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16 April, 2010

Cake baking tips

Some recipes success depend on a specific ingredient or action. If one
of these tips contradicts your recipe, your best bet is to follow the
recipe instruction. Cake Enhancers: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of meringue
powder to your cake mix to help it rise a bit higher and make it a bit
lighter in texture. Add 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin to the cake
batter, helps prevent the top of the cake splitting or cracking. First
add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the butter and sugar called for in
the recipe before mixing the rest of the ingredients. Helps make the
cake lighter. Take your time creaming the butter, beat/cream for at
least 5 minutes to get lots of air into the butter. Add the sugar and
beat/ cream really well again. Separate eggs before adding them to
recipes –beat yolks till golden and creamy then add to the
butter/sugar mixture. Beat the egg whites until light and frothy
before folding them into the butter mixture. Moister Cake Tips:
Chocolate Cake: Before adding the baking soda to your cake recipe, mix
it with a teaspoon of vinegar. Fruit Cakes/Dense Cakes : Keep a pan
full of water in the oven when baking the cake (replace water if
needed to keep it topped up). Substitute oil in the recipe for
unsweetened applesauce or plain yogurt. Your measure can be 1:1 or
50/50. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup oil, use 1/2 cup oil
and 1/2 cup applesauce. Different types of cakes will offer different
results for texture and taste, but a good start would try the 50/50.
Not only helps for moister cakes, also cuts fat. Sifting: Measure all
ingredients to exact amounts first, then sift. Grease & Flour Pans:
Use a paper cupcake holder, a paper towel, a piece of wax paper, the
butter wrapper paper or a plastic baggy to grease the pans without
messing up your hands. You could also use a pastry brush. Try dusting
the cake pans with a bit of the dry cake mix or cocoa (for chocolate
cake) instead of flour. Grease pan with shortening then line the pan
with a piece of wax paper to fit the bottom. Re- grease the top of the
wax paper. Pour in the batter. To get the wax paper to size, you can
either trace the bottom of the pan and cut it out, or grease the pan,
smooth a sheet of wax paper into the pan (pressing all around the
creases of the pan), remove the wax paper and cut out along the
crease. This is kinda messy though, better to trace the pan then cut
it out. To cut fat, try baking a cake without greasing the pans even
if the recipe mentions to do so. You can just place a waxed paper
liner to fit the bottom of the pan, then pour in the batter. This will
also help remove the cake cleanly. For high cakes, you'll want to
still grease and flour sides of pans if specified. Homemade Pan
Grease: You can buy Pan Grease or make your own. This is used as a
substitute to greasing the pans then dusting them with flour when
directed by the recipe to do so. Keep unused portion in an airtight
container and refrigerate to use for your next batch of baking. Recipe
#1: Mix 1 cup shortening (like Crisco), 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup
vegetable oil and apply to baking pans evenly with a pastry brush.
Recipe #2: 2 cups of Crisco and 1 cup of flour Baking A Level Cake:
Fill cake pans no more than 1/2 to 2/3 full to allow for even baking
and rising. Once you've poured the batter in the pan, wobble the pan
sideways a bit so the batter reaches up along each side (with the
middle being slightly lower). As the cake bakes the middle and edges
will meet and rise more evenly. If the cake rose high and uneven in
the middle when baking, you may need to slice a bit off across the top
so it 's level. Oven Baking Tips: Preheat the oven first before
starting to bake, make sure the rack is in the center of the oven
(unless directed differently in the recipe) and keep pan in the center
of the rack. If you 're baking more than one pan at a time, keep them
at least 2 ″ away from the walls of the oven and from each other.
Check For Doneness: Using a toothpick, wood skewer or a piece of raw
spaghetti, test the cake for doneness by placing the toothpick into
the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
Problems With Cake Sticking To Pan : Place a thick, clean towel in the
kitchen sink and pour a kettle of boiling hot water over the towel to
heat it (don 't plug the sink to retain the water, allow it to drain
out). Set the cake (still inside the pan) on the hot towel and leave
it for a minute or two, the cake should turn out easily. Turn the cake
over on a sheet of wax paper or a cooling rack. Place a clean, thin
cotton towel on top of the cake pan and using a hot steam iron, heat
the bottom of the pan for a few minutes. The pan should lift off
cleanly. Cool the cakes in the pans completely before trying to remove
them. Don 't cool on top of the stove where there's heat, they're best
cooled on a rack on top of the counter. Gently insert a knife between
the outside of the cake and the inside of the pan. Run it along the
pan to loosen things up before turning over. Angel Food Cake When the
cake has finished baking, take it directly from the oven and place it
upside down on the neck of a bottle. This will help prevent the angel
food cake from falling as it cools. After 30 minutes, you can turn it
over then remove from pan once cooled. Frosting & Icing Tips: Don't
attempt to ice the cake until it's completely cool. Dust the cake
lightly with a pastry brush before frosting, helps reduce crumbs in
the icing. First ice the cake with a thin layer of frosting, then
refrigerate (covered). After an hour you can do a complete frosting
job. This helps keep the crumbs at bay and your outer frosting layer
should be crumb free. After frosting the cake, you can use a hair
dryer to slightly melt the frosting. This will give the frosting a
smooth, glossy look. If you prefer you can use a metal icing spatula
or knife first heated by sitting in hot water, wipe dry, then use the
heated knife to smooth the icing. Have a bag of chocolate chips on
hand? Just sit the whole bag in a bowl of very hot water, and mush the
bag up every couple of minutes until all the chocolate has melted and
there are no lumps. Snip the corner of the bag and squeeze out the
melted chocolate directly onto the cake. Have two favorite frostings
and can 't decide which one to use on a layer cake? Try both! Spread
one frosting on top of one layer, and spread the other on the bottom
of the other layer (you 'll want to flip the bottom 'up' when
frosting). Then put the layers together. The middle will have a
delicious two- frosting surprise . Can also use this technique when
filling the layers with a combination of fruit and whipped cream or
frosting. To help prevent a flaking or cracking frosting, add a pinch
of baking soda when mixing the frosting. If icing is a bit too thin or
runny, lightly dust the top of the cake with flour then spread the
icing on top. This will help the icing hold to the cake. Quick Tip:
Icing Cakes: For one layer cakes, turn the cake upside down before
icing so that the top is perfectly flat and even. When icing two cake
rounds or squares, place a layer of frosting on the top of one round,
then place the other round upside down on top for a perfectly flat
top. Easily Color Shredded Coconut: Shredded coconut can be a nice,
decorative touch achieved easily. Simply put the coconut in a clean
jar (only one half jar full at a time), add a few drops of food
coloring in your choice of color, then cap the jar and shake it until
all the coconut is evenly tinted. Cutting Cake Tips: Heat a knife
first before cutting a cake for crumble- free slices. To heat the
knife, you can run the knife under very hot water then wipe dry with a
clean towel. Use unwaxed dental floss to slice through the cake (great
for the gooey or sticky cakes). Keep Cut Cake Fresh: Once you start
slicing the cake, the exposed or cut sides can dry out quickly.
Extract from

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Zainab Ismail - Halal Homemade Cakes

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