I wanted to tackle a common baker topic that can be problematic for some, seriously aggravating for most. I’m including myself in the latter group. Cooking in general is a passion of mine and I am a serious addict of the differing food networks featuring such shows as Chopped and Everyday Italian. Recently however, I’ve fallen head over heels for baking programs. My favorites? Cupcake Wars and Last Cake Standing. I can practically smell the baking in their kitchens and I’m intrigued by the amount of creativity and artwork that is involved to produce such an award-winning sweet. This has inspired my own creative juices and a bakefest has begun in my own kitchen. One of the very common problems that I referred to earlier in my post is what I like to call “Cake Olympus”. This is a cake that stubbornly refuses to rise in an even pattern. The middle of the cake looks like a mountain with the edges a surrounding valley. After checking and re-checking my leavening ingredients, I decided to enlist the help of a great baker and cake decorator, dear Aunt Charlene. I was happy to learn that this is a common problem and she had come up with a very easy solution. The sides of the pan get hot and cook the cake around the edge before the middle gets as warm as the sides, so the middle keeps rising while the sides are cooked through first. Take an old towel, cut into 1″ strips. Wet it and wrap around the outside of your pan, pinning it together at the ends. This keeps the side of the pan cooler so the cake will bake even…eliminating the middle rising faster than the edges. The towel strips can be washed and reused each time you make a cake.
Here’s to your sweet and successful baking project,