11 Secrets To Perfect Baking

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Nothing beats homemade cake. But to avoid culinary failure, you need more than just a good recipe.

  1. How to knead the dough correctly. The texture of the cake depends on the ratio of the ingredients used and the method by which they are mixed.
  2. Screening. Flour is sold pre-sieved these days, so there is usually no need to sift it again. But there are exceptions: the flour for the biscuit needs to be sieved to saturate it with oxygen and provide a light texture to the cake, and flour mixtures containing spices, cocoa powder and soda require sifting to remove any lumps.
  3. Whipping. The butter and sugar are usually whisked until lightening, and only then the rest of the ingredients are added. This saturates the dough with air, and the finished cake is fluffy and tender. Do not overdo it: after adding eggs and flour, the dough must be mixed gently, otherwise the texture of the cake will become heavy and grainy.
  4. Cake molds. The recipes are for specific cakes, so it’s important to use the sizes shown. The cake will not stick to the mold if you first grease it with butter and sprinkle with flour. You can also cover the mold with non-stick paper.
  5. Cooling. When you remove the cake from the oven, let it cool for 5-10 minutes before turning onto the wire rack to cool. Don’t leave it in the mold for longer, or it will get damp. If the cake is stuck, run the knife along the sides of the baking dish. Remove the non-stick baking paper immediately.
  6. Applying cream or glaze. Glaze the chilled cake by placing a piece of baking paper under the wire rack. The excess cream will drain freely and not accumulate at the base, while baking paper will help keep the table from staining.
  7. Eggs. Use fresh medium-sized eggs (55-60g). Remove them from the refrigerator at least an hour before kneading the dough to warm them up to room temperature.
  8. Butter. Use butter at room temperature. To quickly soften butter, simply microwave it for 20 seconds or grate it on a medium grater.
  9. Milk and fermented milk products. Always use room temperature kefir, milk or sour cream to prevent stratification of the dough.
  10. Flour. Self-rising flour already contains baking powder, but if you only have plain flour on hand, add 2 tsp. baking powder for 1 cup of plain flour.
  11. Sugar. This is what gives the cake its structure. For a finer texture, use fine sugar, powdered sugar, or light brown sugar – these will dissolve faster in the dough.
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