Here’s the big truth: I don’t consider myself an expert chef. Like most bloggers, I learned to bake and cook by hanging out in the kitchen, improved by trial and error, and wanted to share the best recipes from my gluten-free experiments.
However, if people want to stay ahead of their craft, they have to keep learning, no matter how experienced they become.
That’s how I came across an article titled: 11 Most Common Baking Mistakes You Might Be Making. Now there are many posts titled similarly all over Google, and they rehash the same basic points. (I’ve read through several of them to be sure.)
For the sake of transparency, I decided to review some of these points with you. Perhaps I’ve been committing grave baking errors all this time. Maybe once I fix them, I’ll get 500 subscribers! Or I’ll just start baking correctly… Whichever happens, let’s how many of these rules I adhere to and how many I break.
Baking in an oven that’s not preheated
I do not do this for sensitive items like cakes and cookies. This can mess up their baking chemistry and they’ll end up raw, burnt, cracked, fallen, or messed up in some other way. For non-sensitive items, like potatoes or veggies, I would bake them as the oven preheats if I forgot to do it earlier. You don’t need to worry about sliced carrots cracking.
Forgetting to set a timer
I don’t do this… at first. If a cake is not done after the originally prescribed time, I will put it back in the oven for five minutes — without a timer. I live a dangerous life.
Frosting a cake before it cools
I have done this and it was a mess! It’s hard to wait for a fun activity like cake decorating, but the frosting melted and the cake fell apart. Don’t try it!
Mixing up baking soda for baking powder
I have never done this. Yay, finally I get a point.
Not greasing the pans properly
My mother has a Bundt pan that is heart-shaped and super adorable, but it has these deep ridges that are impossible to grease. Every time I use that pan, it’s a mission of greasing and flouring down every corner and still, pieces of cake get stuck on it. I blame the pan for that. Otherwise, no, I do grease pans properly.
Opening the oven too often
My mother taught me not to do this. As an upstart child baker, waiting for a cake to come out of the oven was extremely hard. I kept opening the door to see if it was done yet. The top of the cake may or may not have fallen from the gust of cold air, and my mother told me to stop checking. Now I resist.
Have I ever substituted ingredients in a recipe before? Substitutions like almond flour for regular flour in pancakes, nixing the shortening in a pie, skipping flour entirely in muffins, swapping the cocoa for carob in hot chocolate, omitting eggs in waffles?
No, I’ve never done any of those things.
And I most definitely did not make a cake that is fudgy, decadent, and without basic ingredients like flour, sugar, and butter. Instead, there’s maple syrup, honey, and an even more bizarre ingredient: tahini.
Shocking, I know. But a good brand of raw tahini is the secret fudgy factor to this chocolate cake. And no, you can’t taste the tahini in the final product, only chocolately goodness. Many recipes similar to this one use almond butter or the lord and savior of food: peanut butter, but this cake is nut-free and very allergen-friendly.
Expert chef or not, there are no mistakes in this heavenly recipe.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Sheet Cake
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup raw tahini
- 1 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp of corn starch or tapioca starch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Grease a 9×6 inch pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla extract. Add the tahini and mix well.
- Add the cocoa powder, starch, salt, and baking powder, and mix until it’s well combined. Use a sifter to add the cocoa and starch to prevent clumps in the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30–35 minutes or until the top springs up when lightly touched.
- Allow the cake to cool before removing from the pan and enjoy!