Baking is an exact science, you can’t just throw things in on the off chance that it’ll work like you do when you’re cooking. If you aren’t precise, you’ll end up with a rock hard brick instead of a delicious cupcake. But don’t worry, you don’t need years of training to become a master baker. There are a bunch of common mistakes that most amateur bakers make and getting out of those bad habits can easily elevate your baking to a new level.
Weigh Your Ingredients
This tip shouldn’t be on the list because the everybody should follow the recipe, that’s just common sense. However, a lot of people seem to think that the recipe is just a guideline and if it asks for 100 grams of butter, you can just cut off a chunk that looks about right and throw it in, then they wonder why they aren’t getting good results. The quantities in a recipe have been worked out very specifically to create just the right balance of ingredients. If you start using rough amounts, all of those small mistakes add up and ruin your recipe.
Broaden Your Horizons
After a bit of practice, you might be able to bake a couple of simple cakes pretty well. You can always carry on with the same stuff but you won’t learn any new techniques that can take your baking to a new level. The best way to improve is to push yourself and try out new recipes. Visit the Sunny website for loads of great baking recipes and challenges that you can use to branch out and learn new baking skills.
Don’t Substitute The First Time
The best way to come up with new recipes and experiment with flavours is to take base recipes and make substitutions of your own. However, you should always avoid this the first time you make a recipe. Before you substitute things, you need to see what the final product looks like. That way, you can work out which ingredients are vital and which can be substituted without causing too many problems. Don’t walk before you can run.
Room Temperature For A Reason
Often, you’ll see a recipe that calls for certain ingredients to be at room temperature. I’ve ignored that instruction many times and the results were never as good. I always thought that it didn’t matter that much and if I used butter from the fridge instead of room temperature, it would just take a little more time to mix in. That’s not the case at all and when the recipe asks for eggs or butter to be at room temperature, there’s a specific reason for it. The way that the ingredients react in the oven is dependant on their temperature to start with, and that has a huge effect on the end result.
As a general rule, you should always follow the recipe exactly, even if you don’t quite understand why it’s asking you to do certain things. Every instruction is there for a reason. Experimenting and building on recipes is good as well, just master the basic method first.
*This is a collaborative post.