I recently took part in a baking questions and answers feature with BBC Radio Solent, and was inundated with questions, unfortunately during the live show there just wasn’t enough time to answer all your questions, so I’ve answered as many as I can here.
Q – I never seem to have much luck with a simple sponge cake, they are flat, I use an 8″ tin and a 2 egg mix.
A – simply put you haven’t got enough mixture in your tins, for a wedding cake I’ll use an 8 egg mixture but a cake at home with a decent height, i’d suggest using a 5 egg mix.
Q – I love cake but can’t eat gluten, any tips?
A – Use a gluten free flour such as Dove’s farm, its a good gluten free flour, but the cake will be slightly drier so I add a dash of milk into the cake batter. However please remember that if your recipe uses baking powder not all baking powder is gluten free. Chocolate brownies are also a great cake to make gluten free.
Q – I’ve tried to ganache drip a cake using dairy milk chocolate with cream to make my ganache and it just won’t drip, its too thick, help?
A – Dairy milk has a high fat content you need to use a good quality chocolate such as Lindt, tesco finest or callebaut they have cocoa butter in not oils and fats so will give a much better melt.
Q – When I make cupcakes using pretty cases they just seem to go greasy and peel away from the cake.
A – Many patterned cases are not good quality and far too thin, I use a foil case or a good quality thicker white case with a cupcake wrapper if i need to make it look pretty.
Q – Help, i’m running the cake stall at my son’ school fair, ideas please.
A – Keep it eye catching and bright to attract attention from the children. Some of my favs are gingerbread men, cake jars, cupcake cones, and cupcakes.
Q – I’m looking for a new mixer what would you recommend?
A – I personally prefer a kitchen Aid but know many cake makers who swear by a Kenwood, so its personal preference. Go to a good cook shop and ask to try one, lift the bowl in and out, try the dials for ease, feel how sturdy it feels. I find the kitchen aid to be robust and I’ve had mine for 5 years and it’s used most days. It’s easy to clean and you can buy some fantastic attachments to use with it.
I hope that’s answered a few of your questions.