8 Steps to Better Home Cake Baking
Written by Debbie Sutton, Owner and Executive Chef at 8 Lavender Lane Catering & Events
1. Pick and Plan
Choose your recipe, read through it, and collect all ingredients needed; aka "Mise en place", a French phrase used in the culinary world meaning, "Put in place".
Make sure you have the proper bakeware required for your recipe. Ex: Correct pan size/type
I can't stress this one enough! Good quality ingredients equal better products - plain and simple.
Think of baking as a science, because it is. Measuring or "scaling" as it's coined in a bake shop is key to a perfect end product. A cup of flour isn't always the same weight. Finding or converting a recipe to a weight measurement is always best. You can purchase a small digital scale online or at just about any retail store that sells kitchen equipment.
Some recipes call for alternating dry and liquid, some for low speed, and others high speed mixing. The recipe steps should be precisely followed when baking. Missing a key mixing step can blow your whole recipe.
Be sure to follow your recipe's pan prep procedure prior to filling the pan with batter. Again, scaling is best here if you're dividing your recipe between two or more cake pans. Weighing the amount of batter and splitting it evenly will give you consistent finished size.
7. Oven Temperature
Your recipe probably had you preheat the oven. Be sure the oven is up to the correct temperature prior to baking. Too high or too low can lead to poor finished product.
Be sure to allow your cakes to cool five to ten minutes prior to removing from the pans. Once removed, allow the cakes to cool completely before trying to ice them. There's nothing worse than trying to ice a hot cake!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: DEBBIE SUTTON
- Owner of 8 Lavender Lane Catering and Events
- B.S. in Culinary Arts Management
- Certified Executive Chef through the ACF
- 30 years of restaurant / chef experience
Debbie started her culinary career in the fast food circuit, quickly moving into a variety of management positions. In 1999 wanting to offer more, she and her father chose to open their own café’ and catering business in White House, TN. Since then she has obtained a B.S. in Culinary Arts Management, is a Certified Executive Chef through The American Culinary Federation, and holds a Professional Training SAS Certificate through Provincia di Terni, Regione dell’Umbria.
She spent over three months studying under and working with Chef Lorenzo Polegri in Orvieto, Italy. Chef Polegri, being the most celebrated European chef at the James Beard House, was integral in insuring that the knowledge Chef Sutton brought back to the states would be relevant and could be easily incorporated into her own catering business.
Catering has allowed Debbie to live her dream, with her love for people and food, with creativity leading the way. Her unwavering dedication to each client is something to be noticed.