- Oven: The heat inside the oven for the first 15 minutes is uneven while the heating tubes are on. To attain best results, pre-heat oven for at least 20 minutes before baking.
- Flour: Sift flour to avoid lumps and to add air and volume.
- Egg: must be in room temperature when mixing with butter, else lumps will occur.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter when baking. Soften butter in room temperature for at least an hour before using. Cream butter and sugar until it reaches a light and fluffy 'hand cream texture'. Test with the fingers to check if sugar is dissolved.
- Batter: never whisk, just stir. This is to avoid too much air in the batter.
- Butter baking pan or simply use non-stick baking pans.
- Fill baking pan to 75% full, lightly tap baking pan on the counter to reduce air bubbles before placing into the oven.
- In hot weather, chill dough 30 minutes prior to piping, cutting or rolling to prevent from sagging.
- To test if the cake is done, simply insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done!
- dark chocolate with 58%+ cocoa works best for the recipes.
- melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Avoid any water in touch with the chocolate to prevent lumps.
- Lemon/orange: Wash waxed lemon/orange under warm water and lightly scrub with coarse salt before using.
- Bananas: Ripe ones are better for banana cakes. It adds natural sweetness to the cake.
- Brush a thin layer of melted chocolate onto baked tart shell and let it set. The chocolate coating will keep the crust becoming soggy due to wet filling.