The Pink Whisk Brilliant Baking Step-by-Step Cake Making

BOOK: The Pink Whisk Brilliant Baking Step-by-Step Cake Making
5.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub



Baking Equipment


Sweet Success


Victoria Sponge
Coffee-Flavoured Victoria Sponge
Cherry Madeira
Choc Chip & Fudge Madeira
Coconut & Passionfruit Bundt
Raspberry & White Chocolate Bundt
Cinnamon Pecan ‘Cuppa’ Cake
Jam Bakewell ‘Cuppa’ Cake
Lemon & Elderflower Drizzle Cake
Ginger & Lime Drizzle Cake
Ultimate Chocolate Cake
Tiramisu Cake


Swiss Roll
Chocloate, Cream & Strawberry Roll
Angel Cake
Orange Angel
Summer Fruit Genoise
Choc Cherry Genoise
Carrot Cake
Moist Toffee Apple Cake
Rhubarb & Custard Bombe
Banoffee Bombe


Golden Syrup Loaf Cake
Ginger Treacle Cake
Chocolate Orange Brownie Cake
Banana & Cardamom Chocolate Brownie Cake
Jewelled Fruit Loaf


About the Author



Hello! Welcome to
The Pink Whisk Guide to Cake Making: Brilliant Baking Step-by-Step
. It’s full of delicious cake recipes for all sorts of occasions, with helpful step-by-step photos so you know you’re on the right track. Some of the recipes started out life on the blog but have all been thoroughly reworked (25 versions of Golden Syrup Cake later…) to make them even more delicious.

This book is not just about the recipes (although of course they do taste great) – it’s about making all your cake making even better than before. The pages are loaded with tips and tricks and explanations as to why you should do a certain something at a specific stage – the sort of thing that’s missed out of most recipe books. You’ll then be able to apply these techniques to all of your cake making – turning you into a Cake Grand Master. They’ll be queuing up at the door for a slice!

The book is split into three sections by method; creaming method cakes, whisking method cakes and melting method cakes. There are cakes for everyone and everything. Each recipe also has its own variation – change a bit of this and a bit of that and ta dah! – giving you inspiration to mix up your own flavour combinations.

Don’t be frightened of experimenting or using a recipe as the basis for something else. The Ultimate Chocolate Cake, for example, makes an equally good teatime chocolate cake, a chocolate cake for decorating, huge muffins or even cupcakes – the world is your oyster, or the oven is your lobster. Whatever the weather get stuck in and make your cake baking brilliant!



Baking Equipment

Having the right equipment to hand makes baking a piece of cake!

The Basics


Baking powder

A raising agent that is a combination of bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and cornstarch to absorb moisture. In conjunction with heat and moisture it reacts to form carbon dioxide which makes cakes rise. Cake mixtures made with baking powder don’t mind waiting their turn to go into the oven because of this double action. It will stay fresh for about a year but is one of those things that can linger in your cupboard for some time. Be sure to check the best before date!

Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

This is used as a raising agent when a recipe contains acid ingredients such as vinegar, yoghurt or soured cream. It relies on the chemical reaction to form carbon dioxide which will give you a light and airy cake. Because the action of bicarbonate of soda is instant, cake mixes using this should go into the oven to be baked straight away after mixing otherwise the gases will escape and the cake won’t rise as well.

Self-raising (-rising) flour

A wheat flour which has an added raising agent.

Plain (all-purpose) flour

Finely ground white flour made from wheat grain.

To turn plain flour into self-raising flour add 25g (1oz) baking powder to every 450g (1lb) plain flour and stir well to distribute it evenly.

Wholemeal (whole-wheat) flour

More nutty in flavour than white flours, wholemeal contains the wheat germ which makes it higher in fibre with a better nutritional content than white flours. It does absorb more moisture so if you’re using it in place of a white flour you should also add a little more liquid such as milk.

Caster (superfine) sugar

Use a caster sugar for baking. It is more finely ground and dissolves into the cake mixture more readily. Granulated sugar can often speckle the top of a cake and can lead to a more crunchy texture.

