Bake with Anna Olson

From vibrant multi-layered buttercream cakes, to indulgently creamy caramel chocolate bars, you’ll soon be an expert baker of mouthwatering desserts when you master the art of the bake. Catch award-winning celebrity chef Anna Olson in this bite-sized baking series as she teaches you simple tips and tricks to up your baking game.

Bake with Anna Olson: Basics

Test Your Baking Skills & Win AFN Merchandise!

Here's a test if you've got the basics of baking covered!
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Basic Baking Terms

What does it mean to “cream” butter and sugar? How about “beating in ingredients?” And what is a “whipping” action, that is often essential to perfect meringues and cream? Anna takes you on a quick tour of basic baking terminology out there. In just under 2 minutes, she dissects the often used baking methods out there, and gets you “all set to get baking” in no time.

Separating Eggs

As simply put by Anna, “We as bakers take little tasks like cracking an egg for granted.” Most of us can’t live without eggs and use them daily in our cooking, be it in soups, in bread or even in fried rice or noodles. Want to learn some nifty egg tricks? Let professional pastry chef Anna Olson show you how you can master the art of cracking and separating eggs in this episode.

Yeast 101

It’s aliiiive! Yes, yeast is a single-cell organism that feeds happily on sugar and starch, ballooning (proofing) in size, and ultimately giving us that lovely fluff and stretch we enjoy in our breads and buns. Anna walks you through the three basic styles of yeast and how to work with them in this video, allowing you, as she says, “to make bread with confidence!”

Kneading Dough

Be it butter brioche rolls, pillow-soft mantous (steamed buns) or beautifully braided challah, we will be kneading dough (pun intended!) for it. It’s not just a mindless chore that we have to put ourselves through – in fact, as Anna explains, “making dough from scratch is one of the most gratifying task.” Whether it’s your first time working with dough or you just want to pick up some tips from a pro, let Anna guide you on getting the right consistency and identifying the telltale moment you have the “perfectly kneaded dough.”
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Storing Dry Goods

We’ve all experienced that hesitation while baking when looking at some of our ingredients (especially if you haven’t baked in a long while). How long has that chocolate been there for? Are these nuts still good to use? Is my flour still fresh? Anna takes you through your pantry, and gives helpful storage and shelf-life advice on the different ingredients you would normally use in baking. As she puts it, this video has “everything you need to know to keep your pantry stocked, fresh and ready for baking.”

Chocolate 101

This by-product of cacao seeds might be one of the most well-loved ingredient in baking ever. Who can resist the silky rich and slightly bitter taste of chocolate? You’ll learn how to use the different types of chocolates for your sweet creations, and discover its magical versatility which ranges from “really sweet and mild to super dark and intense.” Plus, find out which is this expert baker’s chocolate baking choice.

Choosing Dairy

Anna’s top advice for choosing dairy? Don’t bake with skim milk! “It’s like baking with water,” she describes. Choosing the right dairy does not solely refer to milk – it also covers cream, yogurt and sour cream. Rich and decadent desserts are impossible to recreate without the right amount and right type of dairy product. Tune in to this episode to get the best baked goods every single time

Baking without Wheat Flour

Before you dismiss the impossible, Anna nips your fears in the bud by reassuring you that baking gluten-free “doesn’t mean you have to throw out your recipe books and start again.” Not only does she show you the substantial array of substitutes out in the market, she reveals her all-time-favorite wheat flour replacement that tastes almost the same as wheat flour! Discover how to bake without gluten and transform your recipes easily with her Anna’s methods.
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Infusing Flavours

Working flavors into your desserts is sometimes easy, big and bold. Other times, the addition of flavors is more subtle. Anna defines infusing flavors as “transferring flavors from one ingredient to another”. From Crème Brûlée to maple syrup and honey, there are so many ways to spice up your sweet treats! Think outside of the box and you’ll be surprised at what you can cook up.

Classic Piping Tips

From getting every bit of frosting down to the bottom to test-running many pretty styles of piping before you decide which one you want on your cake, Anna shares her “two very basic tips with lots of design options” in a visually appealing manner in this how-to video. Learn how to beautify your yummy creations with her classic piping tips!

