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Baking tips, helpful hints, how to guides, decorating, tools & their uses...

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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.
If you want to add some height or depth to your cakes without breaking the bank, then why not use some of these handy tips and tricks. 1 Try using separators, hanging jewels or glass inserts to create elaborate designs and give you that much-needed height. 2 Add inexpensive cake toppers such as Mr & Mrs, Happy Birthday or make your own design to give the cake some much-needed flair. 3 Use dummy tiers. This is because you can have them decorated the same as the rest of your cake, and they don't cost the earth. They add additional height and wow factor to your cake, giving you the overall effect you are looking for. You can have a large cake for a small gathering, and you won't have any cake wastage. They're a lot cheaper on your...
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
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...
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...
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...
Whether you call them cocktail sticks or toothpicks, there is no doubt that these little 'picks' come in handy for all sorts of culinary delights! You'll also be pleased to know that not only are they great for cheese and pineapple, but they're also a great bakers tool too. If you want something less invasive than a skewer to test your bakes, then these little sticks will allow you to check if your baked goods are done without damaging the overall effect. Simply insert the stick into the centre of your bake; if the stick comes out clean, the bake is done; however, if there is a gooey mixture or cake and crumbs attached, put it back in the oven, and bake a little longer.
When making whipped cream, be sure to make all the ingredients and utensils as COLD as possible, as this assists fabulously with the whipping process! By that, I mean place the beaters from your electric whisk and the glass bowl into the fridge about 20-30 minutes before use. Note: The cream will expand/double in size when whipped thoroughly, so ensure that the bowl you are using is big enough to accommodate the volume of cream. Icing sugar may also be added to the cream for a little extra sweetness!
I've put together some hints and tips on making paint with Gold Lustre, and some do's, don'ts and possible outcomes when making edible paint. What alcoholic products can I use to make edible paint? You can make edible paint using Vodka, Rejuvenator Spirit or Vanilla/Lemon Extract, as they are all alcohol-based. The lemon extract also contains oils that mix well with the dust, helping it flow/paint better. Please note that the Vanilla or Lemon Extract may leave a residual taste on your painted goods. How to make the paint? Do it in stages; add small amounts of each substance if you can; if it's too thick, add alcohol; if too thin, add more lustre. Keep combining it until you reach the required consistency. Tips and Advice when...
If you haven't made Cakesicles before and are thinking of having a go at them, then here are a few handy tips to help you out. Cakesicles Tips Wipe your moulds out beforehand with vodka/alcohol; this will remove any residue or watermarks that are in your lolly moulds and may even make them a little shinier. Ensure you cover all the surface of the mould, especially near the lolly stick, and make sure the layer is thick enough so that it doesn't break. Less is more, so don't overfill them. Use quality ingredients to get the best output. (I found Candy Melts and Colour Mill Dyes gave me fabulous results!) Cakesicles
I'm so excited to announce that my new book 99 Baking and Decorating Tips by Angie Fairbrother is now available on Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback format. (Cue happy dance!) I've wanted to write a book for a long time and created this one to help and assist those of you who need a little go-to guide once in a while. It's great for kids who are interested in baking, it's helpful to those of you that have an idea of what you're doing, and there is even stuff in there to help those who have a pretty good idea of what to do too. In short, I start the book from turning the oven on (which is an essential tip in itself) and include things that have helped me along the way. There are pictures next to each tip so if you're flicking...
How do you get rid of the big chunks of butter and flour in your scone mix? An easy way to remove the big chunks of butter and flour that have clumped together in your scone mix is to shake the bowl. The larger pieces rise to the top when you shake it making it easier for you to find. Once they appear, rub them into between your thumb and fingertips to turn them back into smaller breadcrumb pieces.
A hard bristle brush can be picked up from any store relatively cheaply, once washed and dried properly it can be used to make texture on your icing fondant. For example: 1. Indent green icing fondant to make grass strokes. 2. Dig into a light brown icing fondant to create sand grains. 3. Or press into any colour of your choosing to add a small pattern.
Yep, we've all done it, yes you know that fight with the cling film when you can't find the edge of it, or it's ravelled itself around the tube, and you spend ages picking at it or in the end, you get a sheet of it, and you have to waft it about, so it doesn't wrinkle! Well, my lovelies, have no fear, as there is now a straightforward yet effective way of storing your cling film, and all you'll need is your freezer! You see, by storing the film in the freezer, the coldness alters the molecular structure of the wrap by removing the static and 'stickiness', therefore, making it much easier to unravel and cover your dishes. Now don't worry, this is only temporary, and once the film/wrap has acclimatised, it will then revert to its...
Baking times define whether a brownie is gooey or not so if you want to add some extra scrumptiousness then try adding some Greek Yoghurt or Sour Cream to your recipe for an extra soft, moist bake.
If you don't have a cake template for the shape you need, then here's a tip on how to make your own. All you need to do is draw or trace the shape onto a clean piece of cardboard and then cut it out with a pair of scissors. Once you have the correct sized shape, place the template on your cake and cut around it carefully with a knife. If you don't have pieces of card, you could always use baking paper or drawing paper as an alternative. You can make triangles, waves, hearts, animal shapes etc. The designs are endless.
Most people will have a roll of kitchen towel in their kitchen, so you'll be pleased to know that not only will it wipe up your messes it can also come in handy for a quick decorating idea too. If you have a buttercream cake and would like a quick pattern design etched into it, then lightly press the kitchen roll into the cake when set. The design from the kitchen towel will transfer onto the buttercream, giving you an instant pattern. If you wish you can leave it like that or enhance the cake by piping over it.
If you are using nuts in your recipe, then cast your eyes over these quick tips. Chopped Nuts - The best way to chop nuts and give them a good texture is to cut them by hand with a large knife. Flavour - Slowly pulsing them intermittently in the food processor releases the flavour. Nut Paste - By placing your nuts on high speed in a food processor it releases the oils and creates a nut paste.
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