Our cakes are so buttery, rich and moist we’d forgive you for thinking they can’t be made at home, but home bakers can achieve fluffy and light cakes with just a few little-known tips, says chef Lisa Griffin, owner of The Cake Jar Store.
Griffin graduated from the Culinary Institute of American in 1997 as a pastry chef after making an impression on her chefs by planning, baking for and hosting afternoon teas with a group of fellow students. She says there are plenty of tricks to baking moist, flavorful cakes at home, but suggested three to get us started.
1. Scrape the bowl.
As you mix your cake batter, some ingredients may go unincorporated along the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Without even distribution, you may find your batter thick in places, unevenly colored or lumpy. Instead, use a spatula to scrape both the sides & bottom of the bowl periodically throughout the mixing process. If using a stand mixer, make sure to scrape the ingredients that pool up around the bottom hump of the bowl!
2. When melting chocolate, think dry.
Even just a drop of water can seize up melting chocolate and keep it from turning into the decadent, smooth filling or frosting you’re looking for. Double boilers can create condensation, so be careful not to allow moisture from the bottom boiler to drip into the bowl when removing your melted chocolate and never cover chocolate during the melting process or the result may not be usable in your recipe.
3. The temperature of your ingredients make a difference.
Cream whips best cold. Pre-chilling your bowl or whisk in the fridge or freezer before beginning your whipped cream project will help achieve best results. When making cake and cupcake batters room-temperature is the way to go. Set your butter, milk and eggs out ahead of time and allow them to warm to room temperature (about 65-70 degrees).
If the one you really want to bake for is far away, why not let us take care of it for you? Order a delicious cake jar and send it their way. (Or order one for yourself — self-care starts from within.)