Baking is always a fun thing to do in the kitchen. There are so many recipes to try and lots of ways you can experiment too. It is also fun to see the results, especially when you see loved ones eating those cookies you just baked or a cake you made and complimenting your work.
While baking is pretty straightforward – and most recipes are easy to follow – there are a few baking secrets that only the best bakers and pastry chefs know. We’re going to reveal some of those secrets in this article.
Creaming Butter and Sugar
A number of baking recipes require you to cream butter and sugar. This usually involves beating butter and adding sugar to the mixture. The beating process is done so that the butter is aerated and becomes very smooth. There is a secret to creaming butter and sugar perfectly.
Avoid using cold butter to begin with. Always wait until the butter is at room temperature if you want to get that perfectly smooth result. You can use an electric mixer to speed things up, but always use the paddle attachment for the job.
Add sugar early on and mix for around 5 minutes at medium speed. After a couple of minutes, you should start seeing the mixture turning into a fluffy mix that is pale. You can even taste the mixture at this point and add sugar – or butter – for the right taste.
Play with the Measurements
Baking is both an exact science and art. While you can follow a recipe to the letter, it is also interesting to give an existing recipe a twist. The former is usually easier and will produce great results every time as long as you follow the measurements.
Of course, you need to know how to play with measurements a little bit too. There are equivalents you can use to help make baking easier and more fun. 3 teaspoons, for instance, is equal to 1 tablespoon. 4 tablespoons are ¼ of a cup and 2 cups are equal to 1 pint.
By knowing these equivalents, you can also scale a recipe easily. Want to make a bigger cake? Instead of adding 8 cups of flour, you can simply add 1 quart or 4 pints. The same can be done with other ingredients too.
Be Gentle with the Oven
One particular problem a lot of you may have come across is cracks and bubbles on the surface of a cake. While these cracks are usually covered by icing as you decorate the cake, a lot of bubbles can create problems with the cake’s consistency and structure.
The way to avoid this is very simple. Bake the cake in the middle slot to ensure maximum consistency and make sure you close the oven door gently. A slam can cause the bubbles inside your mixture to rise and burst at the top.
Baking can be very fun and these simple tips will help you enjoy the process more. The next time you’re trying a recipe in the kitchen, be sure to use them to help you bake like a pro.