I have had some successful bakes recently which is lovely but I want to make sure I keep true to the essence of my blog so let me paint a little picture for you …
I had just been asked to supply a local cafe and they wanted a lemon drizzle bundt like the one they had seen on my blog – excellent. It worked so well last time I was excited about making another one. It was a Wednesday evening and they asked me to supply two cakes for Thursday evening – not much time but I wasn’t going to turn down an opportunity like this. I went to the supermarket after work and then started on the lemon drizzle that evening. I made the mix, thoroughly greased the tin and then dusted with flour exactly the same as before and then popped in the oven. After 50 minutes the cake was looking lovely and golden and I checked it with a cake tester and it was done.
I took it out the oven, let it cool for a few minutes as before and I turned the tin over …. Nothing…. No movement. So I calmly waited another few minutes and tried again …. Nothing ….. No movement. I laughed, I hadn’t even considered this to be an issue, but it was fine last time so it will be fine again I thought. I tried again ….. Nothing. So I used a butter knife to gently pull the edges away …. Nothing. I then used a skewer to get further down a prize the cake from the middle … Nothing. I wobbled and shook the tin …. Nothing. I shouted to Tim to come and help. He shook the tin ….. Nothing. I started to panic as this was my first ever cake I was going to supply a paying customer and it wasn’t coming out of the tin!!! After a few more tries I felt some movement, hooray! I lifted the tin and saw half my lovely light lemon sponge on the cooling rack. Where is the other half … I looked in the tin. There is was, stuck in the bottom.
Tim tried to tell me it would be OK but I was so upset I just asked him to leave the kitchen while I had a little cry. This may sound dramatic to a lot of you, especially people who don’t bake. I know its only a cake but it was my first ever cake I had been asked to make for money and I had rushed around all evening to make sure I had time to do everything and then this. The only option was to get up at 6am before work and make another one.
On closer inspection it looked like the cake that was left in the tin was slightly underdone and still quite wet so the second cake I made in the morning I cooked for about 10 – 15 minutes longer at a slightly lower temperature. Unfortunately the same thing happened again … no movement until the cake broke. I had to go to work and it was a pretty horrible day because I didn’t have anything to deliver that evening to the cafe. I was ready to give up and say sorry but I cant supply a cake today.
But I couldn’t do that, I wanted to prove that I could do this. I ran into the shop on my way home from work and made my THIRD bundt in less than 24 hours. Luckily this one did come out but it certainly didn’t slip out like my first one and it was by no means perfect. If I am honest a little tiny bit did stick in the tin but I stuck it back on with drizzle ( shhh). I finished the cake, delivered to the cafe and I think it went down well.
So where did it all go wrong?
I wish I knew the answer but a few thoughts and questions for next time;
- Oven temperature. I have a slightly dodgy oven so I have bought an oven thermometer which will allow me to know exactly what is going on in there. It was cheap but had good reviews, I will let you know what I think when it arrives.
- Cooking time. Having done a little research since the disaster bakes, some people say you should always cook a bundt for at least an hour so next time I wont even try to remove from the tin before 60 minutes in the oven.
- Cooling. Again, research shows you should leave the cake to cool for at least 10 – 20 minutes. I will again try this next time and let you all know how I get on.
Tips from the top
I mentioned this little hiccup on twitter and I was surprised at how many other wonderful bakers had had similar disasters in the past. It may sound horrible but I found it reassuring – I am not the only one! So I asked some of my lovely twitter friends what their top tips would be for a successful bundt;
BecksBakes “Buy the best tin you can afford – the Nordicware ones are pricey but give the best results . I always ‘prime’ a new bundt tin but greasing and heating for 20mins in medium oven before cooking and washing up. Don’t use super powerful washing up liquid such as fairy platinum as the strip the coating. I always use spray on cake release ( I had run out on that occasion!) and bake beyond a normal sponge, long and low at least 1hr at 160 for a large bundt tin. They often stick if a good crust hasn’t formed around the cake. Most bundt recipes have buttermilk or yoghurt so they won’t dry out”
Sammie “Cake release spray & never fill the tin more than two thirds full….Also nearly forgot don’t use Fairy Platinum to was up Nordicware bundt pans – it can wreck them!”
Corrina “Use Wilton Cake Release to grease the tin/pan. I buy the bottle from Lakeland. Not the spray, the squeezy bottle. Shake it really well to mix the flour and oil in there, then use a pastry brush to brush ut into every nook and cranny. Perfect results every time”
Rob “I agree, greasing the pan well is the essential part of your preparation. Never fill the tin more than 3 quarters full (to avoid overspill) I would always say, leave it for at least 15 mins before trying to turn it out of the tin too”