The dos and the don’ts of baking a cake
I am no expert at baking. Just this that I never gave up on it. Bakery cake recipe does not amaze me and baking cake at home is best thing so In the journey I found the following.
Following are the things that should be taken care of while making best baking cake recipe:-
- PRAY! Yes I always say a little pray when I decide to bake a cake.
- Baking a cake without eggs is what I prefer. Use the ingredients of best quality. For example, use vanilla extract instead of essence. Use a good cocoa powder, butter etc. Use unsalted butter unless the recipe calls for salted butter. I however use salted one as unsalted is often unavailable.
- Make sure the ingredients are at the room temperature.
- Weigh your ingredients. Invest in a weighing scale and be sorted for life. I prefer to weigh them instead of measuring them using the measuring cups and spoons. And if you don’t want to weigh them for any reason, make sure to measure them properly. Don’t dig in the measuring cup or spoon into the ingredient container. Always spoon out the ingredients to fill the measuring cups and spoons.
- Collect and weigh all the ingredients before starting off with the recipe. Baking cake temperature should be accordingly.
Preparing the pan for baking
- Before you prepare the pan, you need to select one. Amazing cake recipes requires to select best pan I mean choose the pan of correct size. There is a lot of information available online as to what should be the size of pan depending upon the volume.
- To avoid a domed cake tie a towel strip around the cake pan. This is a substitute (jugaad #dilhaihindustani) for pre-made strips.
- I like to grease the cake pan then line it with a good quality parchment paper and again grease the parchment paper. And this has always worked for me.
Preheating the oven
- Always pre-heat the oven to the temperature and for the time mentioned in the recipe.
- If your baking trials are failing again and again in spite of following all the dos and don’ts of baking, get an oven thermometer. This will give you the exact temperature of the oven.
Mixing the wet ingredients
- Just follow the recipe. If it calls for creaming the butter and sugar at high speed for particular minutes, do that. Do not do anything more or less. Baking cake tips will help you to make it better.
Mixing the dry ingredients
- The best way to mix the dry ingredients is by sieving them together twice or thrice. Umm… yeah I too get lazy at times and end up using a balloon whisk to mix the dry ingredients. Baking cake ingredients are most important part of delicious cakes.
Mixing the dry and wet ingredients
- My mom used to use the cut and fold method. If you know this method well, go ahead. When your kids will write a post on cake you’ll be mentioned there .
- I mix the two ingredients with the help of a balloon whisk using a very light hand.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones in batches. Do not add the entire lot of dry ingredients to the wet ones.
- How so ever you mix, DO NOT OVER MIX THE BATTER. If you do that, even “control + s” will not be able to save your cake (you know what I mean). Ok you don’t? What I meant was DO NOT OVER MIX THE BATTER. Simple. Baking cake classes will guide you with the best tips.
Batter in the pan
- Pour/spoon (depending upon the consistency of the batter) into the prepared tin.
- Pat it twice.
- Level it with a spatula.
- Do not leave it on the counter now. Yes it’s time to bake.
Cake in the oven
- I have been repeating “follow the recipe” but but (yes Mr. Word I want 2 but here), when it comes to the baking temperature and timing follow your experience. Each oven is different and no one knows your oven better than you. Baking cake pans makes the cake delicious. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, then you have to follow the recipe. However just remember the fan ovens/convection ovens work at 20 degree centigrade lower than the stated temperature.
- Do not open the oven door before 15-20 minutes how so ever inquisitive you are!!
- If you see the cake top browning really fast, cover it with an aluminum foil and continue to bake.
Is the cake done?
- Insert the toothpick to check if the cake is done. No. Do not do that.
- First of all, feel the cake from the center as well as the sides. It should feel the same. The cake should be spongy and pilowy.
- The sides of the cake start to pull away from the cake pan. There appears a tiny gap between the edge of the cake and sides of the cake pan.
- NOW insert a toothpick or spaghetti. Because if the cake is too much under-cooked and you insert the toothpick to check it, it will sink down.
The cake is done, but I am not done yet
- Take the cake out of the oven once it’s done. Don’t let it sit in the hot oven any longer.
- Place it on a wired rack and let it cool. Most of the recipes call for cooling the cake for 5-10 minutes. I cool mine a bit longer. I cool it till the point that it’s just warm.
- Carefully de-mould the cake by running a knife along the sides of the pan. Invert it on a plate, remove the butter paper and let it come to the room temperature.
- Slice the cakes when they are at the room temperature. Umm yeah even I get tempted to eat a slice of warm cake. In that case carefully slice the cake using a sawing motion. And if the cake is too soft or fudgy, refrigerate for an hour before slicing it.