How to Frost a Layer Cake

Essential Equipment Serrated knife Cake stand or large, flat platter Parchment paper Large offset spatula Glass filled with warm water Most home cooks think a bakery-smooth frosted cake is well beyond their ability, so they make do with a cake that “looks homemade.” The truth is that a polished appearance is easy if you have the right tools and use …

Chewy Brownies Recipe

Timeline 20 minutes to assemble brownies 30 minutes to bake brownies 1 1/2 hours to cool brownies in pan 1 hour to cool brownies out of pan Essential Tools 13 by 9-inch baking pan (If using a glass dish, let the brownies cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove them promptly; otherwise, the superior heat retention of glass …

Baking Tools and Equipment – Part 2

PARCHMENT PAPER AND ALUMINUM FOIL We use parchment paper for a variety of baking needs, such as lining baking sheets, cake pans, and pie dough for blind baking. We even use parchment for improvising a pastry bag. Parchment is paper that has been treated with sulfuric acid and then coated with silicone, and the result is a nonstick surface that …

Baking Tools and Equipment – Part 1

DRY MEASURING CUPS As a kitchen staple, a set of measuring cups must be durable. Look for heavy, well-constructed, evenly weighted stainless-steel models—plastic cups can warp in the dishwasher or melt easily. The measurement markings should be easy to read even once the cup is full; cups with measurement markings on the handles are the most common and most practical. …

10 Tips For Better Baking

It doesn’t matter where you learned to bake. Mistakes are inevitable. Whether you learned how to bake at the elbow of your grandmother or in a rigorous cooking school, mistakes happen. Of course, we can learn from these mistakes. In fact, some of our most important baking discoveries have occurred by accident. That said, a mistake is a mistake, and …

Essential Bakeware

BAKING PANS We use these pans for everything from fruit crisps to sticky buns. The thick tempered glass retains plenty of heat to ensure deep, even browning and lets you see exactly how brown (or burned) the food is on the bottom. A 13 by 9-inch pan is the best all-around option, but the 8-inch and 9-inch square pans are …

Butter Choice Quick Guide

Butter not only adds flavor and richness to countless baking recipes, it affects texture as well, whether it’s creamed in a velvety Bundt cake or cut with flour into a flaky pastry crust. BUTTER, SALTED OR UNSALTED? In our kitchen, we use unsalted butter almost exclusively and add our own salt to recipes. Why? First, the amount of salt in …

Common Types of Sugar

Sugar not only adds sweetness to baked goods, but it also influences texture too. For example, the amount or type of sugar can make a cookie crisp or chewy. In this article, we introduce the most common types of sugar we use in baking. WHITE GRANULATED SUGAR made either from sugar cane or sugar beets, is the type of sugar …

Different Types Of Flour For Baking

FLOUR “Bakers should really keep three flours—all-purpose, cake, and bread—on hand. Why? The protein content varies significantly among the three. Therefore, these flours will absorb water differently—the same amount of water might make a soupy batter with a cup of cake flour but a nice, firm dough with bread flour. Protein content also affects gluten development. More protein leads to …

How to Make Whipped Cream

How to Make Whipped Cream Makes about 2 cups. 1. In a deep mixing bowl, beat 1 cup heavy cream until soft peaks form. 2. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over cream; beat until soft peaks return. Do not overbeat. Note: If you prefer, you can replace the granulated sugar with an equal amount of confectioners’ sugar; to …