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Convection oven diaster: cakes sinking

dbender883's picture

I am needing some advice about baking in convection ovens. I had a cake company in the basement of my home (primarily wedding cakes) which was inspected every 3 months by the dept of Agr. When they changed the requirement for having to have a grease trap installed outside I had to move production to a "community kitchen" and rent blocks of time. I thought this was wonderful since they had the 60 qt mixers and convection ovens. Yesterday I had my first experience with a convection oven. I was told to just decrease the cooking temp which I did but I still had all the 48 cupcakes and 4 8" cake rounds sink horribly. What went wrong? I did notice that when the fan...which was on low... was blowing the tops of my 8" rounds were vibrating. was this messing with the structure? I have 2 HUGE weddings coming up and I am hating these ovens and do not have the luxury of moving production back to my basement...HELP!!!! The recipe used was the Sylvia Weinstock classic yellow cake that I have always used. Flour per recipe 2 1/4 cup with 2 tsp B. Powder ratio so that seems ok but I also did a quadrupling of the recipe to try out the 60 qt Hobart.

thecooktoo's picture

Some of the large, newer, commercial ovens have a switch that will allow you to turn off the fan.  If it is an older model it may not have that feature.  In my cooking classes the fan in the old commerical that I use is so powerful it will blow the top of a cake or cupcake to one side.  I have had to make collars out of a large sheet of baking parchment that I fold so it is four layers thick in its longest dimension.  I tape that around the pans and it works fine.  Sometimes I have to put an empty pot in front of the fan so that it disperses the strong flow of air around the pans.  Also, the school just got me a new 6 burner stove with an electric non-convection oven so I can now use that and not have to worry with the fan.


I would doubt that the formula is the cause of your problem.  The large commercial ovens are not real popular in small bakeries, but pizza style ovens are.


Jim

Astrid's picture

I would think that the sinking is because of the oven temp. being too low, but that is just my thought. If a cake isn't fully baked in the middle it needs more oven time, or slightly higher heat at the start. Joy of Cooking mentions that a fully baked cake will shrink a little at the edges making a space.

New Mexico home organic gardener

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson


Edited 10/7/2009 4:15 pm by Astrid

New Mexico home organic gardener Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience. Emerson