Baking is not just the sort of thing that moms do anymore. Anyone can bake, and if you work on your skills you will enable yourself to make some truly delicious baked goods that are going to be the talk of the town. If you are new to baking it is very understandable if you feel like you don’t quite know where to start. Here are some tips to help you get your foot in the door and take a step in the right direction towards becoming the best baker that you can be.
Pan Color Matters
This is something that a lot of people simply don’t realize because of the fact that they don’t think about it when they are taking part in their baking processes. Darker colors absorb heat faster, which means that a dark pan will get hotter quicker. This can be useful for cakes that need to be a little crispy and slightly burnt on the outside for that delicious bitter flavor. You can use dark pans for things like brownies, and lighter colors for cakes that are meant to be fluffy and soft throughout.
Bring Everything to Room Temperature
Another common mistake that people end up making during the initial stages of their baking careers is that they use ingredients right out of the often. One of the most essential components of baking involves bringing everything together in a manner that would leave it looking smooth. Cold ingredients are not going to mix well, they are going to get clumped up and you will not get a silky smooth batter as a result of this fact. Take everything out of the fridge an hour or so before you start baking so that it can come to a more manageable temperature.
Move The Pan Around
Once the cake mix has been put in the oven, many newbies in the world of baking just leave it there thinking that their job is more or less done. However, if you truly want your cake to become delicious and absolutely perfect, you should rotate the pan every so often. Try not to rotate it too much though because this could disturb the contents of the baking pan and will result in your cake not being as fluffy or light as you need it to be. One or two rotations to make sure every side is covered will suffice.
Take The Cake Out Quickly
When the cake is ready to come out of the oven, you will need to leave it to cool. Don’t leave it in the pan, though, because the pan will lose heat a lot more gradually than your cake. This can lead to your cake continuing to cook even after it is out of the oven which can make it hard and unpleasant. Take the cake out of the pan and leave it on a wire rack to cool instead.
You have probably heard of alcohol being used while making pastas or other kinds of savory dishes, but did you know that it can be used in the baking process as well? Indeed, using alcohol while baking can give it a delicious flavor, and there are a bunch of other benefits that you can look into as well. Before you start using alcohol while baking, though, you need to understand why it makes cakes taste better if it is used right. This will help you independently use it without needing someone to hold your hand all the way.
There are two basic chemical properties of alcohol that have an impact on the flavor of a cake.
Alcohol Evaporates Quickly
When a freshly baked cake comes out of the oven, it is going to be very hot. You have probably seen cakes steaming when they are freshly out of the oven. Alcohol evaporates much more quickly than alcohol, and when it does so it brings unique flavors to the forefront. This is a way to layer the flavors of your cake. Not only are you going to end up getting a richer overall flavor but there will be steps to the flavor composition as well. Fragrances from the alcohol will hit you first, followed by the texture and flavors of the cake itself.
Alcohol Has a Unique Flavor
If you have ever tasted alcohol, you would know that there is nothing quite like it. It is an acquired taste without a doubt, but once that taste has been acquired nothing else in the world will give you that same level of satisfaction. Adding this flavor to cakes can help you experiment a lot more instead of just baking a simple chocolate cake every single time.
The more alcohol a certain beverage has, the less you need to put into your mix. Liquor such as whiskey and vodka is very high in alcohol content, so adding a few tablespoons will be more than enough, and certainly no more than about ten. If you are using beer or some other kind of low alcohol content beverage, you will need to add a lot more so that you can get the ideal amount of flavor that would enable your cake to be truly unique in pretty much every single way.
Using alcohol is also a great way to control the texture of your finished product. Acidity from the chemicals present within can make your cake a bit more crumbly which can be wonderful in certain situations but absolutely awful in other situations. It is important to use it sparingly and only when you know it will do a good job at improving your cake. Once you master the use of alcohol in baking, there is no end to where you can go from there. You will be able to bake amazing cakes and come up with your own recipes as well which are sure to delight everyone.
Anyone would tell you that a cake is only as good as its frosting. While the cake itself is essential of course and baking it well will be important if you want a happy customer, or if you are baking for the people at home happy members of your family, but a good frosting can really take your cake to the next level. The choices you make regarding frosting can be tough because there are just so many different avenues for you to explore. Here are some excellent recipes you should try.
This is a classic recipe. After all, who doesn’t like chocolate? The buttercream is going to give it a light yet decadent feel as well, which is great for cakes that are being made for big parties and the like. For this cake you will need a cup of butter, unsalted would be preferred, a cup of cocoa powder, four cups of sugar and about sixty grams of heavy cream that should be at room temperature before you add it to the mix. Add a couple teaspoons of vanilla extract and a couple pinches of kosher salt to really get some epic flavors going.
Peanut Butter Buttercream
Chocolate is a classic choice, but a lot of people end up feeling tired of the constant monotony of eating chocolate time and time again. Peanut butter is a great flavor and it can break the routine a little bit. The recipe is the same as the chocolate buttercream, just skip the vanilla and replace the chocolate with about one third of a cup of peanut butter instead. Add more whipped cream to the mix so that the sweetness cuts through the saltiness of the peanut butter.
Salted Caramel Sauce
A lot of people are under the false impression that a cake needs to be sweet in order to be good. The truth is that not all good things are sweet. Salted caramel is a delicious option, one that would give you a good balance of multiple flavors and allow you to be more in tune with the decisions that you are making. For this recipe you should start with a half cup of granulated sugar. Add in three tablespoons of unsalted butter that has been softened beforehand. Once the butter has been added, put in about sixty grams of heavy whipping cream. Make sure it is at room temperature so that it softens into the mix more thoroughly without clumping up. A teaspoon each of vanilla extract and kosher salt will round off this glorious frosting that will have people raving about how amazing you are at baking cakes.
There you have it! These are just three of the countless options you can look into. You have classic sweet frostings as well as saltier options as well if you are thinking of being more adventurous with the baking choices that you are making.