Did you try out your first batch of cookies and it turned out flat? Or did the cake come out too dry or uncooked? I am sure you look at it an wonder, what did I do wrong?
And just like you there are thousands of bakers around the world wondering the same. So to help you get better and build a strong foundation in baking, we answer some of the most commonly asked baking questions.
1. Unable to beat egg whites, what’s wrong?
The first and foremost thing to do is to make sure your egg whites are at room temperature. While it is a good idea to keep your eggs in the fridge as separating the yellow from the white is easier with cold eggs, you should let the white rest for 20-25 minutes after separating.
This will ensure the egg whites stiffen faster and have volume. A few more things to make sure are that your eggs are fresh and that the bowl is clean.
But if you are still unable to beat the egg whites, throw a pinch of salt on it
2. Difference between baking soda and baking powder
While both baking soda and baking powder are both used for leavening, it is their chemical composition that is different and thus they are used in different recipes.
For example, recipes that require acidic ingredients such as cream of tartar, buttermilk, or citrus juice usually call for baking Soda whereas if the recipe does not specify using an acidic ingredient, you can go with baking powder.
3. Why is my cake sinking in the middle?
One of the biggest reasons the cakes sink in the middle is that you open the cake door quite often. This is a common mistake made by newbies and is pretty easy to correct. Follow the recipe and only check on the cake towards the last 4-5 minutes of the set time.
4. Cake edges are burnt but the middle is raw, why is that happening?
Like pretty much anything in the oven, cakes also cook on the outside first. and if your edges are cooking way faster than the inside, it is most likely because the is higher than it should.
All ovens work differently and have a variety of modes so make sure you get accustomed to the oven first. Also, use a convection oven as their heat distribution is better. So if you haven’t yet bought a convection oven, now would be a great time.
5. How do I know if the cake is good?
One of the best ways to check if the cake is cooked or not is by running a skewer or even a toothpick through the cake. If it comes out wet and with batter on it then leave the cake in the oven longer. We are looking for the skewer to come back dry.
But if you do not have skewers and have run out of toothpick then just press the top gently. If it does not bounce back immediately and instead leaves an indentation, you know your cake hasn’t cooked through just yet.
6. What are some substitutes for sugar in baking?
If you want to replace sugar in your cakes and muffins we would recommend using either bananas or Stevia. If you want to further increase the health quotient by replacing oil, flour, etc. here is an ultimate guide to baking ingredients substitues that you will find handy.