Have you ever had the sudden urge to bake some delicious chocolate fudge brownies for yourself, but stepped back thinking it may not come out very well? Everyone is posting stories on social media nowadays of something new they baked and our mouths start watering. Here are some tips that will help you bake those Insta-worthy brownies and help you enter the kitchen with confidence.
Organisation is KEY
Organisation improves efficiency. If you are baking for the first time, you probably feel a little anxious and overwhelmed. Having all your ingredients scattered all over the kitchen and have no clue where your kitchen tools are is not going to help. Timing is everything when baking, so having a plan and being well prepared is important.
First, make sure you familiarise yourself with the recipe thoroughly. If there is something you don’t understand, ask someone or research it. Prepare all the ingredients beforehand on your platform so you are not looking for ingredients when you have already started baking. Additionally, keep all your kitchen tools out as well, from measuring cups to baking paper.
Another pro tip – keep the most common ingredients in your kitchen in places that are close and easily accessible, like butter, eggs, salt, sugar, etc.
Have a Beginners Baking Kit
Having the right baking tools can make a huge difference in making your experience in the kitchen better. There are some must-have tools that you need to add to your baking kit which you will use every time you bake.
The first consists of measuring cups and spoons. Precise measurements are vital when it comes to baking as we will learn in the next tip. A kitchen weighing scale is also necessary for more accurate results. Next, you will need spatulas and whisks, regular and electric. Baking paper is another essential tool. This type of paper is ideal for lining cake pans and baking pans. Silicone-coated baking paper will prevent your baked goodies from sticking to the sides of the pans. Lastly, get a sifter, a rolling pin, and some baking tins. Baking tins come in different shapes and sizes, so use the correct sizes according to the requirements of the recipe.
Be Precise with Measurements
Baking may look like a bunch of ingredients just being added together but it is actually a science and requires all the precision that you would need for a chemical experiment. Use measuring cups to get the exact weight of your flour, butter, milk, etc. If you want to go one step further, you can use a kitchen weighing scale. Take the same paper used for baking and use it as a base for the ingredients. In this way, the paper does not alter the weight too much, and you can keep your weighing scale clean.
Make Sure Everything is Room Temperature
When you mix ingredients like eggs, butter, sugar, etc at room temperature, it forms an emulsion which traps air. This results in a fluffy batter. While baking, the air expands and results in a light and fluffy texture for your baked treat. If you mix cold, hard butter with your flour, it will result in a clumpy batter. This is because cold ingredients do not blend together easily, and you will find yourself chewing clumps of flour and butter on your cake. Nobody wants that.
Room temperature ingredients incorporate with each other seamlessly, creating an evenly textured batter. Hence, make sure you take out the eggs, butter, and any other ingredient in your fridge that is required, an hour in advance before you start baking. This is why planning ahead is important!
Know a Few Basic Terms
Curdling – This is something you need to be aware of so you can prevent it from happening. It is when an ingredient has separated from the batter because of overheating or the addition of an acidic ingredient. This will result in a dense batter that will be hard to bake.
Lining (a baking pan/cake pan) – This is a process where you have to cover the inside of a baking pan or a cake pan with the specific paper used for baking. You can buy baking paper online and make sure it is silicone coated to avoid any sticking during the baking process.
Sifting – This involves passing any powders you use in the recipe through a sieve so you remove any lumps. This is important in any baking recipe so you end up with a smooth batter
Folding – This involves combining two substances, one light ingredient, and one heavier, to maintain a light and airy texture. Recipes with meringues or whipped creams normally require folding.
Baking can be intimidating but with these baking tips, you will be able to have an amazing baking experience in the kitchen and make the most scrumptious desserts!