There are so many hobby clubs and organisations in Gladstone, but a little known one is the Gladstone Cake Decorators. A group of locals have been getting together each month to chat about cake making, share tips and demonstrations, and put together workshops. The group consists of cake decorators at all different skill levels and they are encouraging other cake and baking lovers to come along!
The group gets together the first Wednesday of each month at the Gladstone Senior Citizens Hall from 6:30pm. They even have a Facebook group where they can share ideas with one another.
Group Secretary Judy Neville said “We are trying to make people aware that the group exists here in Gladstone and are looking for new members that share our interest in cakes.”
If you would like more information and are keen on joining the group, you can give Judy a call on 0438183037.
Judy shares some tips with us beginner bakers on how to resolve some common baking problems!
Your oven is possibly too hot. This makes the cake rise too quickly and crack open. Know your oven. Try to find out what the actual temperature is in your oven when it is on so you know what temperature you are cooking at. How many times do you open and close the door of the oven to have a peak in to see how your cake is going? Don’t do it. Get a timer and go by the timing limit set in the recipe and then check to see whether the cake is ready or requires further time in the oven. If you need to rotate your cake for more even finish, then open at half time and rotate.
Overcooked Outside, Undercooked Middle? This is very common. Once again the temperature in the oven is possibly too hot. The outside of the cake is the first part of the cake to cook and then as it heats up the middle tries to catch up. Turn your oven down. If you have a fan forced oven you will need to make adjustments to temperatures for even cooking. Maybe the fan is too strong in the oven. You could also try to make a “sleeve” to go around the outside of your cake tin out of brown paper or wrap a couple of wet tea towels around the outside of the cake tin to also slow down the cooking process. There are ready made commercial straps you can buy to put around the outside of the cake tin also which work well.
Uneven Rising? Some Fan Forced ovens just blow hard and you will possibly end up with Mt Vesuvius erupting in your oven. Either turn down the temperature to accommodate the recipe or if you can turn the fan low then do so.
Check your equipment. Are the racks in the oven set at the correct level? Is your cake tin in good condition? Use the right size tin recommended for the quantity you are baking. Don’t overfill. Place your cake tin on the middle shelf of the oven, in the middle of the cake rack. Not to the side of the oven or on the bottom or top shelf.
Sink Hole? If there is too much raising agent in the mix or the oven temperature is too high, the cake will rise quickly as carbon dioxide bubbles form. This does not allow the gluten to set to support these bubbles, so the bubbles will collapse and you will be left with a “sink hole” in the middle of your cake.
“It all comes down to knowing your oven.”