checking for doneness
Posted: 01 November 2011 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
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This morning I made several “Classic Butter” sheet cakes. When checking for doneness the toothpick would come out clean, yet when I would touch the crust it would create indentations vs. springing back. Wasn’t sure then if it would be better to take the cakes out or to continue baking. Gave them a couple more minutes and removed them from the oven as the edges started to get too done. I won’t have a chance to try these cakes, but just wondering for the future if the cake tester comes out clean- is that enough proof for cake being done? Also, wonder if indentations are a symptom of the structure being too weak? Thanks a lot for your thoughts!

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Posted: 01 November 2011 05:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Are you using a Cake Bible recipe?  Or a recipe designed for a sheet pan?  What size sheet pan did you use?

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Posted: 01 November 2011 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It wasn’t from The Cake Bible (as I needed to use something that uses unbleached all-purpose flour vs. cake flour) and not specifically designed for sheet cake… The recipe was called “failure proof classic butter cake” and is supposedly good for large cakes. One was 17” by 12” (1 1/4” deep), another 9” by 12” (2” deep). I used this recipe before for a 9” round cake and don’t remember having that descripancy in doneness.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Regarding your question about the toothpick test versus having the top spring back, I’m not sure.  A few cakes (like the plum-bluberry upsidedown cake from RHC) have crispy crusts that can wipe a toothpick clean as you pull it out, and the harder crust can also seem resistant to a gentle poke, even well before the cake is finished.  I haven’t made your recipe, so I don’t have any experience with the sort of test that works best.

My fail-safe method is to take an internal temperature with an instand-read thermometer.  I do this in conjunction with other methods, taking the temp when it comes out of the oven, but it’s a great confirmation to have, because if anything goes wrong (or I want to duplicate a good result), I know exactly whether or not it was over/underbaked.  The only drawback I have found, is that it is not only reaching the right temperature that’s important, but reaching it in the right amount of time- i.e., if a cake takes longer to come up to the right temp, its texture can suffer and be dry even though the temp was correct.

Most butter cakes do well from 190F-200F, while many breads go to 205F. 

With larger pans, cake strips to protect the sides and an inverted flower nail or heat core can help promote even baking.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks Julie! The temperature idea is really helpful, especially as you said- as a confirmation. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that at the moment smile.

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Posted: 03 November 2011 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Irene:

I have had the same experience on occasion, even with Rose’s recipes.  I think the problem is my very very expensive oven which had turned out to be a big disaster for me…but in any event…I find that the springing back is more important than the clean tooth pick, but for sure, the thermometer is the best way to tell

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Posted: 03 November 2011 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I luv Julie’s explanation and it is exactly how I think and do.  I use my thermapen and the way it is angled is perfect to hold with ur hand, read it, while probing the cake for 190-205. 

Bill, line ur oven racks with tiles and u have a perfect oven.  Thick cookie sheets work too.

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Posted: 03 November 2011 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks for the suggestion Hector. I’ll give it a try

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