Rich Cake - Temperature probe

Some years ago, my wife bought a Taylor thermometer with probe, for use with
the w/end roasts.
I'm aware that one of the best ways of testing when a rich fruit cake, is to
use a skewer. But even with the skewer, I'm finding that the cake can be
slightly over/under cooked.
I was wondering if the Taylor could be used to improve constancy in results?
If so, it raises a couple of questions :-
1. Is there an optimum internal temperature.
2. Would the internal temperature be relative to size. i.e. sponge cup-cake
versus wedding cake.
3. If yes to 1., would you switch off, or maintain temperature, until recipe
timeout. TIA
Bertie
Reply to
Bertie Doe
I know that bread is done at around 195F-200F- does that help? I'm not a fruitcake fan, but I would think with the added density of the fruit it may take longer to bake...
Reply to
Merryb
Thanks for the info merry. The recipe for a 10" square tin, calls for 2hr 15min at 320F, but I have to adjust to 275F for fan.
I could set the alarm on the Taylor to sound at say, 185F (there's bound to be overshoot) and then reduce the temperature setting and thus maybe hold 200F until the 2hr 15min are up. I'll try it tomorrow and report back. I know it sounds a bit finicky, but if the thermometer gets me repeatable results, I'll stick with it.
Bertie
Reply to
Bertie Doe
Whatever works! Do you have an exceptional recipe? I'd like to hear the results of your test, if you don't mind- good luck!
Reply to
Merryb
Thanks Merryb it really worked and the cake was well cooked and moist. The recipe is for a Dundee Fruit Cake. The original recipe calls for 4oz of whole blanched almonds to decorate the top and 2oz of chopped blanched almonds, to add to the fruit (I didn't bother). It suggests 4oz of glaced cherries, I used dates this time. The following temperatures are for fan oven.I set the oven temp at 275F/135C and set the internal target temp at 200F/93C as you suggested. It beeped me after 40mins, when it reached 200F, I turned the oven down to 250F/120C and for the remaining 1hr 20mins, it more or less, held 217F internally. I covered the cake with foil, for the last 30mins. Total bake time 2 hours. Method :
Blend 250g butter and 250g soft brown sugar together (I used white sugar) Beat in 5 eggs. Mix in 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, half tsp each of ground cloves, and grated nutmeg, into 315g of AP Flour. Add flour and spices to mix. Empty the above into a bowl and mix in : 225g sultanas, 175g raisins, 175g glace cherries (or dates), 115g of chopped, mixed peel. 2 tbsp brandy (optional). Place in a greased or lined 9" square cake-tin (or equivalent round) and bake as above. The slice looks a bit crumbly, in the following pics, as I cut it when the cake was still quite warm. Once again, thanks for those internal temps figures.
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Reply to
Bertie Doe
I'm really glad I could help- thanks for the formula, and the nice slideshow! Your cake looks perfectly done! So, will you soak this, or is the added brandy all it gets? I may just have to try it...
Reply to
Merryb
"Merryb" wrote in message
Hah, I ran out of brandy on New Years Eve, the bottle only lasted a week and I haven't bought any since. I substituted with 3 tbsp of port.
None of the fruit were soaked. It's the cheap supermarket branded stuff, which is fairly sticky.
I'll make another one of these fruit cakes next week and leave it in the tin for a month. My wife will then cover it about quarter inch of marzipan and frosted icing. She'll add 1 tspn of gelatine, to soften the icing. This will be our traditional Xmas cake treat and will last about 1 week -:) Must remember to add brandy to the w/end shopping list - for cake and medicinal purposes :-)
Bertie
Reply to
Bertie Doe
So, you are in the UK? I'm only guessing because of your measurments, and also using marzipan is something that sounds a bit more cultured than what is done in the US!! I'm interested in your use of port as oppossed to brandy or whiskey- did it lend a "winey" flavor?
Reply to
Merryb
So, you are in the UK? I'm only guessing because of your measurments, and also using marzipan is something that sounds a bit more cultured than what is done in the US!! I'm interested in your use of port as oppossed to brandy or whiskey- did it lend a "winey" flavor?
Port and sherry is a popular additive to rich fruit cake as an alternative to brandy, it's down to taste rather than cost, as the quantities are quite small.
Marzipan is popular in the uk, you can buy it ready-made, in sheets from the s/mkt or make your own from ground almonds and sugar. In addition to Xmas cake, it's also used in wedding cakes i.e. rich fruit cake, marzipan and then overlaid with royal frosting. I guess with a mult-tiered cake, you wouldn't use gelatine to soften the icing, on the bottom tier :-)
Many years ago, a cake my mum taught my wife to make, was battenburg. It uses marzipan on sponge. Battenburg is still available in the s/mkt, but as you see from the Wiki entry, nowadays it looks pretty anaemic. However, my wife still uses food dye, which exaggerates the harlequin effect.
