There are several steps, tips or ideas you can consider, if you want to make your confectioneries look better, taste better and appeal to your family, friends and invited guests. Even the most seasoned bakers can still improve on their baking skills for better cookies, pies, muffins, cakes and many more. The following cooking tips are very essential;
Make Use of Ingredients stored at Room Temperatures
If you look at recipes from professional bakers, they always call for room temperature ingredients such as butter, eggs, and milk. Gently warm ingredients (those stored under room temperature) will make creaming together a lot easier. You will appreciate this step when you try sticking an electric mixer into frozen-hard cold butter for instance. If you are going to bake, you need to leave enough room for frozen ingredients to thaw and stay at room temperature for a while, perhaps you should leave your eggs and butter overnight at room temperature and on top of the counter.
Similarly, you should consider mixing ingredients at similar temperatures. For instance, you should add hot things to other hot things. If you pour the hot cream over chilly chocolate, then you will notice the cocoa fat separating, thus making the sauce looking so oily and unsightly.
Invest in Top Quality Confectionery Cookware
Though, it is quite easy to bake inside a poor-quality oven because you can adjust your confectioneries according to their hot spots and also calibrate the oven according to requirements. This is not the case for poor quality bakewares. You must replace those thin Food Trays with Thicker ones because thin sheet trays wouldn’t conduct heat efficiently. When you don’t replace thin Food Trays, your pies, cakes, and cookies will be poorly baked and you wouldn’t like such results.
This tip is equally important when it comes to confectionery mixing bowls. The glass and metal mixing bowls are the best options you should consider especially as double-boilers. Ignore the use of plastic mixing bowls because non-stick coating may enter your confectioneries thus creating serious health issues.
Always Butter and Flour Your Pans in a Generous Way
Don’t just swipe a few streaks of butter and flour unto your baking pan, you don’t want your dough or baked foods to stick to the pan. You should consider all those corners that can become sticky with your dough, hence you should butter them very well. You must also butter and flour those seams where bottom and sides of the pan meet.
If you are flouring the pan, make sure you add enough flour to cover the pan and you can tip the pan gently to coat it completely, before tapping out the excess. Make sure you are careful about where you hold the pan because finger marks in the interior may expose the pan and that will make the batter to stick.
Always Weight the Ingredients
Many bakers often underrate the need to weight ingredients. The power of the digital scale must not be underrated because successful baking means eliminating or at least reducing errors to the minimal. It means you need to make your measurements exact. When you measure a cup of flour, for instance, you can eliminate those extra ounces that can make the difference in how dense, cakey, or flaky your final confectioneries are. A good digital scale is inexpensive and it is very easy to operate. The scale will also ensure that you eliminate all guesswork and there wouldn’t be any need to wash your measuring cups. You need to ensure that you set the tare to make an adjustment for weight of the mixing bowl.
Learn to Rotate Halfway Through
There is that special hotspot in every oven and you have to correct it so that you don’t end up with unevenly baked foods. The hotspot may lead to some baked foods burnt. When there is a need to turn your baking sheet or pan halfway at 180F degrees – don’t ignore this step. In case the back of the oven is always hotter than the front you need to ensure that every corner or side of the baking pan gets equal treatment.
Never Mess Up with the Oven Temperature and Cooking Time
Don’t assume the temperature settings are ideal for many recipes, If the recipe for a confectionery call for 1 hour at 300F degrees, but you are in a hurry to go somewhere, don’t change the temperature to 425F degrees and the time to 30 minutes, the recipe wouldn’t end up as you wish. Cakes are known to lose moisture when cooked hard and too fast, also, there is a risk of burning out some ingredients that are too delicate or sensitive to heat. For this reason, it is important to stick with temperature and time requirements for all recipes.
Always be Patient to Let It Cool Completely
Unless the instruction states there is no need for cooling, you must allow baked goods to cool off completely. This is one of the baking rules we all break, but we should consider the benefit of allowing baked foods to cool off completely. A completely cooled baked food will allow the steam within to evaporate completely making the break, cake or cookie much easier to handle. Do not try to freeze a still-warm cake, it can result in messy food. There are some pastries that must be removed completely from the pan before cooling.
There are a lot of other rules you need to follow to make your confectioneries better and more delicious to taste. For instance, it is important to use substitutions sparingly or avoid them at all. Do not substitute granulated white sugar with Marple syrup unless the recipe says so. Sugar, for instance, performs more function than sweetening, it will add texture, moisture, aeration and even color to your baked foods. Simply trying to go for healthier alternatives can mess up your entire confectioneries. Each ingredient in the recipe is there for a reason, and must not be slashed to avoid ruining your baking skills and hard work.