Jump to content

a question about temperature

Recommended Posts

so, i recently adapted a madhur jaffrey carrot cake recipe to make it closer to north indian carrot halwa. the cake was a success but i have a question about something i did out of laziness:


the recipe calls for the cake to be baked at 350f. however, i had previously been roasting squash at 450 and when that got done i didn't want to wait around for the oven to come down to 350. i slung the cake tin in at 450, lowered the oven temp to 350, and just kept testing to see when it was ready.  it probably took about 20 minutes to come down to 350 and the cake was ready at about the 55 minute mark and the results were good. and no, the top was not burned and the cake was not dry (my adaptation makes for a much moister cake than the original).


but as a novice baker i have no idea if it would have been even better if baked throughout at 350. though again given how much more liquid my batter was (uh huh huh huh) than the original i'm not sure if it would have come together as well at the lower temp for the whole time. i'm also curious about whether it is at all common to do this sort of "start at a high temp and come down as you go" baking.



Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't temp the tradeoff between getting the starches to gelatinize(?) before the leavening agent (air bubbles) collapses, and actually getting the whole thing to cook through without the outside burning? 


I.e. starting at 250 to get to 350 is probably more problematic than starting at 450 to get to 350, 


I thought the table here was kind of interesting



Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how well bread baking adapts to cake baking?


And since the original recipe was adapted to mongo's preferences, and that recipe became much more liquid, the higher temp probably wasn't that big a problem. Had the batter been drier, there might've been some issues.


450 is sure a high temperature for pastries/quick breads/cakes. I've certainly seen and done plenty of bread baking that starts at a high temp, and the temp gets lowered after the initial oven spring. 


Other question - are you sure as to the accuracy of your oven temp, as I think that's probably more important in baking than most anything else?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had to drive off more liquid it may have helped your cake. I'd say it's just too many variables to make a definitive statement about impact: mass/volume of the batter, location of pan in the oven, how long had you been at 450, how well insulated is your oven, how long was the door open, were you using convection, etc.


If you put something in a cold oven that is close to the floor where the element/burner is located you can get a overcooking (or even a little scorching) on the bottom of a pan from the radiant heat of a hot floor. But again, lots of variables.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...