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10 Vital Tips Every Baker Needs To Know

Can you open the oven door? Swap butter for margarine? Use cold eggs? Read on for our star baker secrets!


Top 10 Baking Tips: How To Bake Perfect Cakes

You don’t have to be a queen of cakes to bake perfect pastries and sweet treats. With a little patience, and by following a few simple rules, you’ll be able to create your own showstopper in no time at all.

So, here’s our round-up of top baking tips and secrets to help you on your way to ‘star baker’…

1

Read the recipe in full before starting...

Read the recipe in full before starting…

It sounds an easy one but there are so many times when people dive right in and start to bake before actually reading all of the required steps. A lack of preparation can end in a kitchen disaster so take five minutes to read the recipe in full and then lay out all of the required ingredients and equipment. Being organised will lead to successful bakes and help you to keep your kitchen relatively clean and tidy.

2

Don’t shy away from kitchen gadgets...

Don’t shy away from kitchen gadgets...

There are so many baking gadgets on the market these days, and if you decide to make an investment in the likes of a food processor or an electric whisk then it could well save you a lot of time and effort. There will always be some steps in the recipe that require work by hand but we don't think there’s anything wrong with a little help from technology every now and again!

3

Avoid Substituting Ingredients...

Avoid Substituting Ingredients…

If your recipe doesn’t offer a substitute suggestion then don’t use one. Every ingredient is listed for a reason and if you start to swap things out then the chances are your cake won’t turn out the way it’s meant to. That goes for your equipment as well. If the recipe requires you to use a certain size of cake tin then you should opt for that specific size.

4

Use the correct quantity of baking powder...

Use the correct quantity of baking powder...

Baking powder is a great little ingredient but use too much and your cake will rise too quickly, then sink in the middle. Too much baking powder can dry out your cake and even leave an unpleasant bitter taste, so use it wisely! 

5

Don’t use cold eggs straight from the fridge...

Don’t use cold eggs straight from the fridge...

As well as letting your butter come to room temperature, you should also treat your eggs in the same way. If you use cold eggs straight from the fridge then your mixture won’t emulsify and you’ll end up with dense cakes.

6

Stop opening the oven door...

Stop opening the oven door...

We know it's tempting to see if your cake has risen but the more you open the door, the less the mixture will actually rise! Opening the oven door allows cool air in, which interrupts the cooking process and stops your cake from rising to its full potential. Be patient and if you really must take a little peek, do so as quickly as you can.

7

Don’t forget to grease your pans...

Don’t forget to grease your pans...

There’s nothing worse than going to all of the effort of making a delicious cake and then finding out that it’s stuck to the tin and won’t come out. Greasing your cake tins is essential and it will ensure perfectly turned out cakes every time. Try using a pastry brush with soft butter to grease your cake tins for better coverage.

8

Place your cakes in the centre of the oven...

Place your cakes in the centre of the oven...

When placing your masterpiece in the oven, try and place it as close to the middle of the oven as possible, unless otherwise stated in your recipe. This should allow for an even and delicious bake.

9

Always Flour Your Workspace...

Always Flour Your Workspace...

If you’re working with pastry or dough, always make sure you flour your workspace as well as rolling pin, knives or cutters. The flour will stop your dough from sticking and it will ensure you and your kitchen don’t end up in a complete mess!

10

Don’t overbake...

Don’t overbake...

There’s nothing more disappointing than when you overcook your baked goods. Set your timer to the minimum time on the recipe and then have a quick check. If the cake is ready, the sides will pull away from the tin and it should have a golden top. Gently prick a skewer or toothpick into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean then that's a good indicator you can take it out of the oven. Remember that cookies are at their best if they’re removed from the oven just undercooked in the middle. They tend to set as they cool on your baking tray.

Need to be more organised in the kitchen? These useful recipe organisers should give you a helping hand!

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