Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Best Hacks For People Who Love Baking

Over the last year or so I've discovered some tips and hacks to help with baking and I wanted to share them with you! As I'm sure you know by now, I love to bake and I like it to be as simple as possible so some of these tips have really helped me and made sure I get the best end result. 

Keeping Cake Moist 

This is my top baking tip and it is a strange one, but if you want to keep your cakes soft and moist then leave a slice of bread on each one while they are cooling. The bread hardens over time but the cake stays so moist. This also works if a cake has been left for a few hours and has started to go stale. Leave it with a slice of bread for a while and it steals the moisture, meaning it's the bread that goes stale instead. It's such a weird concept but works!

How To Check If Cakes Are Done 

Most of the time you can tell just by looking at a cake if it's done or not, if it's not got much colour on the top then it needs longer in the oven. You can also check by inserting a skewer or cocktail stick into it, if it comes out clean then the cakes done but if it has some of the mixture on it then the middle isn't cooked. You can also check by gently pressing down on the middle of the cake, if it feels spongy then it's done!

Cooling Cakes and Buns 

Now when I bake buns or muffins I always put them on a wire rack to cool, I didn't have one up until about a year ago and things used to take so long to cool meaning I had to wait longer to decorate them. Now I use my cooling rack all the time and it make things so much quicker. When it comes to cooling cakes, I put them on the rack upside down, this flattens the tops of them meaning if you want to layer them up it's much easier. 

Silicone Moulds 

Months ago I bought a silicone baking set from Groupon, it included a few cake tins and muffin tins and they have been great to use rather than normal baking tins. It's so much easier to release the cakes from them and they're is no worry that the mixture will stick to them. I hate having to mess about with baking paper with normal cake tins so these have been great. Silicone moulds aren't too expensive either so are worth getting!

Use Exact Ingredients

 This probably seems like quite an obvious one but sometimes I experiment with ingredients and it doesn't always go well. With my Salted Caramel Brownies, last time I used caster sugar instead of golden caster sugar, and even though they still tasted good, the texture was definitely different and not as good as the previous ones, it meant the caramel on top baked differently too so it just wasn't right. The same goes for my Chocolate Cake, if I use normal sugar rather than caster sugar, it just changes the texture completely. I always try to make sure I stick to the exact ingredients to get the best bake. 

Melt Chocolate Properly 

I always melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. I can't imagine doing it any other way now it just melts so quickly, we don't have a microwave so I can't do it that way but in the past I've burnt chocolate like that. Also, I've tried just putting chocolate into a saucepan and melting it over the heat and it's just gone into one big clump. I always know it will go right if I melt over boiling water.

Have you tried any of these baking hacks before?

Some of my recipes - Millionaire's Shortbread // Peanut Butter Cookies // Chocolate Chip Flapjack

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