Baking Basics: 8 Sweet Rules

Many have said that cooking is an art and baking is a science. But, you don't have to go back to school to learn how to make an amazing dessert. California Modern Pastry Chef, Lori Sauer, shares her top baking tips, tricks and techniques.

  1. Torch room temperatures. Your eggs and butter weren't stored at room temperature? Don’t worry. Grab your handy crème brulee torch (that you rarely ever use) and run it along the bottom of your mixing bowl while it’s mixing.

  2. Fold the cream. When making mousse, always fold cream into chocolate. Never fold chocolate into cream. It's a Big NO-NO.

  3. Parchment is your pal. Always line your pans with parchment paper for an easy, non stick release.

  4. Choose the right bowls. Whipping egg whites? Always use metal or glass bowls. And make sure they're clean and completely dry.

  5. Don’t overcrowd the oven. If you’re baking two trays of muffins, don’t stack them right on top of each other. Give them room so the heat can circulate around the trays and cook the muffins more evenly.

  6. Don’t be afraid of acid, vinegar and salt. These items help pronounce flavors and excite the senses.

  7. Scrape down the mixer. Make sure all of your ingredients are getting fully combined.

  8. Bake with common sense. Don’t rely on set times and temperatures, they’re not always correct. Check for color, smell, and feel. And remember that great baking takes practice.

Ready to get started? Check out Chef Sauer's recipe for simple and decadent chocolate mousse or easy and delicious cranberry orange muffins. Or, join us for dinner and dessert tonight at California Modern and let us handle the cooking.