Skip to main content

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 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


Popular posts from this blog

3rd Class Flour, What's It All About

For starters i cannot make this Hard Monay if i did not bring any 3rd class flour or soft weak flour to New York. Once i ran out of 3rd class and tried Cake Flour, it turned bad, do not even think of using All Purpose, it will be soft but not chewy as this one made with yes, 3rd class indeed. So third class is hard to find here in the US if you will use that term. You have to say or look for soft wheat flour, that's it, not hard wheat flour, not cake or All purpose but something in between these two. It is easy to find in the Phil., just ask your local bakery suppliers and they know it is Tercera. Tercera is not for bread, bakers use it basically for cookies, cakes and other pastries, but we bakers know how to create bread recipes using part of this flour with the bread flour or hard wheat flour. It makes a softer version of any of your fave breads, with a cheaper price tag. Plus if i own a bakery, i get to use the third class for my cakes and cookies, lowering my food cost i…

Baking Pandesal, Once Again on Proofing

I finished my one one one last August, fortunately my student arrived and made it on time before i left or went back to New York. Originally, she was asking for a September 23 to 27 date and since my flight was September 7, i had to decline her request.

I was surprised to hear from her a couple of days later when she changed her mind and decided to go home so she can catch up with me. Paid her deposit and we set the date. 3 days later, she sent me a photo of one of her cook, badly burned and all bandaged up from the hospital. Class postpone. I prayed for her that she gets well so my student can still make it. I was thinking, she would have to wait till December and well, December being a busy month, i have a feeling we will not make it and i have to return her deposit.

Praise G-d, she made it and we had a really really fun session. Her goal was to bake Pandesal and Ensaimada. She has a restaurant in Taiwan and she caters to Pinoys there selling Chicken Inasal which judging from her st…

July Session

This is the only session I had so far where i used 2 different brands of flour which is Globe by Universal Robina and Sun Moon Star by Pilmico.Now, if you have attended my class, and I know some of my former students still read my blog then you know that i preach water and adore first class flours with a high protein content. Anything that is lower than my expected level is out of the book just like this popular brand I will call Brit (not it's real name). If you know your history and you bake breads, you know what this brand is. Now, you can certainly email me so I can divulge to you in secret what this horrible I mean disappointing brand of first class is.First off, it does not deserve it's price tag. Too expensive for an over P800.00 per sack flour when a P720.00 sack can use up more water. Why is that important? Well, too long to discuss but I hope your teacher can tell you why. If not, then you went to the wrong school.So here I am, using my student's flour ( they alr…