How To Fill a Cake

Feast your eyes on how Anna expertly fills her cake with a luscious cherry jam, held in by decadent buttercream in this episode. She imparts various techniques to layer your cake well, which will then provide an easy base to do your frosting and decorating on. “When I slice into it, it will slice beautifully without squishing a bit,” she proudly asserts. Now, don’t we all crave for that instagram-worthy slice of cake?

Flawless Pie Crust

Anna teaches you her signature moves to creating a flawless pie crust that will certainly alleviate your anxiety in making pie dough. Using her Blue Ribbon Apple Pie recipe, she points out several tips and tricks that goes into perfecting that pie crust, leaving you a smooth surface without cracks. Follow along as Anna illustrates how easy it is to achieve a lovely pie dough that is ready to “Tuck, trim, fill and bake.”
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Covering a Cake in Fondant

If you don’t already know, fondant is an icing used to shape and sculpt those fabulous designs you see on wedding cakes and fancy pastries. Anna goes through some crucial information when it comes to covering a cake in fondant, taking you step by step on how you can create your first (or not) fondant over your cake. We couldn’t sum it up better than the pro-chef herself when she encourages viewers to “get creative, have fun and enjoy the delicious results.

Whipping Egg Whites

Does obtaining soft, medium or stiff peaks sound difficult to you? Anna breaks down this essential process for your fluffy Japanese cheesecakes, delicate macaroons and classic Russian pavlova into easy-to-follow instructions. She’s definitely more than happy to offer up some “simple tips so you can whip your egg whites perfectly every time!”

Blind Baking Basics

What does it mean to “cream” butter and sugar? How about “beating in ingredients?” And what is a “whipping” action, that is often essential to perfect meringues and cream? Anna takes you on a quick tour of basic baking terminology out there. In just under 2 minutes, she dissects the often used baking methods out there, and gets you “all set to get baking” in no time.

Bake with Anna Olson (Advanced)

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Fixing Split Chocolate

Has your chocolate gone from shiny and smooth to “part greasy and part gritty” all of a sudden? Anna not only explains why that is so, but also gives you a handy fix for split chocolate so that you don’t have to pour all that expensive chocolate away! Bring back the gloss in your chocolate with her quick and easy method, and continue making your decadent chocolate dessert without having to start all over.
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Royal Icing Piping Tips

Piping royal icing on a fondant cake is simpler than it looks, and Anna demonstrates how it’s done on a tiered cake that already has the fondant layer on. There’re a few functions to royal icing that’s not just decorative, and Anna shows you how this pretty and functional icing can be easily transferred onto your baked creations!

Fondant Flowers

When you’re done covering your cake in fondant and decorating the sides, Anna has the perfect suggestion for completing your cake decoration – Fondant Flowers! In this fun, fulfilling how-to video, get creative with fondant dough (just like play dough!) to create some pretty cut-out shapes to “add polish to a special occasion cake”.

Fixing Overwhipped Egg Whites

We’ve all been there – enthusiastically (or perhaps over enthusiastically) whipping our egg whites and oops! We missed the window of opportunity to create the required soft or stiff peaks. When your egg whites lose their gloss and are not smooth anymore, Anna has the perfect solution to rescue them so that you don’t have to waste those precious eggs.
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Masking a Layer Cake

Masking a cake is when you put frosting over the top and sides in a clean, plain fashion. For more ambitious home bakers, Anna has several quick tips and tricks for you to create a clean and precise masking layer over your delicious bakes. Get your blank slate right and your subsequent embellishments will stay on properly.

Piping Rosettes

Even if you have never decorated a cake before, Anna shows you how to get started with the “simplest and the prettiest” piping style that “looks just like real roses!” Whether you’re tasked with baking and decorating a birthday treat or Mother’s Day cake, this easy and beautiful piping style can be done in a single, continuous move, allowing you to cover your cake base with a bouquet of pink, red or blue roses in no time.

Piping with Leaf Tips

There’s a whole world of piping design possibilities out there, but one of Anna’s go-to favorites for simple wedding cakes is the Leaf Tip design. She shows you how to create an easy leaf ring around your cake, as well as how to create a gorgeous layered leaf crown to cover the top. New to this and made a mistake? Well, as Anna says, “scrape it off and start again”.
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10 Kinds Of Flours And How To Use Them

From all-purpose flour to slightly sweet tapioca flour that's used in many Nyonya kuehs, master the uses of different kinds of flours to create even more delicious meals and desserts!
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