Monday, 1 April 2019

Baking of Cake Essentials

Hello everyone ,  After a long gap I again came here to write my this blog. In Between I had been fully occupied by my office, home, my son too and didn't get time to write here. Now a days I am running on leaves and thought to write here again so I am here again.

Cooking is my all time passion and among them baking is my favourite. Baking is easy and anyone can do it. Baking is basically a cooking process which is done in oven / OTG or microwave or on hot ashes or hot stone.

I feel moreover a fun baking a cake always and it is also called a stress buster. You must try baking a cake and after that you will certainly feel relaxed and joyful. As your cake inside oven starts rising and your happiness also rises accordingly. 

In baking a cake, certain things are to follow to get a good soft delicate cake. This whole process is basically a science where you have to proceed step by step not like stove cooking where you can add ingredients in later too or you can skip any steps or ingredients too . If you forget any steps or any process in baking, then it will not work out well. For ex if you forget to add leaving agent and last if you want to add  it batter, then it will be disaster. Same if your ingredients are not at room temperature then cake will not be soft as desired. So be sincere while you do baking.

One more things I want to share here that googles is rafted through so many cake recipes but all are not authenticated and will not get result for cake. So follow good know authentic recipes only.

Here in this article I will elaborate all information, tips and tricks related to baking a cake which is required by a beginner.

Baking in oven 

Ovens /OTG are two types, one is electric oven run by electricity and second is gas oven  which is run by gas (LPG). Both have different pros and cons and depends upon your liking. I have worked with both ovens and prefer electric oven.

Utensils which can be used in oven for baking cake is aluminium pan, glass pan or silicone mold.
Now a days, non stick aluminium pans are also available in market. For glass pan or silicone mold, must check temperature resistant of material. Maximum temperature for normal house hold oven is 250 degree centigrade so check temperature resistant of materials of pan accordingly.

Normally cakes are baked at 180 degree centigrade but temperature may vary + - 10 degree centigrade for different different recipes and ovens. For baking a cake, oven is preheated and preheating time and temperature also vary oven to oven because every oven has different built up and settings.

As in my oven, I do preheating 6 to 7 minutes at 180 degree centigrade for baking of cake.

Baking in Microwave

Microwaves are also different different type but for baking cake or cookies microwaves with convection is more suitable.

Maximum temperature for microwave which is used for  house hold is 200 degree centigrade to 250 degree centigrade.

For baking a cake in microwave, turn it to convection mode first then preheat it and then bake at suitable temperature as mentioned in recipe.

When we Turn  a microwave in convection mode, it functions as an oven so work with this accordingly.

Utensils which can be used in microwave convection mode is aluminium, glass or silicone but again must check whether they are microwave safe and temperature resistant.

Now a days silicon mold is very commonly used  in baking and it is very convenient to use in oven and microwave.  These mold are easily available in market and plus point with them is that cakes don’t stick at bottom and easily come out with mold with out any extra effort.

Paper cups and aluminium foil mold are also very commonly used in baking now a days and easily available in market/ online store. 

After oven and microwave baking details, other important tools which is used in baking a cake are silicon spatula, brush, mixing bowl, measuring cups, hand and electric beaters, sieve, parchment paper or butter paper etc.  All these are easily available in market/online stores.

Now further we talk about cakes with egg and cakes without eggs.

Cakes are generally prepared using eggs because it works as binder and make cakes fluffy. For  Making cakes using eggs, follow  recipe’s instructions.  I have no much idea about cake using eggs because I don’t use eggs in my baking. Cakes are also prepared without using eggs. There are so many things which replace egg in baking and results are great in every cases.

I do bake cake Egg free so here I will explain all egg replacement with tips and measurements

Eggs replacement

Vegetables Oil with no flavour
Apple Sauce*
Flexi seeds
Butter milk***
Commercial egg replace powder

Substitution for egg
 1 egg = 1/4 cup Vegetables  Oil
 1 egg = 1/4 cup Apple Sauce *
 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flex seeds + 3 tbsp water ****
 1 egg = 1/4 cup mashed Banana

* Apple Sauce is easily available in market but it can be prepared home too very easy
Apple Sauce which is used in baking cake is unsweetened and it has no any flavour which is the beneficial point of this.

 For making of this, steps are below,
  • Take one medium size fresh apple 
  • Remove its skin and cut it into small pieces 
  • Take a pan, put in apple pieces
  • Put in few water (approx 1/8 cup of water)
  • Cook it on low flame until apple pieces become soft and cooked properly and no water should remain in pain
  • Take mixer jar, put in cooked apple in that and make a fine paste
  • This paste is Apple Sauce and ready to use in baking a cake 
  • From 1 medium apple, u will get approx 1/2 cup apple sauce 
**Banana has a good property of egg substitute and baking cake using banana gives a very soft and fluffy texture to cake but it has dominating character and gives a strong flavour of  banana. So if you like banana flavor it is good for you to use in baking cake but it suppress other flavour of cake.

Butter milk  has no exact measurement for replacing egg . It depends recipe to recipe.

