5 Baking Disasters and how to avoid them

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By Deviyani Srivastava

I recently made an Orange Yogurt Cake which looked perfect as it left the oven but when I cut it, it was still unbaked. This broke my heart! So, I decided to explore ways to avoid any such mishaps in my baking future. If you have been similarly disappointed, then read on.

  1. The cake peaked in the middle and is cracked:

This can happen for three reasons:
1) There is too much raising agent used – Always use measuring spoons for exact measurements given in the recipe.
2) The cake tin is too small – Never fill the batter beyond half of the tin, simply make muffins or cupcakes of the leftover batter.
3) The oven temperature is too high – Every oven works differently, what works best is your own judgement. Always remember – Higher the temperature, shorter the baking time and vice versa. Make sure you place the cake in the center of the oven for uniform baking. Always pre-heat your oven for at least ten minutes before baking your cake.

  1. The cake has a extra gooey centre.

The cake hasn’t been cooked for long enough. Always check the cake before taking it out of the oven, a skewer or a toothpick when inserted in the middle of the cake should come out clean and the cake should feel the same in the middle as it does around the edges.

  1. The cake has sunk in the middle. 

There are three main reasons for this. First, the oven door has been opened before the cake had set, second, the cake did not go in the oven as soon as the mixture was ready and third, there is too much raising agent.

  1. The sides of the cake are crunchy or burnt. 

It is one problem but it has a lot of possible reasons: One, too much fat has been used to grease the tin. Two, the cake tin is not sufficiently lined. Three, the oven is too hot. Four, the cake’s been left in the oven for too long and five, it contains a fat not suitable for baking.

  1. Can’t get the cake out of the tin. 

Make sure your baking tin is well lined. Smear butter or oil on the inside of the tin to stick the parchment paper in place. If parchment paper is not available, make sure the baking tin is sufficiently buttered.

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