I used to wonder what goes wrong with my cake? It always was a disaster- be it a badly cracked cake, a dry cake, heavy cake, collapsed cake etc. But this didn’t stop me from baking. I kept trying and voila! Now my cake turns out to be just perfect. I am compiling a list of mistakes that you can avoid– these Easy Baking Tips will really help you!
Measure all the ingredients accurately. Buy a set of measuring spoons and cups. ( It costs not more than Rs150)
#2 Right balance:
The number of ingredients, the temperature is given, the size of the tin or mold and the baking time are all co-related. Do not change any of these. Strictly follow the recipe. Do not substitute any ingredient without knowing the science.
#3 Sift the flour:
We might think that it is a waste of time to sift properly packed/ fresh flour. But this step ensures that the cake will be free of any dry lumps and have an even rise.
#4 Good quality ingredients:
Always use fresh ingredients. Check the expiry dates of baking powder and baking soda before making the cake. Keep replacing them every 6-7 months.
#5 Separate bowls:
Two separate bowls to be taken for dry and wet ingredients. First beat wet ingredients (butter and sugar) thoroughly in a bowl with a blender or manually and then add the sifted dry ingredients.
#6 Using cold ingredients:
All the ingredients (butter, milk, cream etc) have to be at room temperature unless specified in the recipe. Don’t warm the butter in the microwave as this will melt it and the cake will not be fluffy and soft.
#7 Keeping the ready batter on hold:
After mixing dry and wet ingredients, the batter should not be held for long. If there are no lumps, pour the batter immediately to the baking dish. Otherwise, the result would be a flat cake.
#8 Baking powder and baking soda:
Although they may look similar, one cannot be substituted for the other. Also, you cannot skip any of them. Both have to be added in right measure as mentioned in the recipe.
# 9 Overmixing:
It may result in a sunken cake as too much air gets trapped in overbeating. Once you have mixed all the wet ingredients, gently fold the dry ingredients into it
In an attempt to avoid overmixing, sometimes we leave the batter undermixed. To strike a balance, beat till the flour is completely absorbed.
This is the most important point. Even if you have a great recipe, you may fail at this point. Put the oven on pre-heating once all the ingredients are ready. PLEASE note that the baking dish is not to be pre-heated.
#12 Grease the tin:
Prepare your baking dish by greasing it with few drops of oil. Spread it evenly and sprinkle some flour. This will ensure that the cake won’t stick to the tin and it comes out clean.
#13 Tap the pan:
Before putting the pan into the oven, gently tap the pan. This will not only smooth the surface of the cake but also remove any air bubbles trapped inside the batter.
#14 Opening the oven door:
To check if the cake is ready, first see if the cake has shrunken from the sides or has left the sides. Then only insert a knife in the highest part of the cake. If the knife comes out clean, the cake is done. DO NOT open the oven door too many times.
#15 Cool completely:
Let the cake cool down properly before you cut in. Do not refrigerate it to quicken.
Keep these points in mind while baking and you’ll avoid some major failures. Hope this would help. Please share your views in the comment section below.
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