Friday, 5 October 2012

Basic equipment required for baking a cake :

Basic equipment required for baking a cake :
1. Mixing bowl
2. Cake spatula
3. Measuring spoons and cups
4. Kitchen scale
5. Hand whisk/beater or electric beater, preferably
6. Baking tins
7. Greaseproof paper
8. Serrated knife
9. Wooden or metal skewer
10. Pastry brush
11. Icing bags and decorating tips
12. Palette knife
13. Cooling wire rack
14. Cake board or cake platter
15. Cake decorating turntable
16. Oven

Tips on Ovens - For your Baking

Ovens :
For baking always preheat the oven at the required temperature. Baking in cold or overheated ovens causes improper baking of the final product.

Place the baking tray or baking tins according to the type of your oven.

Electric ovens / O.T.G. : Place the baking tray or baking tins towards the bottom.

Gas ovens : Place the baking tray or baking tins towards the top. A cup of water should be placed in the oven as there is excessive water loss in gas ovens.

Microwave ovens : Baking cycle required is about 1/5 the time taken in a gas/electric oven. Break up the complete baking cycle required in to 2 – 3 baking cycles for good results. Cover the top of the tray or tin incase of excessive cooking on the surface.

Combination ovens : Baking cycle is about 2/3(two thirds) time required in gas/electric oven at the same temperature as that of the gas/electric oven.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

My Grandma's Home Remedies .....

My Grandma's Home Remedies .....
  1. If a pinch of ginger is put into doughnuts they will not absorb the fat in which they are fried. 
  2. If potatoes are pared and laid in cold water before boiling they will remain white. 
  3. Never put strawberries in tin ware. 
  4. A hot cloth wrapped around jelly or ices will cause them to come out of the molds without sticking. 
  5. A little boiling water added to an omelet will keep it from being tough. 
  6. A little butter added to cake frosting greatly improves it. 
  7. Line cake tins with a little butter and then dust with flour and the cake will not stick to the tins. 
  8. Silicone spatulas are best to use in cake making. 
  9. If raisins and currants are rolled in flour before being put into cake they will not sink to the bottom. 
  10. When cutting fresh bread clean your knife with a damp cloth each time . 
  11. Keep an apple slice in the cake-box. It will keep the cake fresh for a long time. 
  12. If grease is spilled on the kitchen floor cold water should be poured on it immediately. The water will harden the grease and prevent it from soaking into the floor. It may then be scraped up with a knife. 
  13. Soak new brooms in hot, salted water before using them. The salt toughens the bristles and the brooms will last longer. 
  14. Use cucumber peelings to get rid of cockroaches. The cucumber acts as poison to the roaches. 
  15. Clean copper kettles with salt and vinegar. 
  16. Keep any sea shell in the tea kettle to prevent the forming of a crust on the electrical heating elements. 
  17. A piece of camphor kept with silver will prevent the silver from tarnishing. 
  18. Crushed eggshells keep lizards at bay. 
  19. Put a pinch of salt into water in which cut flowers are placed and they will last longer. 
  20. A teaspoonful of tamarind powder, dissolved in hot milk and slowly sipped, is said to be helpful in case of sore throat. 
  21. A gargle of salt and water is a good remedy for sore throat. 
  22. Boiled flaxseed juice flavored with lemon is excellent for a cough. 
  23. When laundering lace curtains, if a creamy shade is desired, add clear, strong coffee to the starch. 

Does altitude affect baking??

Does altitude affect baking??
Too scientific to digest? Sorry but its true ......
The higher you go the more you need to alter your original recipe.
This post is for all my baking friends who live in high altitudes and struggle with baking "THE PERFECT CAKE"
When baking at higher altitudes, the recopies have to be adjusted to compensate foe the lower atmospheric pressure.Often satisfactory results are obtained by merely adjusting the leavening agents used.At other times other ingredients such as flour and eggs may also have to be adjusted. The following adjustments are general guidelines.....
Most recipies will perform adequately up to an altitude of 2000ft elevation, although this is not to say that identical results will be obtained at sea level and at 1000ft elevation.
2000ft elevation - Reduce baking powder by 15% - reduction of further 7.5% for each additional 1000ft elevation. At 8000ft elevation you may require to reduce the baking powder by 60%. 
Whole eggs and egg whites(wherever mentioned in the recipies)should be increased as altitude increases. At 25000ft these ingredients should be increased by 2.5%, with an additional increase of 2.5% for every 1000ft elevation until 75000ft elevation where the adjustment will be 15%.
Flour content also needs to be adjusted upwards with increase in altitude.. At 35000 ft increase the flour by 2.5% and add about 1.7% for each increase in 1000ft elevation. Water needs to be increased proportionately to compensate for the increase in flour.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Typical Baking Problems solved ....

