Anyone can fake culinary excellence. Just remember – presentation is everything. If you’re not a whizz in the kitchen, don’t attempt the mighty croquembouche or a delicate layered petit gateaux with multiple elements. Keep it simple!
A simple dessert done well will out perform an extravagant dessert that leaves you in tears on the kitchen floor and plates up like a kindergarten craft disaster. Don’t be afraid to cheat a little with store bought ingredients that you turn into ‘home made’ masterpieces.
I have some fantastic sweet treat idea on my YouTube channel, which caters for all skill levels -including those who rate their sweet-skill level in the minus.
My top two include:
Mini “Cake” Cookies
Popsicle Ice Cream Cake
If your feeling a little more experienced, why not try baking these…
OREO Milk & Cookie Shooters!
If you’re new to baking or terrified of dessert disasters, here are a couple of tips for beginner bakers:
1: Know your oven
Is your oven electric or gas? Fan forced? Oven temperatures can vary depending on the type of oven you’re using so make sure you adjust your temperatures accordingly. Most recipes call for a fan forced oven, which distribute heat more efficiently than electric ovens. As a rule if you’re using a non-fan forced electric oven you need to add approximately 20 degrees celcius (40 faranheit) to the recommended temperature.
Here’s a brief guide to converting oven temperatures:
2: Tools & Equipment
When it comes to baking and decorating, there’s often no need to rush out to buy expensive tools and equipment (though the woman at the supply store may lead you to believe otherwise).
If you’re going to pursue baking and sweets as a full time occupation then it can be worth the investment, but for those wanting to create a cake for a special occasion, or to try their hand at sweets for the first time, there’s often no need to purchase equipment that you’ll use only once.
Its best to see what you already have in the kitchen cupboards that you can “hack” to achieve similar results to those in the store.
Here’s a video that relates specifically to the tools & equipment I prefer to use for cupcake and cake decorating. It gives you a good idea of some of the things you can use from around the house to replace traditional tools. My most used “tools” are zip lock bags, skewers and an ice cream scoop!
Remember, baking should always be fun so keep your projects at a manageable level and as your skills expand, so too will the extravagance of the desserts and treats you decide to undertake.
As a qualified Pastry Chef and long time baker, I still have disasters in my kitchen – its all part of the learning process and disasters can still be utterly delicious to clean up!