26 August 2013

Tips and Tricks for Better Baking

Eve 26/08/13

Hi guys, sorry, no recipe today but I have made a post to help you become a better baker and to help prevent common troubleshoots during baking. I hope this will help.


  • I always use scales when measuring. Some people like to use American cup measures but I prefer to use digital scale as they are more precise when baking.
  • At Baking the Day, I only state measurements in grams and kilograms, I does this because they are many different measurements for 4 ounces. For example, some people say 4 oz is 100g, some say 125g. I just stick with grams to make it less complicated. 
  • Try and buy some measuring spoons. They are seriously helpful and are great in any recipe. The sizes of my spoons are;
 1/2 Tsp - 2.5ml, 
1 Tsp - 5ml, 
1/2 Tbsp - 7.5ml 
 1 Tbsp - 15ml. 


  • Unless stated, all ingredients should be at room temperature for baking so each ingredient gets thoroughly mixed and combined.
  • When a recipe calls for soft or room temperature butter and your butter is brick hard, cut into very small cubes and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften, continue with the recipe.
  • To bring cold eggs up to temperature, place in a bowl and cover with hot tap water and leave for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and continue with the recipe.
  • Always sieve icing sugar as it clumps together. You don't need to sieve flour but do if you are making a light bake like a whisked sponge or scones.
  • Make sure your baking powder and soda are active and in-date; put 1 tsp of powder or soda in a glass and add 100ml of tap water. If the mix fizzes straight away, it's good. If you add the water and tiny bubble appear or nothing happens, throw is away.
  • Baking is precise so make sure to weight your ingredients accurately.
  • Prepare your ingredients before starting a recipe so you can tidy up as you go along.


  • Always read through a recipe and read again before making it and have the recipe close by so you can look over and see where you are.
  • Tick the ingredient of the recipe once you have added them to the mix so you can see what you have added.
  • Follow the recipe to a letter and your baked goods should taste how they are supposed to!

Mixing and Folding

  • Use a spatula or large metal spoon to fold ingredients like egg whites or cream.
  • Always make sure your bowl is super clean when whisking egg whites as grease can make the whites not whip up to their full volume.
  • Beat your butter and sugar really well until lighter in colour. In a free-standing mixer with the flexi-beater attachment  this takes about 3-5 minutes.
  • When making bread or dough based recipes, I find hand-kneading the dough gives the best result. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and matt-finished. You should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking easily.
  • Making muffins; fold in the dry ingredient until just until combined, there should still be some lumps in the mixture.
  • Pastry and scones require and light touch so when rubbing in the butter into the flour, use only your fingertips to disperse the butter evenly. The butter should be the size of small pea once finished.

  • Always use the correct baking tins and trays stated in the recipe.
  • Line, grease and flour your tins even if they claim to be non-stick, some cakes are very stubborn.
  • Normally, cakes are baking in the middle of the oven at the temperature of 180c/ 160c fan / gas mark 5, unless stated.
  • Start to test you bakes when they have 5 minutes left in the oven; using the skewer, poke it into the cake and remove, it should come out just clean with no crumbs or mixture attached. Biscuit and cookies should have turned a light straw colour. 
  • Leave your cakes to cool in the tin for 3 - 4 minutes until turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely unless recipe states otherwise. Biscuit should be left to cool on the tray and removed once cold or unless recipe stated otherwise.  

Cake Troubleshoots

Here is a table I have created to give many common troubleshoots found in cake making, I hope it is helpful!

Next week, I'm back to baking!

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