When I was a child I was amazed that my grandmother, who couldn't read at all, could cook. She just knew that if you use sour ingredients in the cake, you need soda; if the liquid is just milk, baking powder. She knew how much flour to use for a certain amount of liquid. For years I stuck to the cook books. But time and experience have taught me a number of things. One is that it rarely hurts to add another egg to the cake batter, especially if the eggs are small. Also. if you have hot coffee sitting in your coffee maker, use it instead of boiling water for chocolate cake. If you are trying to get your family to eat more whole wheat flour, it hides nicely in chocolate cake. Just don't tell them. If the batter seems too thick, add more milk. Not too much, but, say, a 1/4 cup may make an appreciable difference in the finished product. Now, I would never do this for chiffon cake, but maybe one day I will get brave and experiment with that, too.