Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Secrets of Star Bakers

Trial and error, time and a good reason are all you need to perfect your baking. Research for my new romance series was my reason to perfect my haphazard baking skills. Not only has it been the most tasty, but also the most rewarding of all my fact-finding adventures.

Trial and error means that sometimes your recipe will fail. I watch a lot of baking shows and see professional bakers make amateur mistakes that often have me talking to the TV. They should know that cake is not cool enough to frost. Of course, time is often not on the bakers' side in a competition. I once gave myself a time limit to bake a batch of cookies and failed miserably. 
Tip-don't rush the process you'll have a better chance of succeeding.

My cakes are most often semi-home sponges that I make ahead of time and put in the freezer. I make everything from log rolls to multi-layers with a simple recipe I found while doing my research.

Frosting and fillings are easier to spread on frozen layers.

Tip-Always preheat before starting 
Preheat oven to 350 
Tip - Have all your ingredients ready to go - butter needs to be softened and eggs may need to be at room temperature.
Sometimes I'm all set to go and realize I don't have enough sugar or eggs. My husband's a good sport about going to the supermarketer for something I forgot, but he's not always available. I also prepare my pans by spraying with a non-stick spray then cover the bottom with parchment paper.

1 BOX ANY FLAVOR CAKE MIX  All commercial brands work for this recipe, but my favorites are Duncan Hines yellow, white or devil's food.
These companies have been making these mixes for decades and have it down pat. 
6 eggs  beat on high until lemon color
add 1/2 cup of water 
1/4 cup oil I like the hint of olive oil especially in chocolate cakes

Add cake mix

The recipe states to bake for 15-20 min until the center springs back.
Depending on your oven, the type of pan and altitude, baking time is definitely a trial and error moment.

I use 6" pans. I prefer more layers.

Don't be afraid to experiment. I recently made a 3 layer Biscoff cake where I substituted 1 tablespoon of cookie butter for an egg. It gave the cake a subtle hint of flavor with most of the flavor coming from the Biscoff frosting and cookie crumbs between the layers. 
I'm definitely lacking in cake decorating skills. Sprinkles, cookie crumbs and nuts can be very forgiving. The smaller layers make it easy to roll the frosted sides in the topping of your choice.

Happiness is homemade.