Sometimes, you won’t know until it happens: your cakes don’t rise enough, your cookies take longer to bake than expected, or your meringue ends up chewy instead of crunchy. The rainy weather does more to your baking that you think it does—humidity and moisture can sneak into your raw ingredients and batter, and make your baked treats more heavy or dense. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you bake on a rainy day:
1 Avoid making meringues.
Meringues are made up of two main ingredients: egg whites and sugar. Sugar easily absorbs moisture in the air and will prevent you from achieving strong and sturdy stiff peaks. Avoid baking cakes that need meringues to give it a lift (like chiffon cakes and sponge cakes) and opt for butter-based cakes instead. If you’re baking a classic meringue, expect them to be chewy and soft instead of crisp and light.
2 When it comes to cakes, don’t skip the crumb coat.
Cakes will most likely soften and form moist surfaces as they cool down on a rainy day. This might make them difficult to frost, and extra crumbly on the surface. Place your completely cooled cake in the chiller for a few minutes to help the surface firm up, then proceed to frost a crumb coat around your cake to keep loose pieces in place.
3 Store your ingredients properly.
Most baked treats are impossible to make without flour and sugar: two ingredients that tend to be affected by humidity if not stored properly. Once the rainy season hits, store your flour, sugar, yeast, and leavening agents in airtight containers, and keep them in a cool and dry place.