Today is my birthday. I am still pretty unsure about turning another year older, but I figure that to celebrate, I will give you, my readers, some “gifts” of baking advice. So please enjoy 🙂
1. Allrecipes.com and Joyofbaking.com
My favorite recipe finder online is “allrecipes.com”. I have never once used a recipe of theirs that didn’t turn out fabulous. They have all types of recipes, from lunch, to dinner, to dessert. If you can think it up, allrecipes.com will have a tried and tested recipe for you to make it. I have used this site to find everything from fruit dip, to lemon crusted chicken, to quiche. I think you will find it a valuable resource when in the kitchen. I sure do!
Now for baking, I prefer to use joyofbaking.com – they have a decent selection of recipes, and they always give you such thorough directions. It’s hard to mess something up when they tell you every single step, word for word. My only set back is that they don’t have as wide of a variety as I would hope for. They do update their recipes regularly though, which makes it easy to find new one when desired. I think you will enjoy this site if you are looking for a really good cake, cupcake, or cookie recipe!
2. Always Add More Vanilla
Here’s a little trick that I started doing awhile ago…I always add a smidge extra vanilla than what the recipe calls for. I have found that often times recipes will call for small amounts of “pure vanilla extract”. Well if you are like me and only buy (mostly because it’s more reasonably priced) “Imitation Vanilla Flavoring” then you should certainly add a little more than recommended. Pure vanilla has a much stronger scent and flour than that of imitation – this is why it’s safe to add extra even thought the recipe doesn’t call for it. This trick hasn’t failed me yet.
3. Taste It Before You Give It
I would NEVER, I repeat NEVER give baked goods to someone without first tasting them myself. The last thing you want to do is give someone a cupcake that you accidently used salt in, instead of sugar – not that I’ve ever done that ;). Even if I’m baking a cake, I will cut a small (unnoticeable once iced) section from the cake and taste it. It saves from a lot of embarrassment and ensures that your friends and family aren’t going to be forced to lie to your face and spit out the treat behind your back. It’s that simple, just don’t give it before you try it!
4. Don’t Improvise Unless You Know Your Ingredients
A good rule of thumb I have is to follow the recipe to the “t” – unless you have tried a variation before and have been pleased with the results. I’ll admit that I’m not always measuring exactly one cup of flour – it might be a little over, perhaps a little under – that’s not a cake breaker. I’m talking about using water, when the recipe calls for milk, that is a no no. I have a friend, love her dearly, but she always calls me asking if she can “substitute this for that”. My answer is always “no”. She normally disregards my advice and uses an ingredient that she thinks will work instead of what the recipe called for. It never fails, I always get a call back saying “you were right, it’s hard as a brick”. Or “you were right, it won’t even bake!” It’s now a running joke between us. She’s too funny! I think she is finally learning to take my advice and not use substitutions though– once she sticks to the recipe, her treats will always be delish!!
It hard to resist the urge to substitute when you think it will work out just fine. Unfortunately though, substitutions rarely work unless you know your ingredients extremely well –something I haven’t even mastered yet. Speaking of, anybody know the equivalent to a can of evaporated cane juice?? I dint think so – haha
So there it is, my sweet treat readers , a little gift of advice for those of you that share the same baking enthusiasm that I do. Speaking of baking (when aren’t I? )I wonder what type of delicious birthday dessert I will have tonight. Cheesecake, chocolate cake, vanilla with raspberry swirls……I could go on for hours. So, until next time, stay sweet! xoxo
Cherry-Limeade Cupcakes. Happy Birthday..to Me!