Home Cooking 5

Making a pound cake with zero experience and a dorm oven.

theannerska | Feb 3, 200808:52 PM

Hi all,

My first attempt at baking from scratch -- an ordinary pound cake -- spectacularly failed tonight. I could really use any and all the help I can get! Please help me out here, I'd really like to make this for Valentine's Day and am working with the old oven in my dorm "kitchenette." I'm sure a number of things went wrong, but I'm not quite sure what, and this was not the optimal first-time experience I had in mind.

- First, the recipe called for a 10" tube pan but I googled to see whether I could use a loaf pan instead (I want a pound cake in that traditional loaf shape). I've got a 9"x5" loaf pan and most sources suggested substituting 2 loaf pans for 1 10" tube pan, so I figured I could just split the recipe in half and use one loaf pan. Is that just a recipe for disaster?

- But maybe the disaster resulted from overfilling it -- I filled it up about 2/3 in the pan and it completely overflowed in the oven. Since I've never baked before, I don't even know how this part is supposed to look. Should I stick to halfway up the pan, even if there's batter left over?

- Upon the emergency evacuation from the oven, the "cake" resembled something between liquid and solid, with some over-browned edges/top. Would those edges have just burned completely black if the rest of the cake finished baking? How does one avoid this (i.e., with a lower oven temp maybe)?

- Lastly, I now have a container full of the cake innards -- all the semi-liquid stuff from the pan. Is it safe to let this get to room temp, refrigerate, and re-bake? Or just eat cold (kind of like a pudding)? Should I just let this one go and throw it out?

I cook often and have never had problems making substitutions for normal food recipes -- should I avoid this in the future with baking? I never thought this would be such an epic failure! I'm pleading for your help here, 'hounds. Please restore my faith in baking (and self-esteem). Thanks in advance.

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