I just watched the most relatable but infuriating video by Buzzfeed Food. The video shows seven baking failures that new bakers will recognize and then offers ZERO answers as to how the problems can be avoided. I've made every single one of these mistakes, so here are my tips (click the photo or link to watch the video!):
- The Blob: Chill your cookies before putting them in the oven so that the butter is solid and doesn't immediately puddle. I like to freeze them completely and just add a minute to the baking time.
- The Scorch: Set a timer to avoid burning. If the top of your baked goods are turning brown too quickly for them to bake through before they're scorched, tent the cookie sheet or dish with foil to prevent browning.
- The Stick: Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of your cake pan (a la this Food & Wine Mad Genius Tip Video) and grease it. Place it in the bottom of the pan, pour the batter into the pan, and bake normally. Your cake will pop out easily no matter what.
- The Deflate: Don't overmix the batter. Also try to avoid opening the oven door too much. If it still deflates just cut off the top part of the cake and no one will ever know.
- The Crack: I'm not really sure what they're trying to illustrate here but it's safe to say if you manhandle a cake it will break. Don't move your cake until it's cooled and be careful for goodness sake!
- The Crumble: Once again, let your cake cool completely before frosting it. Bakeries generally bake the cakes one day and assemble the next. Also, use a flat or offset spatula instead of a spoon.
- The Melt: I'm beginning to sound like a broken record but, seriously, let your damn cakes cool! Something I find helpful when determining if baked goods are cool enough is using body temperature. When you're touching a cake to see if it has cooled down keep in mind that your body is a full 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If the cake is warm to the touch, that means it's over 100F. And that's just too hot to frost.