Choc Fudge…top underbaked.
Posted: 05 April 2009 05:27 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I made Rose’s Chocolate Fudge Cake for the first time; I didn’t have a 1 1/2 inch pan, so I just filled up my 2-inch pan halfway and threw the rest of the batter away.  This was just a practice run and I didn’t intend to make a complete cake.

I ended up overbaking it, because my toothpick kept coming out with batter on it, even while the edges of the cake turned almost black.  The top domed and cracked.  I pulled the cake apart to figure out why I kept getting batter when the cake was obviously done and I saw a thin layer of batter just below the top surface of the cake.  This was what my toothpick kept passing through, providing me with deceptive information.

What could cause this?  I know my oven temperature was spot on, because I keep a separate oven thermometer inside the oven.  The cake pan was a heavy aluminum, 8"X2” round.  The rack position was just slightly below center (no center rack).

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Posted: 05 April 2009 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hello, CharlesT!  Hmmm, this one’s a stumper.  I have baked the choc fudge a number of times and never had any problems or layers of uncooked batter. 

My best guess would be to bake on a different rack in the oven.  Rose recommends baking in the lower third of the oven, but I can’t quite figure out if the heat coming from the top of your oven could have set/crusted the top before the rest was properly baked through, or if there was too much heat coming from the bottom, so that the top didn’t bake through.  Any chance you could check the heat top/bottom?

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Posted: 05 April 2009 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I didn?t have a 1 1/2 inch pan, so I just filled up my 2-inch pan halfway and threw the rest of the batter away

(Gasp, choke, sputter) I keep Reynolds aluminum baking cups in the pantry, and if I find my self with a little extra batter, I fill one or two and bake them along with whatever else I’m baking.  They are strong enough to put in without a pan underneath (or use a strip of foil), which is helpful if I already have serveral pans in the oven and don’t have space for a cupcake pan.  These little guys go in the freezer, and after a while there are enough cupcakes and frosting leftovers there for a tasting.

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Posted: 05 April 2009 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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While your oven may be reaching the correct temp, it could be heating unevenly (more heat toward the bottom than the top. Try baking the cake on a sheet pan to deflect some the heat from the bottom, and definitely bake on the lower part of the oven.

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Posted: 05 April 2009 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Julie - 05 April 2009 10:59 AM

or if there was too much heat coming from the bottom, so that the top didn?t bake through.

That was my guess.  I do have some baking stones on a rack just below the rack I was using, so perhaps it was almost like having the heating element immediately below the pan?  (I normally use the rack just above center, but have been doing a lot of bread recently.)

Thanks

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Posted: 05 April 2009 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Julie - 05 April 2009 11:14 AM

(Gasp, choke, sputter)

grin.  I knew that would abhor someone.  I simply don’t have an outlet for most of my baked goods; saving them would only postpone the inevitable.  But your idea is good…next time when I have some ready consumers in mind, I will make a few cupcakes.

Thanks

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Posted: 05 April 2009 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Roxanne - 05 April 2009 02:58 PM

Try baking the cake on a sheet pan to deflect some the heat from the bottom, and definitely bake on the lower part of the oven.

Interesting idea.  I guess the theory is that the pan absorbs the radiant heat and uses it to heat the air at a higher level of the oven?

Thanks

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Posted: 05 April 2009 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Something like that Charles smile. I’m not totally sure how it works; I just know it does!

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Posted: 05 April 2009 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Roxanne - 05 April 2009 03:46 PM

Something like that Charles smile. I’m not totally sure how it works; I just know it does!

Roxanne….do you think this should be standard operating procedure?  I mean, it can’t really ever hurt, can it?

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Posted: 05 April 2009 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Indeed, I do this with most of my baking. My oven heats to the correct temp, but there are areas of the oven that get hotter than others, usually towards the bottom of the oven, so I bake most of everything on sheet pans. Cookies I will double sheet pan so the bottoms don’t burn.

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Posted: 05 April 2009 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Julie - 05 April 2009 11:14 AM

I didn?t have a 1 1/2 inch pan, so I just filled up my 2-inch pan halfway and threw the rest of the batter away

(Gasp, choke, sputter) I keep Reynolds aluminum baking cups in the pantry, and if I find my self with a little extra batter, I fill one or two and bake them along with whatever else I’m baking.  They are strong enough to put in without a pan underneath (or use a strip of foil), which is helpful if I already have serveral pans in the oven and don’t have space for a cupcake pan.  These little guys go in the freezer, and after a while there are enough cupcakes and frosting leftovers there for a tasting.


Great idea Julie. Helps with the space issue in the oven. I always use the leftover batter to make cupcakes (I have kids…....need I say more????) and I use a cupcake pan. What I end up doing is put the pan in the fridge if I don’t have enough space till it’s time to bake them.

Charles, give the cupcakes to your neighbours if you don’t want to end up eating it. You’ll be everyone’s favourite person.  wink

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