Fixing Mistakes

We all suffer from a soggy bottom or a droopy sponge occasionally, so here I will explain how these common mistakes happen so you can prevent them happening in the future.
Uneven-shaped cakes

If your cake ends up an uneven shape, this could be because there is either too much liquid in the mixture or too much baking powder – or simply that the oven was not hot enough.

Cracked cakes

If your cake has cracks in it, this could be because there was not enough liquid in your mixture, or too much baking powder was added.

Uneven-textured cakes

If your cake has an uneven texture, the fat was either rubbed in too much or not enough.

Tight cakes

If your cake has a very close texture, then you may have added too much fat or your hands were too warm when rubbing in the flour.

Disastrous fruit cakes 

If you find that the fruit in your cake sinks to the bottom, then this could be because either the fruit or the mixture was too wet, or because the oven was not hot enough.

Hard pastry 

If your shortcrust pastry is too hard, it could be caused by a number of things. Either you have added too much water or not enough fat, or the fat was not rubbed in sufficiently or was over-handled. Or the pastry was over-baked.

Shrinking pastry 

Shrinking pastry is a common mistake. This normally occurs when the pastry has been over-handled or has not been left to rest for long enough.

Soggy bottoms 

And finally, the most frustrating pastry problem of all – the soggy bottom. This normally happens when the oven is not hot enough or the pastry is not baked for long enough. However, it can also be because too much water was added to the dough.

More baking basics

Top Tips

Here are some of my top tips to ensure your bakes are perfect every time.

Ingredients

All you need to know about the basic ingredients for making bread and cakes.

Fixing Mistakes

We all suffer from a soggy bottom or a droopy sponge occasionally - I'll explain how to stop them happening.

Techniques

There are a few specific techniques required for bread making - getting them right can make all the difference.

Equipment

You don’t need a cupboard full of specialist equipment - here are my recommendations of baking tools.

Your Questions

Paul simply loves giving advice to help you perform better in the kitchen.

© 2020 Paul Hollywood

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