If you can recall, I talked about my cake adventure and the cratered center a couple of weeks ago. Boxed cakes were my go to before this, so when it came to making cakes from scratch, I definitely had big hurdles to jump over. The biggest one of them all was the sinking center.
A few days ago, I tried my hand again at making a level cake, this time, with a teeny bit of help. I used a Bake Even strip from Wilton with a good vanilla cake recipe from Alice Currah. I started out feeling a little bit intimidated because of the last experience, but pretty soon, I was back to the old Queen of my kitchen self. After mixing up the batter, I filled my 8-inch pan wrapped snugly with the Bake Even strip and popped it into the oven, then proceeded to bring in a couple of sofa cushions and set them down next to the oven window. I was not going to take my eyes off this baby.
The first 15 to 20 minutes went as expected. The cake rose as it should but not so far up that I had to worry about it going over the pan. Another 15 minutes went by and the top started to take on colour, but, my heart sank a little. The centre started to show signs of caving... not again!!! At this point I decided that I was jinxing the cake by staring at it so I walked away for another 15 minutes and did not peek once until the timer screamed at me. I nervously opened the kitchen door and carefully pulled out the cake, and then set it down gingerly on the cooling rack to allow it to settle before I turn it out. To my relief, the top of the cake took on a beautiful golden brown colour and was perfectly even all the way across the top... or was it???
After doing a celebratory gigue, I let the cake rest for a few minutes while I prepared my frosting. When I returned, I thought I had time travelled back to 2 weeks ago because I was looking at another cratered cake. Aaaaargh!!! (My best Snoopy impression.) Unfortunately, because I was so wound up by the sight of this nightmare, I "accidentally" forgot to take photographic evidence.
I am frustrated by this experience but not discouraged. I resolve to try it again this week (with photos!) because I believe the third time is the charm! (Cross your fingers for me!)