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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Tips For Cake Baking!

rocket science. I have always enjoyed baking. Sometimes baking is the stress buster for me. I find some happiness in beating the butter by hand and mixing all the ingredients and seeing the cake raise in the oven. With these few tips and ideas its absolutely a joy to bake at home.  
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  • Baking unlike cooking is a precision art. A little over or under can lead the recipe in a completely different direction. Invest in a good scale, thermometer and oven.
  • Read the recipes thoroughly before attempting them, its always good to know what to do next beforehand, rather than looking into the recipe for every step.
  • If the liquid measurements are given in weights rather than volume, just follow the weight measurement. It’s much more accurate.
  • Always use all the ingredients at room temperature unless and otherwise the recipe demands it. Ingredients like butter and eggs should be taken out of the fridge at least an hour before you start to use them.
  • Always use unsalted butter. Its better to have the amount of salt content in our control
  • Use only the amount of flour mentioned in the recipe. Do not substitute cake flour when the recipe calls for all - purpose flour. It will make the cake too fragile. 
  • Always use the exact number the eggs or the amount of eggs the recipe demands for. It is very essential for the texture of the cake. More will make it too crumbly and less hard. 
  • If volumes are given as measurement for eggs, then measure the volume of the egg without the shell.
  • American recipes usually have cup measures – these do not mean your standard teacups – the cup measures have distinct volumes. Refer to a good book as a guide or look it up on the internet.
  • When whipping egg whites make sure your bowl is super dry and there is no butter or yolk in it.
  • When using a double boiler to melt chocolate, make sure the water does not come in contact with the bowl that has chocolate. The water shouldn't boil vigorously. It will make the chocolate to curdle.
  • When making steamed custard – gently tap the ramekin in which you pour the custard. It helps to release the trapped air bubble and improves texture.
  • To dust the baking tin rub little butter and sprinkle flour over it dusting off the excess. Or simply layer the bottom and sides with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven for at-least 20 mins before baking. Set the correct temperate.
  • Batter that has only eggs as there leavening agent, bake them immediately. Batter which has chemical leavening agent such as baking powder can be refrigerated for an hour in the baking pan.
  • Always keep an eye on the product inside the oven, while baking. Different ovens behave differently at same temperature! So know your oven first.
  • To ensure level top and sides, turn the cake halfway around after two thirds of the estimated baking time. 
  • When a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean without any wet batter sticking on to them is the best way to know that your cake is done.
  • Once the cakes are out of the oven, cool them completely in the tin and on a wire rack before, slicing, frosting or storing them in an airtight container to avoid them becoming dry.
  • Remember the cooling time is double the baking time. If you try inverting or cutting into hot cakes they will crumble. 



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