidity.
                         not high enough.
                                                    * Corn syrup
                         * Batter or dough was      browns at a lower
                         too acidic; and acidic     temperature than
                         batters do not brown       granulated sugar,
                         well.                      so substitute 1 to
                                                    2 tablespoons (1/2
                                                    to 1 ounce; 15 to
                         * More sugar was needed,   30 g) corn syrup
                         which contributes to       in place of some
                         browning.                  of the granulated
                                                    sugar to increase

Cookies are too dark.    * They were overbaked.

                         * Oven temperature was
                         too high.

                         * Too much sugar was

                         * Too much baking soda     * Because acidic
                         was used.                  doughs do not
                                                    brown as easily,
                                                    decrease baking
                                                    soda and increase
                                                    acidity level.

                         * Sheet pan was too        * Place cookie
                         close to the heat.         dough on two sheet
                                                    pans put together
                                                    or place sheet
                                                    pans on a higher
                                                    rack in the oven.

Cookies are too hard.    * Dough was overmixed,
                         forming gluten.

                         * Not enough liquid
                         was used.

                         * Flour had too much
                         protein, so too much
                         gluten formed.

                         * Not enough fat was

                         * Cookies were

                         * Oven temperature was
                         too hot.

Cookies are too          Too little gluten was formed because:
crumbly.                 * Flour had too little     * Use a flour with
                         protein.                   a higher protein

                                                    * Add some water
                                                    to the batter to
                                                    encourage gluten
                                                    to form, making a
                                                    cookie that holds
                                                    together with a
                                                    better structure.

                         * Too much fat was used.   * Decrease the
                                                    fat, sugar,
                                                    or both.
                         * Too much sugar was
                         used.                      * Add more egg
                                                    protein to hold
                         * Not enough eggs were     the batter
                         used.                      together.

Cookies are too          * A reduced-fat or         * Use a flour with
puffy.                   shortening was used        a higher protein
                         causing water in dough     content, which
                         to form steam and puff     will bind with
                                                    water in the
                         * Flour had too little     dough, forming
                         protein, leaving water     less steam and
                         in the dough to form       puffiness.
                         steam and puff.

Cookies spread out       * Oven temperature was     * Use a flour with
and flatten.             too low and dough          a higher protein
                         had more time to spread    content.
                         before it set.
                                                    * Replace some of
                         * Too much sugar was       the butter or oil
                         used.                      with shortening.

                         * Too much baking soda     * Use less baking
                         which caused gluten        soda.
                         to weaken.
                                                    * Dough or batter
                         * Too little flour was     was too warm.
                                                    * Bake at a higher
                         * A fat such as butter     temperature so
                         that melts at a lower      cookies will set
                         temperature was            faster
                                                    * Chill dough
                         * A liquid fat such as     before baking.
                         oil was used.
                                                    * Sheet pans were

                                                    * Use ungreased or
                                                    sheet pans.

Cookies do not spread    * Fat had too high a       * Use a different
out enough.              melting point.             fat with a lower
                                                    melting point such
                                                    as butter or oil.

                         * Dough was too thick.     * Use less flour.

                         * Not enough sugar         * Use a lower
                         was used.                  protein flour.

                         * Sheet pans were not      * Add more liquids
                         greased.                   such as water,
                                                    milk, or cream.

                                                    * Use more baking

                                                    * Use more sugar
                                                    to increase

                                                    * Used greased
                                                    pans to make
                                                    dough spread out.

Working with Sugar

WHAT IF ...?             REASON                     SOLUTION

During the prepara-      The mixture crystallized   * Wash down the
tion of caramel,         suddenly for the           sides of the pan
the sugar syrup          following reasons:         with a pastry
suddenly solidifies.                                brush dipped in
                         * Undissolved sugar        water, and never
                         crystals left on the       place a spoon that
                         sides of the pan caused    has been in the
                         a chain reaction to        mixture back in
                         occur suddenly causing     the pan without
                         the syrup to solidify.     washing it first.

                         * The pan was shaken and   * Adding a small
                         a chain reaction of        amount of an acid
                         crystallization occurred.  (e.g., citrus
                                                    juice, vinegar, or
                                                    cream of tartar)
                                                    in the beginning
                                                    helps prevent

                         * A spoon was dipped in    * Using a small
                         the syrup, removed,        amount of corn
                         and then placed back       syrup helps
                         in the syrup, unwashed.    prevent

The sugar syrup          * The pan used was too
boils over.              small, not allowing
                         enough room for the
                         mixture to boil and
                         bubble up.

The sugar syrup never    * The sugar syrup did      * Use a candy
hardened when it         not reach the correct      thermometer
cooled.                  temperature.               clamped to the
                                                    side of the pan to
                                                    determine the
                                                    temperature of
                                                    the syrup.

