Pre-heat oven and let it reach baking temperature for best results.  Try to bake using the upper and lower thirds of the oven racks.  And remember it is best to rotate baked goods halfway through cooking.

Taste batters.  Just a little.  You may have forgotten the sugar – or something else and when you taste it – it can help you remember.  This happened to me once at the hotel.  I forgot the sugar and the chocolate batter tasted awful.  Luckily I was able to add the sugar (albeit out of order) but was able to salvage the dessert and the cost of the chocolate.  Also taste for spices and salt.  You can add more or less depending on your taste.  Try to develop the desserts as you like them.

Wash fruits before you bake with them.  Especially when you are using the fruit’s zest.  Try to use only the colored part of the zest – do not dig down with your microplane or grater because the white part – under the skin is very bitter.

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