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1/2 Sheet cake question again!
Posted: 27 January 2009 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
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ok so ....i finally got my pan, its a 12x18, i am very excited to use it.
Here are some questions..

1) I got them to agree on a marble cake, instead of half chocolate half yellow. This is great however….I have no idea how to make a marble cake! 
2) since I am not doing 2 seperate cakes now and just doing one, I am going to do 2 thin layers and put them together (instead of doing one big cake and torting it, as i hear that is hard). So now I can’t figure out how much batter I need to make to make 1 layer of this size, and how long to bake it for! I see the charts on the cake bible page, but I still don’t get it lol. Maybe I am really stupid or really bad at math, but I need help. That and the fact I don’t even know how to do a marble cake.

I am going to do a practice run this weekend I think, so help would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 27 January 2009 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Ski - do you wish to bake this in a 12x18x2-inch cake pan, or a 12x18x.5 half sheet pan? 

I’ve baked the Checkerboard Fantasy Cake in an 11x15x2-inch pan - pouring the entire batter into the pan instead of pouring it into three 9x1-inch pans.  I baked one recipe for each layer of cake. 

I hope that helps to give you a “visual”.

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Posted: 27 January 2009 04:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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its a 12x18x2 half sheet pan.
So one recipe of the checkerboard fantasy cake (I assume thats in the cake bible) would fit in the pan, thin engough to be ONE layer, correct??  How do you know how long to bake it for then??
ANd also, do you need one of them core thingys for a pan of this size?

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Posted: 27 January 2009 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yep, your 12x18x2 pan should work well for you - one full recipe of batter should give you one layer.  Since your pan is quite a bit larger than mine, I don’t know how tall your finished layers will be, so you might need a total of 3 layers to get the finished cake height you desire.

I’m sorry to say I didn’t make a note as to how long I baked my layers, but don’t be afraid to eyeball it.  A cake that is fully baked will spring back when you lightly press on it near the center of the pan.  If the cake starts pulling away from the edges of the pan, it’s done!  I suggest you definitely use insulated baking strips, or the perimeter of your cake will be a lot shorter than the center (directions to make homemade baking strips are in TCB if you don’t own ones that are large enough to go around your pan). 

Cakes over 9 or 10 inches in diameter definitely benefit from a heating core (or upside down flower nail, which is cheaper and I like the teeny tiny hole better than the weird “plug” you get from a heating core). 

Oh, and yes, the checkerboard fantasy cake is in TCB.  The chocolate and vanilla flavors are very distinct, and they compliment each other perfectly!

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Posted: 27 January 2009 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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thanks so much!  so maybe i will do 3 layers then….
ok so using a flower nail, how do you use this??  I am thinking if you put a flower nail upside down in the middle of the cake, it won’t leave a teeny tiny hold since the nail head is big!  AM i missing something?

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Posted: 27 January 2009 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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First I pour the batter into the pan, then I plunk the flower nail in the center, so that the flat top of it sits flat against the bottom of the cake pan (first spray it with non-stick cooking spray or Baker’s Joy).  Then I just shimmy the pan back and forth a little to level the batter around the nail spike.  Don’t remove the flower nail until you flip the cake out of the pan after baking.  You will easily be able to remove and it will only leave a little pin hole the diameter of the nail spike.  There will also be a depression, about the size of a quarter (left from the flat part of the flower nail), but that is easily covered over when you fill or frost your cake and no one will ever know your secret!

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Posted: 27 January 2009 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Hi Ski,

  This sounds like a really cool project you’re working on. Please let us know how it turns out for you. I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going hijack your thread with a few questions (relevant to your topic).

How do you make a checkerboard cake in a sheet pan? I thought you needed to use those special rings for the checkerboard cake.

What’s the deal with the flower nail trick? I’ve never done that with any of my cakes and so far they seem to have turned out fine.

