5 Baking Tips For Beginners From MasterChef Judge Christina Tosi

Photograph Courtesy of Fox.
Not only is Christina Tosi an all-around badass in the kitchen (her signature treats like Crack Pie and Cereal Milk soft-serve can be found at Momofuku Milk Bar or in her two cookbooks), she’s also officially the first female judge on MasterChef. Ahead of the new season, which premieres May 20, we caught up with Tosi (and took her cake-making class!) to discuss her new title and get some baking tips.
Tosi says she's excited to bring more dessert challenges to the show and be a chef that women can look up to. "It’s an amazing feeling to know that you are setting a example and being a role model in the professional space," she explained.
So, what's the secret to her success? "Be honest and stay true to myself. Those really simple life devices are the secret to my success."
Ahead, five baking tips we learned from Tosi that might even convince you to turn on your oven!
Photograph Courtesy of Fox.
1. It’s all about your mind-set.
“Baking is a science, but it is also about love. Approach it with that sort of care, [and] whatever you make will turn out great.”
2. Using boxed cake mix is totally okay.
“Start simple. I learned how to bake with boxed cake mix.” New to baking? You can practice with boxed cake mix or store-bought cookie dough to understand how cakes and cookies bake before you move on to a more complicated recipe.
3. Great desserts can happen by accident.
If you’re lucky enough to have tried Christina Tosi’s super popular cake truffles at Milk Bar, you know they are absolutely delicious. And, as it turns out, they were actually originally created as a means to put leftover cake scraps to good use (one of Tosi’s goals is to not waste anything in the kitchen). If you mess up a dessert or need to try switching things up while you’re baking, don’t stress — it might turn out to be something great!
4. Work smarter (not harder) in the kitchen.
Tosi wants to keep her baking operation as efficient as possible, so she’s come up with a few shortcuts over the years. She definitely wouldn’t recommend sacrificing quality or flavor, but there are certain kitchen tools and status quo baking methods you can skip to make baking easier. For example, if you’re planning to frost a dessert (say, cupcakes), you don’t really need an offset spatula. Tosi’s pro-tip? Use the bottom of a metal spoon! Just bend the handle of a cheap metal spoon until you get the angle that works best for you and you’ll have an easy-to-use makeshift froster! 5. Always start with a point of inspiration.
“Understand why you’re using flavors and your point of inspiration when you’re in the kitchen,” she says. All of Tosi’s desserts have a point of inspiration, and she suggests bringing that thought process to home baking, too. Even when experimenting with boxed cake mix or if you're adding mix-ins to an already-established recipe, have an idea of what you want the finished product to taste like before you start getting messy in the kitchen.

More from Food & Drinks

R29 Original Series