A food scientist and dietitian, Ann Reardon LOVES to cook desserts. “I have been cooking sweet things and collecting recipes ever since I was a little girl. What a blessing to have a mum that taught me to cook despite the mess that kids make in the kitchen,” she says. After having her third son in 2011 and staying up late nights with him, she started howtocookthat.net to stay awake. “Yes, that’s correct. Most of the first year’s posts were typed one-handed at all hours of the night while feeding a baby!” she says. Today, Reardon hosts an award-winning YouTube series, “How to Cook That,” that draws millions of baking fans each week. In her new cookbook, Crazy Sweet Creations (Mango, 2021), Reardon shares the secrets to her extravagant cakes, chocolates and eye-popping desserts. She resides in Sydney, Australia, with her family.
Ann Reardon’s Cherry Red Velvet Cupcakes
1. In cakes, butter gives a distinct flavor that some people like and others do not. Margarine generally has a mellower flavor profile, so it is not as detectable in a cake and is my first choice.
2. I’m constantly asked by bakers whether they can decrease the amount of sugar in a recipe. Most people know that this will alter the taste, but don’t realize it also has a dramatic effect in texture. There is a little bit of wiggle room; trimming back to 75 percent of the sugar will still make an acceptable cake.
3. Using whole eggs and whipping the egg whites increases the volume of a cake, resulting in a lighter and fluffier texture.