‘Baking It Easy’ – It’s not brain surgery
Ask Meghan Rienks of Tastemade’s “Baking It Easy With Meghan Rienks” what tools every baker should have and she’ll have a succinct answer.
“Definitely someone to wash your dishes,” the native Californian says, “or a really big sink so you can wash your own dishes. But I highly recommend having whoever you’re feeding your food to to give them the job of the dishes. That’s been one of the greatest helps of mine.”
In the recently premiered series that streams new episodes Tuesdays on Facebook Watch’s Tastemade channel, the actress, entrepreneur and self-taught baker uses humor and her quirky personality to teach the basics of baking, with which viewers can unlock the key to the most extravagant and intimidating recipes. In each episode, she gives step-by-step instructions on a specific technique that she then uses to create a dessert, thus giving even the novice the confidence to step out of their comfort zone and tackle the most intricate cakes and flakiest croissants.
In the opening episode titled “Don’t Be a Hot Mess,” she shares a tip on how to make a six-layer cake from three layers, using a dinner knife, a cake knife and toothpicks to perfectly bisect one layer into two level ones and create a cake without lean – a trick that is more difficult than it might seem.
“That’s probably the number one question that I get from people,” Rienks says, “and it was one of the hardest things for me to learn how to make. … Even now when I make cakes for my friends, that’s the most impressive but it’s the thing that takes the most practice. And even now, every time I do it you have like this holding-you-breath, hoping-it-goes-well kind of a thing.
“But when you break it down,” she continues, “the more often that you do it, even once you have all these tips and tricks and steps … it is those technicalities and those little tips and tricks that make it so much easier. And it was cool because I was able to sit down with them and be like, ‘These are things that I do when it comes to layer cakes. These are things that I have found really helpful.’ And then I was even learning certain things in there and it just makes it so it doesn’t become this like huge obstacle that you’re like, ‘Oh, I could never do that.’
“When you break it down, even if it does seem a little complicated it seems a little bit more attainable and doable.”
In other episodes, Rienks makes several kinds of cookies from sugar cookie dough, a cherry pie, a fruit bundt cake, a roll cake, macaroons and works with tempered chocolate.