It's true what they say: the British love to bake! The TV show Great British Bake Off has very quickly become a British institution and people who have never baked before are taking up the hobby in their droves.
But what if your bottom keeps going soggy and your sponge keeps sinking? Here's some great tips for creating the perfect cake every time. Get your apron on and let's start baking!
1. Bring your ingredients to room temperature
Baking is a science. You may have all the correct ingredients in the correct quantities, but miss out this vital step and you could be left crying into your mixing bowl. Warm ingredients mix together so much better than cold; they're less likely to curdle and more likely produce a well risen cake. Remember to put all of your ingredients out on your worktop at least 30 minutes before you want to use them.
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2. Prevent your cake from sinking
A golden rule when baking is don't open the oven door for at least 20 minutes into your bake. If the cake hasn't started to cook in the middle, it will sink. Adding too much raising agent will also make it sink. Sounds odd, but this causes the cake to rise too high, too quickly and, after that, there's only one way to go... and that's down!
3. Rotate your pans in the oven
Wait until halfway through cooking time and then rotate your pans. If baking on more than one oven shelf, now is the time to swap shelves. This will ensure a nice, even bake.
4. Cool your cakes upside down
Tip the whole cake upside down while still in its pan on to a cooling rack. This will flatten the top of the cake, making it easier to decorate or stack. Also let your cake cool in the pan before attempting to remove it.
5. Use equipment that makes baking easier
Quality kitchenware makes such a difference when baking. Why spend ages beating butter-cream with a hand whisk when you can use a super fast and easy food processor?
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