My last two cakes have been duds, and these were tried and true recipes. I'm baffled. One was this rich fudge rum cake (recipe from Bon Appetit, I've made it several times and it's always fabulous) that came out dense and small, with no discernable crumb. The other was this river of fudge bundt (from Eleanor Klivans) that is always delicious. This time, almost no river and the cake was also dense and without crumb.
What am I doing wrong? I'm getting afraid to serve anything but cheesecakes to guests, since they can't fail.
It's strange -- I had problems with cookies not rising a while back.
My oven temp. seems okay (although I haven't tested in a while, maybe I should again), I soften the butter adequately, I've bought fresh baking powder and baking soda, I do a decent job whipping egg whites to gentle peaks that aren't too solid.
Are there any bakers out there that can help me?