Welcome to the Dessert Diva Baking Blog.  We are so excited to get started on this journey with you and we are here to help you along the way.  So, let’s start out by getting some basic knowledge of baking.

To some, this may be trivial but to others, it will be very useful.  So hang in there to all those baking diva’s that know this information as we will be getting more in-depth along the way.  I am going to start by addressing the most common questions I get most often.  By all means, please let us know of any questions you have and we will try and get them answered for you.

  • MEASUREMENTS: Do I really need to measure my ingredients when baking?  Yes, Yes, Yes.  Baking is a science and ingredients work with one another to form your end result.  It is not like cooking to where you can add in this or that and it still turns out great.  You need exact measurements when baking.   An extra tablespoon of flour will make a difference. TIP:  Invest in a Kitchen Scale!

  • INGREDIENTS: All ingredients should be at room temperature.  Butter consistency is key.  Room temperature butter is colder than you think.  It should be around 65 degrees.  Still cool to the touch. TIP:   A slight indentation into the butter with your finger is a perfect consistency.
  • MIXING: DO NOT over-mix your dough.  Mix enough to just incorporate the ingredients and stop.  Over mixing will give you a tough cookie.  TIP:   Mix at a slow steady speed until your flour is mixed in.

  • PREPPING: Read the recipe in advance to ensure you know all the steps and have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go.  TIP:  Stock up on some smaller bowls for baking to pre-measure your ingredients in.  Go to the dollar store and load up!

  • OVEN: All ovens are not created equal.  Some are too cool some are too hot.  Get a thermometer to ensure your baked goods are baking at the correct temp.  Or this could be a complete Fail of all your hard work and expensive ingredients.  If you use a convection oven, usually reduce the temp by 25 degrees and reduce baking time by 5-8 minutes.  Your eyes are usually the best tool for knowing when a baked good is done.  This comes with a lot of trial and error.  TIP:  Get an oven thermometer.
  • OVEN DOOR: Keep your oven door CLOSED!  I know it is tempting to open the door and look at your masterpiece, but the oven temp reduces every time you open that door.  To keep your oven at the correct baking temperature, just peek in the window!  TIP:  Clean off the inside of your oven door window so you can see through it.  You can do this easily by making up a paste mixture out of baking soda and water.  Put this paste on your oven glass and let sit until dried.  Scrub off paste and clean.  You may need to do this more than once depending on the build-up on your oven.

  • EQUIPMENT: Make sure you have the right equipment on hand when baking.  When reading your recipe, make sure there isn’t a piece of equipment being used that you don’t have.  Although some things you can exchange out.  For example, you don’t need a Kitchen Aid mixer to bake, you just need a mixer.  TIP:  You don’t need to buy everything at once.  Start by adding one piece of baking equipment/tools at a time.
  • START OFF EASY: If you are new to baking, don’t start off by wanting to try a 3 tiered wedding cake, covered in Fondant, or decorated sugar cookies with Royal Icing.   Stick to some basics and build your confidence.  Don’t use complicated recipes.  TIP:  You don’t need to learn everything “NOW”.  It is going to take time.  Try to learn one new baking skill every time you bake.
  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK: You need to know the basic baking terms before you can understand some recipes.  For example, what is the difference between Icing and Frosting or Fondant?  You will not feel so overwhelmed.  Again, this will not happen overnight.  Take your time.  TIP:  This will eliminate the stress out of baking.
  • HAVE FUN! For me, baking is very relaxing and therapeutic.  If you don’t enjoy it or don’t have the patience for it, don’t do it.  Baking is not something that is meant to be rushed like trying to throw a meal together for your kids that are all running out the door at different times to get to sports practice.  Baking takes time and effort.  TIP:  Baking should be fun.  We are here to help.  Reach out to us on our blog and we will try and help make you the best baker you can be.  “You always pass failure on your way to success.”  Mickey Rooney