Baking with a hemisphere cake pan

Discussion in 'Cakes' started by Becky, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    Aaaages ago I bought a hemisphere cake pan - and whilst I have used it, it was so long ago that I can't remember the lessons I learned from doing so. So it kinda feels like starting from scratch again :rolleyes:

    I'm planning on making a chocolate cake with Ian, and it will be covered in Oreo frosting. We're hoping we can get it to look like the moon! Yum :D

    Given the shape, the cake will cook a lot quicker on the outside and longer on the inside, so I'm thinking I may need to opt for a low and slow bake. I think I might also need to cover the outer rim partway through baking, although I'm tempted to put a cover in place for the whole bake. The cover I have in mind would be similar to a pie-crust cover - ie just cover the edge, not the middle.

    If anyone has any tips or advice I'd be very grateful! :)
     
    Becky, Sep 18, 2018
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  2. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    You’re brave...

    When I go higher than 2” pans I use a heating rod. Fat Daddio makes a 4.25” heating rod. In the US, MiaBakery, a baking supplies company that sell through Amazon has 4” heating rods. That’s where I bought mine.

    I agree low and slow is best, especially if your pan is anodized aluminum, dark metal or treated metal. With these types of metal the exterior would be so over baked and dried out by the time the center was fully cooked if baked at the standard temperature.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 19, 2018
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  3. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    I've never tried using a heating rod before, that's a great idea! I've read some reviews saying that you can achieve a similar result with a metal kebab skewer so I might try that. Also I think wrapping the outside of the tin could help slow down the baking of the outside. When I was looking at heating rods on Amazon I saw adverts for something called a 'baking belt' which is an insulated belt that wraps around the tin. Not sure I'll be getting one, but thought it was neat!
     
    Becky, Sep 19, 2018
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  4. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    I've decided I'm going to use Stella Parks' recipe for Devil's Food Cake (which is in my Bravetart book, but also available here):

    https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2018/02/bravetarts-devils-food-cake.html

    My book tells me this cake will be 8" x 4", and my hemisphere tin is 8". The volume of half a sphere is equal to two-thirds of the volume of a cylinder with an equal radius and height, so I've apportioned the ingredients accordingly. Just need to pick up some dark chocolate and we're good to go! :D
     
    Becky, Sep 19, 2018
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  5. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I use baking cloth strips religiously to ensure a level cake. I haven’t had to level a cake in some 10 years largely due to the use of the cloth baking strips. I never really thought of it as slowing down the baking process, but I that’s essentially what it does.

    The key to the baking strips is soaking them in water to ensure they’re fully saturated before using. Since water cannot get higher than boiling temperature 212°F (100°C), it keeps the outside of the pan cooler, which keeps the batter against the metal from setting up too quickly. This allows the cake to bake at an overall more even rate.

    I use the Wilton brand baking strips. I know some bakers make their own using a medium weight cotton fabric. I’ve seen some websites where bakers have wrapped the pans in aluminum foil, which is baffling to me since foil retains and conducts heat.

    Do you have a flower nail with a flat top? I’ve used flower nails in the past with good results. No matter what you use just hit it with some baking spray first.

    In a standard cake pan I push the heating rods through a circle of baking paper for easier removal. But unfortunately you can’t line a hemisphere pan.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 19, 2018
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  6. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    Ah ok that's interesting to know, I might have to get some! I guess I could have use a bain marie for the cake given that the tin is one complete piece, but too late. It's out of the oven now and cooling after 1hr 30 mins at 150 deg C. I'm going to let it cool almost completely before I try and take it out of the tin, although I have run a knife around the top to loosen it.

    I lined the tin partly with Oreos! Should help prevent it sticking, plus they should meld with the cake. Ian's going to decorate it with Oreo buttercream tomorrow, and hopefully it'll look like the moon :)

    Here are some progress pics... I set the 8 inch hemisphere tin inside a 9 inch regular cake tin, and put a quadruple layer of baking paper around it (inside the larger tin). It insulated the inner tin and also steadied it:
    hemisphere cake 1.jpg

    The Oreos inside:
    hemisphere cake 2.jpg

    Added the batter on top, it was the perfect amount:
    hemisphere cake 3.jpg

    I tried a make-shift cake rod with skewers but it ended up being too tall to fit in the oven! Bit of a shame really, I was impressed with my construction :D
    hemisphere cake 4.jpg

