Improve your cake baking skills with these Top 10 Cake Baking Tips
1. Use Good quality fresh ingredients
The first of my Top 10 Cake Baking Tips is to start by using quality ingredients, eggs should be as fresh as possible, old eggs will not aerate properly and your cake won´t be so light. Cocoa Powder should be pure, not drinking chocolate. Lemons should be freshly squeezed, vanilla should be Pure Vanilla Extract . Ganache should be made using chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids and have all your ingredients at room temperature.
One of the best of my Top 10 Cake Baking Tips. An ambient temperature is Essential for aeration, and also ingredients at different temperature may not mix together too well, particularly butter. Eggs aerate better when they are not too cold.
3. Know your oven.
Although you should follow a recipe as closely as possible, ovens can vary slightly in temperature. Get used to your oven before embarking on a special cake.
4. Be consistent.
The fourth of my Top 10 Baking Tips is, large eggs usually weight around 2oz each, if you arn´t sure about the size of your eggs, weigh them and never mix metric and imperial measures.
5. Soak Fruit for Rich Fruit Cakes
Wash and dry your dried fruit place in a polythene bag and soak in 10ml brandy per pound of fruit, for 7 to 10 days turning the bag daily. The inside if the bag should look dry, this means the fruit has soaked up all the brandy. Then you are ready to bake! See my Christmas Cake Recipe
6. Turn the tin upside down for sponge cakes.
When you tin has cooled enough to handle, turn it upside down on a wire rack, still in the tin. It will stay nicely moist, as the steam will rise up into the cake. As soon as your cake is cool enough place it in an airtight container, to stop it drying out. For larger cakes try tinfoil and clingfilm, or simply turn the tin over onto a clean surface, such as a cakeboard until you´re ready to work on it, this is one of my favourite cake baking tips.
Always follow the recipe and test the cake by inserting a skewer into the centre, if the cake is baked it will come out clean. If not keep adding a few extra minutes until its done. Remember over baking will make your cake dry, under baking will make your cake sink in the middle or even inedible, so timing is all important.
Make sure you single line and grease [amazon_link id=”B005EXI49C” target=”_blank” ]cake tins[/amazon_link] for sponges, and double line for rich fruit cakes. Fruit cakes should have an extra few layers of paper around the outside, tied with string to protect the cake during the long cooking time. Melt a little butter in a pan or the microwave, and use a pastry brush.
9. Bake in Centre of Oven, and don´t overload it.
The ninth of my Top 10 Cake Baking tips is essential for an evenly baked cake. Unless you do not have a commercial oven then bake your cakes in the centre, if you have an electric oven then use with the fan off if possible, as this can be drying.
10. Mature Rich Fruit Cakes
And Finally the last of my Top Ten Cake Baking Tips is to Mature rich fruit cakes for at least 1 month before needed, it will help all the spices and fruit to combine, just like a mature wine!
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