Baking Tips

Always read the recipe carefully, weigh ingredients using accurate measures and scales and follow the order of the recipe making sure nothing is missed out - ticking off ingredients and instructions as you complete them.

Here are some questions and answers which I hope will help.

Mary Berry's Baking Bible
  • Q:

    Why does fruit sink to the bottom of the cake?

    A:

    Cake mixture too slack, fruit too large and/or syrupy e.g glace cherries (see next question).

  • Q:

    Why do cherries sink to the bottom?

    A:

    They contain a lot of moisture and syrup.  Need to quarter, wash and dry thoroughly before adding to the cake mixture.  Addition of ground almonds to the cake mixture helps suspend the cherries as well.

  • Q:

    Why do cakes not rise?

    A:

    No or insufficient raising agent, mixture too stiff, mixture overbeaten or air knocked out, or insufficient whisking (whisked sponge). Too cool an oven.

  • Q:

    Why does gelatine go lumpy when added to mixture?

    A:

    Gelatine not dissolved properly. Hot gelatine added to a very cold mixture.

  • Q:

    Why do frozen cakes always seem to be dry?

    A:

    Inadequate wrapping or packing.  Not frozen as soon as cool.

  • Q:

    Why do biscuits go soggy on storing?

    A:

    Not cold before storing in tin. Stored in same tin as cake – the biscuits absorb the mixture from the cake. Stored in a moist enviroment. If biscuits contain glace cherries, apricots etc, the moisture from these seeps into the biscuit.

  • Q:

    Icing running off top of cake?

    A:

    Too much liquid – much better to have icing too thick, then it can be let down with more liquid very carefully and slowly.

  • Q:

    Icing too thick?

    A:

    Let down with a little water. Warm through, e.g chocolate fudge icing.