I am not a baker I just bake a lot😜. No seriously, I am becoming a better baker with lots and lots of practice. But in the not so distant past, I couldn’t bake canned biscuits, LOL! I realized that I had two issues: 1.) I like high heat. I mean in my mind it makes perfect sense that 400 degrees instead of 350 should shave off at least 10-15 minutes cooking time. I’ve still got hot hands but I’ve learned to cool them off when it comes to baking. I also actually use the timer now! Like I said, I’ve burned a lot of biscuits because I forgot how long they were in. 2.) My second issue is was that I like to tweak recipes as I go along. Even if the recipe is fine as is, something comes over me and I start thinking ‘this spice or this sauce would set this whole thing off right!’. And many times I’ve been right. And just as many times I’ve been wrong. But I just have to do it. In baking, however, unless you understand base ratios of a recipe, you can’t just tweak without ruining the whole recipe.
My newly acquired and much-appreciated baking skills are largely due to a determination to slowing down, stick to the recipes, and learning the base ratios so that I can create my own. The first cake I baked, not from a box, that was actually fluffy and moist came from The Brown Betty Cookbook. I believe it was their buttermilk pound cake. I was shocked at the picture-perfection of this cake. My family was beyond happy to finally have a freshly baked homemade dessert. That sort of started this baking journey.
I’ve most recently added to my repertoire the skill of understanding base recipes. Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, is basically changing my life. This book goes far beyond baking. I recommend any home cook looking to master their kitchen, to check this book out. Anyways, this book is where I learned the base recipe for sponge and butter cakes. I’m sure that this recipe resembles many others but since I chose the method and ingredients, this is very much my own creation for which I am very proud. I feel quite accomplished having come from a baking nobody to developing my very own recipe. A recipe that people absolutely love! It’s become my signature dessert and I believe you will love it.
What’s your “signature” dessert? Leave a link in the comments!
Grace & Peace,
- 3 c all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 c salted butter , soften
- 2 c sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp vanilla
- 4 whole eggs , room temp
- 2 c buttermilk
In a medium bowl whisk flour and baking soda together then set aside
Measure buttermilk and set aside
In a large bowl beat soften (room temp; not melted) butter on low speed until pale yellow and fluffy
Add sugar and combine until texture is smooth
Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until bright yellow
Next beat in whole eggs one at a time until fully incorporated
Begin adding flour and buttermilk to the batter beginning and ending with flour, alternating between both
For 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes bake at 350 for 20 min; for 3 9" round cakes bake for 35 min
Do not over mix the batter. Turn your hand-mixer or stand-mixer on low speed when you begin add the flour and buttermilk.