What is better than baking a delicious cake that everyone loves? Doing it again… and again and again and again.
Consistency is something many bakers struggle with and the reasons for this vary. But mainly their struggles are as a result of a failure to realize that the outcome of your cakes depends on more than just the ingredients you bake them with.
There are environmental and technical factors as well. Keep reading to find out what these factors are and learn how to use them to your advantage so as to make the baking process easier and bake perfect cakes every single time.
Store Your Eggs At Room Temperature Before Baking
This is one of the environmental factors touched on in the introduction. You might be surprised to know that the temperature of your eggs matters at all to the outcomes of your cakes. Well, it does.
It has been shown that keeping your eggs at room temperature for at least thirty minutes before cracking it into your batter will give your final product a nice, fluffy texture.
Breadcrumbs Will Keep Cakes From Sticking To The Pan
This effective hack also has the bonus of being really delicious and it is one that you should really try the next time you bake.
Mix up breadcrumbs and butter and coat your cake pans with it before baking. This will not only help your cake release from the pan much easier, but toasted breadcrumbs are also tasty to chew on.
Icing Your Countertops Will Keep Your Dough From Sticking To It
Sticky countertops are something you’ve got to deal with when you’re kneading your cake dough. Or are they?
Countertops are ideal surfaces for kneading your dough, because they are steady. But it gets a little annoying when the counter keeps trying to steal your dough.
The solution? Ice your counter with an ice pack before placing the dough on it. The coldness eliminates the stickiness from the counters and makes it easier for you to knead.
Oil Your Hands Before Kneading
Your countertops are not the only sticky spots when it comes to baking. Your hands can also get yeast and other ingredients stuck to them, but there’s a trick you can use to avoid this and it’s a delicious one.
Before handling your ingredients, you may want to grease your hands slightly with soya oil. You can also apply some soya oil to your metal baking sheets to keep the dough from sticking to it. But, make sure to apply it lightly, because too much oil will make your dough extra crispy when you bake it.
Soft Flours Are Best For Baking Cakes
People do not want to have to chew through their cake. Instead, they want their cake to melt in their mouth. Essentially, the softer the better.
Bread flours are suitable for baking cakes, but for super soft texture, you should opt for softer flours like Golden Penny Confectionery Flour and Soft Biscuit Flour.
Use A Wire Rack To Achieve Even Cooling
Letting your cakes cool on a flat surface like a kitchen counter or a tray will inevitably lead to a soggy bottom- which you surely do not want.
To ensure that your cake cools evenly and has a consistent texture, you should cool your cakes on a wire rack. A wire rack allows air to circulate completely around your cake and will also allow it to cool faster.
Place tea towels on the rack first to avoid wire marks on the bottom of your cake.
Perform Proper Heat Checks
The temperature at which you bake your cakes affects the end result in terms of texture as well as taste.
Baking ovens should ensure temperature control, but it is often the case the ovens are unevenly heated i.e., the specified temperature may not be the same throughout the oven and one side may be hotter than the other.
To ensure that your cake is being evenly heated, you might want to invest in an oven thermometer. It will be a worthwhile investment in the long run.
Always Measure Your Flour Properly
When scooped from the bag with a measuring cup, your flour is liable to become compressed into the cup which means you will actually have more flour than you really intend to use.
If you want to get exactly the right amount flour, here’s what you should do.
- Select a dry measuring cup and moisture will cause the flour to stick to the sides of the cup and you will consequently be using a little less flour than you need.
- Scoop your flour into your measuring cup with a dry spoon.
- Scrape the excess flour off with a knife and you are good to go.
Make Sure Your Eggs Are Fresh
Nothing feels worse than cracking a rotten egg into your cake batter. What do you do? How do you salvage your cake? You can’t, really. You’ve just got to trash it all and start again with a new batch of ingredients.
To prevent this from happening, put your eggs through a simple flotation test before using them. What you do is you fill a bowl with water and drop your raw eggs into them: Eggs that sink are fresh, eggs that float are rotten and eggs that tilt to one side are old so need to be used soon.
Follow Directions To The Letter
This last tip is the easiest of all. Always follow the instructions on your product boxes and recipe books.
They will guide you towards the proper use of your ingredients to bake deliciously flawless cakes every time.
Baking is a science and when you follow the right procedures, baking becomes, well… a piece of cake.