I need my cakes to bake flat. I have been told to cover the cake tin with newspaper secured with sellotape, but wouldn't this catch on fire in the oven?
Doubt it very much, but I'd be concerned about transfer of printing ink to your cake at high temperatures: wisegeek.com/what-chemicals-are-used-in-newspaper-ink.htm– Wayfaring StrangerMay 5, 2014 at 23:10
2Sellotape (plastic sticky tape?) will most likely burn– TFDMay 5, 2014 at 23:15
plastic sticky tape is unlikely to burn at cake baking temperatures. But it will most likely melt, and when it cools back down, it is a pain to get off the tin. I don't know what "sellotape" is, fabric-baked tapes might work.– rumtscho ♦May 6, 2014 at 2:01
cooking.stackexchange.com/q/13167/67 ; cooking.stackexchange.com/q/25117/67– JoeMay 6, 2014 at 3:31
@rumtscho Sellotape is what we call sticky tape here in the UK. I think it is or was a brand name but it's used ubiquitously, regardless of brand.– starsplusplusMay 6, 2014 at 9:30
Cakes are not normally baked a temperature high enough to ignite paper, although the newspaper will probably singe and brown, and possibly produce an unpleasant odor--some of which may be transferred to the cake. If you are going to go this route, I would recommend using baking parchment, which is intended for the heat of the oven, not newspaper.
There are several more common methods for ensuring even cake layers:
- Simply cut off any doming with a knife
- Use an inverted flower nail at the center of the pan to better conduct the heat of the oven to the center of the cake
- Use cake strips to cool the edge of the pan, again evening out the cooking
In truth, unless you have a very special application, cutting off any doming is often the simplest, most straight-forward solution.
Actually, a newspaper may catch on fire while baking a cake, I'd expect it to be in the lower range of the ignition-temparatures for paper, and I believe I've seen recipes where the oven is set to 225 °C. Feb 6, 2016 at 22:36
No the paper will not catch fire (Remember Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451? You aren't cooking your cake that hot). But it's still a strange, unhygienic idea. Between ink, germs, and paper fibers... it doesn't seem like a way to make good eats.
In addition to the great suggestions by SAJ, you may be able to flip it upside down once it's out of the oven to "flatten out" the dome. This especially common in layer cakes where you flip the top layer upsides down to provide a flat surface.
2Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451.– SAJ14SAJMay 10, 2014 at 13:02
@SAJ14SAJ of course he did. Doh! Edited.– PrestonMay 25, 2014 at 3:19
1The ignition point for paper isn't uniform for all types of paper, the lower end of the range might be reached while baking a cake. Feb 6, 2016 at 22:33