Planning and making a baking video for my YouTube channel is just like planning to do any TV show. Organization is key! Creating a baked good can seem quite complicated. That is why I do my best to break down the entire recipe into specific steps that must be easy to follow.

I usually start by reading over the recipe, figuring out exactly what steps to show viewers, and then discussing each shot with my videographer. The set up of shots can and often do change during the actual shoot.

If the camera does not pick up on what I am trying to communicate to the audience my videographer and I may re-vamp the shot or tweak the angle at which the camera shows the action. Sometimes a still photo is shown to enhance what is in a bowl, for example.

The baked goods are almost never made in real time, because that would take forever. They are actually made ahead in various stages. I may make a dough ahead of time and chill it in the fridge the day before. This is done especially if a newly made dough on camera would be too soft if used right away without being allowed to firm up in the fridge.

I usually make a finished baked good earlier in the day, or the day before, to show how it should look after baking. This is referred to as the “hero” shot. Sometimes I will make a cake and save the actual act of frosting the cake to do on camera.

There can also be frustrations to deal with when doing  videos, especially if your kitchen is not an actual TV set with just the right acoustics, lighting, etc. For example, light may reflect off of the microwave or another appliance wreaking havoc.

My videographer and I always review all footage so that even before the actual act of editing begins we are sure that I have included all the steps I needed and the viewer has a idea of what I am making.

Time is also crucial meaning the video should NOT take FOREVER. No one wants to hear a diatribe on ANYTHING for several minutes or anyone yammering on and on. Alas, I am still working on the timing thing– always trying to make the videos a bit shorter.

I just finished two videos a few days ago, and I had a few screw ups for lack of a better expression. I made a Double Cheese Cherry Danish for one video and had to make one to completion. To make a long story short, I forgot to put the cherries in by accident, so I made a very delicious Double Cheese Cherry-less Danish. Whoops! Obviously, I couldn’t use it for the video.

I guess I was trying to do too much at once, and as the Danish was baking I noticed the cherries on the table in a bowl. Why I asked myself were there cherries on the counter??  Just then, a light bulb went off in my head. Yikes! Too late! By the time I saw them, the Danish was finishing up and looking GORGEOUS! Too bad, too. I felt like I was looking at the woman with that proverbial little black dress– but NO pearls! Just like there were no cherries.

I was so mad. The solution? I just made the Danish in real time, but thankfully, I had a chilled dough in the fridge ready to go. It was just one of those days, and thankfully, I don’t have too many of them.

So now I have three Danishes– two with cherries and one without. Brunch, anyone??

Happy Baking!

Chef Gail