Solutions for Everyday Kitchen Mistakes

You can learn from your mistakes, but it may result in ugly cakes, calorie overloads, and even singed arm hair (ouch!).  Learn from our cooking, nutrition, grilling, and baking mistakes instead!

Common Baking Mistakes

Don’t let crater cakes, soggy muffins, or lifeless loaves get you down. We have a fix for all of your baking fails!

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You overheat chocolate
Photo: Romulo Yanes & Randy Mayor

You overheat chocolate

The Result: Instead of having a smooth, creamy, luxurious consistency, your chocolate is grainy, separated, or scorched.

The Fix: The best way to melt chocolate is to go slowly, heat gently, remove from the heat before it’s fully melted, and stir until smooth. If using the microwave, proceed cautiously, stopping every 20 to 30 seconds to stir. If using a double boiler, make sure the water is simmering, not boiling. It’s very easy to ruin chocolate, and there is no road back.

Contributing Editor Julianna Grimes recently made a cake but didn’t pay close enough attention while microwaving the chocolate. It curdled. "It was all the chocolate I had on hand, so I had to dump it and change my plans."

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