10 Baking tips and tricks you won’t find in recipe books

Who turns down an invitation to a baking workshop? Definitely NOT ME! I was like a little kid who could barely sleep the night before the Basic Cakes workshop at Feed 5000 Kitchen Studio. That was how excited I was to go.

I’ve been to baking classes before and if there’s one thing I know about going to actual baking classes is that you learn so many baking tips and tricks you’ll never learn following recipe books and blogs.

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Chef Joy Biado Roxas of Sinful Sweets by Joy was in charge of the class, and between her and Feed 5000 owner and director, Chef Len Santos-Ding, we were supercharged with practical kitchen tips you can only draw from real kitchen masters.

(Read: Len Santos-Ding, Success IN and OUT of the kitchen)

10 baking tips and tricks

I’ll be sharing with you the recipes of the basic cakes we’ve learned in this blog very soon; in the meantime, let me just share with you the 10 baking tips and tricks I’ve picked up from the workshop:

1. “Different ovens, different idiosyncracies

Chef Joy’s advise for beginners is for us to get to know our ovens – how long it takes to heat, how hot it gets, how much heat it can tolerate, etcetera, because every oven is different.

She also told us to buy an oven thermometer instead of relying on oven timers because they’re not always reliable.

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2. The easiest way to scoop an egg shell out of  the yolk is to use a bigger shell.

In Chef Len’s words, “they always go back to the mother ship.”

This piece of advise will save you a lot of time and irritation!

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3. Use a separate bowl when you break your eggs. Don’t break them over your mixture.

Kitchen common sense from Chef Joy!

This is in case you get a rotten egg. You won’t have to do your cake mixture all over again, you just need to get a new egg.

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4. Don’t measure your ingredients over the same bowl you’ll be using to mix them.

So you don’t have to do it all over again in case you lose count, which I always do!

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5.  Tap your baking pan before placing it in the oven.

To take out the air bubbles that will cause ugly holes in your cake! (Well, now I know!)

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6.  Keep your nuts in the refrigerator.

And it’s better to toast them before using them to release its natural oils.

See? I never knew this! I once tried my hand in the cookie business and sold a lot of chocolate chip and walnut cookies. And I mean, a lot! It was my bestseller, and yet I toasted none of the walnuts and kept them at room temperature.

Am I glad that my rookie mistake doesn’t cause food poisoning! (Whew!)

7. Cream your butter, don’t melt it.

No one told me to melt my butter, but I thought it was the quicker way to get things done, haha!

P.S. Butter is healthier than margarine by a mile.

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8. There are two types of measuring cups.

The dipper-shaped cups which you use to measure your dry ingredients and the “liquid” measuring cup (the pitcher looking one) to measure milk and water.

And I thought they have the same purpose!

9. Coat your chocolate chips and nuts with the sifted dry ingredients mix (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon)

So your add-ons will bake along with your cake and not melt with it.

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10. Sift all your dry ingredients together.

Ah, this I learned from the very first baking workshop I attended about…..10 years ago. This helps to evenly distribute baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice with your flour.

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Why don’t they tell you these in recipes?

According to Chefs Len and Joy, it’s because those who publish recipes (and they mean the ones who are considered professionals or “authorities” in this area) assume you already know these things when you follow their recipes.

I’m thinking, perhaps it’s because gourmet cooking and baking were not as popular back then as it is now. Back then, people who prepared Pinterest-friendly meals took classes before serving them.

Nowadays, there are so many home cooks/patissieres who really go through pains of creating the perfect meal a la Martha Stewart. Chef Len says they don’t always taste the way they look.

Truth be told,  if you want to become great in the kitchen, you’ve got to invest in some workshops, like my good friend, Anj, whose cooking and baking I miss so much.

Anyway, here are the cakes we made:

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Classic pound cake with Vanilla glaze
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Banana loaf
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Blueberry coffee cake
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Pineapple upside down cake
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Chef Joy’s Sticky Toffee Pudding with Rum Toffee Sauce

I’ve got plans on recreating these cakes, so stay tuned.

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Kids in the Kitchen

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Feed 5000 also holds kitchen workshops for kids. If you want to learn more about Kids in the Kitchen and other workshops they offer, here are the contact details:

Feed 5000 Kitchen Studio
#43 Sulu Street, Ayala Alabang Village (AAVA)
Muntinlupa City
Contact number: 09178428496
Email address: [email protected]
Facebook: Feed5000KitchenStudio
Instagram: feed5000kitchen

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Basic Cakes workshop students with Chef Len Santos-Ding and Chef Joy Biado.

