Baking is an exact science. It is very tricky and not everybody is meant to do it. I AM ONE OF THOSE WHO FAIL DRAMATICALLY! but that never stopped me from trying!
First time I tried baking a banana cake at my new house, I followed the instructions to the letter. Mixing what needed to be mixed, sifting what needed to be sifted, beating what needed to be beaten, folding what needed to be folded and pouring all into a baking pan at the end.
I was very proud of myself and I remember saying to myself that this might be a turning point for me in baking! Boy was i wrong.
You see I had preheated the oven as instructed and I left the cake for the time stated, but it didn’t rise! I stuck my hand in the oven and I barely felt any heat. Panic mode on! I had people coming over and I had nothing to serve them.
- First thing I checked was the propane tank. Maybe it was empty and that’s why the oven wasn’t heating properly. Then I remembered we bought the tank a couple of days ago.
- Second thing I thought was maybe there was a problem with the diffuser, so I cranked it up a notch and waited.
- Waited some more until there was nothing left to do.
The cake dough had dried (cooked was not the term I could use to describe what had happened to my poor cake ). It was rubbery, and chewy and no color. It didn’t look like much. So I made a “kiwi coulis” to try and give it a bit more appeal.
The tiny bit of colouration you guess in the picture is actually due to the coulis.
We ended up eating the cake/pie/hard custard like thingy because I don’t like to throw away food. But all night I couldn’t stop thinking about what could have went wrong and it was killing me.
So I called my mom and told her what had happened and how I couldn’t quite figure it out. As we were talking she asked me if my oven was in Celsius or Fahrenheit?
A great moment of silence, followed by a big facepalm! How couldn’t I have thought about this?? Maybe it’s because I’m used to working with Celsius that it never occurred to me it could be anything else!
The recipe stated that the cake needed to be baked at 220°C. So I set the oven at 220 which turned out to be Fahrenheit, the equivalent of 104°C.
Moral to the story, if you are using an oven for the first time, always check whether it is in Fahrenheit, Celsius or any other type of degree marking.