What's new

Hints, Tips and Tools (2 Viewers)

Baking tips, helpful hints, how to guides, decorating, tools & their uses...
Over the years, I have accumulated quite a collection of cake, cupcake, and loaf tins in an array of shapes, sizes, and colours. So, it's worth mentioning that the colour/hue of your tins can have a predominant effect on your overall bake. Understanding how these tins interact with the batter during the baking process is essential for achieving the desired results, as the colour of your tin can significantly impact your final bake. If you think about it, it's much the same as you on a sunny day! By that, I mean if you wear a light T-shirt, you'll feel pretty cool and at one with the weather. However, if you wear a dark-coloured T-shirt, it usually absorbs the heat from the sun and distributes it around your body, making you feel...
Focaccia is an oven-baked Italian bread that you can make into a sweet or savoury dish depending on what you put in it. So if it's something you're looking at baking, then here are some hints and tips to make sure you get the very best out of your bake. Hints and Tips when making Focaccia Focaccia is quite a wet dough and needs a lot of water to ensure it doesn't end up with a cake-like consistency. You may wish to make it in a stand mixer. It should be proved twice. The first prove will allow the dough to double in size. Try and place it in a square tin as this will help shape it (unless you'd like to make it round). The second prove is when you place it in an oiled square/rectangular tin, being careful not to knock out too much...
Hot water pastry is used in hand-made pie crusts and is durable enough to hold some heavy fillings such as meats and root vegetables. It is a great, savoury choice and can be made in a relatively short amount of time. If you are looking to make the pastry for your pies, here are a few tips for you to focus on. Use lard, butter or a mixture of the two when making hot water pastry. Lard will give the pastry the fat, but the butter will give the pastry the flavour. To make a hot crust 'dough', the lard and butter are melted in a pan of water and brought to the boil. This is then poured directly into the flour mixture. You would then bind them together using a wooden spoon; this allows some of the heat to escape and lets the dough cool...
The Sachertorte was first created by the ingenious 16-year-old apprentice chef Franz Sacher for the Austrian Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich in 1832. This culinary masterpiece is a luxurious, rich chocolate cake filled with lashings of apricot jam and covered in a velvety chocolate glaze. It is slightly denser than that of a normal chocolate cake but is loved by millions across the world. If you are looking to recreate this beautiful classic or want to make changes to the recipe, here are a few tips to help you out. The cake should be slightly denser than a normal cake. You can use alternatives to wheat flour in the recipe. This can be chestnuts, ground almonds, pecans, etc. However, this can make the cake quite heavy. To...
Here are some tips on how to make a vertical layer cake. Overall Results A vertical cake needs height, colour and plenty of flavour. For best results, line the pan and use a light, springy sponge recipe, such as a Swiss roll for the cake layers. Buttercream or cream cheese is a great filling as it holds its shape. Tips on how to make and assemble the cake. The cakes are thin and bake very quickly in the oven, so keep an eye on them. Once baked, immediately take the sponge from the oven and turn it out onto an icing sugar/confectioners' sugar-dusted parchment sheet or tea towel. Carefully remove the backing paper and then roll it up in the tea towel/parchment paper to form a circular shape. Allow to cool. This helps create the...
Macerated strawberries are when you soften the fruit in liquid. This can sometimes be done when you have below par fruit and are looking to revive it or when you are looking to enhance the flavours of fresh fruit. How do you macerate strawberries? Cut them in half and then either soak the strawberries in a liquid such as Balsamic Vinegar or Lemon Juice or cover them in a couple of tablespoons of Sugar. This helps soften the berry and extract the juices, thus giving you a sweeter strawberry that you can then use in a dessert. Note: Make sure you Hull the Strawberries before macerating them. https://www.helpmebake.com/threads/how-to-hull-strawberries.943/ What brings out the flavour of strawberries? Believe it or not, Black Pepper...
When you make regular buttercream, it generally takes on the colour of the butter and has a creamy yellow colour to it. Now that's great if you're not bothered about the colour. However, if you'd like to get yours into a whiter shade, then all you need to do is the following. Simply add tiny amounts of purple concentrated food dye with a toothpick, yes, that's right, I did say purple. Do it in stages and mix it in. You will see the 'yellow tinge' start to disappear and the white transform in front of your very eyes. The reason this happens is that yellow and purple are complementary colours and opposite to each other on a colour wheel, so they cancel each other out, therefore, giving you a beautiful white buttercream. Great news...
