to think that people who write recipes…

(35 Posts)
CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 00:57:40

…have weird ovens? No, I'm not putting my oven on to preheat to 200C before a long, multi-step prep process. It takes ten minutes, tops, to get to temperature. And the muffins I baked took 18 minutes, not 25. They'd have been bloody cinders.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:07:26

Most people have weird ovens and fan assisted ones are worse.

I pre-heat for cakes as I think it will make a difference if the mix is cooked through a rising temperature rather than the specified one.

I always set the timer 10 minutes early to check for any cake which needs around 30 minutes,5 minutes for any needing less than 30 minutes and at 30 minutes for any cake which is supposed to take 45 minutes or more to keep an eye on them.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:08:14

200c for muffins? That seems high.

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 01:10:48

I preheat too; I just don't start it 25 minutes before I'll need the oven grin

You're right about fans though; they are very odd. Mine is electric fan, but cooks less evenly front to back than the conventional gas ovens I learnt to bake with.

Quite happy with my muffins though smile

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 01:12:40

Yeah I think I could have got away with 180C or lower, Caitlin. Recipe said gas mark 6 hmm

Nocomet Sun 16-Mar-14 01:12:46

Depends little electric takes 5-10min
Two burner oil stove is a come back tomorrow affair.

TalkieToaster Sun 16-Mar-14 01:14:37

This seems like the perfect thread to ask this without being laughed at: How do you even KNOW if you have a fan oven? We rent and the oven has always been provided as it's built into the kitchen.

I'm guessing the obvious answer is that it's a fan oven if you can see a big fan in it? blush

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 01:15:45

I know mine is fan cause it makes a noise like a jumbo during takeoff.

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 01:16:22

That's jet, not flying elephant.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 01:22:00

Talkie the knob or whatever you use to turn it on will have symbols on it. If when you turn it one of the symbols produces a sound like a bathroom fan you have a fan oven.

If it's like ours there will be lots of symbols only 2 of which (fan and grill) you will ever use or know what they mean.

On another note, can you even get a gas cooker now? They cook so much better than electric.

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 01:25:21

Mine was an emergency what's-the-cheapest-oven-in-Currys-I-need-it-now job, and has no symbols except the ones that tell you which knob controls which ring/oven/grill, nor does it have an option to run without the fan.

Jolleigh Sun 16-Mar-14 01:37:44

I used to think this until I moved into the house I'm in now. The oven here takes roughly 86 days to pre-heat to 160. It's a right pain.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 16-Mar-14 02:16:31

Do you have a fan oven?

They're much hotter than a gas oven.

I make things up as I go, when cooking. Recipes are guidelines at most, surely?

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 02:18:57

Yep, fan. I should've knocked 20 degrees off the conversion from gas mark 6 to 200C, but I forgot. I don't think it would've taken 25 minutes even then, though.

KeatsiePie Sun 16-Mar-14 02:47:51

Ooh, those look lovely. What kind?

Putting "preheat oven to x" at the beginning of the recipe is a convention, of course ... but I have wondered if it used to be necessary to put it at the beginning because people's ovens used to take much longer to preheat? And now it's just still the conventional way?

HollyWhiteAlwaysWearsAHat Sun 16-Mar-14 02:51:30

Were you using an old book? Ols school non-fan assisisted ovens did take ages to preheat, and FA ovens always require about 20% lower temp than traditional ovens. That might have been why.

But I do find many recipes shockingly badly tested and proof read. I hate vagueness and inconsistency. I hate it when they forget to mention a whole step or a whole ingredient and you just have to guess what you are supposed to do.

There is a Nigella recpie for a chilli con carne that doesn't have any chilli in it. hmm

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 11:46:13

It's this recipe, with some candied peel in it. I suspect an organised, efficient, experienced cook with all the right kit would be able to mix the batter up in five minutes, but it took me… slightly longer. I had to chop the peel, after all!

deemented Sun 16-Mar-14 11:53:19

I know how to solve this problem.

Get a slowcooker (or three) and just chuck everything on low for eight hours. Job done.


CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 11:55:24

Would that work with soufflés, dee? grin

deemented Sun 16-Mar-14 11:58:27

Possibly. It works for frittata and omelette...

OnIlkleyMoorBahTwat Sun 16-Mar-14 12:23:51

YY OP. I don't know if ovens in the past took much longer to heat up than they do now, but I generally put the oven on no more than about 10-15 mins before I think I'll need it. (Normal electric fan oven).

If I put it on before I start finding ingredients/chopping/mixing/preparing tins etc, it'll have been on for ages wasting electricity by the time I'm ready to put anything in it.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 15:04:47

The muffins look lovely Corus I'd definitely have to pre-heat as that recipe would take 5 minutes to put together. Unless it was a very complicated and/or new recipe I would normally have put it together long before the oven reached the temperature.

The classic Victoria sandwich recipe takes even less than 5 minutes. Have you tried it? You weigh 4 eggs in their shells and use the same amount of self-raising flour, butter and caster sugar. Cream the butter and sugar(you can use an electric handheld whisk) add the eggs one by one, add the sieved flour, tea spoon of vanilla extract and a little milk if it seems too stiff. Divide between 2 lined tins, 175c, check after 15 minutes, might need a wee bit longer. Foolproof.

CorusKate Sun 16-Mar-14 15:15:00

The main issue for time is that I have about a square foot of counter space to work with, so there's a lot of shuffling stuff about, and due to lack of utensils I have to wash things if I need to use them twice. I'm also very out of practice, so I so recognise that that particular recipe could be put together by someone with more expertise/better facilities in a very short amount of time. But I have come across recipes which basically start, "Preheat oven. Mix flour, yeast and water, and leave to rise for 4 hours." grin

Thanks for the Victoria sponge recipe. I hope the muffins tasted okay; I don't eat cake but they've been half-demolished by DP during the F1 this morning, so must at least have been edible.

Caitlin17 Sun 16-Mar-14 15:27:13

This is probably going to make me sound like the most out of date, sexist little 50s wife ever but men do like home baking (oh dear just thought maybe your DP isn't a man which makes me even more outdated)

My DP goes on about not having shop bought cakes. I do enjoy baking though.

If you do get into it's fine to cheat on somethings . Homemade Bakewell tart and treacle tart are lovely but don't even begin to think of making the pastry yourself. Jus-Rol frozen is gorgeous, you'll never make a home-made version which betters it.

Or the completely bonkers thing I did one year of baking my own trifle sponges.

TunipTheUnconquerable Sun 16-Mar-14 15:29:29

My oven takes half an hour to preheat angry

I started a thread because dh reckoned it is normal and it is absolutely not!

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