B A K I N G
Baking is one of my favourite hobbies and since I started I have accumulated a lot of tips and tricks. Some people have their own ways of doing things and some of my ways I want to share with you all. Some of these tips have upped my baking game and I wouldn’t be able to bake without doing these things.
DIY your own piping bag
Sometimes when I bake cupcakes or cakes, I will come to the part where i need to ice and decorate and i will realise that i don’t have any piping bags. This is where you can get creative in a time of need. I have previously used freezer bags and they work a treat. You won’t need to use a nozzle, you will just pip straight from the bag. The smaller you snip the hole on the end of the bag, the more precision that you will have over the piping. Piping bags are alot thicker and i would prefer to use this over bags, but in a time of need freezer bags are amazing.
A wire rack IS needed
When baking anything, a wire rack is such an essential and sometimes i think needing one can be really over looked. As soon as something comes out of the oven, most of the time (unless stated) it will need to go straight onto a wire rack so it can cool down. The longer you keep it in the tin, the longer it will be till you can decorate whatever it is. I like to keep the wire rack near the open back door as normally there is a breeze and this will help to cool down whatever you have baked. I am so impatient so i found a way to speed up this process and it is so helpful.
Poke holes in whatever you have baked
After you place whatever you have baked on a wire rack, you are going to want to poke holes in it where ever you can. This is going to let the steam out which means it will cool down quicker. Use a toothpick or something or a chopstick, or even a fork and just poke it a couple of times all over. Also, say if you have made cupcakes the icing will fall into the holes and this will be DELISH.
Use a sieve for powered ingredients
Using a sieve for every ingredient that you are putting into your mixing bowl is such an essential. Most powered ingredients have clumps and if you don’t sieve it you will get little pockets of that ingredient inside. For example, caster sugar should be sieved because there will probably be clumps of sugar stuck together and you dont want this other wise there will be a sugar clump in your cake.
Use a spoon to help with sieving
I learnt this new trick and it is so small but helps so much. So, you have a lot of flour and pour it into the sieve and you have to keep shaking the sieve to get the flour into the bowl. Take a spoon and literally stir what ever is in the sieve and this will sieve it quicker. I find it so much easier to use a spoon to mix it in the sieve then to shake the sieve, I always use this trick.
Measuring spoons make your life easier
Buying measuring spoons made baking alot easier for me because they are more accurate than using normal kitchen teaspoons and tablespoons. Tablespoons aren’t all the same size and neither are teaspoons. Also, i love that the on measuring spoons it will say on each spoon what it is in ml, what cup size it is and what that equates to in spoon so (teaspoon). You don’t have to google what 3 cups equates to in teaspoons. EASY AND STRESS FREE.
Don’t just rely on the toothpick trick
I love the tooth pick trick, placing a toothpick in the middle of what is in the oven can sometimes tell you if it is done or not. However, you need to take into consideration the colour of what it is you are baking. If you are baking cookies, you are most likely going to be checking to see if they are a golden colour. If it is still white and doesn’t look like it has risen at all then it probably isn’t done. You have to make sure that the cake or whatever it is, is springy when you touch it. If it is still very wet, it is not done. Also, if you are baking cupcakes and you add chocolate chips into the mixture, as soon as you put a toothpick inside it will definitely come out wet because the chocolate chips will have melted. Therefore, you can’t always rely on this.
Use room temp butter
This is going to make sure your life so much more easier. If it says to have the butter at room temp and you think “ah, its alright I will just take it out straight out of the fridge” then you are doing it wrong. It is going to be soooo hard to mix the butter in with all of the other ingredients. It will literally be a hard block of butter and having the butter at room temp means you can mix everything together perfectly.
Rotate when in the oven
If you have to put something in the oven for 40 minutes. When it hits the 20 minute mark, rotate whatever is in the oven around. This is going to ensure that everything has an equal amount of time being in that place in the oven. Sometimes, ovens can be hotter at certain points in the oven (like mine) the left side of my oven is more hotter than the right side. I have to make sure that I am rotating it when it is in the oven. This ensures that everything will be baked evenly.
Let it cool completely
Most people have heard of this one because it is very important. If you are baking cupcakes and you take them out of the oven, and start icing automatically then it won’t work as the icing will met. You need to make sure that the cakes are 100% cooled down, otherwise it will make the icing watery and it will just drip off your cakes. This is something you don’t want, as they won’t look pretty and will look like a wet mess. That is why if you leave them on the cooling rack, with holes in them it should cool them down and then you can decorate.
Keep your oven door closed
When you have put whatever you are baking into the oven, keep it closed until half way through when you need to rotate it or when you need to check on it/take it out. The more you take it out, it is going to mess up the baking time and it will stop the baking process. For example, putting cupcakes in the oven and opening the door will stop them from rising.
If you bake, I would love to know if you have any tips and tricks of your own. Or even just rules that you live by.
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