Sunday, 14 November 2010

Baking in Someone Else's Kitchen

It was my friends birthday last week, and I didn't take her any cakes. So when we were invited to watch the Hayes vs. Harrison boxing on Saturday, I took the opportunity to bake them for her then, since I'm not a fan of boxing anyway.

I took all my own bits and bobs, I'm quite attached to my own things. I did forget my scales, but she had some digital ones which were superior to mine anyway, and I also forgot my brand spanking new cupcake apron.

Never mind.

So I used my basic recipe. I call it 8884. It goes like this.

8oz each of caster sugar, SR flour, butter.
4 small-medium eggs.
1tsp vanilla extract (the kind with the seeds in, not essence).

Makes 12-16 muffin sized cupcakes.

Now in my oven at home these take 28-32 minutes on gas mark 4. I think my oven temperatures are a tad off, since Bake Me I'm Yours: Cup Cake states they should take 18-22 minutes. These are for the 'Not at at little' size, which are muffin case sizes.

My friends oven is one of those electric ones, with a fan. It took a while for me to figure out how to make the darn thing work. What's wrong with turning a knob and pressing the ignition switch? Turn, turn, press, press, nope. Turn, turn, press, press, press. Darn it, there's no gas mark numbers. *Go check Google for what gas mark 4 is in °'s*. Google says it's 180°. Friend's Boyfriend informs me that as it's fan assisted, it cooks higher. I said 'it'll be fine'. Imagine my horror at 13 minutes there's a faint whiff of burning cupcake in the air.

Opening the oven with partly covered eyes, there were my cupcakes, just the wrong side of cooked. After 13 minutes! No cake tester to hand I stuck a sharp knife in, sure enough they were cooked. And the most risen any of my cupcakes had ever been. So I let them cool, and sliced off the tops. Et Voila! Rescued cupcakes.

On to frosting them. 8oz butter, 1lb icing sugar, 1tsp vanilla extract & some pink food colouring. Only the frosting was rubbish. Runny, mottled colour. I wasn't happy with it, but it topped them fine and tasted good.

The cakes themselves were the best I've ever made, so soft and light, like eating whipped air. I really was impressed.

So, I have now decided I need an Oven Thermometer, among my other list of things I want, to check the temperature of my own oven, since it's clearly not cooking at the temperature it should be. (Failing that, one of those fan assisted ovens would be nice).

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