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Jul 30, 2010 01:01 PM

Easy Bake Oven

Hello CH-

I normally stick to my MSP board, but alas I need some advice on home baking. I love, love to bake. I have a great oven, great pans, great utensils, just really enjoy baking well. So my best friend is getting married and her shower will be in TN. I will be traveling there and volunteered to make the cake since the thought of some store bought hydrogenated frosting POC (piece of cake) just really irks me. So I talked with the girl hosting, and she said she has two round cake pans and that is it. Fine, I can pack a cake pan or two in my luggage. Then she also said she thinks her oven runs low so maybe I should bring an oven thermometer :P Well, lovely. I won't have enough time to bake a trial cake before hand. So here is my dilemma.

I am looking for recipes for either cake or dessert that is tolerant of a (crappy) oven and will still be fancy enough and delish enough for me to be proud of. I am sure any fussy bakers out there understand me. I don't want to go armed with my meticulous cake recipe only to have on side get burnt and the other not rise. So either tolerant in the oven, or no baking required, but something that says "I love my best friend and baking."


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  1. Can you find out if the hostess has a pizza stone? Because that will keep the heat more even once the oven gets to temp, and you can use the thermometer to monitor temp until it reaches and maintains the temp you need before putting your pans in the oven.

    1. Hi Tia -

      I have had this recipe bookmarked for a month or so can't personally vouch, but it looks amazing. It's a many layered cake made with crepes and since I make a pretty decent crepe (the secret is a little beer in the batter - yes, beer!), I plan on trying it out:

      If you have a decent pan for the stove top (or pack one:), you won't even need the oven.

      Hope this helps.

      4 Replies
      1. re: fluffitude


        My name is actually daniellempls (TIA means Thanks In Advance). But this sounds pretty cool. A little rich, but a good possibility. And it certainly has the coolness of looking like a cake, but not quite being cake. I can hold my own in making crepes, too.

        1. re: daniellempls


          I was just going back to edit my post, but you caught me :)

          Was thinking, TIA is thanks in advance...the poster is gonna think I'm slow. Well, maybe I am, but that's beside the point.

          1. re: fluffitude

            looks delish, fluffitude. will it be OK for the last steps--caramelizing sugar with a blow torch, and refrigeration? wonder if you couldn't skip the blow torch. is it necessary for firmness? maybe it's just for crunch. maybe you could use something else, such as toffee.
            you're a good friend, daniellempls!

        2. re: fluffitude

          The crepe gateau concept is a simple one. Julia and Jacques did them on their joint cooking show. I think one of them alternated dark chocolate ganache with jam. A ganache or other pourable glaze/icing should be easier than meringue if the OP needs a simpler procedure. They had probably 14-16 crepes, so when served, the slice was placed on its side.

        3. I think you would be better off looking for recommendations for a good cake baker in that town.

          If you don't want to do that, make the cakes at your home and figure a way to transport them. Decorate the cake at the destination.

          Another idea would be to buy just the undecorated cake at a bakery...even a grocery store bakery then decorate it as you see fit.

          Another possibility is find another person going to the shower that can make the cake part for you to decorate.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Hank Hanover

            I think your ideas are all excellent. Depending on how far/long the OP is travelling, bringing the prebaked cakes shouldn't be a problem at all. Hey, I bring back two dozen bagels from NYC when we go.

          2. I would try either a carrot cake (very forgiving and can be made pretty with the usual nuts/fondant carrots) or a no bake cheesecake. The cheesecake can be made more gourmet with a sophisticated flavour (lime coconut, white chocolate ginger, etc) and can also be garnished.

            1. What about a cheesecake in a waterbath? The hot water will help keep the temperature in the oven steady and a low temperature is what you want for a smooth creamy cheesecake. I also love an overnight cheesecake for the texture--it's baked so low that it won't dry out.


              If not, I agree w/ weezycom about using something like a pizza stone, or even a cast iron skillet, to keep the temperature steady. Make cupcakes so you can pull the cooked ones out, if needed.

              Personally, I'd probably go with a tiramisu. I use a springform pan, line the lady fingers like a picket fence around the edge, assemble the rest in the center. Remove the sides if the pan and add some ribbon to "tie" it up. It's very pretty. You can make your own ladyfingers, keeping a close eye on them but even if they're a little dry, all that filling makes it good. A trifle would also work but the sponge cake might be a little trickier. But, even if the cake doesn't turn out perfectly, the custard makes up for it. You can use seasonal fruit and make a beautiful layered dessert.