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Taking a cake’s internal temp to make sure its done
Posted: 26 January 2010 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Thanks for your reply - I have done some crazy things in my years of baking - but this one takes the cake (pun intended!)... The bowl was an 8” wide 4” deep pyrex. After the first 2 near disasters, I remembered to use my heat conducting core. Too bad I didn’t think of it sooner! Instead - I had wrapped the first bowl-cake in a double layer of foil with wet paper towel between as an insulator to help prevent the hump… The white cake (#2) had turned out not too bad - it is a bit denser a cake (Butter based white cake). The 3rd cake (chocolate again) turned out much better - rising up very high, to completely envelope the core - but at least it got baked evenly through! I had to trim off the hump before I could turn the thing out to cool! Definitely our altitude plays havoc with a number of things in baking - sugar contenet, leavening and oven temp are the factors we have to tinker with. Also - remember that our A/P flour here is the winter wheat stuff - very dry and high in protein. Great for bread but does not work well for most American cake recipes. That is what I use for most of my baking. (But I am going to get some bleached cake flour from the U.S. next to try some of RHC’s!) I am doing this snowball in preparation for undertaking a huge Snow Man cake. This ball is the same size as the middle ball of the snowman will be. I figured it might be good to do a few trial runs - understatement hey? I will let you know how it turns out - and possibly post a photo of it later. Definitely the heating core is the answer to this one. I should also have maybe used a denser structure chocolate cake recipe. At least this gives me some time to figure out how on earth I am going to bake the 12” size bowl…..

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Posted: 26 January 2010 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Hi Kuchenbaaker,

Since the bowls are deep and seem to be causing a slight bit of trouble, have you thought of carving your snowman pieces. It might be easier to stack layer cakes and carve a sphere with flat bottom so your snowman will have a solid base to stand on. Just a thought.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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To all who posted here to help me out esp. Julie - many thanks! The Snowball turned out fine - and I was thrilled with the result - as was the recipient! For the next effort I will likely try to do the larger one using layers and sculpting it into a ball, as was suggested. I will definitely make the lower half of the bottom ball out of Rice Crispy Square as is done on the TV Cake Shows. This has a density and firmness that surpasses any cake, and should hopefully provide a stable enough base to add the top half of the ball, the upper 2 balls and top hat (with dowelling and divider plates between). I have included photos of the last cake just out of the oven - showing the temp of the outter part vs the inner core, as well as the final result, and one with the Birthday Greeting plaque added. I will continue to monitor my baking using a thermometer and refer to the website on high altitude baking that was suggested. Thanks again everyone!

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Posted: 29 January 2010 01:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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OOps - here are the other photos I mentioned! I am still new at this thing…

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Posted: 29 January 2010 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Great job. That snowball looks so fluffy and yummy.

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Posted: 29 January 2010 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Lovely! Congratulations on your success, and on learning more about baking while doing it.

There are books all about high-altitude baking—I bet your local library has some. (Mine doesn’t, but that is because there is no high altitude in southern Wisconsin!) One is “Pie in the Sky” by Susan Purdy—probably others as well.

I have been thinking about buying a high-altitude baking book and giving it as a hostess gift when I visit Mexico in March—the Lake Chapala area is about 5000 feet above sea level. My hostess has retired there from Canada and doesn’t have experience with high-altitude baking. Anyone have a favorite book?

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Posted: 29 January 2010 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Congratulations on those awesome snowball cakes, they’re great!  I’m so glad it worked out for you and that you came back and posted the results.

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Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  How to Make Sourdough More (or Less) Sour

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Posted: 21 May 2010 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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ha - i was just getting ready to turn on the beater for Bercharon Gateau d’Or and suddenly thought I would just run in here to possibly find where I had seen remarks on taking internal temps. So here you a re just when I need you. Again. And i am off to try it. I will try 200 just for fun since it is sort of a mid-point. Thanks.

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Posted: 23 May 2010 01:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I thought I read somewhere 210…Now I am going to do a search..  that temp may explain some things
ah ha—200 - no wonder!!!!

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Posted: 23 May 2010 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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And brioche, as well some sponge-type cakes, are only baked to 190F.

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Posted: 05 July 2010 01:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Julie - 19 January 2010 12:38 AM

I find I take internal temperatures more and more, but in conjunction with the other classic signs of a cake being done (sponge cake shrinking from the sides, etc.).  Most cakes seem to work at 205 F, but some, like chiffon cupcakes, or brioche, are an exception and need lower temps.  It is particularly useful if you are baking in a strange oven or in a different size pan than the recipe calls for.  And a few cakes, like Rose’s Gateau Breton, can be overbaked and dry at the correct internal temp if the oven was too slow and the cooking time prolonged.

Ha - I am glad I stopped by I just made this last week and it was dry as a the proverbial bone. What you said happened - I delayed taking it out because it wasn’t getting brown enough for me. My oven has been acting up also, but what you said hits the nail on the head [as usual], thanks. j

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