Frozen Desserts

WHAT IF ...?             REASON

Ice cream is grainy      * Too little sugar was used in the base.
or icy.
                         * Sugar in the base was not dissolved.

                         * Base was not chilled thoroughly.

                         * Base froze either too slowly or too quickly,
                         creating large ice crystals.

                         * After processing, while ice cream was stored
                         in the freezer, the temperature fluctuated,
                         causing large ice crystals to form.

Base never freezes or    * Base was not chilled thoroughly.
takes a long time
to process.              * Too little salt was used for the brine, or
                         the ice cream machine was not cold enough
                         or not working properly.

Frozen dessert is too    * Too much sugar or alcohol was used in the
slushy  and soft.        base,  preventing the liquid ingredients
                         from freezing to a more solid state.

                         For ice cream:
                           * Custard was undercooked and did
                           not thicken properly.

                           * Base was not processed long

                           * Base was not cold enough during

Frozen dessert lacks     * The base needed to be more boldly
flavor.                  flavored because cold temperatures
                         dull flavors.


WHAT IF ...?             REASON                     SOLUTION

While melting            * A drop or two of         * Gently whisk in
chocolate over a         moisture caused the        a small amount of
double boiler, the       chocolate to clump.        fat, such as
chocolate seizes.                                   vegetable
                                                    shortening or oil,
                                                    to smooth it out.

                                                    * Add some water or
                                                    other liquid to
                                                    help smooth out the
                                                    chocolate. This
                                                    should be done only
                                                    if thinning out the
                                                    chocolate will not
                                                    disrupt the
                                                    recipe's balance.
                                                    A few drops of
                                                    water or moisture
                                                    can cause seizing,
                                                    whereas a greater
                                                    amount of water
                                                    will not. Use at
                                                    least 1 tablespoon
                                                    (15 mL) of liquid
                                                    for every 2 ounces
                                                    (60 g) of

While folding cold       * Adding a cold            * Allow the melted
whipped cream into       ingredient to warm         chocolate to cool
warm melted              chocolate will             down to room tem-
chocolate, seizing       immediately set the        perature before
occurs and small         chocolate because the      adding it to cold
chunks of chocolate      crystals of cocoa butter   ingredients. To add
are distributed          in the chocolate           it to cold whipped
throughout.              recrystallize instantly    cream, vigorously
                         with the sudden cold       whisk one quarter
                         temperature.               of the cream into
                                                    the chocolate to
                                                    lighten it up and
                                                    get it acclimated
                                                    to the cool cream.
                                                    Then gradually fold
                                                    in the remaining
                                                    whipped cream with
                                                    a rubber spatula.
                                                    Or, one fourth of
                                                    the heavy cream
                                                    (unwhipped) can be
                                                    blended with the
                                                    melted chocolate
                                                    and then folded
                                                    into the remaining
                                                    cream that has
                                                    already been beaten
                                                    to soft peaks.

Ganache becomes          * The ganache was over-    * Rewarm the gana-
grainy and hard while    beaten or rapidly          che over a hot
being beaten.            chilled, causing fat       water bath until
                         crystals in the            it is liquefied.
                         chocolate to suddenly      Allow it to cool
                         recrystallize and          and thicken before
                         solidify.                  beating it again
                                                    for a lesser amount
                                                    of time.

Chocolate melts too      * Chocolate was melted     * Melt chocolate
quickly over direct      over too high a heat.      slowly and
heat and burns.                                     gradually in a
                                                    bowl set over a pot
                                                    of water that has
                                                    been brought to a
                                                    simmer and removed
                                                    from the heat. The
                                                    steam from the
                                                    water is enough to
                                                    melt the chocolate.
                                                    The bottom of the
                                                    bowl holding the
                                                    chocolate should
                                                    never touch the
                                                    water. Never melt
                                                    chocolate over
                                                    boiling water or
                                                    direct heat.

Ganache looks            * Ganache--which is an     * To bring the
separated and            emulsion of drops of fat   ganache back to a
curdled.                 from cream and fat         smooth texture,
                         crystals of cocoa butter   warm the ganache in
                         that are suspended in      a bowl set over a
                         the water-based liquids    pot of warm, not
                         from the cream--has        simmering water,
                         separated into its fat     just to make it
                         and water-based compo-     barely warm. Remove
                         nents, which causes it     the bowl of
                         to have a curdled          ganache and set
                         appearance.                aside. Warm up to
                                                    2 fluid ounces
                                                    (1/4 cup; 60 mL)
                                                    heavy cream in a
                                                    bowl set over the
                                                    same pot of warm
                                                    water until it is
                                                    the same tempera-
                                                    ture as the
                                                    ganache. Pour a
                                                    small amount of the
                                                    cream into a bowl.
                                                    Slowly whisk the
                                                    barely warm ganache
                                                    into the bowl and
                                                    it should smooth
                                                    out. Keep adding
                                                    small amounts of
                                                    warm cream
                                                    if necessary.

