Secrets to a good cake

Freeze the top tier of your wedding cake for your first wedding anniversary. If it is wrapped well enough, it will taste as good on your anniversary as it did on your wedding day.

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Tips for a perfect cake
Cake making is easy - but have you ever had one that doesn't turn out as you expected? Read on to find out some of the secrets of successful cake making.

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Baking
  1. If your oven temperature is questionable, invest in an oven thermometer. Some ovens might be off by as much as 75F.
  2. Preheat oven to the correct temperature. If you are using glass pans, reduce oven temperatures by 25F.
  3. Shiny coated pans reflect the heat, and are your best choice for cake baking. Grease and lightly flour the pan and cover the bottom with greased waxed paper.
  4. Position pans as near to center of oven as possible. Pans should not touch sides of oven or each other.
  5. Cake is done when the sides shrink slightly away from the pan and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool cake in pan 10 - 15 minutes before loosening the edge and turning it out onto a wired rack to cool.

Mixing

  1. Prepare all the necessary ingredients.
  2. Before mixing the batter, prepare the pans, turn the oven on, and make sure the rack is in the center.
  3. Have all ingredients at room temperature for best results.
  4. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy or as long as the recipe directs.
  5. Always sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices to avoid lumps.
  6. To speed up the softening of cold butter, slice and let stand for about 10 minutes.
  7. Toss nuts, raisins and fruits in the batter last. This will avoid color bleeding.
  8. For a lighter cake, separate the eggs. Add the yolks to the butter mixture, whip the egg whites and then fold them into the final batter.
  9. Use cocoa powder instead of flour for dusting a greased pan when making a chocolate cake.
  10. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl frequently with a rubber spatula during mixing.
  11. Spread batter evenly in pans.
  12. If using melted chocolate, temper it slightly with some of your batter to prevent lumps.

Frosting

  1. Cool the cake thoroughly before frosting, unless the recipe instructs otherwise.
  2. Chill the cake between the filling and the frosting. The cake will be much easier to work with.
  3. Store whipped cream in the refrigerator at all times.
  4. Never walk away when whipping heavy cream or you may end up in the butter manufacturing business.

Ingredients

  1. Always use fresh eggs. Eggs separate best when cold.
  2. Flour quality varies by brand and by season. If your batter feels funny, bake a small muffin to verify the result.
  3. Butter gives the best flavor and improves the shelf life of a quality cake. But margarine can be used in place of butter in most recipes with a minimal difference in flavor.

Next: How to select your wedding cake

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Introduction Icing and Frostings Cake decorating example
Fillings and Flavors How to select your cake Secrets to a good Cake
Wedding Links Wedding Cake Tops & Supplies Wedding & Cake books
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