Hi friends! Hope you are having a lovely day! If you are getting A-level results in the UK, well done on passing your final year at school and moving on to bigger things. You will grow so much this next year! I remember when I got my results, I was sooo nervous, I thought it was the end of the world if I failed, so not true, everyone excels at different things :).A special well done to my little sister Nikki, on doing really well, even though she though she said she wouldn't. I'm a proud big sister :). That said I have a bit of a different post for you today, no recipes just some of my baking tips. Now firstly, I am not a professional, these are just things that I would always do when baking. I think they work pretty well so here we go...
(just a wee pic of my man and I , aren't we lovely haha!)
1. Never use cooking chocolate! A bold statement I know, but this stuff is vile, it should never have been invented in my opinion!! Most supermarkets have a value or cheap range, use their chocolate instead, the taste is something much more worth get excited about :). I think that you can really taste the difference.
2. I always double the amount of vanilla in a recipe, the professionals would probably scorn at me for suggesting this! I love vanilla, it's so dreamy :)!
3. When testing if cakes and buns have had enough oven time, insert a skewer into the middle, if it comes out clean, they are done! This tip completely revolutionised my baking, it was so much easier to get a perfect bake (only after all the mistakes I have made!).
4. Cream cheese is a wonderful alternative to sour cream. I only recently discovered this tip, my local supermarket didn't have any sour cream (can you imagine...grr!). I think it works just as well, if you are concerned with calories you could also use low fat cream cheese.
5.Ground nut oil is a good alternative to butter. I would always use equal amount of oil to butter. This works really well with chocolate bakes and adds a very delicate nutty flavour. You could also use other nutty oils as well, depending on what you had hanging about your kitchen :).
6.Whenever I make butter or cream cheese icing, it always goes quite runny. So to stop this I would make it a little in advance and leave in the fridge to firm up. This makes it much easier to pipe into pretty patterns on the tops of cakes, cupcakes and muffins!
7. If you add extra dry ingredients always add equal wet ingredients. For example if you add some lemon juice add something dry :). Not a very exact tip but it works well for me :).
8. Always check your bakes 5mins before the time the recipe says. Everyone has a different type of oven (mine is pretty crappy, cos I'm only a poor student, awh!) and they all reach different temperatures. This tip just means that your risk of over baking is muchly diminished.
9. Don't grease you tins too much! I would even go as far as saying that if you can get away with it, don't grease them, greaseproof paper works very well. Too much grease leads to soggy bottomed cakes (and no one likes a soggy bottom hehe!).
10. This is probably the most important tip of all....ENJOY!! Baking is fun, it doesn't matter if you aren't Julia Child or Mary Berry, as long as you have fun :). I find baking relaxing and fun, it's my favourite hobby! I will never be a professional but that's ok, I'm happy just having fun with it :).
Tips over! I hope you find these helpful, you never know, after a few more months of baking experience, I could do instalment number 2 of tips. Let me know if you found this helpful! Happy baking!
Do you have any tips to share with me? I would love to learn from you!