Defects of Crumb :
1. Coarse texture : Proofing at higher temperature, lower baking temperature, pan too large, mixing temperature high, dough chilled at some stage, too much pan proof, inadequate degassing during rounding or molding.

2. Streaks or hard spots : Excess of dusting flour, crust formation before molding, inadequate humidity during proofing, unclean machinery, lumps formed due to wetting.

3. Holes in Bread : Formation of tunnels : soft dough, excess dusting flour, dough not compressed enough during rounding, excessive expansion during pan proof.

4. Dark or dull crumb Color : over fermented dough, dough too wet, young dough, dough too warm out of mixer, unclean machinery, crusting of dough during fermentation.

Defects of Volume :
1. Inadequate Volume : inadequate pan proof, too low temperature during pan proof, cold baking pan, excess of salt, excessive baking temperature in early stages, pans too large, poor handling rounding and molding, sugar inadequate or consumed during fermentation, unequal dividing.

2. Volume too large : Check for unequal dividing, flour strong, oven too cold, over fermented dough.

Defects of Odor or taste :
Contamination or microbiological activity, storage in high temperature ,yeast is spoilt, error in weighing of ingredients, usage of unsuitable scrap material, too much or little fermentation.

Defects in shelf Life :
Inadequate or wrong packaging, change in bread making parameter or packaging parameter, change in formulation or use of ingredients, packaging of warm bread.

Yeast Leavened Sweet Dough :
1. Volume too low : Under mixed, not fermented enough, piece too small, improper roll in, dough too cold, oven too hot.

2. Coarse grain : under or over mixed, not fermented enough, excess dusting flour, fermented or proofed too long or at higher temperature, pan size large, excess steam in the proof box, improper roll in.

3. Off taste or off Odor : Poor quality ingredients, contamination, dough fermented or proofed too long at high temperature, unwashed pans.

4. Texture : Under mixing, not fermented long enough, insufficient pan proof, dough too cold, baked too long or temperature too high for piece size, excessive softeners.

5. Stales quickly : Lean formulas, inadequate water, dried out dough, cold dough, excessive fermentation or proof, overbooked, excessive dusting flour.

Yeast leavened Bakery Products :

Plain breads, Rolls, Wheat bread, Variety breads
1. Blistering of the Crust : Insufficient proofing, development, or salt, excessive humidity or stem in the oven, loose molding, week flour , Temperature too high.
2. Cracking of the Crust : Rapid Cooling, formation of dry crust before baking in the oven.
3. Thick Crust : Insufficient sugar, excessive fermentation, over baking, weak fermentation, low oven temperature.
4. Tough Crust : Excess of Sugar or malt, steam in the oven, fermentation insufficient, , insufficient fat.
5. No shred : Not enough steam in the oven, insufficient time for pan proofing, excessive humidity in the proof box, fermentation, insufficient sugar, or dough not sufficiently fermented.
6. Shelling: Short pan proof, crust formation during proving, inadequately fermented dough, dough stiff, excessive salt, excessive top heat in the oven, low protein flour, dough too cold, pan size not proper too large or small.
7. Lack of Crust Color : Over fermented or old dough, insufficient top heat, salt content insufficient, dry crust before baking.

Air Leavened Bakery Products :

Angle Food Cake, Chiffon cake, Sponge cakes, Pound cake, Fruitcakes, Cheesecakes, and Cookies
1. Undersized sponge : Over or under beating of the batter, High sugar contents,, Oven baking temperature excessive, Early removal of the cake form pan after baking, Under baking, improper greasing of the pan.
2. Crust Dark in color: Oven too hot, Over baking, Excessive sugar.
3. Crust Light in color : Under baking, Cold oven, Over beaten or over mixed batter.
4. Tough, Thick, hard Crust : Over heated oven, Excessive sugar, non homogenous mixing.
5. Heavy Cakes : Over or under beaten batter, flour content high, Excessive sugar, Overheated ovens.

