So, you’re having a party.
You look great, your jokes are on point and there’s enough booze to take a bath in. But there’s one problem. Unlike the booze and hopefully your jokes, the cake is…well, dry.
No matter how good it might look, a dry cake can be the difference between a dull tasting experience and a great one.
And dull is not something we punks do.
So, if you want your next cake to be the talk of the party, here are 5 tips that will have people keep asking for more.
Just like you, sponges need water. See we all have so much in common with those delicious bites of heaven. The only problem is, the oven is known for sucking the moisture out of everything. But don’t worry. There are two very simple ways to get around this.
One is to grab as spray bottle, fill it with water and go nuts. Spray the inside of the oven nice and well to make sure all that nice moisture goes into your cake. The other is to place a pan filled with water underneath your sponges. By doing so, the sponge won’t create a hard crust on top and will allow the batter inside it to expand and break through. It will also make your cake flat and easier to work with later.
So, keep that oven moist, and while you’re at it, drink a glass for yourself. It will only do you good.
Yes, we know, we know. You’re baking. And baking should be fun. You don’t want to be solving math or chemistry problems in your head right now. Or probably ever. But don’t worry. We won’t get into that.
What you have to keep in mind is to keep a nice PH balance. If you want a great volume you need to make sure that your recipe contains an acidic ingredient so that when combined with your leavening agents (baking soda, baking powder etc.) plenty of gas will be released during the mixing and baking process.
Some of the acids can be buttermilk, orange or lemon zest, or white vinegar. In the case of the last one, we suggest using unpasteurised apple vinegar for its sweeter flavour.
Once you’ve used an acid in the cake, you’re making sure that it will rise faster and most importantly hold its structure during baking.
The oven is your best friend but could also be your worst enemy when it comes to creating something special. And taking the time to make sure you’re prepared is the key.
Since you followed tip #1 you already know about how important water is in the process of making a deliciously moist cake. So, it’s only fair that your oven should be in sync with it. What we’re going for here is a temperature where the water starts to bind with the leavening ingredients and allows our flour to gel and create a nice solid structure. And in order to do so, the oven should be set at around 145C to 155C.
Extra tip: When the cake is almost done, it’s a good idea to flash it on 170C to make sure that the crumb has stabilised.
Baking is not a sprint. It’s closer to a marathon. It needs love, time and patience. So, if you’re planning to bake a ten-inch-tall sponge do not just stick the whole thing in the oven and try to save some time.
The size of your cake matters when it comes to actually baking it. Larger cakes, even though might save you time in the long run, take longer to bake. And that means dry edges and in the worst cases, uncooked insides. But now you know better.
In order to keep the best consistency inside and out, we suggest baking in thin layers that do not require more than 35 minutes in the oven. Yes, if you don’t have a large oven that might mean some extra time and effort, but hey! Baking is an art. And you’re the artist. Plus, you can also get some extra time to think about your decorating.
- And the key ingredient is…
You’ve followed all the previous tips and now you’re ready to make a great cake. But there’s still one thing that’s missing. THE RIGHT RECIPE.
Here at PunkCake we like cakes that elevate your tasting experience. And to do so, we need a recipe that helps us achieve a succulent final product and one that tastes great. As we’ve mentioned before, cakes need moisture. So, it’s only normal to assume that your recipe does as well. What we suggest is to research and find recipes that contain our favourite moisturizing ingredients such as buttermilk, milk, oil instead of butter, orange juice and sometimes even water.
Speaking of recipes and to help you save some time, here’s our own all-time favourite chocolate PunkCake.
The ingredients that we need for the perfect chocolate cake recipe are divided into four simple mixes:
Eggs: 2 (small)
Caster sugar: 200gr
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
Sunflower oil: 60gr
Fine salt: one pinch
Plain flour: 150gr
Baking soda: 1tsp
Baking powder: 1tsp
Dutch process cocoa powder: 45gr
Hot Coffee :120gr
How to make it:
- We start this recipe by preheating our oven on 150C. You can follow tip #1 (Keep it hydrated) for this step.
- The next step is to whisk ingredients of Mix #1 until they are light in colour and fluffy. At the same time, it’s good to mix the ingredients of Mix #3 in a bowl.
- Moving on, we add the buttermilk (or Mix #2) to Mix#1 and whisk again.
- Then we add the powders from Mix #3 and combine them with the rest of our ingredients to create a smooth mixture.
- The last step is to add our hot coffee and mix well to incorporate. Our final batter product should be very wet but that’s not something we should worry about.
- Once our batter is ready, and having tip #4 (Layer it up) in our mind, we should bake our batter for about 25 minutes or until a knife comes clean when we pierce the center of your cake.
- Now that our cake is almost ready, it’s good to raise the temperature of our oven to 170C and bake for an extra 4 minutes. As we’ve seen in tip#3 (Your frenemy, the oven) this will help make sure that our crumb has stabilised.
- The final step to make sure that our cake is going to be the talk of the party is very simple. Once we remove it from the oven, we should cover it with a clean cloth to keep all that sweet sweet moisture inside.
Well done! You did it like a pro. You can now enjoy all the compliments of your friends and most importantly dig in the beautiful and succulent cake that YOU made.
Keep being a Punk legend.