Yes, you read it right. The wonderful Jane of Jane’s Patisserie, veritable queen of cheesecakes, is guest posting on Knead to Dough this week! Jane is kindly sharing with you her top 10 Jane’s Patisserie baking tips – keep your eyes peeled for her top 10 blogging tips coming soon too! Without further ado, I’ll pass the spoon to Jane…
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My blog has got oh so far in so little time that I thought it was high time that I started posting my tips, tricks and ideas to bake & blog successfully! Today – the Top 10 tips for Baking!!
1) Weigh Your Ingredients
I realise that many years ago people probably didn’t measure ingredients to the same degree that we do now – but if you are new to baking, or you are trying out a recipe that you have never baked before then you should follow the recipe 100% accurately. In a recipe there is always a reason as to why the ingredients is listed as it is – it may not end up being a brilliant recipe, but its worth finding that out, compared to blaming yourself!
2) Use Ingredients You Know/Good Quality Ingredients
I have always believed in using the best quality ingredients that you can afford – some may disagree with this, but once I know how to bake cupcakes with certain butters and sugars, I don’t change it – once the recipe works, it should always work! I buy my chocolate in bulk online (In 2.5kg bags, Callebaut brand) because it ends up costing the exact same as Asda’s own chocolate.. but the quality is so much higher!
3) Use The Same Temperature Ingredients (for certain recipes)
There is always debate on where to store your eggs, or how to bake anything at all.. but in my general rule I keep my Eggs out of the fridge… all of my dry ingredients are at room temperature, butter is room temperature, chocolate is at room temperature etc… The only things that aren’t are ingredients such as double cream, milk, and cream cheese. I find that when baking cakes, cookies etc that all room temperature ingredients makes the perfect bake. It will prevent curdling, and will bake more evenly.
4) Be Accurate
Don’t go all willynilly on the ingredients as I have said already, for the first time in baking something… follow it 100%! But this also applies to the method. If it calls to fold ingredients together separately.. then do so! Sometimes (for cakes especially) the all-in-one method works perfectly, but for most other recipes it wouldn’t. For example, when baking my Chocolate Orange Brownies it says to fold the chocolate into the whipped eggs, then after fold in the flour.. this will lead to success every time!
5) Be Patient
Sometimes a recipe can say to leave it over night so it can set properly.. such as all of my Cheesecakes. Or even my Pavlova where I advise to leave it cooling in the oven overnight without even opening the door. For best results, you should always follow this! Rushing things can lead to the recipe going wrong, but its not even the recipes fault! Don’t try and take shortcuts when a recipe says something in particular – it might lead to it all going sour!
6) Use A Good Recipe
This may sound like a weird thing to say.. but on some websites you can see the average rating of a recipe, and if its low… chances are there is a reason why. People like myself and other bloggers tend to have better recipes (in my opinion) because we are trying to make a living out of recipes. I’m not saying that celebrity chefs and such have bad recipes by any means.. but if you see good comments about a recipe, or it looks at your skill level, or someone has recommended the recipe to you then chances are it’ll be dandy!
7) Invest in an Oven Thermometer
I often find that one of the biggest problems that others have in baking is not knowing what temperature to bake your recipes at. Some people have conventional ovens, some have fan, some have gas.. and some even have and agar – all of which bake in a different way to one another! Therefore, I have an oven thermometer. I always bake my recipes on the ‘Fan’ temperature as my oven has one, but even then sometimes it can be a little off temperature wise – the thermometer will help you know what’s what!
8) Prepare your Oven and Tins in Advance
When a recipe, such as ALL of mine practically says to pre-heat your oven and/or to line your tins in advance.. I really would. Once you have mixed up your recipe, you really don’t want to have to then preheat the oven (and if its not a good one, that could take an hour in itself!) and then line the tins – it makes everything so much more straight forward to prepare in advance!
9) Don’t Leave Things Lying Around
Once you have mixed up your recipe, you want to bake it straight away. You do NOT want to have to mix up the cake (as I said in point 8) and then wait to bake it. It’ll make it bake weirdly, you can’t guarantee that it’ll work. If you are baking a two layer cake, but only have one tin.. I really recommend mixing up the mix separately, rather than baking half and leaving the other half to sit.
10) Know Your Equipment
With my Cheesecakes I call to whip up the ingredients so its very thick, but without making the mixture split. I can do this every time, without fail, as I know my mixer inside and out. I know how far to push it, how fast to go, and when to desperately stop. Its the same with my oven – I know exactly how long to bake a cake for so that its perfectly baked – and I never change it! Its always worth knowing what your oven does, what your mixer does, even what your scales do – so that you get everything right!
All of these views are my own, and you may agree or disagree but these are my personal top 10 tips for baking successfully!
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© Jane’s Patisserie 2015
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A big thank you for sharing Jane’s Patisserie baking tips, Jane. What are your go-to baking tips? Any equipment that you couldn’t live without? Continue the baking conversation in the comments below or on my Facebook page!
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