We’ve all been there… when your cake comes out as a complete disaster after you’ve spent countless precious hours stirring, mixing, folding and lovingly placing it in the oven to bake. The end result resembles NOTHING like the photo in the cookbook and you hang your head in disappointment. “How did this happen?” you ask yourself. You’ve stuck to the recipe 100%!
Small things can cause baking flops and it’s best to know how to avoid them from the very beginning. Here’s how…
1. Measure precisely
Baking requires a degree of precision, so make sure you are accurate with your measurements.
2. Follow the recipe
It sounds obvious, but read through the whole recipe before you start, make sure you have all the ingredients and that you understand the instructions.
3. Preheat your oven
Preheat your oven to 10 or 20 degrees more than stated in the recipe and turn the oven down to the correct temperature when you put the items in it. This prevents the temperature dropping too low when the door is opened.
4. Get to know your oven
Every oven is different. Most domestic ovens’ temperatures vary from what the dial actually says, check the temperature with an oven thermometer (you can get these at reputable cookware stores). Learn where the hot spots are and find which shelves are the hottest.
5. Turn down the temperature if baking in a fan-assisted oven
Lower the temperature by 20 degrees from the recipes suggested temperature when using a fan oven.
6. Have your ingredients at the right temperature (before you start)
For example the butter for butter icing and eggs should be at room temperature before you start, and butter for pastry should be as cold as possible.
7. Use the right tool for the job
If the recipe calls for you to whisk, then get out the whisk. Mixing it with a wooden spoon isn’t going to give you the same results.
8. Use the best ingredients you can afford
The best quality, freshest ingredients will give you the best tasting products.
9. Be patient
Baking is a process and sometimes you just have to wait (for things to rise or bake or mature). Have a cup of tea or find more recipe inspiration by browsing on Pinterest.
10. Don’t open the oven door
Some baked goods don’t seem to mind being disturbed, but if possible don’t open the oven door as it lets the heat out and this can result in your cakes and bakes dipping in the middle.
Happy baking everyone!