Monday, April 14, 2014

Cake-Baking Secrets for Perfect Cakes

Expert Author Julia D. Johnson
Everybody loves cake, and it's even better when you can make it yourself. If you're completely new to cooking, learning to bake a cake is a simple and fun project to start your new hobby with. If you get really good at it, you might even make a career out of it. The tips in this article will help improve your cake-baking skills.
Pre-made cake mixes tend to be heavy. This not only makes it difficult to mix them, but can also make the finished cake feel heavy in your stomach. To avoid this undesirable heaviness, simply get some meringue powder. You can buy this powder at a baking goods supply store; some supermarkets also carry it. Mix the powder into the cake mix to lighten the mix's weight.
In addition to wanting your cake mix to be light, you don't want it to be too dry. Here's a secret for making moist cakes: use unsweetened applesauce in place of oil. Unsweetened applesauce is also healthier than oil, making your cake slightly more attractive to guests who are watching their diet.
Many cakes not only call for wet ingredients such as eggs, but sticky ingredients such as honey. Sticky ingredients can be messy and hard to work with. They stick to the measuring spoon, the mixing bowl and your fingers, making it hard to mix your cake batter properly. To avoid a sticky mess, spray measuring cups and spoons with non-stick cooking spray before you start pouring honey or other sticky ingredients into them. You can also spray mixing blades with this spray to make it easier to mix your cake.
In addition to sticky ingredients, you may have to use cold ingredients such as sticks of butter or eggs. Butter sticks can be as difficult to work with as honey if they are too cold; they are stiff, nearly unbreakable and don't mix into your cake batter easily. To avoid problems with butter and other cold ingredients, take them out of the refrigerator before beginning your cake. If your butter is still too cold to work with by the time you're ready for it, put it in the microwave for ten to fifteen seconds to soften it.
An undercooked cake will fall apart, not taste right and may contain bacteria such as salmonella that can make people sick. Sometimes your cake can look baked on the outside but still need to be cooked on the inside. When your oven timer rings, remove the cake from the oven, but don't turn the oven off yet. Check whether the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into it and pulling the toothpick out again. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is baked on the inside. You may have to put the cake back for three to five additional minutes before testing it again if your toothpick doesn't come out clean.
Cake baking takes patience. Once the cake comes out of the oven, you've only completed the first step. Now you have to frost it. Frosting cakes allows you to express your creativity; you can use colors and designs to express a mood or simply make something beautiful. However, you can't frost the cake while it's hot; the cake may crumble or the frosting may melt if you try to do so. Wait a couple of hours or even overnight for the cake to cool completely before frosting it.
Baking a cake is a fairly straightforward process. Simply mix the ingredients, bake the cake and frost it once it cools. Once you get used to baking cakes, you can experiment with different types of cakes. You may enjoy baking a cake in a particular shape, such as a Mickey Mouse cake for a child's birthday party, or making layer cakes that have frosting between each layer of cake. Whether you're making your first simple cake or are a cake expert, you're sure to impress your friends and family if you follow the cake-baking tips in this article.
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