If you've ever thought about freezing pastry dough, here are a few tips you might like to keep in mind. Pastry Dough You can freeze both raw dough and blind-baked pastry dough. Raw pastry dough (wrapped in a disc shape when frozen) can be thawed in the fridge and then baked. This will be a much fresher pastry when baked but will only have a short shelf life in the freezer. If you have raw pastry tart shells straight from the freezer, these can be blind-baked straight away. They may need a little longer baking time, though. Always bake chilled pastry that has been in the fridge. This relaxes the dough, chills the fats and aids in creating a lighter pastry when baked. Blind-baked pastry dough will last longer in the freezer. However...
If you are making Cinnamon Rolls and want to extend their shelf life, here are a few things you can do to keep them fresher for longer. Store them in an air-tight container once cooled. Ensure each bun is wrapped in plastic/saran wrap, and then place them in an air-tight zip-lock bag. You can keep them in the fridge for a few days but ensure they are well-wrapped and sealed so that the refrigerator doesn't dry them out. If you are making a large amount, you may well be advised to store them tightly wrapped in the freezer. If you are keeping them in a baking pan/tray, double-wrap them in plastic/saran wrap and then add an additional layer of tin foil. The reason being saran wrap/plastic wrap is breathable, so even if you wrap a...
Three milk cake, or Tres Leches as it is also known, is a beautifully moist cake covered in three types of milk. The cake originally inspired by Mexico is both bold and delicious. In order to make the cake so delicious, three types of milk are traditionally used to soak the sponge. These are evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk. However, sometimes in alternative recipes, cream may be substituted for whole milk instead. To ensure you get the best out of your Tres Leches, here are a few tips for you. Put all the milks together to make a milky syrup mixture. Prick holes in the cake and pour the milk mix in stages whilst the cake is still warm. Soak the cake in stages, allowing the cake to moisten up. Distribute the milk...
If you want that little bit extra adding to the top of your choux buns, then why not add some Craquelin dough? Not only will it give you a crackling effect, but it will also give it some texture and crunch too. Done correctly, it helps the choux expand more evenly, giving you a more rounded prettier-looking choux bun. To make craquelin, you will need equal amounts of: Softened Unsalted Butter Light Brown Sugar Plain Flour Please note that the amount you require will depend on what you are making it for. Hints and tips on how to make it: Cream the butter and the sugar together with a hand whisk. Add the flour and mix in. If flavouring, add freeze-dried strawberry powder, raspberry powder, cocoa powder, matcha powder or any kind...
If you are looking at making some Garibaldi Biscuits, then be sure to check out these hints and tips before you bake. To ensure the best out of your Garibaldi Biscuits, try some of the following:- Roll the dough thin. Chop fruit into small chunks, soak in juice and then heat and soften on the hob. Drain the fruit in a sieve, and then pour onto a plate lined with kitchen towel. This removes any extra moisture and lets the fruit cool. If you don't, the biscuits will be soft and soggy when baked and more of a pudding consistency rather than a biscuit. Chill the dough. Split the dough in two, and roll it out into rectangles. Place a dough layer, then a thin fruit layer, then another dough layer and sandwich together. Cut the finished...
If you've ever had any trouble making Macarons, here is a quick list of hints and tips that may help you with your issues. Macarons Tips Read the recipe and weigh out all your ingredients as instructed. Sift all your dry ingredients. Ensure your mixing bowl is free from grease. Whisk your egg whites using a hand whisk or stand mixer, you will not be able to incorporate the amount of air manually. If the temperature is too warm, it will be hard to get the right consistency. Temperature is vital, so if it's too warm, they may look cracked and sloppy. If living in a warm climate or working in a warm bakery, pipe the macarons at the end of the day when the ovens are off and when the temp will be at its coolest, then bake them first...
