Beginners Top 10 Tips for Baking

Baking for Beginners
5th January 2017

Blackfriars Top 10 Baking Tips

We've been making and baking delicous treats since the 1980s, so it's fair to say we've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. So if you're looking for a bit of guidance or help, read on...

  1. Make sure ingredients are the right temperature. When baking, the majority of recipes require the fat and eggs to be at room temperature, not chilled.
  2. No peeking – cakes are likely to sink in the middle if the oven door is opened whilst the cake is still cooking.  If you must look, wait for the cake to set before opening the door.
  3. Chill.  When baking cookies the dough is best when left to chill in the fridge before baking.  This will stop the cookies spreading in the oven and will accentuate the flavour. Chill for a minimum on 1 hour.
  4. Going down.  Want to stop chocolate chips, and dried fruit sinking to the bottom when baking?  Try coating them lightly in flour before adding to the mix.
  5. Weight matters – always weigh your ingredients as incorrect proportions will change the flavour, texture and appearance of the finished product.  E.g. too much flour will cause a cake to crack.
  6. Looking for a Vegan alternative to butter and margarine, try used mashed avocado.  The high fat content makes them an ideal substitute, and it creates a wonderfully moist sponge.  Simply swap like for like in terms of quantity.
  7. Time’s up.  Need to know when a cake is done?  3 tips to help you know when the cake is ready to come out of the oven:-  1) The sponge should spring back when lightly touched.  2) The sides of the cake should be shrinking away from the baking tin. 3) A clean skewer when inserted into the middle should come out clean and dry.
  8. Don’t work too hard.  When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients don’t over mix as this will over work the gluten in the flour and lead to a flatter cake.
  9. Going gluten free?  Rice flour is an excellent substitute and is readily available in most supermarkets.
  10. To give the frosting on your cakes a professional glossy finish, blast with a hairdryer on a medium heat just before serving.  Hold the hair dryer at half an arm’s length to ensure you don’t melt the frosting.

Remember baking is supposed to be fun.  If you're getting stressed, pop the kettle on, have a cuppa and browse our selection of delicious bakery snacks, no baking required!