Baking tips for the non-baker

Here are some general guidelines when baking anything as well as tips I learned through surviving many baking disasters.

Preheat oven before you start making the dessert. This cuts your prep time.

Cover cooking spray on baking pans. This cuts your dishwashing time.

Make sure your work area is clutter-free when using chocolate. It is very messy.

Melt chocolate slowly. Otherwise, chocolate will scorch. Unless you like that burnt taste.

Melting chocolate in the microwave is another option to the double boiler. This does take up a lot of time. To prevent scorching, melt chocolate every 30 seconds. Stir in between times to melt chocolate faster.

Make sure ingredients are at room temperature. Your creations will bake evenly, and therefore, turn out better.

Place a pan of water on the second shelf of your oven when baking cakes. This moistens the cake even more.

Dip a knife into the middle of your baked good to see if it is fully baked. If it comes out clean, they it is ready to come out.

If you make a mistake, innovate. That was how chocolate chip cookies were invented. For the pumpkin dump recipe, instead of using condensed milk, use coconut milk. Even half and half works as well. Innovating recipes makes baking fun. These recipes are simple, and negotiable. If you do not like the original recipe, make it again with something new.