Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

INFO: How to Tell When Baked Goods are Done

Please allow me to deflate a little. I have just had three nonstop days of activity from UCLA food writing workshops (Russ Parsons!) to birthday parties (fun!) to Borat movies (funny!) to dinners at Gingergrass (delicious! ps-they have venison on special now!) to friend's bands at the Echo (loud!) to special screenings of Inland Empire (booooring! shut up, Laura Dern!)(ps sorry if you're a David Lynch fan. I usually am too). So there was no time for blogging. But now I have done all that, I have worked and I have voted and I am ready to sit down for a minute. Who better to share this moment with than my bloggy friends?

And since you are my bloggy friends, you all know that baking is my nemesis. It's very hard for me and often disastrous. I need all the help I can get. Thankfully for me, Cook's Illustrated, a major source of kitchen aid for my baking dilemmas, published in its September/October 2006 issue a guide to knowing when food is done. Here are some of their baking tips. For more, as well as guides to knowing when other foods are done, check out the issue.


1. Press on it--if your finger leaves a dent or the center is jiggly, it's not done.
2. The toothpick test-it should come out clean, or maybe with a few crumbs, that's it.

COOKIES: Take them out when slightly underdone and let cool for a few minutes before putting on the rack. Any crevices should appear moist. The edges should be slightly browned, and the center should be set but not fully dry.

BROWNIES: Use the toothpick test, looking for moist, sticky crumbs.

PUDDINGS and CUSTARDS: For creme anglaise, 175-180 degrees, for ice cream, 180-185. Baked custards should jiggle slightly when shaken, which will happen around 170-175 degrees.

YEAST BREADS: Lean breads are done at an internal temperature of 210 degrees. Egg and butter breads - 190 degrees. Breads of moderate fat - 195-200 degrees.

PIES and PASTRIES: The crust will be well-browned on the bottom.

CHEESECAKE: Take it out of the oven at 150 degrees. The center should just barely jiggle.

Good luck!


Mmmmmm now I want a brownie with my coffee.

said by Acme Instant Food at 9:25 AM Delete

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