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Cake baking 101

For those who are just starting to bake cakes, I know what it was like to fail and feel horrible for days after.

Imagine spending 100 pesos for a bar of butter, all that eggs and the dishes you have to wash after...it is absolutely a nightmare when that cake fails to rise. Based from my experience, the mist common mistake it the most basic rule in baking. Reading the recipe.

Sure, we all know how to read. But in baking, reading goes beyond the fine print. Sometimes I get annoyed when "cut into small squares " gets read cut into big rectangles.  Sabing squares eh, pero rectangle ang ginawa.

Or,  "boil the water and reduce to simmer then add the sifted cocoa", but no, he reduced the water and then he added the cocoa. Ha ha ha.

It is confusing and baking sometimes makes a fool of a genius or makes someone really look and feel awkward for the first time in his or her life. I saw a doctor cringed at the sight of eggwhites being whipped.

So now that I am teaching my nephew how to bake, it reminds me of me 20 some years ago when I taught myself how to bake vis a vis attending short courses here and there. Nakakalito and no way he's getting this in one lesson.

It doesn't matter if you're smart, all those steps plus the fact that you have to measure everything down to that last gram is a new territory for someone who is 25, let alone a kid who is only 18. So I give him some props for being very patient. With me.

So for those who cannot quite make the cut, start from the beginning. Read read read the recipe. Then make a checklist of what you need. Organize your area. I hate going from my prep table to the next room for a spatula or salt. Uuugh. Nakakapagod. Make sure everything is in one place to minimize error. Then ignore your Facebook and tweets.

Preheat the oven. Do this before you measure. Are you using a paddle or a whisk? Do you need room temperature eggs or chilled water? Do you have the correct size of pan for this cake? Etc. Etc.

Lastly, don't  be cheap. When I made a custard cake and tried to divide it by using a cheaper, smaller pan with seams, the water in the Bain marie seeped through the cake making a pudding out of the cake. Disaster! Well,lessons learned. But don't let it get to you. Mistakes are there to teach us. Just don't make a habit out of doing it over and over

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