Homeworking, parenting and life in a pandemic has been just a little stressful! And, as many of us will have witnessed, flour, eggs and milk were flying off the shelves in lockdown 1.0. Many of us, however, we’re new to baking and if you didn’t dip into cake baking in March last year, here are some tips on hassle-free baking for the novice. Making the perfect cake is a lot of fun and a great family activity too.
Preparation is key
You have your recipe, you have got your ingredients – so you’re good to go. A number one tip is to make sure all of your ‘wet’ ingredients (eggs, milk and butter, especially butter) are at room temperature before you start. We know it’s a pain to wait, but if you do this your cake will come out of the oven more evenly.
Measure for success
Another tip before you even start combining your ingredients is to measure your dry ones (flour, sugar and dried fruit, if using well in advance). The reason for this is that it’s very easy to lose track of how many teaspoons or tablespoons you have put in. So, before you start mixing your ingredients make sure they are all measured out and ready to go.
No fancy equipment needed
Another important thing is making sure you have mixed all of your dry ingredients together before adding them into the mixture – this will ensure a lighter cake and less risk of over-mixing (which can make the cake batter tough). You may have seen the fancy whisks on ‘Bake Off’ but whisking and mixing by hand is fine.
Whisk it well
Next up is whisking the eggs and sugar together until they reach a good consistency – any lumps are going to be baked into your cake so make sure you beat them in well. Nothing can put the novice baker (or your hungry crowd) off like a lumpy cake.
Pre-heating and attention to shelf position
Always preheat your oven to the required temperature before you put it in the oven. And always (always) pay attention to the shelf your cake will be baked on. As with the lumps, soggy bottoms or, indeed burnt tops can put people off!
Following these simple tips should allow you to bake to perfection in no time. But, if you have a significant other, or a child’s birthday coming up and don’t fancy the stress of baking (and decorating) a cake with a huge WOW factor check out Anges-De-Sucre (‘Sugar Angels’ in French) for some truly stunning examples of what can be achieved.