While pouring melted     * Moisture or drops of     * After melting
chocolate out of the     condensation from the      chocolate, always
double boiler or a       bottom of the bowl or      use a kitchen towel
bowl set over a hot      double boiler fell into    to dry the bottom
water bath into other    the other ingredients      and sides of the
ingredients, it          while pouring and          pot or bowl before
seizes up suddenly.      solidified the             pouring chocolate
                         chocolate.                 into other

After dipping          Fat bloom appeared because:  * Properly temper
truffles into              * Chocolate used to      chocolate or use
tempered chocolate,        coat truffles was        a compound coating
a grayish-white            not properly             for dipping.
coating develops on        tempered.
the surface.                                        * Store chocolate
                           * Chocolate truffles     at cool room
                           were not stored at       temperature of
                           the proper tempera-      56[degrees]to
                           ture.                    60[degrees]F
                                                    16[degrees]C) so
                                                    the fat crystals
                                                    in chocolate do not
                                                    melt and rise to
                                                    the surface.

Review Questions

1. If fudge frosting hardens too quickly, what can be done, if anything, to fix it?

2. The pastry cream you made thickened nicely, but after it was left overnight in the refrigerator, it looked much thinner. Why?

3. What causes chocolate to seize and how can it be prevented?

4. What could be the cause of a skin forming over a custard?

5. What happens to a starch-thickened custard when it is overstirred?

6. If you wanted cookies that spread out more as they baked, what ingredients might help?

7. You added too much sugar to a sorbet base. What consequences might this have on the finished product?

8. The muffins you made had large holes throughout. What could have caused this?

9. What caused a yeast bread to burst open during baking?

10. When preparing a French buttercream, why should a boiling sugar syrup be added down the sides of the bowl and not directly onto the whip?


Amendola, J., & Rees, N. (2003). Understanding baking: The art and science of baking (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Aslam, M., & Hurley, W. L. (1996). Accessed 8/2/04.

Beranbaum, R. L. (2003). The bread bible. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.

Beranbaum, R. L. (1988). The cake bible. New York: William Morrow & Co.

Beranbaum, R. L. (1998). The pie and pastry bible. New York: Scribner.

Brown, A. (2004). Understanding food, principles and preparation. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, A Division of Thomson Learning.

Card, M. (2003). "Eggs 101." Cook's Illustrated, March and April, p. 16.

Child, J. (1989). The way to cook. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Collin, J. (2003). "A Rustic Italian Loaf." Cook's Illustrated, January and February, p. 10.

Corriher, S. O., (1997). Cookwise: The hows and whys of successful cooking with over 230 great-tasting recipes. New York: William Morrow & Co.

Figoni, P. (2004). How baking works. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Friberg, B. (2002). The professional pastry chef: fundamentals of baking and pastry (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Gisslen, W. (2001). Professional baking (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Gisslen, W. (1999). Professional cooking (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Glezer, M. (2000). Artisan baking across America. New York: Artisan.

Healy, B., & Bugat, P. (1999). The art of the cake. New York: William Morrow & Co.

Heatter, M., (1999). Maida Heatter's book of great desserts, Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Labensky, S., Ingram, G., & Labensky, S. (2001). Webster's new world dictionary of culinary arts (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Leader, D. & Blahnik, J. (1993). Bread alone: bold fresh loaves from your own hands. New York: William Morrow & Co.

Lynch, F.T. (2000). The book of yields accuracy in food costing and purchasing (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

McGee, H. (1984). On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen. New York: Scribner.

Medrich, A. (1990). Cocolat. New York: Warner Books Inc.

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (2004). ServSafe coursebook (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Reinhart, P. (2001). The bread baker's apprentice. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

Severson, K. (2003). The trans fat solution. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press.

Sherber, A. & Dupree, T.K. (1996). Amy's bread. New York: William Morrow & Co.

Teubner, C. (1997). The chocolate bible. New York: The Penguin Group, Penguin Putnam.

Wolke, R. (2002). Kitchen science explained, what Einstein told his cook. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

The following Web sites were used as resources:, accessed 9/29/2003 "The World of Flours & Flour Milling,", accessed 12/7/2004 "Eat any sugar alcohol lately?"

Note: As with any dynamic informational tool, Web sites will change and even disappear from time to time. Any Internet user must be aware of this fact and be prepared to investigate and discover other comparable Web sites.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Delmar Learning
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Sokol, Gail
Publication:About Professional Baking
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Previous Article:Chapter 21 Healthy baking.
Next Article:Appendix.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters