Convection vs. Non-Convection - What to Use When Baking Rose’s Cakes?
Posted: 19 January 2010 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am a relatively new owner of an electric oven that has a setting for convection bake and regular bake.  In looking through any of my newer, baking cookbooks, no author, Rose included, has made any comments on what kind of oven was used to bake the featured recipe.  I just see “Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes”.  No additional explanation. 

I have not been happy with the results of some of the cakes I’ve baked since the purchase of the oven, but I can’t tell if any of the undesireable results have been due to using covection vs. non-convec, and when using convection, perhaps not using it correctly. (i.e., baking at suggested temp vs.a lower temp, baking for indicated period of time vs. a shorter period, etc.).

For the record, I always use a reliable oven thermometer and the oven heats pretty evenly.  I’ve read that some people feel that baking with convection creates a dryer cake. My oven mfg. recommends using convection bake for most baked goods. However, at times the layers come out more domed on one side than the other requiring me to cut the domes off. (I also use cake pan strips)

I would appreciate if anyone who has an oven that provides a convection/regular bake choice, would be so kind to let me know how they approach baking layer cakes, and Rose’s recipes in particular.  Thanks so much in advance….
Confused in the Kitchen

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Posted: 20 January 2010 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks to both of you. However, as usual we have a difference of opinion (which is fine).  I guess my problem is that I don’t understand how convection baking works differently as compared to regular baking.  I thought with convection there is no need to turn pans.  That said, I never turned a pan while baking a layer cake for fear of losing heat and making the cake collapse.  Other than using those damp cake strips around the pans, what is causing the cake layers to dome?  Also do you have any suggetion how to tell whether a cake is baked perfectly and not over baked?  I know the toothpick in the center trick and looking for a springback on cake top method, but I think to I may be tending to overbaking my cakes for fear of underbaked. 

I would be very greatful for any information of these issues.
Yours in cake,
Jane

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Posted: 20 January 2010 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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OH, thank you so much for the quick response. So I gather you bake your cakes using conventional heat.  Maybe I’ll go back and try that.  You know, on top of everything else is taking into consideration what the material/color your pans are….don’t you need to lower the temp for the dark non-stick pans?  Taking all this into consideration, temp/time is something you definately need to keep in consideration.  I still wish Rose and other cookbook authors would make some kind of statement about adjusting bake times/temps for all the different kind of ovens out there.
Thank you again.

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Posted: 20 January 2010 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Excellent advice, wasn’t aware of the hot spot issues.  Do you do anything temperature or time wise about the color of the pans?

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Posted: 20 January 2010 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks so much to all of you, for baking cakes, I’m going back to regular bake mode.

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Posted: 23 January 2010 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I have two homes, each with a double oven. In one, only the top can cook with or without convection, the bottom is conventional only. I have found that my baking is quicker, and much more even in the convection, and use it almost daily for the 5 years we were there full time. It is now 8 years old, and although only gets used when we are staying there about 6 times a year, the convection still works and is accurate. In the second house, where I am most of the time now, I use convection in both ovens. I have never had a repair problem in either oven (this house is new). BUT saying that, I was in an interim home for 18 months, also with double ovens (a must for me), and had problems with that one. The repair man came and ‘readjusted’ the temperature, saying that ovens sometimes needed to be reset outside the factory setting, as these ovens were both running very cold. The convection didn’t matter in these, and for the 18 months I lived there, they never worked well. These ovens had the hot spots I see mentioned, would get extremely hot when the elements turned on, and then get 10 to 15 degrees colder before they would kick back on again, and the problems were never fixed.

I think it depends on your oven and how well the quality is (paying more does not mean better). I believe in time you will find what you become more comfortable with and what works with your baking. My experience with convection is “not all are created equal”. smile I would have sworn by them until my experience in the interim home, but those ovens prove, the most expensive ovens I have ever owned, some convection’s are just made poorly.

I believe you will find for your oven, it will have to be a trial and error process. I still prefer convection because of the quickness in preheating, and cooking, and in my choices now, the more even baking, but it is all subjective.

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Linda R.

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Posted: 24 January 2010 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I have a similar experience as Montanamom. I have baked the same recipe, same size tin in both convection and regular modes, and on regular, the cake sets around the side too quickly, domes in the middle and I have lower baked volume. So I always use convection for cakes now.

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Posted: 09 July 2011 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Can convection baking help protect against underbaking for a larger diameter cake (10 or 12-inch)?  I have a lemon wedding cake recipe for which I often have difficulty getting the largest layer fully baked, or at least the center is very dense and does not have the same delicate crumb as the outer portion of the layer or the smaller diameter cakes.

The recipe uses buttermilk and separated eggs, where the whites are beaten and folded into the batter at the end.

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Posted: 10 July 2011 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi - thanks for the response!

The cake bakes nicely level. The cake tester also comes out clean. I only notice when I go to tort the layers (for lemon curd filling), that the underbaked layer is very dense in the center. I have not heard of a flour nail…that sounds intriguing!

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