There is no better time to bake than now!
In these stressful times, it is a good idea to find a healthy outlet to help you cope. A friend of mine and a couple of others have shared that they found peace in baking. Baking helps to distract you from the hard-hitting news brought by the pandemic. It also restarts your mind by keeping you engaged. Besides, just a whiff of a freshly-baked batch of cupcake and cookies can put your mind at ease.
What are you waiting for? Entertain yourself and your family by creating your own baking starter kit!
#1: DO YOUR RESEARCH
Baking is a combination art and science. You exude your creativity through using colorful decorations and unique ingredients. On the other hand, things need to be precise. Take your time when baking. Take your time when reading the recipe and formulating the best mixture. Start by knowing the most common baking equivalents.
Here are some of the common baking equivalents:
2 cups = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon
3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon = 1/3 cup
#2: UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE
As with any field, baking has its own jargon. How can you read a recipe correctly when you cannot understand the commonly used terms? You need to educate yourself with the commonly used terms such as caramelize, combine, cream, stiff peaks, and whip.
a. Caramelize – to heat a sugar substance until it begins to turn brown.
b. Combine – to stir the ingredients together until mixed.
c. Cream – to beat sugar and butter together until a light, creamy texture and color has bee achieved.
d. Stiff Peaks – to whip egg whites or cream to the point at which a peak will stand completely straight up and out of the foam.
e. Whip – to stir briskly with a whisk to incorporate air.
#3: PURCHASE THE ESSENTIAL TOOLS
If you are a beginner baker or a master baker, it is helpful to gather the essential baking tools. Some of the essential tools include rolling pin, pastry brush, rubber spatula, wooden spoon, hand mixer, and measuring cup. Let me introduce you to some of these tools.
a. Measuring Cup – a tool that helps you to bake with precision. Having the full set of measuring cups and spoons is a must. It is better to have a set as you will be needing to measure both dry and wet ingredients accurately. Measuring cups usually come in a set of one cup, ½ cup, ⅓ cup, and ¼ cup. Measuring spoons usually come in a set of tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, and ¼ teaspoon.
b. Wooden Spoon – a sturdy tool that can help you stir various ingredients such as the thickest and heaviest dough. It is best to hand-wash your wooden spoon to prevent cracking.
c. Hand Mixer – an electrical or a manual kitchen tool consists of a set of beaters attached to a gear-driven mechanism to rotate the blades of the beaters. It helps to automate repetitive baking tasks such as stirring and whisking.
#4: CONSIDER BUYING A BAKING KIT
If all else fails, purchasing a Do-It-Yourself baking kit. As a newbie baker, you may be lost when it comes to finding the right ingredients to create a delicious cake or cupcake recipe. Fortunately for you, local stores offer Do-It-Yourself baking kits. It not only saves you time, but also some trips to the grocery!
Janice Wong, an award-winning chef, has brought her treats to our homes with the launch of Bake at Home. Her website includes baking tutorials and step-by-step baking recipes. While you cannot have her to for you everyday, you may create your own masterpiece with her DIY Chocolate Cake Kit.
It retails for S$42. The price is inclusive of: 1 Chocolate Cake Premix, 90ml Milk, 85ml Water, 30ml Olive Oil, 1 Egg, 1 Packet of Cream, 300g Cacao Barry Inaya 65% Dark Chocolate, 2 packets of Mini Chocolate Pearls, and a Cake board.
If your looking for vegan options, look no further than 25Grams Bakery. Their DIY Cake Decorating Kit retails for S$60. The kit includes a 6″ White Frosted Chocolate Cake, 4 frosting colors, Assorted Sprinkles and Sugar Balls, and 2 pairs of disposable gloves. As this kit focuses on the cake’s presentation, you may invite your child to help you in the kitchen.
You may impress your family and friends by whipping up sugary treats such as lychee rose cupcakes, Nutella cookies, and molten lava cakes through the help of Bakein1. All you need is an oven and the ingredients inside their baking kits.
The Red Velvet Cupcake kit retails for S$23.90. The price includes the flour mix, frosting pack, and so much more. Check out their available recipes in their website!
When baking, it is important to have fun. Everything tastes better when you are having a good time while making it. Do not roll your eyes. There is truth in this!