Tuesday, July 12, 2011

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”

Most bakers (including myself and Miss Little Cake [yes, she burns her cupcake again!]) have experienced countless failures to create one great recipe.  Whether a beginning baker, or Martha Stewart, occasionally a cake/cupcake will not meet our expectations. Often we blame it on a bad recipe or the ingredients, but in the end, we have to admit that it may have been caused by something done by us!

Below are some common mistakes that we often encounter in our baking.  Hopefully, the tips under each mistake can help in accessing and correcting problems in your kitchen and create a successful recipe that you and your beloved ones enjoy.

Cake burn on top
v     Oven temperature too hot.
v     Incorrect amount of water.

Cake falls during baking
v     Excessive jarring or moving of the cake during baking.
v     Oven temperature too low. Excessive mixing of the batter.

Top of cake peaks and cracks
v     Oven temperature was too hot. (the outside of the cake baked to form a crust too quickly. As mixture in center of the cake continued to cook and rise, it burst up through the top of the cake.)
v     Cake wasn't baked on the center rack of the oven.

Cake shrinks
v     Excessive liquid.
v     Batter too cold.
v     Oven too hot.
v     Improper mixing procedure.
v     Baked too long.

Cake stuck to the pan
v     Improper greasing/flouring of pan.
v     Layers were cooled too long before trying to remove them.

Cakes too tough
v     Excessive mixing.
v     Batter too stiff (insufficient water).
v     Batter too thin (excessive water).

Lacks body/structure
v     Excessive mixing
v     Insufficient liquid.

Dries out too soon
v     Excessive baking time.
v     Insufficient liquid.
v     Improper mixing procedures.
v     Cooled in a drafty location.

Just remember, don’t be afraid of failure in baking or in real life because…

  Stay tuned for more "sweet" hints!


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