Thanks,
Matthew

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Posted: 27 January 2009 11:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Ski is planning to use the checkerboard recipe to make a marbled cake.  The flower nail trick is for large diameter cakes - it’s not necessary, but helps the center finish baking before the outside edges of the cake over bake.

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Posted: 28 January 2009 09:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m going to try it maybe tonight, or maybe tomorrow. I have to go get bigger cooling racks because mine are too small - hopefully I can make it to the store as its a FREAKING WINTER STORM over here.

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Posted: 28 January 2009 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’ve tried the heating core and flower nail trick, and I didn’t think it made as much difference as using the magicake strips. Using the cake strips are much less hassle.


Spread the batter toward the corners to help with leveling - the corners set faster and finish before the center which is why you really want to use the cake strips on this size pan.  Pin two together around the sides.

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Posted: 28 January 2009 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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alright i am nervous lol. mostly trying to figure out when its done. I am afraid of opening the oven too much (isn’t that bad to do?)

I am going ot the local cook store today and im going to get some strips, an oven thermometer and a new cooling rack.

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Posted: 28 January 2009 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Patrincia - 28 January 2009 03:38 AM

Ski is planning to use the checkerboard recipe to make a marbled cake.  The flower nail trick is for large diameter cakes - it’s not necessary, but helps the center finish baking before the outside edges of the cake over bake.

I see, I thought Ski was planning something like this one. I’m still curious how they made this in a block form rather than a circular one.

http://beigelsbakery.com/Cakes/index.php?page=Checkerboard

skiweaver9 - 28 January 2009 02:58 PM

alright i am nervous lol. mostly trying to figure out when its done. I am afraid of opening the oven too much (isn’t that bad to do?)

I am going ot the local cook store today and im going to get some strips, an oven thermometer and a new cooling rack.

Ski,

I know that opening and closing the oven frequently can wreak havoc on your cake, but opening the oven doesn’t always damage the cake. I think opening the oven too much can affect how well the cake rises and sets but I don’t know how much is too much. I’m sure there are other people here who can give you more definitive guidance. I open the oven half way through the baking time to rotate my pans for even baking and my cakes have never been adversely affected from doing this.

I’m sure you’ll do fine with this. Good luck and have fun!

~Matthew smile

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Posted: 28 January 2009 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Monsieur P?tisserie - 29 January 2009 01:18 AM

I see, I thought Ski was planning something like this one. I’m still curious how they made this in a block form rather than a circular one.

http://beigelsbakery.com/Cakes/index.php?page=Checkerboard

Matthew, if you look closely, there is buttercream holding it together. The chocolate and vanilla cakes were baked separately, cut into strips and then “glued” together with buttercream. Hope that solves your mystery.  smile

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Posted: 29 January 2009 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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yeah definately not doing that checkerboard cake lol. Start small here.
I got the bake strips (I figured they were cheap might as well buy them rather than make them) and I got a big cooling rack too (it was on sale ha). I also bought an oven thermometer and get this- I tested it last night and my oven bakes 25 degrees COOLER than the dial says.
This is really confusing now because when I made the last cake, I was thinking (and reading) that my oven might be baking too HOT, and now its just the opposite??

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Posted: 29 January 2009 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I agree with Rozanne - there is buttercream “glue” holding that checkerboard cake together.

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Posted: 29 January 2009 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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skiweaver9 - 28 January 2009 02:58 PM

alright i am nervous lol. mostly trying to figure out when its done. I am afraid of opening the oven too much (isn’t that bad to do?)

I am going to the local cook store today and im going to get some strips, an oven thermometer and a new cooling rack.

You don’t want to open the oven door a lot during the main baking because the heat loss will obviously affect your final bake time, and if you open the door or slide the oven racks while the batter is still rising, you could cause it to fall, but there really shouldn’t be any reason for you to open the oven door until the cake is within a few minutes of being fully baked.  So opening the door once or twice at the end of baking, when the structure is pretty much “set”, really shouldn’t cause you much concern.  (butter cakes)

Do you have time to bake a practice cake?

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