Vapor Leavened Bakery Products :

Puff Pastries, Éclair Shells, Cream Puffs, Popovers, Crisp breads, Sugar wafers, Puff Biscuits, etc.
1. Pastry does not expand : Preheat the oven, Over dough sheeting and folding, Weak flour, Soft fat.
2. Pastry tough and doughy : Preheat the oven, Dough sheet too thick, insufficient sheeting and folding.
3. Pastry hard and unyielding : Preheat the oven, Flour is too strong, or over stiff dough.
4. Pastry Shrinks : Insufficient resting of the dough.
5. Pastry over greasy : Excessive total fat, Excessive fat during folding, Fat in Chunks during folding, soft fat.
6. Pastry rise excessive : Oven temperature too high, insufficient folding, flour very strong.
7. Pastry not puffing or layering : Roll in insufficient or absorbed, Excessive rolling and folding, Insufficient cooling or resting of during process, Layers very thin.
8. Waxy taste and texture of final product : Excessive roll in.

Unleavened Bakery Products :

Pies, Strudels, Tortillas, Matzos, Unleavened cookies, etc.
1. Excessive Shrinkage of Crust : Not enough fat, Excessive water, over worked Dough, strong flour.
2. Crust not flaky : overtaxing of dough, Soft fat, dough mixed at high temperature.
3. Tough Crust : Excessive Water, Strong Flour, Over mixing of dough.
4. Soggy Crust : Either oven not hot enough or too hot, using hot fillings, insufficient baking, Excessive shortening.
5. Crust Shrinks : Flour is strong, Low Percentage of shortening, excessive water as permissible by the recipe, not resting dough sufficient before handling.
6. Raw Spots in Crust : No pre heating of ovens, non uniformity in dough mixing.
7. Protect from moisture.

Chemically Leavened Bakery Products :

Cakes, Gateaux, Cookies

Cool ovens generally turnout cakes which are flat on top and show excess shrinkage around the circumference, Cakes are often tender.
Cakes at higher temp show peaking with cracks center, more holes tunnels and crumbling or could be tough and low in volume.
Volume too Low : Insufficient leavening agents, batter allowed to be near high temperature, under mixing, excessively high oven temperature, improper balance of ingredients or improper ingredients type especially related to flour and fat.
Defects of Texture : Gumminess, chewiness or doughiness are usually because of lower baking temperature , under baking, or improper cooling before packaging, Water and fat contents to be balanced for the recipe.
Toughness : Extra strong flour, , over baking , inadequate water, over mixing , improper or inadequate fat,, improper size of pan for the amount of batter.
Defects of Spotted Crust : under mixed batter and change in mixing sequence or excessive oven heat, spotted crust due to bubbles are due to unsuitable leavening agents.
Bursting of the Crust : High baking temperature, over mixing , excess flour in the recipe, strong flour.
Pale Crust : Under baking, Low baking temperature, imbalance in heating and distribution of heat.
Dark Crust : Very high baking temperature, excessive sugar.
Coarse or Irregular Grain : Large holes and tunnels at the bottom of the cake due to excessive bottom heat, insufficient heat causing excessive opening of grains, wet streaks due to under baking, , un dissolved spots due to under mixing, under mixing and over mixing, close grain due to over mixing.

General Guidelines for Baking Tins

General Guidelines for Baking Tins
1. Why did the mixture over flow in the tin? The cake tin size recommended was not used. Fill batter only till 2/3rds in the tin.
2. For an 6" round (5" square) tin, bake 300 gms. of batter for sponge or iced cake,
3. For an 7" round (6" square) tin, bake 380 - 400 gms. at 180ºC for 25 min.
4. For an 8" round tin, bake 450-500 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 40 min.
5. For an 9" round tin, bake 550 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 40-45 min.
6. For an 10" round tin, bake 750-800 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 45-50 min.
7. For an 12" round tin, bake 1000-1200 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 50-60 min.
8. For rich sponge/dry cake use 2/3 part Margarine and 1/3 part butter.

Monday, 5 March 2012


Flour ( Maida ) :
1. Strong Flour : Imparts high doughiness to the bakery products. Used for breads, puff pastries etc.
2. Medium Flour : Impart medium doughiness to the bakery product and is used for Cakes, heavy pies etc.
3. Weak Flour : Imparts poor doughiness due to excess presence of bran. Used for angel cakes, biscuits and light pies etc.

Butter / Margarine / Fat :
Imparts and enhances taste, softness, crust, color, tenderizer and aerates the cake.

