How To Measure Ingredients
Baking can be a science, and part of that science is accurately measuring ingredients. Unlike cooking where you can throw in a bunch of ingredients or alter a recipe, baking requires precision when adding both your wet and dry ingredients. The amount of flour, sugar or baking soda can dramatically change a recipe. As a home baker, I know that many people use measuring cups and spoons, and some may even use regular cups and mugs they have in their kitchen cabinets. Please don’t use cups, mugs, and eating spoons! My best advice is to get yourself a good digital scale that is much more accurate and will give you the exact weight of ingredients every time. This means your cakes will be consistently great from batch to batch. You also save yourself the hassle of washing all these measuring cups and spoons. To use a digital scale, place a bowl on the scale and zero out (or tare) the weight, and measure your ingredients. Nowadays, most digital scales have conversions between metric and imperial systems for ease of use.
Measuring cups will vary in measurements, they usually come in increments of 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup measurements. Different measuring cup brands will provide different results, so there will always be a slight variation from the recipe. If all you have in your kitchen drawers are measuring cups and spoons, it’s essential to scoop the ingredients accurately for any batter. To measure flour with a measuring cup, aerate the flour slightly because flour tends to settle as it sits. Scoop the flour with the desired measuring cup and then sweep off the excess. Granulated sugar and icing sugar are also measured using the scoop and sweep method. When you see brown sugar in a recipe, it usually says, lightly packed. Brown sugar should be pressed slightly into a dry measure until it is level with the rim of the measuring cup. It should hold the shape of the measuring cup when it is turned out. Check out my Instagram stories to see how I measure these ingredients.
I put together a conversion guide to help you convert the most common types of baking ingredients from cups to grams. You can download this guide and keep it handy to use while baking.
How to soften clumpy brown sugar? First, put the rock-hard sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, lay a moist paper towel on top, and microwave it for 20 seconds. If you find that the sugar still isn’t soft after 20 seconds, feel free to give it another 10 seconds or so in the microwave, breaking up big pieces with a fork as you go.
How to bring eggs to room temperature quickly? Place the eggs in a bowl of room temperature water and let them sit for 5 minutes.