‘Baking’ and ‘cooking’ are not the same thing. You might be great at one and struggle abominably with the other, and that’s a normal thing.
Most people find baking to be harder than engaging in other types of culinary creations. Even if you get all the measurements of the ingredients perfect, it’s hard to get the right temperature and the exact timing down.
The good news is that there are ways you can learn how to boost your baking skills. These tips will help you master the art of baking or at least improve your current level.
1. Use the Right Kitchen Accessories
Sometimes, the only problem with your baking is that your equipment is out-of-date or wrong for the recipe, like dark or glass pans.
When you bake, the goal is to cook everything in the pan evenly. By using a dark or glass pan, the container absorbs heat faster than the batter. Since the edges of the pan are hotter, the outside of the cake is going to brown before the inside does.
If all you have is a dark or glass pan to bake in, be sure to reduce your cooking temperature by about 25℉. The best pans to bake with are light, dull-finished aluminum kinds.
2. You’re Not Trained
There are some things you can learn how to do yourself. Other things, like baking, are better off being taught.
Take an online workshop or make time to go to a culinary class in person. That way, you’ll learn the tricks of the trade and won’t make common amateur mistakes.
In a course, certain baking tips will be revealed that will make your finished products taste better. For instance, you’ll quickly learn that:
- There’s a difference between a liquid and a power measuring cup
- You can’t just “double the ingredients” to double a recipe’s size
- Opening the oven door too widely while your food is cooking can wreck the outcome
Baking isn’t complicated, but it is complex. There are a lot of minute nuances you need to learn to turn your food into a culinary delight.
3. Learn How to Experiment
If you’re always using the recipes on the back of a cake box and never learning how to cook from scratch, your results will always be the same.
Baking is your opportunity to experiment with new ingredients. Try different oils and flour types. Use spices and herbs when they can increase the flavor. There are even subtle flavor differences that arise when you use margarine instead of butter.
As you get comfortable in your baking apron, make notes of the results you get when you substitute different ingredients.
4. Use Flavor-Enhancers in Your Meal
You know those things that pair well together? Pizza and a Pepsi or beer. Popcorn and Coke. Cookies and milk.
When you’re using something you cooked to feed other people, what you serve with it can make your baked goods taste better.
What’s the main flavor you used that you want to enhance? Is it the sweetness of a chocolate cake? The sour of the lemon meringue pie? Pair the desserts with a meal that boosts the impact.
For instance, many people are baking with cannabis as their preferred ingredient now. Knowing the foods that enhance the marijuana taste makes your dessert stand out even further. To read about these weed-enhancing pairing foods, read this article by Veriheal.
5. Preheat and Cool as Directed
You can’t be in a hurry when you’re baking. The oven has to preheat, and the baked goods need time to cool down.
When you put your ingredients together in the oven too early, they begin to cook unevenly. By waiting until the temperature is already where it’s supposed to be, everything starts heating up at the same time.
The same idea applies to waiting for your food to cool down. If you try to frost your cake before it’s totally cooled down, the frosting is going to pull the top layers right off. You’ll have a mess to deal with instead of a beautiful finished creation.
If your angel cake is collapsing and your meringue is a blob instead of a whipped delight, don’t give up. You’re not a horrible baker; you just need to learn the tips and tricks of the trade!
With these small changes, you’ll be baking like a professional chef before you know it. Get the recipes ready; it’s time to start experimenting!