Cakes make a great dessert. You can eat them as they are or, depending what variety you have, serve it with cream, custard, ice cream or another delicious garnish. Cakes range from simple sponges, muffins, and cheesecakes to exotic chocolate and chili powder flavored Mexican desserts or brandy-soaked fruit and nut cakes. If you are new to baking, here are a few tips to ensure the results of your efforts are as good as possible.
A great tip for ensuring a flat top is to cheat and flip it over. The bottom of anything you bake is sure to come out completely flat so flipping the cake over guarantees a flat top. You should always use fresh eggs when making desserts. Egg whites should be at room temperature when you whip them but eggs separate more easily when they are cold. A lot of dessert recipes use eggs. If you have accidentally got eggshells in the cake batter, remember that they will sink while it cooks, so flip your homemade dessert over and pick them out of the base.
It is vital to use the right temperature setting and also to wait until the oven is fully preheated before putting the batter inside. Also take care not to have the oven too hot because then your dessert will rise too much in the center. Use an oven thermometer if you have one, to check the temperature inside the oven is correct. If the cake does rise too much in the middle you can use a long, serrated knife to slice it off.
The best confections start with the best ingredients. Using good quality fruit fillings, chocolate, nuts, and eggs will make a big difference to the results. Real butter adds a lovely flavor and tastes much nicer in a dessert recipe than margarine would. Let it cool for ten or fifteen minutes in the pan before loosening the edges and transferring it on to a wire rack to finish cooling. This minimizes the risk of breakage. Bigger ones will obviously need a little longer to cool down.
A dusting of powdered sugar makes a simple yet effective decoration. If you prefer something more elaborate, you can make easy frosting recipes and arrange chocolate chips, sliced fruit, or candies on top of the frosting. Chopped nuts look good on the side if it is frosted. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts are all good choices and these also add nutritional value. To make a frosting bag, put your frosting in a heat-resistant, Ziploc bag and immerse it in very hot water until the frosting melts. Snip off one corner of the bag and squeeze the frosting out of there. Chill your delicious dessert between filling it and frosting it, because it will be easier to work with.
If you want your Mexican chocolate cake recipe to have a silky look, like store-bought one, frost it as normal then blow dry the surface with a hairdryer until the frosting melts a little. Let it set again and it will look silky and molten. This tip is especially good if you want professional-looking results.
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