Baking a cake is not a hard thing to do but it needs some planning and organization. The steps involved in making a cake varies significantly depending on the type of the cake and the recipe that you want to follow. However, just keep the following points in mind to while you bake a cake.
1. Read the recipe thoroughly
This is obvious, but still some cakes in particular have certain requirements like the temperature that has to be maintained, should not be changed. For instance, if you have to mix butter with sugar and you realize that you had to soften it before mixing and there is no time for that, the taste and quality of the cake will get affected.
2. Gather the ingredients and make sure that the temperature is correct
Assemble all the ingredients and the equipment on the kitchen counter before you begin the task. Ensure that they are at the appropriate temperature. This is especially essential for eggs and butter. Eggs must be kept at room temperature as they will help to maintain consistent temperature of the batter and soft butter helps in the making of a smooth batter and also a lofty cake.
3. The oven should be heated beforehand
Before preparing the batter for the cake, the oven should be preheated. Once the batter is ready it should not be left at room temperature for more than 10 minutes as it will not respond properly to the heat of the oven. It will neither rise correctly if the oven continues to warm up after the pan has been positioned on it. Be careful not to burn your cake by placing the rack in the center of the oven for a layered cake or in the lower third for a tube cake so that the pan top is not very close to the oven top.
4. Keep your equipment ready
In order to make sure that your prepared cake has the proper shape, it is very important to ensure that it comes out of the pan as a whole. The most usual way to do this is to coat the pan with butter. The specifics will however vary depending upon the type of cake. For a layer cake, coat the inside of the pan with soft but not melted butter with the help of a brush. For the butter cake, use Bundt pan for baking and then coat the buttered surface with dried bread crumbs while tapping the upturned pan to remove any surplus. Immediately, follow with a quick coat of cooking oil to ensure that the cake doesnât stick.
5. Make the batter
The guidelines for making the batter will be different for different cakes. For butter cakes, the ingredients will generally be combined by using the creaming method. For sponge cakes, the eggs will normally be beaten and then folded in. In order to get the appropriate texture, make sure that you follow the instructions properly before pouring the batter into the pan for baking.
6. Check if done
To test whether the cake is prepared or not insert the knife into the center of the cake, if you find some crumbs attached to the knife, your cake is ready. If you still find batter on the knife, the cake is not yet ready.
7. Allow the cake to cool
Put your cake on a rack where there is even air circulation so as to allow natural cooling. The cake is generally left to cool on its baking pan. After cooling, invert the cake on the platter, turn the pan over and lift the cake off.
8. Finish the cake
There are many options for finishing the cake such as, fillings, glazes and frostings. Pound cakes are finished when they come out of the oven and donât need any decorations at all. For other cakes, dusting the cake with simple powdered sugar is all that is required. You can even adorn the cake with roses petals and leaves piped using marzipan or buttercream.