What would home cooks do without Pinterest? The site is always my first stop when seeking out inspiration for decor, style & recipe ideas. It’s amazing to see what people all over the world can create, but for many people (myself included) some of these projects never turn out quite right when tried at home.
There is even an entire website where people can share their Pinterest defeats. Now, while I can’t give much advice on why that crochet sweater resembles nothing close to a sweater, there a few kitchen tips that can help lessen the chances of a Pinterest fail.
Tip: Many factors can cause a cheesecake to crack. The 2 most common culprits are rapid change in temperature and over baking. Check out this post by Sallys Baking Addiction on how to make a prevent cracks in cheesecake.
1. THE WHIPPED EGG WHITE FAIL
Whether it be meringues, French macarons, or mousse, some of the top baking fails usually begins with a whipped egg white failure.
The Problem: Eggs whites weren’t able to achieve stiff peaks, even after endless beating. So whatever you tried to make didn’t hold their shape and spread to thin.
The Culprit: Oils & fats are the murders to a stiff peak when it comes to whipping egg whites. If you use a plastic bowl, you may not be able to achieve stiff peaks because plastics absorb oil.
The Solution: Use a clean dry bowl made of copper, stainless steel or glass.
Tip: Also be sure that your egg whites are at room temperature before whipping
2. THE BUTTERCREAM ICING FAIL
So you’re baking awesome cupcakes. Batter tastes awesome, you cook it perfectly, now time to make it beautiful, right? Icing looks like a translucent glaze instead of a thick fluffy frosting that swirls all the way up.
The Problem: The cupcake icing won’t hold any nice design and looks sloppy.
The Culprit: The icing got too hot and is now melting or you piped icing on the cupcakes before they fully cooled, and the icing is now melting!
The Solution: Keep everything in the post-baking process cool.
- After baking your cupcakes, let them cool in the baking tin for 5 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Transfer them to a wire rack until FULLY COOL (not luke warm.)
- Though you need to let your butter for your icing come to room temperature, make sure its not anywhere near the stove or a hot part of the kitchen. You just want soft butter, not slightly melted butter.
- Divide your icing in 2 bags. If your making a cake in the dead of summer, sometimes the room is going to get a bit hot. Keep one icing bag in the freezer while piping with the other. Switch bags as you notice the icing getting too warm.
- When the entire room is hot, your icing may not survive. Keep a platter or rack in your fridge, and place completed cupcakes in there to maintain their shape. Be sure to add sprinkles before chilling, otherwise you won’t be able to decorate one icing has stiffened.
Tip: Use a ‘buttercream’ icing that incorporates vegetable shortening. Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, and is great if your working in a hot environment or have to transport the cupcakes.
3. THE NOT ‘LIGHT’ & FLUFFY FAIL
If you watch these chef competition shows, you’ll frequently hear judges compliment how a dessert is so light. However, the cake you just pulled out oven is tough and chewy. Don’t always blame the recipe (though don’t expect every recipe you get on Pinterest to be perfect), your mixing technique could be to blame.
The Problem: Your cake that’s meant to be light and airy is chewy and glue like.
The Culprit: You over mixed the batter.
The Solution: When creaming together butter, sugar & eggs you need to do it at a nice medium speed, never high. When adding in the flour, gently fold it in. If you sift the flour before hand it will mix into the batter much easier without clumps. you do not want to OVER MIX, just gently stir until it’s fully incorporated into the cake then stop.
Tip: Be sure your eggs and butter are at room temperature before using.
What Pinterest fail has been haunting you?