Oven Hot Spots
Q: My cakes are often slightly lopsided and my biscuits are always unevenly coloured – can you please tell me why?
A: The most common reason for baked products to rise and brown unevenly is that you have hot spots in your oven. The best way to really know what the temperature variation actually is in different parts of your oven is to use a portable oven thermometer (these can be bought from any good kitchenware store for under $10). Each time you preheat your oven (to the same temperature), move the thermometer to a different place and see if the temperature varies. This way you can see exactly where the hot spots exist and how severe they are. You can either get a technician to calibrate your oven and potentially limit the hotspots or simply make sure you turn your tins or trays around at least once during the baking time to help bake and brown more evenly.