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5 Tips to help with your baking

5 Tips to help with your baking

Here are five tips to help with your baking that might not turn you into Mary Berry or Delia Smith but could help you aviod a soggy bottom! 

You never know when a situation could call for a scone or a piece of cake, like every time we make a cup of tea! Try out these tips to make sure you're prepared from the beginning and learn how to make your delicious baked treats last longer. 

Preparing baking trays and tins 

A woman buttering a baking tray Credit: Oksana Kuznetsova

Grease baking trays and tins very carefully with butter, making sure the smallest grooves and edges are greased to prevent mixture sticking during baking. Dust inside evenly with flour; remove excess. Finely chopped nuts, breadcrumbs or cake crumbs can be used instead of flour. 

"Grease baking trays and tins very carefully with butter to prevent mixture sticking during baking"

Baking trays, springform tins and loaf tins can be lined with baking (parchment) paper cut to fit. In this case it is usually not necessary to grease and dust them. 

Remove the baking paper from a cooked cake just before cutting and serving; it will stay fresh longer. 

Turning a cake out 

Remove the cake from the oven when done and leave it in the tin for ten minutes. Then loosen the cake carefully from the edge of the tin with a knife and turn it out onto a wire rack. To remove a cake from a loaf tin, slide it out onto the rack sideways to prevent it breaking. 

Icing the cake 

Woman icing a tiered cake Credit: Comeback Images

Do not try to ice a cake until it has cooled completely. For a more moist cake, first brush the surface lightly with melted, finely sieved apricot jam; then apply the icing. 

Keeping qualities 

Bake cake mixture as soon as it is ready. If there is an unavoidable delay, cover the bowl with cling film and place it in the refrigerator. Do not leave the raw mixture at room temperature; heat will preamturely activate any baking powder present in the ingredients. 

Some baked cakes will remain fresh for three to five days if placed in a cool place in a plastic bag or a tin, or under an inverted cake tin. Many cakes freeze well, keeping for up to six months. 

"Many cakes freeze well, keeping for up to six months"

To freeze portions, cut the cake into slices and place them beside one another on a caking try. Cover with cling film; freeze for several hours. Place the frozen slices in a freezer bag; seal carefully to make airtight. Slices can be removed as they're needed and thawed quickly at room temperature. 

Using leftover cake

A fruit trifle Credit: bhofack2

To make a trifle, cut slightly dry leftover cake into slices and drizzle with fruit juice or a mixture of fruit juice and liquer. Layer cake slices in a bowl, alternating with layers of custard and berries or stewed fruit. Cover with cling film. Place in the refrigerator for at least five hours or preferably overnight; the cake will soften and the flavours will develop. 

Cover with thickly whipped cream, decorate with berries or slices of fresh fruit and serve as a dessert. 

"For a quick and easy ice cream dessert, crumble slightly dry left-over cake coarsley and stir through shop-bought ice cream"

For a quick and easy ice cream dessert, crumble slightly dry left-over cake coarsley and stir through shop-bought ice cream. Return the mixture to the freezer to harden slightly before serving. Serve with fresh fruit or chocolate sauce

Crumble leftover cake and mix with melted butter and use this delicious butter mixture for dessert cakes which require a crumb base. It can also be used for toppings. 

Banner credit: Valerii Apetroaiei

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