Different oven temperatures

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Deirdre Meagher

Different oven temperatures

How do you know what temperature to use for different cakes eg the coffee walnut cake and the lemon drizzle cake. What makes the difference? Why can't they both go in at the same temperature? This to me is a fundamental issue in teaching baking and cooking.

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Welshcookie

Oven Temperatures

I have never seen a recipe that doesn't state the temperature. Even if it is expressed as 'cool' 'moderate' or 'hot'. There are plenty of charts available to give you equivalents.

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Tompeters

Different oven temperatures

During cooking the cake mix rises and then sets. You want an homogeneous texture, not over-cooked outside and squishy gunge the middle. The factors that affect that are the properties of the mix (conductivity), the type of raising agent (there are high temp and low temp raising agents) the mass of the cake and the shape of the tin.

I've never heard of anyone actually working with a mathematical model of the cake but it wouldn't surprise me if Heston Blumenthal has, and undoubtedly the food manufacturing industry has mathematical models and empirical data.

Domestic ovens have notoriously bad temperature control and some, no thermostat at all, like Agas. So when you bake it's safest to follow a recipe and check the cake (skewer test) before time is up, so it can go back in again if needed. None of Delia's recipes have been tested on fan ovens and she's stated that for a fan oven reduce temperature by 20C. My own fan oven is very fierce; the temperature is correct according to my accurate thermometer but presumably the circulation is more than most other ovens, I guess. I reduce by 20C and reduce the time to first test.

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Deirdre Meagher

Different oven temperatures

Thank you. I didn't realise that Delia's recipes are tested in fan ovens so that is a help.

However if one is creating a new recipe, probably based on an existing basic recipe, how does one know what temperature to put it in at? Is it just trial and error?

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Tompeters

Different oven temperatures

"Thank you. I didn't realise that Delia's recipes are tested in fan ovens so that is a help.

However if one is creating a new recipe, probably based on an existing basic recipe, how does one know what temperature to put it in at? Is it just trial and error?"

No, I believe that none of Delia's recipes are tested in fan ovens, but stand to be corrected. All the oven temperatures she quotes are for conventional, for fan reduce by 20C.

When I vary recipes I generally start out by following the original for the first attempt and then use common sense. If the original contains ingredients we don't want, then I google until I find something closer. It's more judgement and experience than trial and error.

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Deirdre Meagher

different over temperatures

Thanks Tom. I meant to say not tested. I will go with experience.

 
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