I have been baking for a long time and there are some things that are very important to ensure I bake the best cake each time. There are also numerous tried and tested products I have used and these are my go-tos. Check out my top four expert tips below to help you bake that perfect cake each time around!
1. Cake Tins
You may not know this but the cake tin you choose matters! I’ve used PME cake tins for years and they are always my go to. I prefer to use a solid bottom tin -follow my tips below and I promise the cake won’t get stuck in the tin (I know this is a fear a lot of people have). I find that a solid base gives a sharper edge to your cakes.
Fact: The colour of the bakeware you bake with will affect the bake. Light coloured aluminium cake tins will give you a light golden brown colour, a dark non stick pan will give a darker brown colour once baked. It is recommended if using dark bakeware to reduce the oven temperature by 10C! Why? Dark metal absorbs heat quicker then lighter-coloured pans, this can cause the outside of the cake to brown quicker before the centre has baked completely.
2. Line the cake tin!
A step you cannot skip is lining a cake tin (especially a Christmas cake)! It can be a pain with all the layers you need but for a simple vanilla or chocolate cake I pop a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and spray the sides with release spray. That is all, it as simple as that.
If you bake a lot the pre-cut circle paper is perfect.
3. Post cake bake
Once the cake is baked take it out of the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes. I find 10 minutes is enough time to cool the cake down so it doesn’t break when you turn it out, but not cooled too much where it has stuck to the tin.
Run a palette knife around the edge to loosen the side of the cake from the side of the time before turning over.
Allow to cool upside down on a wire rack, cooling this way will help to remove any bump that many have formed while baking. Wire rack: Cooling Wire Rack – Gingerbread House
Each oven is different so get to know your own oven and don’t be afraid to make notes in your recipes to help you next time you bake. Some ovens have top spots, top/bottom rack will bake differently. Knowing these little things can take your bakes from ok to perfect and often it’s as simple as baking for 5/10 minutes more or less or baking on a certain shelf.
4. Do not open the door!
My last tip is no matter how tempting DO NOT open the door right in the middle of the bake time. If the baking time is 25 minutes you should not be opening that oven door after 15 minutes just to check. You will cause a change in the oven temperature which may result in your cake sinking. Checking 5 minutes before the bake time is finished is ok but I recommend leaving for the full bake time before opening!
Again make a note in your recipe of the bake time, as I said above the each oven is different so the cake may bake at a different time then the recipe states.
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