Thank you Chef Len Santos-Ding for inviting me to the Basic Cakes class with Chef Joy Biado Roxas. It was an awesome experience and I hope to frequent your kitchen more often.

And to Chef Joy — I learned so much from you. I shall try to make you proud with my baking! (At least with the 5 cakes you taught us to make, hehe!)
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36 Comments

  1. Lol, on the measuring cups! I’ve always thought that they were the same – now I know. I hope to take some classes with them, saw that Feed 5000 Kitchen Studio is pretty much in the same area where I live.

  2. Now I read this! haha I’ve always loved baking but at times it won’t come out as perfect as in the recipes I’ve followed and I guess with these tips I might get it almost the same. Thanks for the helpful tips 😀 especially on knowing your oven 😀

    1. That is so true! It’s because the little details that aren’t included in most recipes are crucial ones to the finished product.

  3. I love workshops <3 You'll learn a lot and it's fun!
    Lucky you, you're able to experience it. And thank you I learned a thing or two 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the tips and tricks, very helpful and informative

  4. There’s always something new to learn. And practice and hands-on are some better way to sharpen any skills. I want to have a workshop too since i’m usually free during weekends. I have an oven too but I used it once for polymer? Do you think it’s just okay I will shift to baking? Thanks for sharing this, I really appreciated it. Yes I will invest for my passion.

    1. I’m not sure about the safeness part. Perhaps if you get it thoroughly cleaned by a professional? Polymer has plastic so I’m not really sure if there are risks to using the same oven for baking.

  5. I’ve read from the past, though I’m not sure, that baking is all about measuring. You should have perfect measure to achieve the perfect baked goodies. Is that even correct? I don’t bake that’s why I don’t know.

    1. Yes, baking is an exact Science, as they say. With cakes, you have to follow the recipe as is for the base, but for the sprinkles and all that, you can amend.:)

  6. I found out my cooking delights become really tasty when I am in a good mood. As if I spread my positive energy on the dish as well. On the other hand, I noticed my dishes lack great taste when I am sad or worried. This is in addition to your 10 great cooking tips and tricks.

  7. my father used to be a cook, until now he serves as a cook to a catering services, though he had no cooking lessons attended, i still admire him but i wish he can still have this lessons, i just can be like him but after reading your article, maybe i should give a try, 🙂

    1. Yes, perhaps you should. You might enjoy it more than you thought. No harm if you find out you don’t. 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh so near the house! I’ve always wanted to take a baking class but I’ve never been able to. Definitely checking out this kitchen studio. So glad you wrote about them, May!

  9. Hi! I had the misfortune of being a victim of no. 3. Wala pa kasi akong masyadong common sense nung first time ko magbake, haha. But I know better now. Hindi ko na makakalimutan yang tip na yan! 🙂

  10. I enrolled in their bread making class last year. True, there are tips that I haven’t seen on YouTube nor recipe book. Sometimes, it is really nice to invest in classes to learn more.

  11. All those are yummy cakes. And super thank you for the tips. I would beat my egg together with other ingredients. Oo nga naman, pano if may rotten eggs. And other tips are really helpful. We are somehow excited baking these days and will definitely apply what I have learned here on our next baking.

  12. This sounds cliche but I’ll say it anyway: Great tips!
    Hahaha! But really, thank you! Ako naman, I used to think that cookbook writers purposely leave out some details because if they teach everything, everyone will be an expert!

    The “don’t melt the butter” is true. Like you, I used to bake cookies. On my first tries, my cookies are always flat. Then I learned it’s because I melt my butter.

  13. Not much knowledge when it comes to baking (and cooking) at all. huhu. But I still hope that one day, I’ll be able to learn the basic. For now, wala pang mga gamit so we should start with that first. lol.

  14. Great tips. I’ve learned a lot Mommy.
    Especially #9 palagi akong natutunawan ng chocolate chips hehe, ayun pala technique yehey! (Now I know..)

  15. awesome tips May! Di pala ganun kadali mag bake noh? kaylangan sakto ang tamang sukat, tamang templa at marami pang iba. I’m not into baking but my husband always encourage me to read and learn baking.

  16. Looks like it was a informative baking workshop. Ako kasi homebaker lang pero I would want to learn more like what you have. Loved the banana loaf 🙂 Thanks for the great tips, surely will check their studio malapit na summer vacation♥

  17. Looks like it was an informative baking workshop. Ako kasi homebaker lang pero I would want to learn more like what you have. Loved the banana loaf ? Thanks for the great tips, surely will check their studio malapit na summer vacation♥

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