The baking scene in India has seen some interesting stuff happening. It’s no wonder then that the love for everything sugar and dough has got an entire generation hooked to baking! If you are someone who has to whip up traditional recipes for the family through the week, but have a fancy for baking cakes over the weekend, then this one is for you.
The secret to baking perfect cakes is a few techniques that you may want to master. For, a little tweak here and there can turn you into a baking goddess in no time. This weekend, dust your oven and take out your mittens to show the world you can bake.
1. Weighing is the key: No matter how well you know the recipe; it could be one you’ve watched your Mom bake when you were a kid, remember it is crucial to weigh your ingredients to prepare a flawless cake. If the flour or even bakingpowder is slightly more or else than required, chances are you’ve invited a disaster!
Tip: Invest in measuring tools like cups and spoons to get it right. They are cheap as well as readily available in any supermarket.
2. The dry & wet combo: Combining the wet and dry ingredients separately doesn’t impact the nature of your batter much, but experts suggest there's no harm in doing so. That said, sifting the flour, castor sugar and baking powder first, and then blending in the eggs, butter and chocolate gives the batter a smooth, silky texture.
3. Let it rest: Never ever try to demould a cake immediately after it’s done baking. This can split the cake and ruin the entire experience. Once the oven goes ting, leave it inside to rest for at least 10 minutes as you may find it is still baking. Having said that, always grease the tin with butter or dust with flour to watch your cake come off beautifully.
4. Temperature of the ingredients matter: Although you can bake a cake without eggs and butter, using them means checking their temperature before blending them along with the rest of the ingredients. Eggs act as an emulsifier and should not be cold, but of room temperature and the same goes for butter. Most of the times, the consistency of the batter will tell you if the cake will stand out or not.
Tip: To bring eggs to room temperature, put them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
5. Preheat your oven: Most baking recipes will ask you to preheat the oven. This is because the oven needs to reach a certain temperature to allow the cake to cook properly. Also, preheating the oven for a minimum of 10-15 minutes makes the cake to rise faster. Once you have done so, you can set the temperature as stated in the recipe.
Tip: To best utilise your time and effort, it is always wise to preheat the oven while you go about blending the ingredients of the cake.
6. Give it space: Never fill the cake mould to the brim because this way it will get some room to expand and rise. If the tin is full, then it is likely to spill inside the oven making it messy. Use your judgment to select a mould that will accommodate the batter leaving at least 1 to 1.5 inch space on top.
7. Be patient: Last but not the least, patience is the key to baking fabulous cakes. If you are in a hurry, don’t bake. Find a day when you have ample time to spend in baking and getting your hands dirty. Also, avoid opening the oven door before the set time as this may not allow the cake to rise. Keep calm and bake!