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Reply to
Bertie Doe
I went to school a number of years ago to study French Pastry & Baking, and worked in the field for a number of years, altho I have a real job now! I have made marzipan myself, but most people really don't care for it. It's interesting to read/taste the differences in cultures, so that's why you are getting "the third degree" here! Where are you?
Reply to
Merryb
"Merryb" wrote in message
I wouldn't want to eat marzipan more than say 2 or 3 times a year - it is very sweet. In Germany they have a similar cake covering, can't remember it's name, which uses a different nut to almond, no doubt great ... in small doses.
I'm in the county of Cornwall, about 5 miles from the south coast and about 30 mins drive, West of Plymouth. Quite nice, when it's not raining :-)
Bertie
Reply to
Bertie Doe
I'm in the Seattle area, also famous for rain, although it's beautiful out today..I feel the same about marzipan as you do- a little goes a long way. I once made a cake for the opening of the town's seasonal farmer's market. I made a bunch of little marzipan vegetables to decorate it with. Fun stuff to play with!
Reply to
Merryb
"Merryb" wrote in message
Agh Seattle, world famous for it's coffee culture. I'm an espresso nut and roast my own beans. If I were to visit Seattle, it could prove fatal :)
Bertie
Reply to
Bertie Doe
Sometimes, too much of a good thing- I'm afraid Starbucks will take over the world! Actually with our economy right now, I think their business is slowing down. I am sure your coffee has got to be better than theirs- I like Tully's better, or better yet, Torrefazone. When I went to Italy about 12 years ago, I learned to appreciate espresso even more than I did before I went. When I ordered coffee at breakfast, I was asked "American coffee?" I said yes, and was I disappointed! It was more like brown water! LOL! From then on, I stuck to espresso, straight up with a touch of sugar, and maybe some lemon. So, what kind of beans do you prefer?
Reply to
Merryb
"Merryb" wrote in message
What beans do I prefer? that's a tough one, as the are hundreds to choose from and a good harvest this year, could be followed by a bad one next year. At the moment, my top 5 are : Ethiopian Haraar, Indian Monsooned Malabar, Dominican Republic Barahona, Brazil Fazenda Monte Alegre and Indonesian Silcoto Sulwazi. There are also some good blends around, from your side of the pond, there is Sweet Marias Liquid Amber and Intelligentsia Black Cat.
I started of with a Woolworth's steamer carafe many years ago, which cost about £8. Overtime I've upgraded my kit, but don't ask me how much I spent, as I'll say "an arm and a leg". Here's a pic of my grinder, espresso machine and roaster. You can see both the green unroasted beans (on the right) and the dark roasted on the left.
There's also a picture of one of my earlier fruit cake attempts. It looks ok, but it's a bit over-cooked and some of the raisins etc, near the surface are burnt. You see this earlier recipe had glace cherries. Next time I bake this, I won't need to use the thermometer, I'll just reduce the temperature after 40mins - if I remember :-)
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Reply to
Bertie Doe
Wow, you are serious about your coffee- nice pics! I haven't seen green beans anywhere, altho I've never really looked for them. That could be a fun thing to try...I've read that you can use a hot air popcorn popper to roast beans, but it will burn it out fast as that's not what it was made for. Thank you so much for the lovely pictures and great info!
Reply to
Merryb
"Merryb" wrote in message
Sweet Marias is one of the largest supplier of greens in the USA
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but there are loads of others. CoffeeGeek probable has the best archives on other roasters -
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Reply to
Bertie Doe
w.sweetmarias.com/but there are loads of others. CoffeeGeek > probable has the best archives on other roasters -
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Thanks for the info. My husband is groaning at the thought of anotherkitchen experiment! LOL!
Reply to
Merryb
My favorite coffee beans are Kona. They are so aromatic and the flavor is rich, robust and distinctive. I love to serve Kona coffee for the holidays because the guests always appreciate it and notice the difference. I order 100 percent pure Kona coffee online at
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because I got duped at local gourmet stores whosell Kona blends (which are 10 percent Kona and then Arabica orsomething else -might as well buy Folgers).
Reply to
mamasaid
"mamasaid" wrote in message
My online roaster in the Uk, gets his Kona from Cea at Smithfarms. Cea posts a lot in alt.coffee, so we always get updates on the fight for 100% pure Kona. One success she has mentioned, is the Hawaii legislature's ban on GM coffee and taro, hooray!!
Reply to
Bertie Doe

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