Pat asks: I thought I would try something different and make a chocolate Christmas Cake I found in a novel I was reading… Cakes taste good, but after a few weeks of aging in the fridge and some soaking with Kalua it still crumbles when cut. What did I do wrong? Did it cook too long? Or did I use too much flour? would like to be able to make again if I can fix this problem. Thank you for your time, and Merry Christmas.
Baking S.O.S. says: Well, this is an interesting question…I’m curious what kind of recipe one finds in a novel vs. a cookbook? Is it an old-fashioned recipe, by any chance? (depending on the setting and time period of the novel)
I ask because it is not customary (in this current day and age) to leave cakes in the refrigerator for a “few weeks of aging,” as you said in your message. I suspect the reason your cake is crumbly is not because you baked it too long or used too much flour. Rather, I think it crumbled because it was simply too old and dried out. The maximum amount of time you should keep cake in the frige is probably around 4 days. If you want to store it longer than that, you should store it in the freezer to keep it fresh. Interestingly enough, we might assume that storing cake in the refrigerator would keep it fresher longer, but in fact, the opposite is true: storing cake in the refrigerator actually draws the moisture out of it and makes it dry out faster.
So it sounds like the real problem is that you simply left the cake in the refrigerator too long. Next time, store only the amount of cake that you can eat in 3-4 days in the frige, and put the rest in the freezer to enjoy later.
Hope that helps!