Welcome to the basics of baking.For successful baking the below given tips would help to a great extent.These are tips I have learnt from my experience and mistakes. I’m still learning,so I will be updating my tips as and when I come across something new.
1.Get ready for baking only when you have ample time,hurrying in baking will only cause the recipe to fail.
2.Baking requires exact measures. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before you start.
3.You will require cup measures and spoon measures to get precise quantities.
4.All dry ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking salt have to be filled in your cup and leveled off.
5.If the recipe calls for grams or ounces use a weighing scale to measure the weight.
6.Butter should never be melted for a recipe because the melted butter will not hold the air and thus your cake or cupcake or muffins might turn out soggy. So leave them for at least 3 hours to get them to room temperature.
7.Excess baking powder can also cause your cakes to flop/collapse.
8.Eggs and butter are usually called for at room temperature so that they can hold more air and turn out fluffy and light.
9.The oven should always be preheated to the right temperature before putting in the pan with batter in the oven.
10.The right baking pan is also essential.example:cookies need cookie sheets,cake need round pans,brownies do well in a square pan.
11.Use fresh ingredients,if you baking powder is age old,your cake would probably not turn up right.Also all dairy products should be fresh.
12.I avoid raw eggs for mousse etc because of the presence of the salmonella bacteria,even if they are pasteurized.But,they say you can use pasteurized eggs if a recipe calls for consumption with eggs in a raw form.
13.Recipes calls for various types of flours,the all purpose flour has gluten which renders cakes in the smoothest form.Other flours give a little texture to cakes.
14.Always use unsalted butter in baking unless specifically mentioned to use salted.
15.Decorating cakes takes a lot of patience and practice,so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get it right the first time.
16.Use serrated knife to cut cakes into layers.Always let the cake cool before cutting slices.
17.Always prepare cake pans by greasing an lining with paper/dusting with flour that will help the cake from browning on the outer layer.They should be dry before starting.
18.For dusting-grease the pan,place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and spray again and place in refrigerator for 10 more minutes.Then scoop a little dry flour into your pan and roll around until all of the pan is coated.
19.Sifting your flour aerates it and renders a soft cake,so always sift your four before adding to the batter.This also gets rid of lumps.