I am baking 1kg chocolate cake and it is already in oven from 50 mins. I'm baking it at 180 degrees temperature. The cake has risen well. But the mixture is not set yet. (I did the toothpick test) I can feel it moving. I have shifted the cake to the first rack a minute before,earlier it was in the middle rack. Please suggest what's wrong?

  • I would need to see the recipe, but if is rising you may just need to wait, ovens and recipe times don't always match-up. – Chef_Code Mar 25 '15 at 21:05
  • Here it is. Ingredients All purpose flour 200 gm Coco Powder 50 gm Condensed milk 1 tin Soda Water 1 cup Baking powder 2 tsb Soda Bicarbonate 1 tsb Vanilla Essence 1 tsb Sugar 2 tasb Butter 4 tasb 1. I mixed butter, sugar, condensed milk and vanilla essence and mixed it well. 2. I sifted flour, coco powder, soda bicarb and baking powder for 3 times. 3. I added the dry mixture to the wet one alternating it with soda water and mixed well. – user12083 Mar 25 '15 at 21:16
  • Looks good, I would just wait, keep an eye on it check every 5-7 mins until it gets close. One question, if you press lightly on the top with your finger does it bounce back? – Chef_Code Mar 25 '15 at 21:27
  • Yes it does bounce back and nothing got stuck on my finger when I touched it. The top looks baked .But it looks like the mixture below is still not set. It's moving.. – user12083 Mar 25 '15 at 21:33
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    @Ecnerwal it was perfect. It was the best cake I ever baked,nice,spongy,moist. I think oven is old so it wasn't able to maintain 180. – user12083 Mar 26 '15 at 20:15

Nothing is wrong.

Continue baking until the toothpick comes out clean. The toothpick test is more definitive than time and temperature (and temperatures are not always what they claim, but don't drastically alter yours without feedback from a RELIABLE oven thermometer..)

As I mentioned in a comment on another post, I once had a bad recipe (from a fancy book, even) that I followed with great care, making chocolate soup twice in a row by following the recipe EXACTLY. A wiser than I at the time relative pointed out that there must be a problem with the recipe, and I should just bake until it was done (per toothpick) and it made cake.

A number of factors other than "oven thermostat inaccurate" can lead to times being off - shiny .vs. dark pans, temperature of the batter at the start of cooking, altitude...

  • Ok. I think there must be a problem with the oven. Its pretty old.:( But yeah reading your comment I'm relieved. Thank you so much. I just hope it comes out perfect. – user12083 Mar 25 '15 at 21:23
  • altitude! could you elaborate? altitude changes the water boiling point, but afaik baking does not produce boiling and should not be affected by that. – PA. Mar 26 '15 at 9:23
  • @PA. I'm just going to have to send you on a link, as this is way more than I can put into a comment, and I'm not that much of a whiz at it anyway: kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html – Ecnerwal Mar 26 '15 at 19:12

It is possible that the cake will bake to completion if you wait longer. As Ecnerwal said, it doesn't matter what the book says about time. A cake is done when it is done, and you have to test it for that. "Bake for X minutes" is rarely a good thing to do, it just gives you an initial idea of how long it may take.

But there is also a high probability that this recipe will not produce a cake. It has no eggs at all, it has very little gluten, and it has a very high amount of liquid. I don't know how much "1 tin" of condensed milk is, this varies internationally, but I guess it's anywhere from 150 to 400 ml, making your ratio of flour to liquid anything from 0.7 to 0.4. It also has almost no sugar. The little gluten from the flour is probably not enough to bind it.

It is therefore much more likely that baking will produce something pudding-like, which will stay spoon-soft forever. If you have a roast thermometer, stick it into the cake itself and measure, if it gets above 95 Celsius but doesn't set visibly within 10 minutes, then there is not much point in baking it longer. The good news is that, even if it stays soft, it will likely be edible. As long as you like the taste, you can serve it from bowls, maybe combined with fruit or topped with whipped cream.

  • Condensed (as opposed to evaporated) milk has LOTS of sugar, actually. – Ecnerwal Mar 25 '15 at 22:12

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