Love to Bake Cakes but keep making mistakes? We’ve put together tips and tricks to help you become a bake whizz in the kitchen in no time!
1. Always make sure everything is at room temperature (unless your recipe specifically says chilled or frozen!) Especially butter as its your starting point in every recipe and its temperature will determine whether your cake will be beautiful and moist or terribly dry and crumbly. Eggs, and anything dairy such as milk or yoghurt should also be at room temperature. This ensures that ingredients emulsify into the batter while creating volume and air and creates a homogenous texture.
2. Speaking of butter, creaming together butter and sugar is extremely important. You need to beat it with an electric hand-mixer (by hand will take far too long unless you’re looking to work out your biceps!) How to tell if its done? Keep beating vigorously till the colour changes to a pale light colour and resembles fluffy cream. Consistency is key here – if your butter and sugar are whipped properly, this will ensure a delightful light and airy cake rather than a dense one.
3. If you’re making cupcakes or cakes like a Victorian sponge, then incorporating as much air into your batter is key. When mixing batter, make sure to “fold” in your other ingredients like eggs and your sifted flour. You can do this by consciously folding or even making the figure 8 while mixing your batter. Do not over-mix and using a big metal serving spoon or wooden spoon is helpful.
4. Making a chocolate cake or brownies but not getting the desired taste? Check your chocolate. Not all chocolate is the same, for example if your recipe calls for baking chocolate, make sure you buy that because that is unsweetened chocolate in its purest form. It will melt uniformly and also look at the percentage of cacao. The higher the percentage, the higher the intensity of chocolate flavour. Our recommendation for brownies is always cooking chocolate or a dark chocolate if that’s what you have on hand, it enhances the flavour and luxurious feel of the brownie. Cocoa Powder tends to make cakes drier.
5. Deflated cake? That means you’ve over-mixed. Only mix your ingredients together JUST till they are combined. It could also mean you were impatient and kept opening the oven door. This will make the temperature uneven and your rising cake will sink.
6. Check your oven temperature against your recipe. A lot of people think not sticking to the oven temperature stated in the recipe is not a big deal, but it will help eliminating an overly done bake or a cake that’s been cooked all around but raw in the middle. Your oven temperature as well as the pan you use will determine the timing for cooking too. Please stick to what your recipe states.
Short on Time?
7. Making cupcakes but making a mess when filling cupcake liners?? Use an ice-cream scoop! You’ll get even cupcakes and its quick!
8. Need to whip a chocolate cake or brownies but short on time? Next time buy your chocolate in bulk and shred it and store it! This will reduce your time significantly and be easier and quicker to melt.
9. Need room temperature eggs but forgot to take them out of the fridge? Dip them in hot water for 1-2 minutes!
10. Forgot to get your butter to room temperature? Stick it in a rolling bag and keep smacking it with a rolling pill till the butter is smashed! Then just scoop it out, it will be easier to mix.
11. Preheat your oven while you begin preparing your ingredients for baking! This will ensure your oven is at the right temperature once you’re ready to pop it in the oven.
12. Always use baking paper to line your pans and tins. This will be easier to clean up afterwards and will help you avoid burning your cakes or bakes and you won’t have any batter stuck to the tin when trying to lift it out!