I've been having trouble with my oven lately. It's been refusing to cook the center of cakes. I'm sure you can see how that could be frustrating. I've been forced to throw out perfectly good ingredients, and even worse, I had to pass off, what was supposed to be a flourless chocolate cake as a 'pudding cake.' Luckily, I have a very supportive family, and everyone managed to polish off their slice with compliments to the chef. After the 'pudding incident,' as I've begun to call it, I've decided not to bake anything bigger than a cupcake until I solve the problem. It pains me to throw, what could have been, perfectly good food into the garbage. I decided to use cake mix to test out a few possible solutions to my baking conundrum. (By the end of my testing, I had two batches of 'brownies' sitting in front of me that I couldn't, in good conscience, toss. Thus, the cut-and-paste cake portion of my icing project was borne). I have a thermometer inside my oven that always reads the same temperature as my oven setting, so I know it's not that the temperature is off. I tried moving my cakes to the bottom rack and placing them on a baking tray, this yielded properly baked brownies with a slightly burned taste, but not a visibly burned bottom. The problem is, I suspect that the burned taste is just the actual flavor of inherently crappy boxed-brownie mix. My solution to the burned flavor was putting two baking sheets under my brownies to further insulate the bottom and prevent burning. This turned out to be too much insulation and I was back to an uncooked center, ARGH!, that still had a burned taste which I now wholly attribute to my $1.38 boxed brownie mix. At least that's one problem solved. I guess that makes my next move another test, but with real ingredients this time. Fingers crossed that the single-pan-on-the-bottom-rack theory works. Wish me luck!
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