Dessert Tips for
Better Results

The dessert tips below are a must read for any hobby chef.

When creating a dessert, the recipe must have the right amount of ingredients and mixed in the right order. 

Generally, a good ratio sets the quality of the texture, taste and overall experience.

However, there are other factors that can alter the quality of the dessert no matter how well-balanced and well-executed the recipe. It can even result in failure. 

Errors in the Details!

Unless a recipe calls for a change of temperature, time or addition of an ingredient, never change the recipe unless you know what you're doing.

But sometimes you just can't help it and the dessert isn't what you hoped it would be. 

If there's nothing wrong with the recipe look for other mistakes.

Check the following dessert tips:

  1. Was the baking time too long or too short?

  2. Does the oven door close entirely? Make sure there are no charred pieces from previously baked foods around the seals. Perhaps a mechanical fault prevents the door to close entirely.

  3. Are the ingredients at room temperature? Leave them at least 1,5 hours outside the refrigerator unless the recipe asks for a different approach.

  4. Is the oven accurate? Use an oven thermometer! Set the oven at 180°C/356°F and see if the thermometer rises close to it. If the value is within 10°C/50°F you're fine.

  5. Did you mix the ingredients in the right order using the suggested method?

  6.  Did you preheat the oven? For certain recipes, such as madeleines, you can't start off baking cold.

  7. Sometimes over-mixing is a bad thing, with both dough and batter. Of course, depending on the recipe type. It will form too much gluten, the second too much air. When the recipe specifically instructs too keep mixing times to a minimum it's because the dessert needs a type of texture or raise a certain amount. Excess gluten makes a cake tough.

  8. Never use expired ingredients. Keep them as fresh as possible. Buy ingredients days before making the dessert. Gelatin, for example, will not dissolve after it has expired for months. 

  9. Always clean the tools and equipment before using them, including your hands.

  10. Are you using the right type of mixing beaters? Generally, there are two types: those for kneading and those to beat air in certain liquids and batters.

  11. Use convection (oven fan) only when indicated in the recipe. If you cannot turn off the fan, lower the temperature with 15°C/59°F or baking time with 25%.

  12. Use the right size of pans/molds! Square or round, make sure the inside size is correct. A cake pan of 26 cm/10 inch does not bake the same as a 20 cm/8 inch. Certain recipes are more sensitive to temperature differences. Also, 26 cm/10 inch or any other size, differs among various brands.

  13. Never open the oven door in the first 15 minutes of baking with larger pastries. That's when leavening agents like baking powder and yeast do most of their work.

  14.  Set your refrigerator to 3°C/37°F to 4°C/39°F

More dessert tips to come....