Watching Master Chef Australia this week, shocking that they haven’t even bothered to give the contestants a crash course on the law of baking your favorite cake recipes in another country or even a different time zones, like a America with more than their fair share of time zones.

What normally happens if you make your mixture – preheating your oven to 180 C or 350 F in goes the mix looks like all is going well, but the moment you pull it out of the oven the middle sinks. Panic set in.  This is normally a sign that the temperature was too high.


So what can you do if you are in an area you are not sure about.

Preheat your oven 15 degrees lower than you normally would i.e. instead of 180 – preheat at 165 degrees – then after the first 15 minutes increase the temperature by 3 – 4 degrees allow the oven to reach the new temperature then check again – do another increase by 3 – 4 degrees.  I have found that you normally only need to increase the temperature twice before getting the heat right.


Make a note on the recipe remember to also write where you were baking this cake, biscuits at this time.Yes biscuits can do the same I know when I have forgotten to change the temp on my recipe as I get what my husband calls flatties which are lovely and crumbly and can be used as decoration on trifles ice cream and puddings.


This may sound strange but the environment that we live in plays a big part in how recipes react and work.  But you can correct this with joy now.  So those recipes that you have tried before that failed can now be taken out and used again.Just do the simple method of adjusting the temperature.  So if you watched Master Chef Australia you now know why their cakes failed so horribly.  The only reason why the baking worked after that is they were using recipes designed in that area and the one sponge got soaked in wine so it was lovely and moist again.

Bernadette Longueira