    The baked cake (I'll be levelling it off):
    hemisphere cake 5.jpg
     
    Becky, Sep 19, 2018
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  7. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah you get extra points for your high wire act. :D That’s actually pretty inventive, too bad it wouldn’t fit in the oven. Overall though your cake looks pretty good. It’s really tough to bake something with that much batter in the pan. Let us know how the finished product turns out
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 20, 2018
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  8. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    Yeah I'm intrigued! I think it's going to be pretty dense, but if the batter is anything to go by it will at least be tasty. I'm so glad the eggs here in the UK are safe, I'd be very sad to not be able to eat raw batter :D

    Going to decorate it later today, and will be having some tonight with my brother and his girlfriend, so I'll try and get some good photos :)
     
    Becky, Sep 20, 2018
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  9. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Off topic...so my three people luncheon morphed into a 10 guest sit down. I was away and came home sick. So I had to reschedule my small luncheon. But SIL was not available until last weekend. Since my nephew and wife and a couple others were coming over this weekend I decided to combine everything into one so I wouldn’t do back to back lunches.

    So the house is scrubbed clean and smells of French lavender; the shopping is done and I’m sitting on my bed procrastinating because I need to bake a cake and I’m tired. o_O

    OK I’m gonna get up and I’m gonna start baking now...
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 22, 2018
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  10. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Just started to mix the batter and I realized I was going to use heating rod & cloth baking strips.

    I like to put the heating rod under the parchment paper

    C385A5C6-5EC1-4186-8818-D3243BE4810D.jpeg

    My raggedy baking strips:rolleyes: But hey, they get a lot of use
    75B3CD27-08AB-4CAB-948A-34ED6E466DF4.jpeg


    Batter ready for the oven
    725BD9FA-3917-4F12-88DF-406B3CC6D409.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 22, 2018
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  11. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    These are chiffon cake baked as a layer cake. The heating rod and baking strips create a level cake every time.
    7714F5E4-CEDC-4407-99A6-E57DB04047C5.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 22, 2018
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  12. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    Sorry to hear you've been under the weather! Hope you're feeling better now. That cake looks lovely, and it's interesting to see the impact that heating rods and tin insulation can have!

    The hemisphere cake turned out pretty well! Annoyingly it stuck to the tin though - it wasn't the cake batter than stuck, it was the Oreos!! :rolleyes: Managed to get it out eventually, but it broke in two. Oh well, Slathered the Oreo buttercream on and hoped for the best.

    I have to say, the cake is so tasty :D I have been very fickle with chocolate cake recipes, there are very few that I'd try twice, but this one is a keeper!

    oreo chocolate cake.jpg
     
    Becky, Sep 24, 2018
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  13. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Wow that’s a nice rich dark chocolate cake!:p I can’t remember if I’ve tried that recipe of Stella‘s. I’m taking some Halloween gifts to my niece next week, including a batch of Halloween cupcakes. I think I’m going to use this recipe for the cupcakes. Maybe add a ganache center.

    My niece is such a character. Offer her toy dinosaurs or a Barbie doll and she’ll pick the dinosaurs every time. She loved Holloween as much as Christmas.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 25, 2018
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  14. Becky

    Becky Administrator

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    It really is delicious! I could taste the coffee quite strongly in the batter so I was worried I would be able to taste it in the baked cake, but I don't think you can. She certainly knows her stuff, that Stella Parks :D

    Your niece sounds like my niece, I love encouraging her interest in all things a bit 'different'. We got her some small fossils and her mind was blown! The sharks teeth were her favourite, she took them in to school to show them to her friends :)

    I was reading through the Bravetart book this morning, it's just so interesting! Can't wait to try the next recipe (just need to decide on what it is...)
     
    Becky, Sep 25, 2018
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  15. Becky

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    The fact that your niece was so fascinated with the sharks’ teeth that she took them to school to share shows how important it is to move beyond gender stereotype toys.

    I try to avoid the toys with an emphasis on typical gender stereotypes. I have to go into that “boys section” to find things like toy dinosaurs. I just bought her a little boys shirt with a cool dinosaur on it. They don’t make that stuff for girls it’s really odd.

    I’m going to make her Halloween costume. She wants to be a Pokémon Fire Tail Dinosaur. But not the baby one she wants to be the grown-up one:cool:

    Yeah Stella Parks is really interesting to read. She really gives you the history and science behind the food but in such a way that it’s not in the least bit boring.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Sep 27, 2018
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