Thursday, November 11, 2010

Baking Cakes With a Flower Nail

I was asked about this recently so here's my two cents on baking with flower nails.  I stumbled upon this use of a flower nail a few years ago.  It is now standard practice in my kitchen.  When I bake a cake I place a flower nail upside down in the cake pan.  The purpose is to promote even baking of the cake.  Ever have a cake that gets done on the outside but takes forever to bake on the inside?  This is especially a problem with large cakes.  Yes, there are heating cores that you can use.  I have one.  You'll see why I like the nails better in a minute.  Here's how I do it.
 Place the flower nail in the pan and spray with non-stick spray.  (I took these photos in Texas. See, no green counter top.)

 Pour batter in the pan and bake.
 Here it is just out of the oven.  The nail is sticking up in the center.
See that tiny hole?  That is where the flower nail used to be.  This is the reason I like the flower nail better than the heating core.  With the heating core you have to use the cake from the core to plug the 2 inch hole in the cake.  With the flower nail there is no patching required. 

On larger cakes I sometimes use more than one nail.  On my 11 x 15 pan, for example, I use two nails, equally distributed in the pan.

Give it a try, I think you'll like it.