I love a good baking session, topped only by eating the results of said baking. But somehow, my sweet treats never look as good as they taste. That's where Natalie of Jade Magnolia is coming to the rescue. A baker and stylist extraordinaire, she is divulging 10 need to know tips for baking like a pro. Peek inside her pretty kitchen captured by Lauren J. Photography where she creates magic.
Natalie is a mom and baker. She recently renovated her kitchen, with the help of her husband. They did it all themselves! Her kitchen isn't just any kitchen, it's also her office.
She is a baker & event stylist. She does it all while being a mom to the cutest little boy, Phoenix. I captured her doing her thing. Being a #girlboss & mom. Her kitchen speaks for itself. Bright, airy, and full of love.
Baking Tips and Tricks
Starting with all your ingredients at room temperature does wonders, I'm talking everything, butter, eggs, milk; this keeps everything nice and even for mixing and baking.
Prep your Pans
There isn't much worse then when you spend time baking the most delicious cake and it doesn't come out of the pan completely. I start by buttering or spraying my pans, then coat with flour, then add a piece of parchment paper cut to fit in the bottom of the pan. These three steps should ensure your cake will pop right out!
I like playing with different flavor combinations and using fresh, in season ingredients. Some of my favorite combinations are: white chocolate with fresh berries, churro with salted caramel, and lemon with cream cheese. Don't be afraid to play around and not always use a recipe!
When working with tiered cakes I like to make sure my layers are even and chilled before stacking and frosting. You can use a cake leveler to get nice even layers, while working with chilled cake will make sure your frosting coats well and doesn't get too warm.
Having the proper tools can make a huge difference and will save you some headaches. A few of my favorite tools are a cake leveler, off set spatula for frosting, pastry mat for your work surface, large piping bags and a variety of silicone spatulas, you can never have too many!
Make it Pretty
Whether you're decorating cupcakes, brownie bites, mini dessert shooters, or a cake, I like to use simple, natural decorations. I always prefer fresh flowers, berries or fruit, chocolate ganache, or a berry puree.
Get to Know Your Oven
Every oven I have ever used bakes a little differently. Just because a recipe says bake at 350 for 20 minutes doesn't mean you have to abide by it. Some ovens bake hot so lower the heat; some racks might be too high or low, move the pans and baking times around until you find what works best.
Sometimes when baking we get a little carried away with sugar, I know, the point of dessert is to be sweet, however I like to let all the ingredients shine. For example, frosting, most recipes call for several cups of sugar and I like to cut it way down and add it little by little until it has the right amount of sweetness for my taste, find what you like best!
Baking can be and should be enjoyable, not a chore. I find when I allow plenty of time, turn on some music, and pour myself a glass sparkling water all stress and pressure goes out the window. My desserts come out so much better when I am not on a time crunch!
Find recipes that you like but don't be afraid to tweak them a little. Edit your recipes to fit your preferences, little changes can effect the texture, flavor, and look of your desserts, have fun and play around!