"If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. "
- Will Rogers
Well let’s admit, we all have fudged our recipes at some point of time. We’re big fans of that intuitive, little-bit-of-this, little-bit-of-that style. But baking doesn’t work that way. Baking requires precision, and to some extent, creative liberties are restricted.
Baking from scratch doesn’t have to be intimidating or difficult. Some people have a knack for turning out incredible baked goods every time. Is there a SECRET? Absolutely! Follow the instruction to the “T”.
My goal is to help you become a better and more confident baker. So lets kick start our blog with 11 Baking Tip that will show the magic.
1) Cooking is an ART, Baking is a Science
Read your recipe thoroughly before you start. Baking is a science, and understanding the chemistry of your ingredients is necessary. Do not try to alter the recipe unless you have tried it at least once successfully.
If you need to adapt to this zone of baking where your primary goal is a perfect cake make sure you understand your ingredients and their importance in the recipe. Every ingredient has a specific role to play. Once you get the chemistry right, you automatically get the perfect rise.
2) Significance of Cake Measuring
Since Baking is all about understanding the chemistry of your ingredients, measure them correctly. Use proper measuring cups and spoons. The measuring tool should have a proper scale and units. Always pour your ingredients never scoop them. If Scooping, you always end up taking more than what is required. The other way is your experienced gut feeling, it is what the masters of baking do, they have an exact idea regarding the proportion of their ingredients. You may not be a master of the baking game, but with this practice of perfect measuring, you can definitely enhance your skills of baking.
3) Toss the old stuff
The quality of the cake ingredients matters a lot. Never use old, or products that are refrigerated for long as it affects the baking process. Products like baking soda, baking powder, and yeast loose their lifting powers over time. Refrigerated products lose their moisture sitting in the fridge. So always opt for fresh, new and quality products.
4) Ingredient Temperatures
Check what the recipe calls for. The final product completely depends upon the inputs used. So if a recipe calls for ingredients in room temperature, so be it.
5) Position/ Temperature /Time … Do Not Mess
Always preheat your oven and place the baking pan in the center. Moving it to the sides means either excessive or less heat leading to over or under baking. Try and bake at stable temperatures. Low and Slow baking always gives the best results.
We always end up increasing the oven temperatures to fasten the baking process which leads to an overbaked and dry final product. Do not doctor the oven temperature, or keep opening the oven door which may lead to a collapse. You don’t want your pride worthy creation come tumbling down like Jack and Jill, lay the foundations wisely, folks!!
6) Let it cool Completely (Unless you shouldn’t)
Our excitement has no limits seeing the finished product. Most of us try to demould the bakes immediately after they are out from the oven. Here’s where most of us go wrong. Once the product is out, do not hasten the cooling process.
Give the product some time to cool on its own. Cool the cake upside down on a cooling rack to get flat tops. This part is a little tricky, and you should give this process a good amount of time so that the cake comes out clean.
7) Blanket your Cakes
Blanket your cakes or other products with cling film and then store in the fridge to avoid dryness or crust formation. What it does is, it keeps the cake moist as well as intact. A cling film will be a shield for your cake after you have baked it with soo much of hard grind.
8) Gentle Folding VS Beating
Few products require gentle folding especially when the recipe is egg based. Few recipes need proper beating. Move a spatula in the bowl which your beating or folding to ensure proper mixing of all ingredients present at bottom or sides.
9) Stay Stocked
Don’t run at the last minute to buy ingredients. Stay stocked or go shopping with a proper ingredients list before your order, or simply call your general store guy and bombard him with the list of your items, the point is to fill up your stock as soon as you think about creating a project.
Planning plays an important role in cake baking. Be well prepared with edible prints, fondant/modeling chocolate/gum paste toppers, and flowers. All these can be kept ready and stored in air tight containers for over a month.
Make sure you dust the container with corn flour before placing them in the box. Simply draw your entire cake and list out the pointers. For Example, It will require blue edible paint, Xyz type of toppers. Creating a checklist is always beneficial in any caking and baking project.
11) Laughter, Smiles, and Happiness
Last but not the least when you have the best cake baking ingredients try and pour some happiness into your bakes. When you are not in a good mood you always tend to go heavy on your ingredients and kneading. So always plan your bakes to avoid last minute hassles and bake with a happy mood.
Don’t sweat yourself until you run out of H2O in your body, anxiety is not worth it all it does is takes your valuable time and brain cells, so I recommend you to relax and enjoy the process rather than worrying about it.
When it comes to baking, it pays off to be a perfectionist. Hopefully, these 11 tips will help you along!