Baking is a science, though not a complicated one; it relies quite heavily on accuracy. Everyone can bake, but like most things, a little know-how goes a long way. Even the little of the littlest mistakes in baking can mean the difference between the cake that rises and the one that sinks; the cookies that are perfectly golden brown and the ones that have burnt bottoms.
We all want to impress others. If we bake, we want the dish to come out exactly as we intended it to be. We all want our cakes to look good, but that doesn’t mean it has to follow an elaborate procedure for baking. Baking a cake or pastry with a simple recipe that is convenient to follow and use at home can do wonders for you.
But unlike other types of cooking, we can’t cheat on baking. We can’t alter the amount and type of ingredients according to our choice and availability. If you think you can make small careless mistakes while baking and it won’t affect anything, then you are gravely mistaken. This is the main reason for people shying away from baking by thinking it is a tedious, unsatisfying work to do. But actually, it is not so. You just have to take care of the small things for the big things (here, cake/pastry/cookies) to fall right into place.
Here are 6 common baking tips that people need to know, and those that form the foundation of baking. These fundamentals if followed accurately, can save your cake from sinking down, or your cookies from getting burnt.
1.Choosing A Good Recipe :
If you don’t have a good recipe to start with, the results aren’t likely to be delicious. Always remember, bad recipe is equal to bad result. A bad recipe is confusing and has a disproportionate and odd combination of ingredients. A good recipe is always easy to follow, and is created with tweaks and turns to the standard one to suit your convenience.
You should always choose a recipe that matches your baking abilities and the type of ingredients you have. Also, you should also follow the recipe accurately from start to finish, and check the results time to time, and make sure they match with those written in the recipe. Do not substitute the ingredients or alter the recipe until you feel confident enough.
2.Preparing For The Baking Process:
You should always get organized before you start baking. It doesn’t take long to get the ingredients sorted before you start the baking procedure. Getting out all ingredients and equipments beforehand, makes the baking efficient, and saves you extra time for collecting and gathering ingredients afterwards.
Also, you should adjust the oven racks beforehand, so that they are at the right level for the particular cake to be baked, and there is enough space for the cake to rise.
Apart from this, you should prepare your cake tins or baking trays by greasing them with oil or lining/dusting them with flour (as per mentioned in the recipe), for the cake to come out of the tin/tray smoothly. There is nothing more frustrating than the cake sticking to the cake tin from its base and sides, as it spoils the shape and look of the cake.
3.Preheat The Oven :
You should always preheat the oven, at least 10-20 minutes before you put the cake batter inside it. This is one of the most important steps which should definitely not be forgotten, otherwise it will result in a cake that is undercooked or not risen properly.
4.Measuring The Ingredients:
You should never underestimate measuring of the ingredients, specially the dry ones. Use reliable and apt jugs, spoons, cups and bowls to measure your ingredients. Also, the dry and wet ingredients should be measured separately. More so, the size of the cake tins should be appropriate for the amount of cake batter so that the cake rises nicely.
5.Keeping Track Of Time:
Always keep the time in mind for which the cake is inside the oven. Set a timer if necessary. Follow the time strictly as per written in the recipe. When three quarters of the time has passed, wait near the oven and test the cake by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the cake and the moment it comes out clean, switch off the oven.
6.Mixing The Contents Well:
Properly mix the ingredients of the batter. The dry ingredients should be sifted together really well. Once the dry ingredients are mixed, add the wet ones and mix properly again. Refrain from over mixing the batter as it will result in a tough cake due to hardening of gluten and will give a chewy taste.
These are simple 6 rules, which, if followed religiously, can guarantee the cake to be perfect when it is baked. Following these tips will make you go through an easy an efficient baking experience, and will save you from avoiding baking the next time you have a party or a get together is held at your house. You just have to go by these tips and Voila! A beautiful cake will be ready in a very less time which will be a treat to your taste buds.