Eric Lanlard's Top 10 cake-baking tips

So you want bake eye-poppingly, jaw-droppingly beautiful cakes? Then you want to follow these expert tips.

Eric Lanlard's Top 10 cake-baking tips

1 Study the recipe and list of ingredients and tools needed in advance and make sure you have them all to hand.

2 Clear the diary and send the kids/husband/wife away so you can concentrate and are not disturbed.
 
3 Use only the best quality ingredients for the filling. Remember the cake must taste as good as it looks.

4 Start with a very clean surface – when icing any dirt will show up on white icing so everything must be spotless.

5 Layout all your tools and equipment like a surgeon on a small tray next to you.

6
Follow the recipe step by step – do not try and improvise – baking is a science.

7 Always allow royal icing or painted details to dry thoroughly before adding the finishing touches such as pearl lustre or gold/silver decorating paint.

8 When doing an elaborate icing design that will take more than a few days to complete – use a fruit cake because a sponge cake will go stale after a day.

9 When making a wedding cake or a tiered cake for a special occasion, mix up the tiers to give the guests options. Think about using chocolate, lemon or even a carrot cake instead of using fruit cake for every tier; it’s much more interesting that way.

10 Don’t give up if it doesn’t work out the fist time – keep trying – practice and experience is the secret to success.  Of course it always helps if you are naturally artistic!

See Cake Boy for further details of Eric’s baking classes. 

Croquembouche

Croquembouche

This spectacular-looking creation is a very traditional French dessert that's actually quite simple to prepare.

Eggnog trifles with mixed berry compote

Eggnog trifles with mixed berry compote

An sophisticated trifle with mixed berries, that's perfect for a special dinner party.

Gingerbread fondant soufflés

Gingerbread fondant soufflés

A sensous chocolate fondant dessert infused with ginger.

Mont Blancs with chestnut cream

Mont Blancs with chestnut cream

A classic French recipe consisting of a delicious combination of meringue, vanilla and chestnut.

White chocolate and raspberry marquise

White chocolate and raspberry marquise

This is simply a sponge with cream and fruit, but the decoration makes all the difference.

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