How to start cake making

Some basic tips on how to start a better chocolate cake on your own.
• Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Butter, double-line and wrap the sides of the 30cm deep-round cake tin as before. Put the butter and chocolate into a medium sauce pan, then stir over a low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in the coffee and vanilla.

• Use ingredients that are at room temperature, including your eggs, milk, butter and vanilla. Bring your eggs to room temperature a little faster by placing them in a bowl of lukewarm water for half an hour.

• Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the biggest bowl you have. Add the sugar, breaking down any lumps with your fingertips if necessary. Beat the eggs and soured cream together in a jug or bowl and pour into the flour mix. Pour in the melted chocolate mix as well, then stir with a wooden spoon until you have a thick, even chocolaty batter.

• Another great substitute in your chocolate cake is cooked, pureed beets that have been cooled. Use this instead of milk for a rich flavour.

• Use double the vanilla extract in your chocolate cake to really bring out the chocolate flavour.

• Chocolate cake is a fantastic vessel for so many different flavours. You can try adding bananas, white chocolate chips, brewed coffee, cinnamon powder or even cayenne powder for a surprise spice. The list really is endless because chocolate makes such a great vessel.

• For a fluffy cake you’ll want to take more than just a few seconds to cream your butter and sugar together. Take the time to cream the ingredients together until they are fluffy and a pale yellow colour, usually at least five minutes.

• Don’t skip the salt. The salt will help bring out the flavour of the remaining ingredients.

• Dust your pans with cocoa instead of flour to prevent the cake from sticking. You’ll get the same benefits of the flour while adding additional chocolate flavour.

• Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 2½ hours – don’t open the oven door before 2 hours is up, as this will cause the cake to sink. Once cooked, leave in the tin to cool completely. The unfilled cake will keep for up to four days, wrapped as before, or frozen for a month.

• Undercooking your cake will be better than overcooking your chocolate cake. If you remove your cake and it’s overcooked, there’s not much you can do. If your cake is undercooked it will still taste moist and creamy. And if it’s really not done, you can also put it back in the oven.

• Choose a chocolate cake recipe you feel will push you past your current culinary skills. And then try another that’s more difficult and another until you feel like you can master any recipe.

• Another way to ensure perfect results is to consult experts this will never fall you.

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