Can I purchase bake, make and decorate items at Spotlight?
Yes, you can, we have everything you need for sensational and delicious home-baked creations! From useful how-to books with all the tricks of the trade to colours and flavours to enhance your baked products, plus icing and cake ingredients, traditional and novelty cake pans, cutters, moulds and utensils, Spotlight has all the tools, equipment and ingredients that will help you create the perfect bake.
What are the secrets to baking a great cake?
Unlike cooking, baking is an area where improvisation is not always successful. Adding a spoonful of this or that may improve your soup, roast or casserole, but it may have disastrous effects on your cake recipe. But by following these tried and tested steps, you can turn out a wonderful cake!
- Use a good recipe. For guaranteed results it is important to follow baking recipes to the letter, so your cake will only ever be as good as the recipe you use. Start with a recipe from a source you trust. A lot of recipes, particularly on the internet, haven't been tried and tested.
- Use the tin size stated in the recipe. Using a different size tin means adjusting the quantities of ingredients and the cooking time, so that is best done once you are familiar with a recipe.
- Line your tin well. Baking parchment works really well for lining as it's non-stick. Brushing softened butter on the sides of your cake tin and then covering the butter in a dusting of flour can also work.
- Preheat the oven. If you put a cake into an oven that's not hot enough, it will affect the way it rises.
- Weigh and measure accurately. Make sure you use the exact measurements and ingredients as stated in the recipe. You can't just substitute self-raising flour for plain flour, or use gluten-free flour instead of standard flour. Avoid mixing imperial and metric measurements, pick one or the other.
- Make sure ingredients are the right temperature. Most recipes require butter and eggs to be at room temperature. If you take the butter straight from the fridge it doesn't cream well, and cold eggs can even curdle the cake mixture.
- Get as much air into the cake as you can. Cream (whisk) butter and sugar until the mixture lightens in texture and colour. This increases the air and volume of the cake, giving you a lighter result. Sift flour and other ingredients together to mix, add air and make them easier to fold in gently, never whisk or beat vigorously as this will result in a dense, heavy cake.
- Put your cake straight into the oven AND keep door closed during baking. Raising agents will start working as soon as they come into contact with the 'wet' ingredients so to ensure a good rise your cake mixture should go into the oven straightaway. Once the cake is in, avoid opening the door until it's almost cooked, or your cake may collapse.
- Stick to cooking times. As ovens can vary, check the cake just before the end of the cooking time. A cake that is cooked through should feel the same if pressed around the edges or in the middle. Also, a skewer inserted in the centre should come out dry.
- Cooling your cake. Recipes will usually give instructions for cooling but as a general rule, sponge cakes are usually best left for a few minutes and then turned onto a cooling rack, while rich fruit cakes are better cooled completely in the tin.
What else is included in the range?
There really is too much to list here, so take your time and browse our bake, make and decorate pages to discover what is on offer and be inspired to make your own sweet treats, cookies, cupcakes, birthday cakes or wedding cakes with everything you need here in one handy place.