This type of recipe will say things like “cream” the butter and sugar or “beat the butter and sugar till pale and creamy”. Cakes made using this method will first cream the butter along side the sugar, then the eggs are added one by one, and eventually the flour (which is typically added alternatively with a liquid).
To cream butter, start with softened butter. Literally beat the butter in your mixer until it changes colour and becomes lighter or pale. The butter will eventually lose its buttery taste and become creamier.
Why is that this such a crucial baking technique? Creaming the butter with sugar not only helps the sugar to “dissolve” into the butter and be spread evenly through the batter; it also aerates (adds air) to the butter – giving a lighter texture to bakes.
Rub in method
This method is usually utilized in bread and pastry making. The recipe will begin with the instruction to “run the butter into the flour”.
To do this, simply use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it begins to seem like crumbs. This rubbing in will coat the flour during a fine layer of butter, which helps provides a pastry or bread the right texture when baking.
Hot milk method
This type of recipe involves the butter and liquid to be boiled together before being added to the flour. Cupcakes and quaint hot milk puddings are made using this method.
Blind bake method
Pies or tart recipes will ask you to “blind bake” your pastry. this suggests that you simply got to precook your pastry before adding the filling to stop the pastry from becoming soggy.
To bake blind, follow the steps below:
Roll the pastry out slightly larger than the pan.
Use a kitchen utensil to lift the pastry and position it over the pan.
Leave an overhang of pastry round the sides of the pan. Roll the kitchen utensil over the highest to trim off the surplus pastry.
Lightly press the pastry into the pan using your fingertips and prick the bottom of the pastry case everywhere with a fork.
Place a sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry and fill the center with baking beans, dried pulses or rice. (The baking beans or rice are added to the baking paper to feature weight to the pastry shell and help hold it in situ because it bakes.)
Bake the pastry case for about quarter-hour during a hot oven or until the pastry is firm. Remove the beans and therefore the paper and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.