It’s a new year, and we’re getting back to the basics.
I receive lots of comments and emails throughout the year, and some of them are people asking me for help troubleshooting what may have gone wrong when they tried to make one of my recipes (and sometimes they’re not even about my recipes, which warms my heart that you’d come to me for help).
Here are some real examples from the past year:
- Chocolate ganache that looked clumpy (the chocolate has been left mostly unwrapped for months and had lost all quality)
- Cupcakes that never rose (the baking powder had expired… and I mean LONG expired – 12 years, to be exact)
- Cookies that were super puffy when they were supposed to be chewy (they were wildly over-measuring the flour)
- Frosting came out soupy (they’re a non-US reader and weren’t sure of the conversion from cups to milliliters and had guessed on the liquid ingredients, but sadly guessed wrong)
- Banana bread came out dry (they converted to two smaller sized pans than the recipe called for and still baked it the full time, so they were overdone)
- Someone wanted to make my cannoli cupcakes, but didn’t have cake flour (so I shared how and she had everything she needed on hand, so she was thrilled!)
- Similarly, someone wanted to make my banana bread but didn’t have buttermilk (spoiler alert: I was able to talk him through making his own)
Almost all the issues I talk people through have to do with their lack of knowledge about the basics of baking – and I’m not saying that as some sort of burn! Baking is a science, and there are so many little things that can do wrong that you might not know about.
Unless you went to culinary school, enrolled in some sort of baking/cooking courses, or just spend a ton of time watching cooking shows and reading cookbooks… why would you? You’re busy people, and no one should expect you to know everything there is to know about baking through osmosis! Wouldn’t that be great, though? It totally would.
My goal is always for your recipes to come out as deliciously and beautifully as possible, and it all starts with the basics.
That’s why I’m introducing the “Baking Basics” series! 🎉
I have lots of topics in an ever-growing list that I’m working my way through – here’s what I’ve got in the pipeline so far, to give you an idea of what’s to come:
- How to Store Common Baking Ingredients
- The Shelf Life for Common Baking Ingredients
- How to Properly Measure Ingredients for Baking
- Baking Pan Conversions
- Volume Conversions for Baking Recipe Ingredients
- How To Make Your Own Cake Flour
- How to Make Your Own Buttermilk
I want to make sure the posts are thorough, include pictures where it makes sense, and that they’re truly answering the questions you might have. Helpfulness is the goal here.
So when you read them, I want you to let me know if you need more information. If I didn’t quite answer your question, or there’s a scenario you need help working through… tell me! Leave a comment on the post, or send me an email and let me know. I’m going to consider these Baking Basics posts to be ever-evolving based on your feedback and updated with what I learn myself over the years.
So, how often will I post in this series?
That’s the tough question. I already have quite a few ready to go, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. But I also don’t want to stagger them where you only get one a month because I want you to know all the things as quickly as possible!
Here’s what I’m going to do out the gate:
- 1 “Baking Basics” post each week until the end of February 2020, posted on Sundays
- I’ll still post new recipes during the weeks
- And then after that, I’ll reduce the frequency to once a month
Keep in mind, my “once a month” plan only works if I have helpful information to share. So please please please – let me know what you want to learn!
You’ve heard it before: there are no stupid questions, and chances are someone else (or several someone elses) has asked the same question. Don’t hesitate.
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If you’re not already on the mailing list, make sure to sign up so that you get the email notification each time one of the Baking Basics posts goes live. You’ll also get emails about each new recipe, so you’ll be covered all the way around.