Basics

Basics #21: Ganache

Ganache is a magical mixture of just two basic ingredients: cream and chocolate. And it’s a wonderful recipe and skill to have under your belt. Technique The basic ganache technique is to heat ...

Basics #20: Man Over Machine

Don’t get me wrong — I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. It makes short work out of doughs and meringues, creams butter and sugar beautifully, and makes the fluffiest frostings. But ...

Basics #19: Royal Icing

I blinked and suddenly Christmas is around the corner. So on this last weekend before Christmas, I’ve been baking up a storm. Old (but trusted) recipes really, like my chocolate ...

Basics #18: Rolling Out Dough

This one’s an easy tip: Use baking paper to help you roll out dough. Simply place your dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll out your dough. I love this ...

Basics #17: Levelling & Torting Cake

You’ll want to venture into levelling and torting cakes if you want to take your cake decorating  to the next level. (See what  I did there?) Levelling a cake simply removes ...

Basics #16: Melting Chocolate

If you’ve ever needed to melt chocolate, chances are you’ve screwed it up at least once. Seized chocolate due to overheating is one of the more revolting things on Earth (I ...

Basics #15: Scaling Baking Recipes

This Basics post is way long overdue, but it’s an important issue to get on with. How do you scale baking recipes? I can only write about scaling round cake recipes because, well, I don’t ...

Basics #14: Buttermilk Fix

In days yonder, buttermilk was the liquid left over when butter was churned. (You can get the same thing by running cream in a food processor until the butter solids ...

Basics #13: Tiered Cakes

Stacking cake tiers is less baking and more cake architecture. I don’t claim to be an expert at tiered cakes, but a little bit of know-how can go a long way. ...

Basics #12: The Crumb Coat

From the title, you’d think that I was going to talk about covering something in crumbs. Actually, it’s the very opposite. Crumb-coating is actually a technique used to help you get ...

Basics #11: Secret to Straight Sides

Ok, it’s not really a secret how to get smooth, straight sides while icing a cake. Or if it was a secret, it’s a really badly-kept one. So what’s my secret? ...

Basics #10: Rules of the Meringue

In making a basic meringue, you’re essentially whipping egg whites and sugar until you get a shiny and stiff foam. Yes, you read right – foam. Egg white foams have a ...

Basics #9: The Buttercream Ratio

I’ve iced many cakes over the years and there are quite a few horror stories I can tell you about buttercream icing. Icing sliding off the sides of cakes despite ...

Basics #8: Vanilla Dilemma

This post was surprisingly difficult to write (as you might have noticed from my one-week hiatus). The reason being that every time I tried to write about the different types ...

Basics #7: Melt Like Butter

You might have noticed that when a recipe needs butter to be creamed, I always write that it has to be “softened” rather than the conventional “at room temperature.” In ...

Basics #6: Lining, Squared Things for Lining a Square Tin

Previously, we learnt how to line the bottom of a round cake tin. So what do we do when the recipe calls for a square or rectangular tin? Fortunately, the ...

Basics #5: Tow the Line(r)

Some part of the Basics series will be spent deciphering commonly bandied-about baking instructions that aren’t always self-explanatory. Today, we’ll figure out what it means to “grease and line” a ...

Basics #4: Fee-Fi-FOLD-Fum…

…if you don’t know how to fold, then you must be dumb. Okay, maybe not. But even if you have no idea what “folding” in baking means, you’re just a few ...

Basics #3: My, How Dishy.

Have a little streak of OCD in you? I know I do. If you’re like me, you’d want every portion of cookie dough or muffin batter to be absolutely uniform. ...

Basics #2: I’ll Cream Ya!

While sounding more than a little dirty, creaming is a simple but very important technique in baking. Just because creaming is easy, it’s also easy to get wrong. A couple of ...


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