When it comes to baking, precision and testing are essential. Countless baking books are produced annually and it is hard to tell which ones to pick out right off the bat. Despite the fact that we can find thousands of different chocolate cake recipes, it all comes down to one trick that do it all for most amateur bakers. Follow the recipe precisely, for not being precise is what made me fail many times but that is also the reason why I enjoy baking so much. It will never fail you if you simply follow the instructions precisely using credible sources.
It may sound oddly easy when I say just follow the instructions carefully but there are some common mistake people make by under-estimating the importance of following the recipe. And It’s got a lot to do with the eggs. Adding eggs to the batter seem incredibly easy for everyone to succeed and it is but only if you follow these rules.
First, use room temperature eggs; adding cold ones will harden the fat in the recipe and cause curdling of the sugar and fat mixture. It may also affect the texture of the recipe. Another equally important thing is to add room temperature eggs one at a time to a batter, usually after creaming the fat and sugar, until well incorporated after each one. The mixture can curdle (the creamed butter and sugar will separate) if eggs are added too quickly. Lastly, do not over beat, as the eggs will form a hard, meringue-like crust on your recipe. When I have mastered what not to do with eggs, nine out of ten times my cakes have turned out as I imagined.
Addition to all the things got to do with eggs, to get the crumb moist and delicate: don’t over bake it, add a little frosting while it’s warm, keep it covered once cool and, if you want it extra soft, add two teaspoons of vegetable glycerin for every 200g flour.
There is one thing I find less important to follow on the recipe. I came across a couple of online articles about the importance of preheating your oven. It seems that it is mostly a tradition that comes from the past, when people baked in wood or coal-powered ovens and so getting the fuel up to temperature was the important part. These days, with our fairly accurate gas or electric ovens, maybe it’s time to rethink our preheating habit to save energy costs.
There is nothing worst than having a crappy cake on a special day when you didn’t have a back up plan. However the celebrating would be extraordinary if you have that perfect chocolate cake for someone special.
Anna Kui Yeon Hong
 Don’t preheat your oven: http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/dont-preheat-your-oven?