Condensed Milk :
Plays a very important part in preparation of eggless cakes. It imparts tender ness, emulsification, volume, crust color, foaming etc. and the taste is same as a Victoria Sponge Cake. To prepare a fat less eggless cake sponge require excessive use of leavening agents which make the cake unpalatable at the same time soaking of the cake is not possible.

Juices / Milk / Water :
Plays a very important part in preparation of eggless cakes. It imparts tenderness, softness, volume and assists the reaction of the leavening agents required for good baking.

Essences and Colors :
Imparts and enhances taste, visual effects, fragrance and aesthetics to the cake.

Fruits / Nuts / Spices / Chocolate etc. :
Are additions made to the cake batter whereby providing a separate unique taste and mouth feel from the regular sponges.

General :
1. Why did the mixture over flow in the tin? The cake tin size recommended was not used. Fill batter only till 2/3rds in the tin.
2. For an 6" round (5" square) tin, bake 300 gms. of batter for sponge or iced cake,
3. For an 7" round (6" square) tin, bake 380 - 400 gms. at 180ºC for 25 min.
4. For an 8" round tin, bake 450-500 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 40 min.
5. For an 9" round tin, bake 550 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 40-45 min.
6. For an 10" round tin, bake 750-800 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 45-50 min.
7. For an 12" round tin, bake 1000-1200 gms. of batter at 180ºC for 50-60 min.
8. For rich sponge/dry cake use 2/3 part Margarine and 1/3 part butter.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Eggless Gumpaste Recipe - Sugarcraft

Eggless Gumpaste Recipe - Sugarcraft
Take one pack of eggless fondant premix (1/2 kg pack)
Empty all the contents in a big bowl.Make a small trough in the center.
(Its best to sieve the contents however ensure that nothing is left in the sieve.)
In a separate cup collect the following
5 1/2 TBSP of Water
2 1/2 TSP of Deodorized Oil
1/8 TSP Liquid Vanilla
1/8 TSP White Vinegar
Add the contents to the trough made in the fondant premix in the bowl.
Now knead till a fine dough is obtained.
Rest the dough for 1 hour.(Best results obtained if rested overnight)
(Initially while mixing the dough will stick to your hands however as you continue to knead more than 95% of the dough will leave the hand.)
Eggless Ready to Roll Fondant Recipe - Sugarcraft
Everything remains the same except increase the water to 6 1/2 TBSP and replace the oil by Butter - 3 1/2 TSP

December 2011 Batch

Eggless Sugargraft

Eggless Sugargraft

Eggless Sugargraft
Eggless Sugargraft
Eggless Sugargraft
Anish we miss you in the photographs .....

Friday, 24 February 2012

Be EGGLESS and stay HEALTHY ...

Eggs contain D.D.T. :
After eighteen months of research it has been established that 30% of eggs contains D.D.T. (Poison).
---Agricultural Dept., Florida, America, Health Bulletin – October 1967
Eggs cause Heart Trouble, High Blood Pressure Etc.
Even if we had the best of eggs we would be better off without them, as they are too high in cholesterol. They are one of the important causes in diseases of the heart, arteries, brain, kidney, gallstones etc. While fruits and vegetables and vegetable oils have none or hardly any cholesterol. ---Dr. Catherine, Oceano, California (U.S.A.) – How healthy are eggs, P 7
Eggs cause Corrosion of Blood Vessels:
Eggs are also harmful. You may say that egg and I get along well, but a chemical analysis proves differently. The yoke of eggs contain cholesterol, a waxy alcohol that deposits in the liver and blood vessels producing corrosion, hardening of the arteries. ----Dr.J.Wilkins (England), How healthy are eggs, P 6-7
Eggs cause Skin Diseases & Paralysis
The Egg white is the more harmful portion of the egg. Animals fed on fresh egg white developed severe skin inflammation and paralysis. ----Dr. Robert Gross ( England ), How healthy are eggs, P 3-4 The factor in egg white that causes eczema is AVIDIN. ----Dr.J.Wilkins (England), How healthy are eggs, P 4
The food value of milk is high, as excellent proteins are available in it. There is little that eggs supply which milk cannot. In the age of science particularly all the minerals and the vitamins can be supplied artificially and these could supplement milk wherever necessary. A lactovegetarian diet properly constructed is as nourishing as a diet containing meat or eggs. Dependence on meat or eggs for vitamins is no longer necessary. ----Dr. Anand Nimai Surta, How healthy are eggs, P 5-6