Tag Archives: how-to

How to cut a cheesecake

New York Style Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of the trickiest desserts to cut into and pull out a picture-perfect piece. Cakes and pies present their own challenges, of course, but cheesecakes present many challenges. They are dense and creamy, with a very moist/wet interior that loves to stick to knives and come away from the rest of the cheesecake in unattractive chunks. Fortunately, if you take a few seconds ... Read More »

What does it mean when an ingredient is “divided”?

Flour measuring cup

When you read through recipes, there are often modifiers listed after the ingredients that tell you how they are supposed to be used. For instance, onions might be listed as “onions, diced” or apples might be listed as “apples, peeled and cored.” Ingredients are also frequently listed as “divided,” especially in baking recipes. When an ingredient is listed as being “divided,” the recipe is giving ... Read More »

What kind of oil should I use for baking?

Canola Oil

Vegetable oil is a very common ingredient called for in baking recipes. It appears on ingredient lists for everything from pancakes to layer cakes, and can make for a very moist and tender cake. Many recipes don’t specify what kind of vegetable oil to use when baking, however. In the grocery store, you will see generic “vegetable oil” for sale, but you’ll also see a ... Read More »

How to test a cake for doneness with a toothpick

metal cake tester from C&B

Most baking recipes give a window of time in which your recipe might be done. This is because ovens can vary slightly in temperature and both the temperature of the room and your dough/batter can have an influence over baking time. So, it’s important to know how to check your baked goods for doneness to be sure they’re ready to come out and don’t need ... Read More »

How to make chocolate curls

Making Chocolate Curls

One easy way to finish up a dessert is to make a little garnish for it. You can throw a mint leaf or a fresh raspberry on top of many things as a finishing touch, but a classic garnish that looks a little fancier are chocolate curls. Chocolate curls are small, curled pieces of chocolate that add a burst of chocolate and a dressed up ... Read More »

How to bake with olive oil

Olive oil

Rich, fruity olive oil is a fantastic ingredient to cook with. It works in all kinds of meat and pasta dishes, and can be used to make delicious salad dressings and mayonnaise. It is not usually an ingredient used by bakers (especially if you like to bake sweets!), because its strong flavor isn’t what you want to taste in your average vanilla or chocolate cake. ... Read More »

How to Preheat an Oven

Oven at 350

Almost every single baking recipe starts with an instruction to preheat your oven. This step sounds so simple, but it is actually the single most difficult step in baking. Unless you have left an ingredient out by mistake or you’re dealing with a recipe that is flawed (i.e. an instruction has been left out), many baking problems are cause by incorrect oven temperature and can ... Read More »

How to bake with a specialty shaped pan

Shaped Pans

In addition to standard round and square cake pans, the shelves of cooking stores are lined with plenty of shaped pans. These pans come in designs from sandcastles and cartoon characters to miniature wedding cakes, giving you the option of baking a cake that features an elaborate design without trying to carve an intricate pattern into a cake yourself. Most of these specialty shaped pans ... Read More »

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