Tips for making awesome cakes
Cakes are the centre piece of every occassion, and the wonder of throwing a bunch of ingredients together to get a yummy homemade cake, straight-out-of-the-oven-hot, while the aroma permeates your kitchen, what can be more fulfilling than that? Try making a this easy pound cake for starters.
Problem is, it is usually hit or miss for most of us mere mortals, but over the years, these tips have helped me produce lovely cakes that can stand proud anytime and anywhere, time and time again:
Tips for making awesome cakes:
- Have all ingredients at room temperature. Butter should not be melted or oily.
- Grease and flour cake tins before pouring in the cake batter, the flour enables the cake cling to the sides of the tin for proper rising.
- To cream butter and sugar in the absence of an electric mixer, place them in a bowl and stir rapidly using a wooden spoon, holding the bowl firmly with the other hand.
- Cream butter and sugar till it has doubled in size and is pale yellow, to get as much air as possible into the batter.
- Fill tins to no more than half to two-third full for even rising.
- Preheat the oven at least 15 to 20 minutes before putting in the pan of cake batter.
- If baking more than one cake, leave 2 inches between each pan and between pan and wall of the oven, for even heat and air circulation.
- To check for doneness, using a toothpick, raw spaghetti, wooden skewer etc., push gently into the centre of the cake and remove, if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. This is more trustworthy than the given time. Do not use a metal skewer because metal is slippery and crumbs will not stick well on it so it can come out clean even though the cake is not quite ready.
- Do not test cake until the minimum time given in the recipe, so as not to open the oven door too soon or frequently. This will let in cooler air which will drop the temperature of the oven and cause the cake to fall in the middle.
- Do not bang the oven door after checking for doneness.
- For unshortened cakes, i.e. cakes with little or no fat e.g., Angel Food Cake, when done, should feel firm when touched and spring back.
- Allow the cake to completely cool down before frosting.
- When measuring sticky ingredients e.g. Honey, golden syrup, molasses, grease measuring cups with vegetable oil. This enables the sticky ingredient to easily slide out.
- A lot of times, the oven temperature is not true to the dial temperature, you can check with an oven thermometer.
Try them out and let us know how much they helped you, also, if you have other tips you have found helpful please share with us in the comments.
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