Friday, October 20, 2006

Let Them Eat Cake!

I have a temperamental oven. It is old and rusty and the color of brick, (which evidently matches the brick facade that the owners put up some 30 years ago). Rusty, as I affectionately call her, gives me a bit of a hard time when I bake. The good thing is I can trust her at 350º on most days.

On days she does not want to perform, I have to fidget with the faded knob and keep checking the internal thermometer. There is no slight adjustment in this kitchen. One millimeter apart means a temperature difference of 90 degrees.

This was the case last night as I tested out one lone ramekin of what was supposed to be a molten chocolate cake. The recipe called for frozen cup to hot oven at 375º. Rusty gave me 390º at first, so I gently tapped the knob to the left, to my Sharpie-noted measurements. 5 minutes later the oven went to the desired temp, and I inserted the ramekin with visions of gooey chocolate dancing in my head.

A few minutes later, I took a peek into the oven to check on the progress, only to find that Rusty cooled herself down... waaay down... to 300. After fiddling a bit more I got her back to 375, but by that time, the ramekin already warmed to the point where I can't refreeze to retry. Defeated, I popped it back in the oven to let it finish baking.

The result? No molten, just cake.

Ah well. At least Chris really liked the recipe and continued to eat the entire thing. Tonight, Round 2! Rusty vs. muffin tins. The rest of the batter is going to turn into cupcakes, to be served to the Game Night Gang. Hopefully this batch will come out with a gooey middle!

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