Baking goes wrong for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes the reasons are unknown. But knowing a few simple hints and tips will make your baking life easier and stop the mishaps from happening.
1 – Get prepared. Obvious I know but the amount of times I thought I had enough flour in the cupboard only to find I had 50g less and not enough for the recipe.
2 – Ingredients. All your ingredients work best at room temperature. Take your butter, eggs, milk etc out the fridge for an hour before using.
3 – Oven temperature. All ovens vary. Even identical ovens are different in temperatures. Get yourself an oven thermometer. It helps, I promise.
4 – Don’t open the door too early. It will sink. The end. Wait until 90% of the cooking time has gone by before checking the cake. It stands less chance of sinking.
5 – Quality. Don’t settle for cheaper ingredients. Pay an extra 50p for the bag of flour, get some really good quality vanilla extract and cocoa. It’ll make a huge difference to the taste and rise of your cake.
6 – Quick cooking. Unfortunately baking isn’t something you can rush. Cook it on too high a temperature and the outsides will cook too quick, the inside will take longer to do, the edges will be hard and crusty and it will be dry. Yuk. Take your time and allow plenty of baking time. Don’t rush it and you won’t be disappointed.
7 – Cooling - Leave your cake in the tin to cool for 20-30 minutes before taking it out. It is less likely to break up as cakes can be very soft when fresh out the oven.
8 – Decorating - Make sure the cake is completely cooled before adding any kind of buttercream or topping. Even if it is slightly warm, the buttercream will melt.
9 – Tins. I always bake in 2 tins. I like really deep cakes and most of my cakes have 4 layers of cake. I then halve each of my cakes so i have 4 layers each of around 1 inch. It also means that I don’t bake 1 really deep cake, my cakes are moister.
10 – Sugar Syrup. Mix up equal parts of sugar and boiling water. For e.g. 50ml boing water and 50g sugar. Stir until melted. Drizzle this over your cooled cake layers and it really adds that little extra moisture.
So there you go. My top 10 tips. I use all these every time I do some baking and never had any complaints!