I tried a new recipe (date nut cake) today for my father-in-law's birthday. I tested with a toothpick, saw it needed more time, and when I tested the next time, the toothpick came out clean. So I took it out of the oven, where it started to cool and then it sank, creating a hole in the top where I saw that the middle was not in fact done at all, but that the crisper top had evidently wiped the batter off of the toothpick. I sliced off the top to level it and survey the damage. Only the outer half of the cake is baked through. The cake is warm still and the pan is hot, although it has been cooling for a while. Is it possible to finish baking the middle by putting the cake back in the oven, or will that just dry out the already finished-baking portion?
Have you thought of using a flower nail in the centre of the batter to help bake it through? I use them in cakes 10" and more but I've never used it in heavier cakes like date nut. I always have trouble with my banana bread and now you got me thinking that the flower nail may be the solution.
I wouldn't do that. Can you cut the unbaked portion out of the middle and shape it like a donut....and then fill the hole with strawberries, or some other fruit or decoration?
Thanks for the responses. I did put the first cake back in the oven in order to see what would happen. It definitely did not work, as expected. The cake is only a 6 inch diameter, so I hadn't thought of a flower nail, but I bet that would do the trick. Next time I will try it. Right now I already have a second cake in the over, with the timer set for longer.
Lesson learned, but yes the top crust will often scrape the batter off the toothpick, you need to pick a hole in the crust then toothpick it