Countless amount of times I have heard people complain at their baking fails and disasters so I decided to put together a little list of tips to help guarantee a better cake, and hopefully get more people into baking! I am not saying I am a cake expert by any means, I just enjoy baking and thought I would share my experiences and tips with you all.
Sounds simple, but lots of people feel the need to make sure every little bit of mixture is well mixed together, when they really don't need to. Overmixing can cause your cake to become more dense, and ruin the taste. For a light, fluffy cake, keep it to the minimum - stir until all the mixture is the same colour, then stop.
Choose a tried and tested recipe.
If you have a recipe that your Gran has been using for years and it hasn't gone wrong yet, that might be a good place to start. Alternatively you could head to the internet, but make sure to read the ratings and the comments. I always like to do this to see if anyone has any tips or recommendations for the recipe. Obviously if the recipe hasn't got good feedback or ratings, my advice would be don't attempt to bake it. Head to another popular recipe instead, where there is more chance of it working.
If you use toppings, make sure the flavours taste nice together.
I always like to include some sort of topping on my cakes, caster/icing sugar for Victoria Sponges, Nutella for chocolate cakes, but if I am going to experiment with new flavours I always like to test out the different combinations to find out what goes well with the cake. Try to match ingredients if possible, i.e chocolate cake has a chocolatey topping.
Use the right ingredients.
Usually if a recipe says to include a ingredient, it means it. I tried countless times to use granulated sugar instead of caster sugar until I finally realised that it was never going to work! Occasionally you can substitute a ingredient for a better one, but the majority of the time the recipe already includes the best ingredients for the cake.
Try, Try, and Try again.
No one is a cake master on their first attempt, so the only way to get better is to practise your cake making skills regularly. Get friends and family to try your cakes, and ask them for honest opinions. If there is someone that is good at baking living close by, why not ask them to come and help you and maybe give you a few tips on techniques etc.
Can you bake well? What are your baking tips?