Right from kids to the elderly, there's hardly someone who doesn't like cakes. Be it cute cupcakes or a tasty cream cake, one won't miss a chance to take a bite. Well, preparing a cake at home is a difficult task. Once you master the technique, you will be able to try a lot of variations in its recipe and baking steps to make it different each time and better than the previous ones. Here are some cake baking tips to help you make the best cake.
Baking Tips and Ideas
Tip #1: Fresh Ingredients
The first thing to remember while baking a cake is using fresh ingredients always. Starting from the egg, make sure it is a fresh one. Also, use the best brands of fruit fillings, chocolate, and nuts. Better quality ingredients will definitely give you a cake that tastes and looks better than average. Also, you must add fruits and flavoring to the batter towards the end.
Tip #2: Right Pan
Using a good quality pan is the next essential thing to have a wonderful cake. If your pan is old or burned, just opt for a new one. A shiny pan will help you bake your cake more nicely. Opt for a size as required for the recipe and quantity. Do not go for a larger or smaller than necessary pan. Placing the pan rightly in the microwave is also a factor to be considered. You need to place the pan at the center of the oven and make sure it does not touch the sides of oven. If you are baking in two or more pans, keep a space of 3 cm between them for proper heating.
Tip #3: Grease Well
Greasing the pan is equally important. You can use butter or vegetable oil shortening to grease the pan. Make sure you thoroughly cover all sides of the pan with this. Using a vegetable shortening spray is also a great idea to evenly grease the pan.
Tip #4: Dusting Options
Dusting the pan is the next step where you can use an ingredient to enhance the flavor. While you use flour to dust the pan and bake a chocolate cake, the base is sure to look white instead of brown. So why not opt for cocoa powder for dusting the cake instead. In case of vanilla cake, opt for powered vanilla. This will also enhance the taste.
Tip #5: Batter Consistency
In case the batter is too stiff, you can add a little whiskey to it. This will rightly thin the batter. You need one tablespoon of whiskey for three eggs. Though many use rose water, whiskey is a good option as it does not add its own flavor to the recipe, which rose water does! Remember that the batter for a layered cake needs to be thinner than that of other cakes.
Tip #6: Perfect Slicing
If you are making a layered cake with delicious cream in between the layers, here's a tip. Making clean layers is not a difficult task but needs to be done carefully. Use a long strand of waxed dental floss. Pass it through the cake where you want the layer, holding the two ends of floss while it passes through the cake. This will ensure a clean cut and perfect horizontal slices, without sticking to the cake.
Tip #7: Time Duration
One of the tips for successful cake baking is to always preheat the oven for at least 10-15 minutes. After placing the pan inside, do not open the door for at least 15 minutes. Use a toothpick or flower nail to check if the cake is baked. Insert it in the center of the cake and check if it comes out clean. If so, the cake is ready. Else, cook it for more time. Let the cake cool completely in the pan before removing it on a rack.
Tip #8: Final Touch
Remember, not to start icing before it is completely cool. To have a soft icing without cracks, do add a pinch of baking soda to the icing ingredients.
The tips mentioned above will definitely help you get a perfectly classic cake ready. Right from mixing the batter till frosting it creatively, there are various ways to enhance your cake. Try some variations each time and note down the settings and important things like preheating time, baking time, cooling time, extra ingredients that enhanced the taste, or something which you must avoid the next time. This will ensure that you have a spongy, soft cake ready to be cut!