before turning on the blower. Or, if the fan has two
speeds, use the lower speed.
Check the cakes in about one-half the cooking time
specified in the convection oven owners manual. If the
cakes are baking too quickly (cooked around the edges,
but not done in the middle), reduce the heat 15°F to 25°F
and use this lower temperature for each successive load.
The oven vent should be open when baking cakes. If
the vent is closed, the moisture in the oven will keep the
cakes from rising. A fully loaded convection oven will
bake cakes more slowly than a partially loaded oven.
TESTING FOR DONENESS. To determine if
the cake is done, touch the center of the cake lightly. If
an impression remains, return the cake to the oven for 3
to 5 minutes more and then retest. A toothpick or wire
cake tester may be inserted into the cake. If no batter
clings when it is removed, the cake is done. Batter cakes
will shrink slightly from the sides of the pans when done.
COOLING. If space is limited, cakes may be
cooled, frosted, and served in the baking pan. If the cake
is to be removed from the pan for icing, decorating, and
service, allow it to cool for about 15 minutes or as
directed in the specific recipe. Remove jelly rolls from
pans while they are hot. Paper liners should be removed
while the cake is still hot. If allowed to cool, the paper
will cause the cake to pull apart and tear. Generally,
however, for most cake items use a spatula to gently
loosen the cake around the sides of the pan. Cover the
cake with the bottom side of a clean pan of the same size
and invert both pans. The cake should drop easily onto
the clean pan.
Cakes baked in loaf pans should be
cooled completely in an upright position before they are
removed. Cut around the sides, tilt the pan, and slide
the cake out gently.
CAKE CUTTING. To prevent breaking, cakes
should be completely cooled before icing and cutting.
Cakes baked in standard-size sheet pans are usually cut
into 54 square pieces, 6 across and 9 down.
For other cake shapes consult the AFRS guideline
cards. To cut a cake use a knife with a sharp, straight
edge and a thin blade. Dip the knife in hot water before
cutting and repeat as necessary to keep crumbs and
frosting from clinging to the knife. Cut with a light, even
motion. A loaf cake or fruitcake should be cut with a
slow sawing motion. Fruitcakes cut easier if they are
Cover cakes with
moistureproof paper and place them in a clean area with
a temperature range of 75°F to 95°F where they will not
absorb odors. Cakes should be served within 1 to 2 days
for best quality.
Cake decorating does not have to be limited to
holidays and special events, such as a change of
command or a retirement. Some commands honor the
birthdays of crew members weekly with a decorated
cake. This gives the MSs frequent opportunities to
practice and develop their skills at cake decorating.
The first important step in cake decorating is to
have a frosting of the type and consistency required to
make the desired shapes. Decorators frosting and
cream frostings are suitable. Frostings used for
decorating should be stiffer than those used for
The second important step in cake decorating is to
have the equipment needed: cones, tips, tubes, and
CONES. The cones used for cake decorating may
be either pastry bags purchased to fit commercial tubes,
or they maybe made from paper. Paper cones are easily
made, are disposable, and are sanitary. The best paper
used to make a cone is parchment paper. Heavy waxed
paper also can be used, although it is less rigid and,
therefore, more difficult to handle. Several cones can
be filled with different frosting colors to be used
alternatively in decoration.
TUBES. There are many kinds and sizes of metal
tubes (tips) available. They can be selected from those
in standard stock or purchased to fit individual
requirements. By varying the colors of the frosting and
the sizes of the metal tips, a wide variety of decorations
can be made.
Borders can be plain or elaborate,
depending on the tube used. Writing should be carefully
planned before starting so it will be well centered.
An open star metal tip is used to make shell, rope,
and heavier ridged borders or small flowers. Examples
of various tips and the designs they make are shown in
the NAVSUP P-421.
FOOD COLORINGS. Food colorings are
available in paste and liquid forms. A little coloring goes
a long way. Food coloring paste will give dark shades
when desired, but will not thin the frosting. Liquid
colorings will thin icings and will provide only pastel