New Techniques

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It would be alright to be one of those analytic-types when it comes to teaching myself new things, but the truth is I just sort of wing-it. I’m more like one of those kinesthetic, open-the-oven-15 minutes-later-and-cry types. (I don’t really cry when a recipe fails. I’m a grown up, I swear!)

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Left: trial #2, Right: trial #1

Trial 1: cookies were too dry and crumbly, lacked flavour, and didn’t brown at all. This probably also had something to do with the oven temperature being too low, since they didn’t quite cook through. Also, I must stop using chopped chocolate bars in cookies because it always ends in pools of chocolate (not that I would mind this on any other occasion).

Trial 2: I fixed the browning and taste, but the texture was still too dry.

Drastic times call for drastic recipe revision!

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Most new ovens (past 10 years or so) have a convection setting. Here’s mine!

If you’re anything like me, you have shied away from using your oven’s convection settings because for some reason the idea is a little nerve-wracking. There’s really only one thing you need to understand about convection ovens: there’s a fan, and that fan evenly disperses the hot air around the inside of the oven.

There’s also a few rule of thumb pointers to keep in mind.

  • Regarding temperature, you can generally assume a convection oven will need 25 degrees lower than the temperature specified in a recipe for a conventional oven
  • As always, let it preheat fully before putting food in (especially with baked goods, because they’re more delicate)
  • Browning (and therefore burning) happens faster, so check about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through the original baking time
  • The heat needs room to circulate around the oven so allow at least 2-inches of space on either side of the baking pan/sheet
  • In addition to the above point, shallow pans and rimless baking sheets are recommended for effective circulation

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I have plans for this cookie recipe, so I won’t be sharing it for now! With luck, I’ll be able to share some exciting news with you all soon.

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One comment

  1. These are some really good baking tips (and ones I really need)! And I may have cried once or twice when a recipe didn’t work out…

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