At first glance, this post might not seem very informative for those of you who regularly bake cakes.
But…do your cakes get cracked on top? Do they get domed shaped or do they have unbaked (raw) centers? If so, then this post could have the answers you are looking for.
I am sharing my consolidated discoveries & experience that I have gathered on my quests to bake a good cake.
The cakes I am able to bake are free of cracks and they come out with an even surface. This is not a recipe post. It’s a set of instructions that can be used with any recipe of your choice.
While starting, it is extremely important that you have a trusted recipe source and I also believe that measurements should be given in grams. Cup measurements are for experienced bakers. To measure ingredients properly you should have digital weighing scale too. Please buy a simple digital scale if don’t have one. It’s an important and inexpensive investment.
Baking powder and baking soda should be packed in air tight containers and should not be old than 4 months. Don’t stock these items. If baking powder or soda is older than 6 months then your cake will not become airy, fluffy and soft.
It’s critical to note that the dry ingredients and wet ingredients should be mixed just a little while before putting the cake in the oven. When these ingredients are mixed, they trigger temperature-dependent chemical reactions that play a major part in how the cake turns out. So it’s important to first line the tin, preheat the oven and only then mix the ingredients.
To prepare the tin, take a cloth strip like the one shown in the picture.
Apply butter inside the cake tin and dust it with flour. Now this tin should be ready.
Wet the cloth strip, wrap it around the tin and pin it up.
The tin is now ready for the cake mixture.
Now mix the dry and wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients using the cut and fold method. Mix within 7 to 8 foldings and don’t overmix. Immediately transfer the mixture to the grease tin.
Make sure that you even the top. Tap slightly after transferring so that trapped air goes out.
Now carefully transfer this tin to the hot oven.
Make sure that tin should not be close to either the top or the bottom of the oven. Place it at the centre of the oven.
Make sure to set the timer as per the time mentioned in your chosen recipe.
When the time has elapsed, check by inserting a skewer in the centre of the cake. It should come out clean. Use long bamboo skewers to avoid the risk of burning your hand. Moreover the long skewers can reach right till the bottom of the cake’s center.
If skewers don’t come out clean then you will need to bake the cake for some more time. This extra time is related to the amount of cake material on the skewer, and unfortunately for now, can only be determined through either your experiential judgment or through trial and error.
If the skewers come out clean, then you need to take the cake out of the oven. Don’t let the cake sit inside the oven, even if you are switching off the oven. The heat inside the oven will over-bake the cake.
Once out of the oven, let the cake cool down for 10 minutes in the tin. After that transfer it to a wirerack to cool further.
Let it cool completely for 2-3 hours before frosting it.
I follow all these steps to get even topped and soft fluffy cakes. Many bakers bake yummy cakes but their cakes often have big cracks on the top. Follow these methods and you will get better cakes.
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