If you’re making cakes and you find that your mix shrinks from the sides, you’re overworking it. Once mixtures are combined you don’t really need to overbeat them, unless a recipe states to do so.
You wouldn’t believe how much can go wrong just because ingredients have been weighed incorrectly. If you’re just a little bit out it can have a catastrophic effect on flavour and consistency, yet it’s one of the easiest things to get right. Just concentrate at the start because any errors will only be amplified going forward!
Be careful with Baking Powder…Particularly, when adding too much, you’ll find yourself with something that rises and falls quickly, and will end up drying out the cake. It’s a fantastic ingredient, but it needs to be treated with respect!
A high fat content is essential in the butter or spread you use. I always aim at over 75%. The problem with lower fat spreads and butters is they have a higher water content. When it evaporates it causes layers bind together in your mix. In the UK we tend to always have high fat content so it’s not usually a problem, but it’s always worth checking your ingredients.
When blind baking, instead of buying ceramic beans you can simply use rice or lentils
Use caster sugar in cakes rather than granulated. Speckled tops on cakes are usually caused by granulated sugar that has not properly dissolved in the mixture
If you add sugar too quickly to egg whites when making meringues they will weep on baking. The same if you add too much at once.
To avoid meringues sticking to the paper, ensure your oven isn’t too hot, your whites are whisked sufficiently and the paper you have used is oiled.
I dislike wire rack marks on the top of my cakes, therefore cover the rack with a tea towel before tipping the cake out onto it.