I want to start this post by clarifying that I am NOT a pastry professional, I have improvised many times, but if you are an amateur like me, surely these tips will serve you like me.
There are many recipes for cakes / cakes / biscuits, but not all of them are good. For example, the recipe for a “pound cake” is very heavy for a cake with several cakes / layers that are to be built in a tower one on top of the other. So choosing the correct recipe is important.
Try to get the recipe from sites of expert bakers but with basic steps, such as Preppy Kitchen is my favorite because it has simple, delicious and suitable recipes for various types or styles of cakes.
If when reading the recipe you are not convince by flavor, or because you doubt the size and quantity of portions or the texture of the cake, then try to make it before to be sure that the day you will need it, it is according to what you plan.
Whatever the recipe, the advice has always served me to have a syrup made from water, sugar and the predominant flavor of the mixture -vanilla, orange, almond, lemon … – at room temperature to moisten each of the cakes / layers to keep them moist. Look on YouTube for videos on how to do the procedure to moisten them.
Never skimp on product quality. Quality may not be important for many, but for others – like me – it is. A vanilla essence can vary simply by coming in a plastic or glass bottle, depending on how natural or artificial and processed the products are.
A whipping cream can vary depending on its level of saturated fat, as well as “candy melts” can be very different in the result of making ganache if they are used instead of white or milk chocolate.
My advice is to test which brand or quality of ingredient works best and thus know the products that will be your favorites. Listen and watch testimonials or tutorials on Pinterest, blogs or YouTube; there will always be good advice there.
To make chocolate ganache the one that does not fail me is the Ghirardelli . With Candy Melts it is not the same because its content is more greasy. It is difficult to find “its point” for straightening.
If you are using fondant, my recommendation for texture and flavor is Satin Ice . I have tried others but this is the one that I liked the most because it conforms easily and without losing its elasticity it does not break.
If you want to add different flavors or aromas to the dough -almond, lemon, orange… -, I recommend the essences of Lorann Oils or the essential oils of do TERRA because they will not be lost in the oven, but will maintain their original flavor.
If some of my suggestions catch your attention, you can find them on Amazon or in the link that opens when you click on each of the highlights.
If you are going to start the hobby of baking at home, get a good set of molds. If you are going to try the technique of assembling multi-layer cakes / cakes, buy 2 of each size, preferably the standard size: 10 inches in diameter x 2 tall so you don’t take that long to bake. In my case, I have tried many molds, but the best for me have been the Fat Daddio’s , the anodized aluminum from which they are made allows the mixture to cook evenly, without burning more underneath, cool faster and disassemble easily.
If you are going to work with ganache or buttercream or icing, you will also need the smoothing spatula for this type of texture, so you can make the coverage evenly, or you can buy with texture if you are going to leave your cakes “naked”.
If you’d like to start trying fondant, buy a rolling pin long enough to cover large cakes – 10 inches in diameter. Another key fondant accessory is the “fondant smoother” to give it a precise, smooth finish around the edges.
The best place to buy utensils is always Amazon, the price is accessible and you can always find everything.
4. Technique :
As a good amateur, there will be techniques that will be easier than others, in my case. I prefer to use the white or brown chocolate ganache to cover the cakes before applying the fondant finish. I do not like buttercream for personal reasons -the smell of dairy-. The consider that ganache tolerates heat and cold more, on the other hand, buttercream resists heat less.
Practice the technique that you like the most and with the one that you feel most comfortable with. Over and over again, and you will see that with each attempt you will discover and improve more.
I’ll be posting my ganache recipe so you can follow along. Try making it for topping, as well as a “dripping” or spilled finish.
If you are going to use flowers, I recommend that they be organic, even better if they are edible. But if they are not, just cover the trunk of each one you are going to use with tinned paper -aluminum- to avoid contamination by pesticides.
References are always the best school. I do not miss certain accounts on Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube to expand the creativity of my ideas. Try new things and try to try techniques that. I did not know how they were made or that they exist.
They also serve to clarify doubts when we do not know how to do something. Such as calculating the portions in relation to the recipes. What size of mold to use according to the number of people we are going to serve. How to cut it so that it is enough for everyone.
I suggest that from now on you start looking for accounts that are of your interest. They are probably not the same ones that I like, but you will learn the same. If you want to do something, but fear wins you over. Always go to see the videos on YouTube, I’m sure you will achieve it if you try and practice.
I hope these basic tips have served you and that you are encourage to make more cakes at home. To your liking and to your measure.
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