Oven cooking may be a slower process, but a more relaxed one that allows you more breathing time and leaves you free whilst it does all the work. It is for this reason that the oven is one of my favourite cooking methods. Whilst, a lot of oven recipes are relaxed and laid back its very important to get to know your oven especially when it comes to sweet cakes and bakes. Ovens vary a great deal, if you constantly find that your cakes are underdone or even burnt this may not be an issue with the recipe but your oven itself. If you find this the case it may be worth your while investing in a very inexpensive piece of kitchen equipment an oven thermometer to test your ovens temperature. It is also worth testing both new and old thermometers to ensure its accuracy. There are two simple methods for this one is the ice water test and the other the boiling water test.
For the ice water test fill a large glass or bowl of icy water. Your thermometer should measure 0 degrees Celsius /32 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the type of thermometer you have, it may take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute.
For the boiling water test bring a pan of water to the boil. Insert the skewer of your thermometer and you should get a reading of 100 degrees Celsius/ 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that you know your thermometer is correct you can test the oven temperature and adjust your cooking times giving you better results.
Below is just one of my favourite stress-free oven meals. That cosy classic family favourite Toad in the Hole this recipe has a few shortcuts like the delicious onion gravy that cooks in the oven along with the toad in the hole meaning you are free to get on with other things whilst it’s in the oven.