The Captivating Culinary Delights of Saint Germain Catering

Holiday Baking 101: Catering Company Tips for No-Fail Treats

Catering Company Tips

What would the holiday season be without a huge cache of cakes, cookies, tarts and pies? A lot less appetizing, that’s what. Ensure your goodies come out without a hitch and without a soggy bottom in sight using these handy catering company baking tips.

Start With Fresh Ingredients

If you don’t bake often, chances are your pantry stock has gotten a little stale. Baking soda and baking powder are both reactive ingredients, meaning they stoke a chemical reaction that can be dulled (or rendered nonexistent) if your box has been sitting in the cupboard for months on end. That leads to dense, fat goodies that aren’t, well, very good. Even flour eventually goes bad, and spices will lose their potency from year to year, so take the time to look at dates and do a sniff test.

Run Through Your Checklist

Nothing ruins a batch of gingerbread faster than realizing mid-baking that you’re out of ginger. Or eggs. Or vanilla. Or butter. Or all of the above. Gather all your mis en place before you start, and verify amounts lest you find yourself begging one of your elves to make a store run.

Use the Right Tools

Liquids and dry ingredients should be measured in the correct vessels, which usually means a spouted cup for milk and water and those handy individual cups for stuff like sugar and flour. If you really want to up your game, buy a kitchen scale and weigh all your ingredients like the pros do. Other tools you should always have on hand include:

  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Rubber spatulas in a couple of different sizes
  • Parchment paper
  • Silicone baking mat
  • Mixer — either hand or stand, as budget and space allow
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Rolling pin
  • Pastry blender (or a couple of forks and a lot of elbow grease!)

Bring Ingredients to the Right Temperature

Ingredients have to be at the right temperature for a recipe to come out correctly. Usually this means room temperature, but some recipes (pastries, pie, biscuits) require cold butter to achieve that instantly craveable flaky texture. For other recipes, such as cookies, room temp butter and eggs are essential or your mixture won’t come together properly.

Quality Matters

European butter is ridiculously creamy — thanks to the proportionally high amount of butterfat — and your taste buds will notice the difference. Pure vanilla (versus the artificial extract) is sublime, and vanilla paste is a worthy splurge. There is a huge jump in flavor between generic chocolate and the premium stuff; look for chocolate with cocoa butter and no vegetable oil.

Invest in an Oven Thermometer

You’d be surprised how rarely your oven is actually at the temperature it says it is. Small discrepancies can mean major disasters when it comes to baking, so hang one of these little gadgets from your baking rack and keep an eye on how hot things are truly getting.

Split the Work Load with a Local Catering Company

Some people are born bakers; others excel at savory cooking but quake in their aprons when flour and butter hit the counter. There’s no rule that says you have to do it all. Pick your strength and concentrate on stunning guests with a few star dishes, then bring in a catering company to handle the rest. Whether you’re cooking for your entire company or just a few close friends, knowing you have help can make your to-do list seem infinitely more manageable.

No time to whip out the whisk and snatch up a spatula? You can still sweeten up your upcoming festivities with tasty treats from the Saint Germain Catering Company holiday desserts menu. Delicious today, yummy tomorrow and available through the New Year.

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