Baking Made Easy!
As someone who loves to bake, you don’t want to find yourself in the middle of baking a chocolate cake and you run out of key ingredients! Save yourself from the inevitable headache by preparing a checklist of all the ingredients and tools you will need to start and finish your masterpiece. There are some important things you should know before you start if you want to avoid making mistakes and disasters and to guarantee your next cake is the perfect cake and your pie crusts aren’t too hard. Read through these tips and make notes to help you prepare for your next bake-off.
Follow the recipe.
Substitution of ingredients is no secret! Many of us are victims of tweaking recipes based on what we have in our pantry or what we can afford to buy from the grocery store. Taking out eggs, reducing sugar, using liquid sweetener instead of dry, all-purpose instead of cake flour or Chocolate cake mix, baking soda for powder, egg whites instead of whole eggs, etc. Does this sound familiar? When you do this, you’re changing the outcome of the original recipe and this shouldn’t be done unless the recipe suggests alternatives.
If a recipe calls for room temperature ingredients it’s important to comply, and use room temperature ingredients like eggs, sour cream, butter, and milk. Cold butter cannot be creamed, and cold eggs can shock and curdle a batter. It’s best to leave ingredients on the countertop overnight. Have you been asking yourself why your cakes are dense? You’re probably softening the butter too much. Allow the butter to sit out on the counter for about 1-2 hours before beginning your recipe and the butter should not be shiny or greasy. It will be cool to touch, not warm. To test it, poke the butter with your finger. Your finger should make an indent without sinking or sliding down into the butter.
This is where most people start to make mistakes. The difference between a recipe success and a recipe failure could lie within 1 mis-measured tablespoon of sugar. Measuring ingredients properly is imperative, accurate measuring is the difference between a light, moist cake and a gummy, dense one. To properly measure, you need three types of measuring tools: a clear measuring cup with a spout for wet ingredients, cups with flat rims in graduated sizes for dry ingredients, and a set of measuring spoons.
Don’t Over-Mix, Don’t Under-Mix.
Whether a recipe calls for mixing the batter with an electric mixer or simply using a whisk or a Whisk Egg Silicone, make sure you’re mixing the cake batter together *just until* the ingredients are combined. Use a good quality Silicone Spatula to mix. Over-mixing batter, whether that’s for cakes, cupcakes, bread, muffins etc, lends a tough-textured baked good because you’re deflating all the air and over-developing the gluten. don’t under-mix. Obviously, we want all of the ingredients incorporated together.
Don’t Open the Oven:
Don’t open the oven 25 times as the cake bakes. This lets in cool air and the drastic temperature change causes the rising cake to sink. (Temperature change is the same reason cheesecake can develop cracks. Have your Oven Glove Silicone ready to assist with maintaining hot pans.
Check out these baking favourites available at your nearest Crazy Plastics: