7 tips, tricks and kitchen hacks from the bakers of The Great Canadian Baking Show
Did you know a drywall knife can double as a baking tool?
Baking is fun, but it's also tough. Creating the cake of your dreams requires the creativity of an artist, the precision of a chemist and the cool head of a polar bear.
There will always be problems: how do you manage too-hard buttercream? How do you keep sugar from crystalizing when you're making caramel? How do you keep your counters clean?
The bakers of the Great Canadian Baking Show have encountered all of these problems — and more.
Here are their top tips, tricks and hacks for becoming a better baker:
Keep cakes flat with a strip of wet towel
When you're making a layer cake in a round pan, wrap the outside with a strip of wet towel before putting it in the oven. That prevents the top from making a dome, if you want to stack up a bunch of layers for icing.
The towel prevents the cake near the outside of the pan from cooking first. It keeps the sides of the pan cool, so the centre and the sides rise together, so you get a nice, flat cake instead of one with a big dome in the middle. — Andrei
Smooth buttercream with a metal drywall knife
To smooth my buttercream, I always have a metal drywall knife. I run it under hot water, dry it off, and then it heats up the buttercream, just that little bit, so I can get a nice ombré or smear effect. — Megan
Use a potato peeler to create chocolate curls
Use your vegetable peeler to create chocolate curls. It's nice and sharp and it fits in your hand well. If your chocolate is at room temperature, you can create really beautiful peels to put on your cakes. — Sachin
Stop stand mixer splatter with a tea towel
One of my best tricks it to place a clean tea towel over my mixer. If I have a cake batter that's very liquidy, that will make sure everything stays in the bowl. Or if you have the dreaded confectioners sugar, it'll keep it from going all over the kitchen in a big cloud. — Ann Marie
Corn syrup: the trick to perfect caramel
I love making caramel, but it's pretty tricky because the sugar can crystalize so easily. So I always add a big dollop of clear corn syrup to my sugar and water. That keeps it from crystalizing. — Mengling
Have all your ingredients at room temperature
Have all your ingredients ready. Have them measured, on your counter and at room temperature so stuff doesn't get stuck to the bowl or fly out. — Sadiya
The oven: think outside the box
Sometimes I warm up my oven a bit and put my yeasted dough in there. It speeds up the fermenting a little bit. — Timothy