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Guide to Correcting Mistakes in Cooking and Baking

 Cooking and baking aren’t just a hobby or a profession, eating is a daily existential need for each and every one of us. In order for us to exist we must eat and drink, and in order for the food we consume to have taste, it is necessary to use spices. But what if we accidentally added too much lemon, salt or sugar – is there a way to fix this? The answer is yes, and the ways to correct these and other mistakes, and to save the food you put effort into making, keep reading the article below.


1. The dish is too salty

Since everyone’s salt preference and needs are different, most recipes call for "salt to taste". But there are times when food is too salty even for those who like salty food, so what can be done?

  • If the food is made up of a lot of liquids like soup, we’d usually just add water, which is one way of doing it, but you can also add a few raw potatoes to the dish, and they will absorb the excess salt. Another way is to add a little lemon juice or vinegar.
  • If you made a sauce, add flour and cream if possible or soy milk.
  • Salted steak or a piece of meat with a lot of salt - soak the pieces of meat in a bowl of cold water for about two hours, and if that isn’t enough, add a little lemon juice.

2. The dish is too sweet

If your sauce or stew came out too sweet, some will tell you to add lemon juice or vinegar, which makes sense in most cases. But there are times when lemon isn’t suitable for a dish, and in such cases, you can fix the flub using high-fat foods such as olive oil or avocado oil. In any case, don’t be tempted to add salt because a high amount of salt will destroy your dish, whereas a pinch of salt may accentuate the sweetness or won’t make any difference at all.


3. The dish is too sour

If you ever wondered how you can fix sour food besides for using sugar or baking soda, know that adding a little honey or date syrup can be a great solution that will add great flavor to your sauce. For a sour stew, you can add chopped carrots instead of sugar or honey.

4. The dish is too soggy and pale

Food that is pan-fried should in most cases be brown and crispy, but sometimes the first and second pieces come out right, while the rest simply go soggy and don’t crisp up on the pan. The reason for this is the amount of food you put in the pan – overcrowding the pan lowers the temperature of the oil, therefore causing the dish to stew instead of fry. To avoid this situation, just avoid overcrowding the pan, and before adding more to the pan, give the oil about half a minute to reach the desired temperature.

5. Your fried food is very greasy

Super greasy food is often hard to stomach. The main reason for this is the oil temperature and the size of the food you are frying. To avoid excess oil, make sure that the oil temperature is between 350-380 degrees and certainly not less than 280 degrees, and also fry smaller pieces of food - this shortens the time the food spends in oil does not cause the oil's temperature to drop.


6. What do you do if the cake comes out dry?

How annoying is it when after all the time and effort put into baking a cake, it comes out of the oven super dry? But don’t worry, instead of throwing it in the trash or turning it into cake-pops, just do the following:

  • Wet the cake with hot chocolate syrup or with warmed up fruit juice, while the cake is still warm. 
  • Cover the cake with a towel or aluminum foil and allow it to sit for about 10-15 minutes outside or overnight in the refrigerator. 

7. Your hard-boiled eggs always come out rubbery 

Hard-boiled eggs are among the most eaten foods in almost every household, and they even allow us to make other dishes. However, most don’t know that these types of eggs shouldn’t be rubbery in texture. The next time you prepare hard-boiled eggs you can prevent this by letting the eggs sit in a bowl of ice water immediately after removing them from the pot. After you peel them you’ll feel the difference.


8. Your pastries and cookies don’t bake evenly

Beyond aesthetics, cookies and pastries that aren’t evenly baked indicate that part of the dish is undercooked. In order to prevent such a situation, you need to make sure of some things:

  • Your dough should be rolled out and laid evenly on your baking pan
  • Check with a thermometer to determine if the temperature of the oven is the same as what’s shown on the oven itself. 
  • Find the hot points of your oven and make sure to place your pastries there. You can do this by placing a few slices of bread in different places on the second shelf of the oven.
  • Bake for a few minutes and do not flip the bread during the test, the slices will reveal your oven’s hot spots.

9. Your cookies spread out on the baking pan

If you’ve made cookies more than once then I’m sure you’ve experienced them spreading out all over the baking sheet at least once or twice. If you follow these tips, we're sure you’ll always have perfect cookies:

  • Remove the butter from the refrigerator about an hour before preparation and place it in a warm place until it softens slightly (room temperature) - Do not melt the butter in the microwave. 
  • Cool your dough for about 30 minutes before you plan on baking it
  • Make sure your baking soda and baking powder aren’t expired
  • Place your eggs in a warm place 10 minutes before using them or until they reach room temperature.

10. Your pastry is hard or sticky

Pastries satisfy our cravings for something crispy and delicious, but what can you do to make them not sticky or too hard?

  • First, avoid over-kneading the dough by hand or increasing the speed on your mixer so that it doesn’t come out too hard.  
  • Second, mix "wet" ingredients first, then add the dried ingredients and mix all together quickly and for a short time, to prevent the gluten in the flour from forming.

11. Your chocolate becomes lumpy when you try to melt it

You wanted to make a frosting or ganache for your cake so you pull some chocolate in a bowl and in the microwave, only to be left with lumpy chocolate? All you have to do to fix the mistake is to add a little vegetable oil to the chocolate bowl, wait about half a minute so that it warms up a bit and mix well.


12. Stored cookies become moist or dry

Have the cookies you baked dried out or gone soggy? Do one or more of the following:
  • Cool cookies before putting them in your storage container.
  • Do not store soft cookies in the same box as crispy cookies.
  • Store the cookies in a sealed box only.
  • Place an apple slice in a box with soft cookies to keep the inside of the box moist.
  • Bring life back to crispy cookies by re-baking them in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for several minutes and let them cool down on a cooling rack.
  • Do not freeze cookies, unless they have cream on them or are coated with fondant.
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