Home & Garden
As an avid baker there are a few things that I have picked up along the way. For one thing, on Pakistani cooking channels, the chefs are never at liberty to say which brand they use. From my research, reading hundreds of comments on fan pages on Facebook, many people are still confused about which chocolate to buy or confused between terminology like all-purpose flour and self-raising flour. So for the benefit of those who want to maneuver the confusing world of labels, here is a little guide.
Choose galvanized iron
You know how in science class we were taught that black absorbs more heat? Well, in my experience, black non-stick cake pans always resulted in burnt cakes precisely because of that. No matter what I did, from adjusting the temperature to lining with paper, the baked good would burn. Galvanized iron is your best friend. Loaf and cake tins made of this material are a dream to work with, as cakes unmold easily, whether you line with paper or not. Easily available at major super stores, bazaars, and in Karachi, Bohri Bazaar, a square tin, a 9-inch round cake tin and a loaf tin are all you need to make a variety of baked goods.
Do not skip out on unsalted butter
New Town Dairy’s unsalted butter (transparent paper, red lettering), has to be the best butter for baking. It whips like a dream and gives a luscious smoothness to cakes that salted butter just cannot. And for frosting, unsalted butter is the only butter you should use. Firstly it gives frosting that piping consistency and secondly, it will not give a salted aftertaste in your frosting the way regular butter can. It is easily available at all major super markets in Pakistan
Which dark chocolate should you use?
This is probably the most common query asked by aspiring bakers in Pakistan. Lindt 70% cacao and Valor 70% Dark chocolate are the brands you should look out for. Do NOT go for Italiano and Once Again as these are loaded with sugar and are not the “dark chocolate” recommended in recipes. Dark chocolate has a bitter taste and a delightful snap when you break the bar. When you melt a good bar of chocolate, the texture should be glossy and smooth. Now, the good brands are expensive but if there is one thing I have learnt in baking, it is do NOT compromise on quality!
So these are some baking tips for beginners. Let us know if you would like more guides like these.