If you've been wanting to delve into baking a treat or two, here are some tips for you :) these are all things we've learned through our own mistakes, and we got it wrong so you don't have to!
In no particular order, our five best tips:
If the recipe says 25 mins, don't be tempted to open the oven for a sneak peek at 10 mins, 12 mins, 17 mins, 21 mins. We know how exciting it can be to see how your cookies or brownies are coming along, but keep the heat in with the oven door closed! A mother hen doesn't hatch her eggs by constantly standing up to see if there are any chicks yet. ;)
2. Check, double check, and triple check your ingredients list
Nothing's more annoying than being up to your elbows in flour and eggs, then realizing that the one vital ingredient you need for your recipe expired five months ago. If that happens, hopefully there's someone who can run to the store for you! There's a price to pay though; it always comes with lots of grumbling and nagging.
3. Underestimate the baking time
Whaaa..? Underbake the goodies? Of course not! Sometimes recipes don't work perfectly, and it's totally normal; everyone's oven is different and recipes need to be calibrated to your oven. This means that sometimes you'll need to bake it for a slightly longer or shorter time than what the recipe states. When it comes to the last 5 mins or so and you start to wonder "Dunno the inside cooked already or not, how ah??", always set the timer slightly less than what you think it's gonna be. It's easy to leave the cookies in the oven for a few more minutes, but once it's burnt, there goes your precious hour or two of work!
4. Minimize washing
Isn't the worst about baking or cooking always the big clean up that happens afterwards? To reduce that, wash as you go, or use as little equipment as possible. For example, instead of measuring out your ingredients into separate bowls, measure directly into the mixing bowl (be careful not to over pour!). This only works if you use weight (grams) instead of mass (millilitres, cups, etc) though, so if it's an oft used recipe, convert it to grams to save yourself some washing!
5. Invest wisely
If you're just starting out baking, it's likely that you'll need to pick up some basic ingredients and equipment. Forgo the expensive equipment, and dedicate the budget to ingredients instead! Stand mixers can be replaced by good ol' elbow grease, ziplock bags can be used instead of piping bags, but nothing can replace quality ingredients.
Hope this was helpful, the weekend is almost here so stock up on some new ingredients and bake up a storm!