Dessert can be as simple as a plate of fruits or a piece of chocolate, or warm baked goods that can take hours to prepare, something sweet to conclude a meal. There are a bunch of easy dessert techniques you can learn such as baking, candy-making, whipping, mixing, melting, tempering, glazing, frosting, piping, decorating, plating, freezing, sifting, topping, layering, flambéing, and frying to make a wide range of desserts and sweet gourmet recipes including cakes, cookies, ice creams, sorbets, pies, tarts, pastries, gelatins, custards, biscuits, candies, crepes, and puddings.
Baking a cake is one of the first things any homemaker or cook should learn to make a special and easy dessert for family and friends. Chocolate cake is one of the most popular types of cake and never fails to impress. Basic gourmet recipes for chocolate cake consists of flour, sugar, water, eggs, melted chocolate, vanilla, salt, shortening, and sour cream. The ingredients are mixed and blended together, placed in a greased and floured cake pan, and baked for 30 to 45 minutes. The cake is cooled completely and covered with chocolate frosting made with melted chocolate, sugar, butter, sour cream, and vanilla.
When baking, it is important to follow the recipe as precisely as possible. The dry ingredients must be sifted and measured then leveled. A weighing scale may also be used to get accurate results. Once you learn how to bake a cake you can easily follow recipes to make different flavors as well as cupcakes, petit fours, and other kinds of cakes like airy sponge cakes or dense cakes.
While you can get away with making estimates and adjustments by adding a pinch of this or subtracting a little bit of that during cooking, with baking you need to pay extra attention to the quantity of each ingredient that the recipe specifically calls for or you will get disappointing results. Make sure to use the correct measuring techniques for the dry and liquid ingredients. Sift the four when the recipe requires it to make it fluffy, light, and airy, getting rid of lumps and increasing volume. Some recipes may require you to measure the flour first before sifting while others may require you to sift first before measuring. The order of these steps makes a difference in the final amount of flour and the end result of the recipe.
The ‘scoop and sweep’ method is one technique for measuring dry ingredients. You scoop the ingredients into the cup straight from the bag so that the cup is filled to the brim and then sweep off the excess at the top with a spatula or knife to level it off. Another method is to lightly spin the ingredients into the cup and then sweep off the excess with a spatula or knife so that there is better aeration, ideal for measuring light and delicate ingredients like flour.
For liquid ingredients, use a liquid measuring cup and pour the ingredients carefully into the cup until you reach the desired amount. Make sure to place the measuring cup on a flat surface and read the measurement at eye level.