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I have a beer cake recipe which I've successfully cooked once. Since then, I've had a new oven and just tried to bake it again. It wasn't entirely successful.

It's baked in a 10", round, deep tin. The base and sides were brown and a bit 'bendy'. The edge of the top had foamed up and then crusted off. The topping had crisped off properly. The middle was nearly cooked and as you moved out towards the edge it seemed to get more cooked until about one-and-a-half inches from the edge when it was suddenly quite soggy. So there is a ring of partially cooked cake-mix just before the outer crust. I've done a picture of a cut through the middle of the cake (I'm a marginally better cook than I am an artist): cross-section of cake

I cooked it 20°C below the recommended 180°C (350°F) because I was using the fan. I put it on the middle shelf of the oven.

It was supposed to be cooked for 1hr 50 mins but after that long a skewer stuck into the middle was sticky so I stuck it back for another 20 mins. The skewer was still a bit sticky but not as much and, as the outside was looking like it would soon burn, I risked it and took it out. A bit longer might've cooked the middle better but what about the rest?

Next time, should I:

  • Stick to the recommended temperature? Go lower still, or higher?
  • Try cooking it on a higher shelf? Or a lower one?
  • Not use the fan?
  • Sing to it, shout at it or ignore it and hope it behaves?
  • Something else?

And, obviosuly, poke the skewer in all over, not just the middle, and trust it.

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Just a small tip: if you want to put something longer in the oven, but the surface is becoming too dark, put some aluminium foil on top. –  Mien Apr 28 '13 at 21:58
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1 Answer

Turning down the temperature by 20C was a good idea because of the fan, however it may be too much in your oven's case as it sounds like the temperature was a bit too low.

What likely happened was that the fan blowing over the center of the bread cooked the center first, but the fan didn't blow on the sides of the bread as much. This has happened to me when I'm using a high sided baking tin where the bread was not up to the top. I find when baking breads and cakes that the fan tends to char the outside of things even if I turn it down, and then the inside doesn't cook so well, so I usually leave the fan off. I suggest you try the recommended temperature with the fan off and see how that works.

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Agree with the first paragraph especially. If you do use the fan, try turning it down more like 10 C, not 20. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Jun 9 '13 at 14:11
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