Muscovado sugars

Brown sugars contain molasses which gives the sugar a soft texture. Light brown sugar has less molasses than a dark sugar and a more delicate toffee type flavour. They should be stored, once opened, in an airtight container to prevent them from hardening. Some brown sugars are referred to as soft light or dark sugar. They are processed slightly differently to a genuine Muscovado sugar and are less rich in taste. They can be used in recipes specifying use of a Muscovado but the depth of flavour will be slightly lessened.

If brown sugar hardens place it in a small bowl. Fill another small bowl with water and place both in the microwave side by side. Microwave them on full power for 1 minute at a time until the sugar has softened.
Blitz granulated sugar in the food processor in short 30 second blasts until more finely ground if you run out of caster.


Eggs should be used at room temperature, so if you store yours in the fridge make sure you let them come up to room temperature before using. Recipes in the book use large eggs unless otherwise stated, and yes it really does make a difference to the finished product! Large eggs typically weigh between 63g and 73g, medium eggs 53–63g, so by the time you’ve added 4 eggs to your mix the difference in liquid will make a big difference to your finished cake.


Butter makes cakes tender and adds colour and flavour. My recipes use a regular salted butter which avoids the need for having to add a pinch of salt. If you do want to use unsalted butter simply add

tsp salt to the cake mixture along with the flour. Butter quickly absorbs flavours so when storing it in the fridge keep it in the coldest area and away from strong-flavoured foods such as onion. Substituting butter for margarine can be done if you prefer but be aware that they often have different water contents which may slightly affect the finished cake.


When buying chocolate for baking it’s best to buy either a dark 49% cocoa solids or a 70% cook’s chocolate (specifically designed not to split and ruin your finished masterpiece).

To soften butter ready for baking microwave on half power in 30 second bursts until ready to use – but keep your eye on it so it doesn’t melt! Alternatively dice the butter and place into a bowl of room temperature water until sufficiently softened, and then drain the water away.

Icing (confectioners) sugar

A super finely ground sugar that can be used to make glazes and icings (frostings) as it dissolves very easily. Icing sugar has a tendency to be slightly lumpy so it’s always best to sift it first. Mixing icing sugar with hot, (as opposed to cold) water will also help to avoid getting any lumps!

Cocoa powder

A regular cocoa powder is best for baking. Dutch-processed cocoa is much more expensive and has been treated with an agent that makes it darker in appearance – but as a result it has a milder flavour than regular cocoa powder.

The reaction between regular cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a recipe darkens the colour and gives it a smoother flavour (e.g. Ultimate Chocolate Cake).

Vanilla extract

This isn’t a place for skimping on quality – make sure that you’re using an extract derived from vanilla pods, and not a synthetic essence, for the best flavour.

Vanilla bean paste

Vanilla bean paste is brilliant stuff – it’s packed with thousands of vanilla bean seeds and means less faffing around splitting and scraping a pod.

Sweet Success

Each recipe contains all the techniques for the actual making of the cake but these handy hints can be applied to all your cake making.

Baking is a science…

So it’s really important to measure all of your ingredients extremely accurately for good results.

And then comes the oven… I prefer to bake on just one shelf at a time where possible. Loading your oven with cakes makes the temperature drop significantly and they can then take longer to bake through. A shelf positioned a third of the way up from the bottom of the oven is the best place for a cake to bake. The hot air of the oven needs to circulate around the tins for even baking – so don’t overload the shelf either, cheeky monkeys! If a tin is too close to the walls or door of the oven then the cake will brown faster on one side than the other.

Most ovens will run slightly hot or slightly cool. If you were cooking a joint of beef it’s not going to make a huge difference but in baking a cake things will quickly go wrong. A removable oven thermometer takes out the guesswork and is a great investment if you’re baking regularly. Set it on the shelf you plan to bake on and preheat your oven. Read the temperature on the thermometer and then adjust the oven controls until the thermometer shows the correct temperature for your recipe.

It’s very difficult to write absolutely precise times for baking; every oven is different and moist ingredients can differ in their water contents. Plan on the 5 minute rule – checking it 5 minutes before bake time is up and then checking every 5 minutes after if it needs a little longer.

When fully baked a cake should be tested by touching with the fingertips – it should be light and springy to the touch. If you insert a skewer into the cake it should come away clean, without any cake mixture sticking to it. If not, it needs a little longer in the oven.

BOOK: The Pink Whisk Brilliant Baking Step-by-Step Cake Making
5.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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