Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Baking Tips and Tricks!

Baking Tips and Tricks!

Last week, I shared some tips on choosing your baking equipment (Check it out here if you haven’t!), and today, I would like to share some tips and tricks for you when baking.


• Read your recipe at least twice beforehand

Baking is science; even a small mistake could determine the success of your cake. Read through your recipe from the beginning to the end at least twice so you can have a rough idea of what’s your next step, helping you to organise better and ensure you won’t miss anything. By reading your recipe before starting, you are able to know, for example, what ingredients, types of equipment you need and what temperature you will need to pre-heat your oven etc.


• Double-check and measure out all ingredients before starting

Before starting, make sure you double-check and measure out all the ingredients. This will ensure that you have got all the ingredients needed. Also, ensure that the ingredients are prepared as suggested. For example, if you need room temperature eggs or butter, you will need to take them out from the fridge hours in advance to allow enough time for them to turn to room temperature. The temperature of your eggs and the softness of your butter can potentially affect the success of your baked good.


• Put a towel under your bowl when mixing

When mixing, you may have the experience that your bowl keeps slipping, and you feel like you don’t have control over it. To help easier mixing and to prevent your bowl from wobbling all over the counter while whisking, try to put a damp towel under your bowl. The wet towel would help you to stabilise your bowl. Thus you can have better control over it and avoid your batter from spilling out.


• Keep your hands nice and cool

This is a tip for you, particularly when you are making pastry dough and during hot days. If you are planning to make butter pastry such as pie crust, sweet pastry and puff pastry, it is vital to ensure your hands are not as warm during hot days. The heat from our hands could melt the butter when we are kneading the dough, affecting your end product’s flakiness. If you have hot hands, my advice is to keep a bowl of ice water beside you, dip your hands into the water to cool them down when necessary, and work as quickly as possible.


• Pre-heat your oven

The temperature of your oven is another important point when baking. It is critical to ensure your whole oven is warm enough that your products start cooking at the right temperature the moment you put them in. The temperature of your oven could also affect many aspects of your baked goods. Not only could it under or over bake your cakes, but it could also affect the colour, texture, appearance, and rise of your baked goods. For instance, if you set your oven to a too high temperature, it could cause darker color or even burn your cake. You may also experience cracks and dried edges since the moisture in the cake batter is evaporated too quickly.

Hope you enjoyed, see you next week!

Hoi Yan

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