Red velvet cake can be a bit of a conundrum for some people; effectively, it's a chocolate cake with a vanilla flavour that's bright red in colour and sometimes contains vinegar! So once you've got your head and taste buds around that one, it's good to know that it should be paired with some cream cheese or mascarpone type frosting to help elevate this beautiful velvet cake. To help you achieve the overall look and texture of the cake, here are a few tips to help get you started. Tips on making a great Red Velvet Cake Use room temperature ingredients for the cake batter. Sift all your dry ingredients to get rid of any lumps. When dyeing the cake, use concentrated/gel food dye to minimise the amount of dye used. Don't overdo the...
A cake comb is a decorating tool with a straight edge or ridges (teeth) that allows you to apply patterns or straight edges on a buttercream or frosted cake. There are multiple ones to choose from, and the results you can get from them are endless. Not only can they create patterns or straight edges, but they can also be used for cutting dough and incorporating ingredients together, so you don't have to get your hands dirty. They are usually made from metal, plastic, and acrylic and help create ripples, lines and texture to your cakes. When using them, ensure you have a thick coating of buttercream on the cake so that when you scrape around the buttercream/frosting, it won't drag into your cake. Other names they are known by are...
When rolling out icing/fondant/sugarpaste onto a dusted surface, people typically use either icing sugar/confectioners sugar or cornflour/cornstarch, depending on their preferences and the colours they are rolling out. However, please note that if you're unsure which one suits you best, then why not try mixing a little of the two together and rolling out on that instead. Hints, Tips and Tools Basic Baking and Cake Decorating Recipes and Guides Tutorials
Here are five top tips for you for the festive periods or whenever you choose to make gingerbread. You can roll out your dough on a lightly dusted surface; however, if your dough is sticky, it's best to roll it out between two pieces of baking/parchment paper. To prevent any stretching of the dough, cut out your shapes first on baking/parchment paper, remove any leftover pieces and then slide the parchment and the gingerbread cutouts straight onto a baking tray. Try to cut out your cookie shapes in one go, using large and small cutters across the dough. Don't re-roll your dough too many times; otherwise, your baked cookies will be tough. Once baked, ensure that your gingerbread shapes/cookies are fully cooled before decorating...
If you are thinking of making croissants and would like a little help beforehand, check out the below hints and tips to help you bake. It's worth noting that croissants don't always come out how you planned them, and it may take you a few goes before you get them right, so remember practice makes perfect. On the other hand, you may be one of the lucky ones and produce a beautiful batch first off. Regardless of your experience, I have listed some key elements that may help you going forward. Good luck and happy baking! Ingredients and Temperature The key to a good croissant is temperature and quality ingredients. The butter and dough need to be as cold as possible. If one is warmer than the other, you'll have problems when you come...
If you have any cookies leftover and don't want them to go to waste, here are a couple of hints and tips on what you can do with them. Tips Blitz them in a food processor and use them in a deconstructed cheesecake. Chop them up and use them as a chunky ice cream topping. Add a little texture to your cupcakes by crushing and sprinkling them over your buttercream or frosting. Hints, Tips and Tools Basic Baking and Cake Decorating Recipes and Guides Tutorials
If you're looking at making Brandy Snaps or Brandy Snap Baskets, here are some tips to help you out. Brandy Snap Basket Tip If making a brandy snap basket, place a layer of chocolate on the base between the basket and the filling; this acts as a barrier and will prevent the filling from melting the sugar in the snap and stop it from going soggy or disintegrating. Brandy Snap Tips You want the brandy snap to look like it has a lacy pattern going through it. It has to have holes in it to give it a Brandy Snap look. If you cannot shape it, place it back in the oven for a few seconds and try again. The heat from the oven should soften it and make it a little more pliable. It's all about the snap; it should have a good snap and a...
If you are inspired to make this old school staple, then be sure to read the below advice and tips to ensure you get the best possible bake! Advice & Tips when making a Malt Loaf Ensure that you mix the ingredients properly and there are no flour pockets; if you don't, you will have white flour pockets throughout the bake. Be careful not to overmix the batter, as this creates gluten, causing the loaf to be chewy and tough. If you underbake the loaf, it will sink in the middle. If you overbake, it will be hard and dry. Ensure the fruit pieces are consistent and distributed evenly throughout the batter; if the pieces are too large, they will sink to the bottom of the bake. If you are using treacle or molasses in your malt loaf, warm...

Users who are viewing this forum

Back
Top