The Biggest Mistake Duff Goldman Thinks Contestants Make In Baking Competitions

Some people watch baking shows like "Holiday Baking Championship" or "The Greatest British Baking Show" as a stress reliever while others religiously tune in because they see it as an opportunity to learn from the best of the best. Whichever category you fall into, you've probably seen some crazy things go down on your TV screen, like maybe a contestant's cake toppling over at the last second or fondant gone wrong. Sure, blame it on bad luck. But, renowned pastry chef Duff Goldman makes a strong argument that many of these situations are silly mistakes that could have been avoided.

According to the Charm City Cakes owner, the number one mistake he sees in baking competitions is bakers not setting aside enough time in the schedule for their baked goods to properly cool (via Insider). This is extremely prevalent in fast-paced competitions where contestants are baking on a very tight deadline and under more stressful conditions than they're typically used to. And, on top of that, they're being filmed.

Duff Goldman believes cooling is an integral of the baking process

Cooling baked desserts, especially cakes, in the fridge can jeopardize the taste and texture. "They'll put hot baked goods into the fridge or freezer to cool them more quickly, but things should cool at room temperature," Goldman explained to Insider. "Putting flour-based, hot items in a fridge can cause them to get gummy and lose the textures that make baked goods so delicious in the first place."

Likewise, trying to ice a cake while it's still hot is a recipe for disaster. As explained by Betty Crocker, cakes are extremely fragile when they come out of the oven so trying to spread icing could result in breakage. Not to mention, a big mess, crumbly finish, and runny, melted icing. It's recommended that one removes the cake from its baking pan and onto a cool rack and waits two to three hours before icing. To help speed up the cooling process, you can try airing out your cake by cutting it into layers, but you'll need to be super careful and steady.