To make butter milk home is simple steps
  • Take milk from measuring cups as mentioned in recipe. 
  • Boil it on high flame 
  • Put 1 tbs of vinegar in boiled milk keeping gas flame at low and stir it 
  • After few seconds, milk will start curdled 
  • Switch off the gas flame and keep side paneer along its whey to get cool.
  • This is butter milk and ready to use in baking a cake. 
 Commercial egg replacer powder is used as per instructions given on packet. This makes cake sponge and fluffy and non sticky. This is available in market and online store too.

***To make egg replacer from flex seeds, 
  • Take flex seeds in jar, grind it and make it powder. In market you can find product labelled as Millet flex seeds, Ground flex seeds or Flex seeds meal, all three can be used as egg replacer. 
  • Take one tbs flex seeds powder in a bowl
  • Add 3 tbs of water mixed well and keep it side for few minutes. 
  • After few minutes it will become like soupy and goopy type substance which is a egg replacer.

Now for steps for baking cake for beginners 

In baking cake, 4 steps are involved 
  • Lining or greasing a pan
  • Preparing batter
  • Baking cake
  • Cooling and slicing

Lining or greasing a pan

Before start for batter and ingredients, most important thing is lining or greasing a pan. If you are using a silicon mold or pan than it is not required to line or grease it. But if you have aluminium pan or glass pan then it must be greased or lined up with butter paper or parchment paper. 
 Every pans are not suitable for lining and same not every pan can be suitable for greasing. It depends cake to cake, recipe to recipe and material too. So follow as per mentioned in recipe. For ex, if you preparing sponge cake you need to line up with parchment paper and if plum cake then sometimes you have to grease it or sometime line up.

Preparation of Batter

In preparation of batter. Two types of ingredients are used 
  • Dry ingredients 
  • Wet ingredients 
In dry ingredients, basically flour, baking soda baking powder, powder sugar (as per recipe), coca powder( in chocolate cake or brownie) etc are used.

Wet ingredients are basically oil, water, butter, milk, apple sauce, flex seeds egg replacer,  fruit pulp (as per recipe) condensed milk etc.

In the process of batter, first prepare dry ingredients as per recipe ex. Take flour, baking powder, baking soda and other dry substance (as mentioned in recipe)  and sieve these twice in bowl. Mix all ingredients properly with spoon or spatula and keep it side. 
These steps  are the most important steps for any cake. Sieve all dry ingredients makes batter light and delicate texture of cake. It also prevents batter from lumps. 

Before sieve, measurement of ingredients is most vital. Measuring cups are suitable for this purpose which are easily available in market. 

For making good and lighter delicate texture cake , follow the exact measurement of ingredients as mentioned in recipe. For ex 1 cup flour is needed , take cup of measuring 1 cup, fill the flour by the spoon in cup. slight pat it and leveled it with spoon or straight knife.  Follow same process for other ingredients.

For Wet Ingredients, to measure liquids, use proper measuring cups, place measuring cup on flat surface, pour liquid in it up to level and pour it to the mixing bowl other than dry ingredients bowl.

These are the basics steps to measure ingredients. When you start for cake, first prepare dry ingredients, measuring and mixing well, keep it side. Then start for liquid measurements which should be done in other bowl.

Every cake has different recipes and process. So follow exact process of recipe to get the best result but above mentioned steps are basics steps which should be followed in every case.

Baking a cake

Now come to the baking of cake which is related to oven or microwave.Oven or microwave must be sufficiently preheated with accurate time and at accurate temperature. Temperature and time has a vital role in baking a cake. Every oven and microwave has different setting of temperature and vary from other one. So you must know your oven well before start baking. If you still not sure for your oven temperature then you cab buy oven thermometer and check your oven temperature accordingly. 

Cakes are generally baked at 180 degree centigrade with time of  30-35 minutes but is not any thumb rule. Every recipe has different baking temperate and different baking time. Same with oven too. 

If you are beginner, put oven on preheating when you finished lining and greasing of pan because cake batter when u pour in pan, immediately should go in oven for baking. There should not be waiting time after pouring batter in pan and going inside of oven. Oven must be ready for baking before you start pouring batter in pan otherwise leaving agent will start coming out through bubbles in batter and you will not get best result.

Cooling and slicing

When cake is done in oven and timer rings, leave cake pan inside of oven for 5 minutes more. It is still cooking inside of oven. After 5 minutes, you take it out and cover it fully with kitchen towels. This Steps is mandatory to maintain the cake moisture otherwise cake will get dry and becomes hard. 

When it gets completely cool, take a knife and move around the edges of cake slowly slowly. Take a plate, cover the pan from this plate and put the pan up on plate, cake will come out in plate. this is the way to demold your cake from pan. After that you slice it accordingly. you can keep it in freeze in airtight container up to one  week and without freeze maximum for 3 days. you can bake any cake in advance of 2-3 Days for guests or occasions.

Some More Tips for Cake Baking

  • Follow cake recipe properly and step wise.
  • Don't use old dated or expired baking powder or soda. It will not give good result.
  • Take a appropriate size of pan. No bigger pan or not small pan. Fill the batter up to half or 3/4 of pan.
  • Don't open oven or microwave door in between or frequently.
  • All ingredients must be at room temperature. Plan ahead if you keep ingredients in freeze. Take it out all ingredients from freeze 2-3 hours before.
Now Enjoy your baking and let me know  how you get your result in cake.. Happy baking...