We’ve all been there – a baking session filled with so much focus on each measurement and step that the sigh of accomplishment comes as you place the tray in the oven because there’s simply no way of messing things up from here… except that’s exactly what ends up happening.
The timer rings, the tray cools, and the result is… well, not Instagram-worthy.
The bad news is that baking is science, so that the smallest things can cause this. Don’t fret, though, because the good news is that since it is small details causing the mishaps, you can easily fix it!
Check out the following solutions to the most common baking issues.
There’s a reason why the first step in all baking recipes is dedicated to preheating the oven – it simply won’t be hot enough when you’re ready to use it and instead ruin your hard work.
Make sure to let it preheat for about 10-20 minutes, depending on your oven (gas ovens will require less time than electric). Get cooking during this time because you don’t want a finished batter to wait out this entire duration – but don’t start way too early because too hot will burn the food rather than cook it!
- Room temperature.
This is particularly important for dairy ingredients. Letting them sit at room temperature will help them mix better and reach the right texture. However, be careful with butter – don’t let it soften too much that it melts; otherwise, it won’t keep the air.
- Don’t overmix.
Whisk enough to combine the ingredients, as taking it further will risk incorporating extra air and heat into the mixture. Again, baking is science, so air and heat are vital ingredients. So you want to maintain them in line with the recipe.
Additional tip: whisk, then filter the flour into the mixture (and don’t take shortcuts with the type of flour – they’re different for a reason!)
- Grease pan.
You probably already got a handy oil spray tucked away for this exact step, but the tip here is to mix and check how you grease. Try rubbing butter or dusting with flour or even combining both and see if that does the trick. Also, the non-stick baking paper will do what the name says!
- Don’t open the oven door.
Constant checking may be tempting, but the cold air you let in will mess up the cooking process. Let the oven do its magic for the first half of the cooking time while you watch from outside. Less work, more gain!
If nothing seems to work, add ‘deconstructed’ to the dish’s name! Remember, the taste is more important in the end, so don’t throw it away if it’s still yummy. Crumble it up with additional toppings such as ice cream or fruit, and you’ve got yourself an even fancier meal.
With these tips up your sleeve, all you now need heading into Christmas is a toque Blanche to go with your newfound confidence!