Friday, 27 July 2007

Sticky Fingers

Typical isn't it? You just get your hands into the dough or are painting the wall when the phone rings or the doorbell demands your attention. Keep a couple of plastic food bags beside you and slip one onto your hand. Saves the phone or the door knob getting covered in goo and also stops you dripping all over the floor.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Cutting Cake

To cut hot or warm cake use a thread or dental floss, hold both ends tightly and lower through slowly.

Splitting a cake layer: Most layer cake recipes are for two-layer cakes, but if you want to create a fancier dessert with four layers and more filling, you can split each cake layer in half. Use a ruler to measure the height of the cake layer. Insert wooden picks halfway up the side of the cake layer at 2-inch intervals.

To split the layer in half, place a 15- to 18-inch length of thread at the far side of the cake. Pull the ends of the thread together through the cake, following the line at the top of the wooden picks. Gently separate halves

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Keeping Things Clean and Tidy

When cooking or baking it's easy to keep utensils clean and also close to hand. Just keep them beside you in a jug of hot water. You know where they are and they are clean for the next use. Great for spooning syrup too. It just slides off the hot spoon

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Rubbing In Fat

Need to rub fat into flour for pastry or scones etc? Pop the fat into the freezer for a wee while then coursely grate it into the flour. Much easier to mix and nice and cold for the pastry.

Monday, 30 April 2007

Dried Lasagne Sheets

If making Lasagne I find the dried sheets work better than the so called ' fresh' from the supermarket. Even though the instructions say not to, I find better results by softening the sheets first by putting a roasting pan on the hob with simmering water. Place the sheets in for a few minutes . Rinse in cold water and leave on a tea towel until using.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Bechamel Sauce

Measure your milk for the bechamel sauce the day before making. Add a quartered onion about a dessert spoon of black peppercorns, two torn bay leaves and two crushed cloves of garlic and perhaps a sprig or two of thyme or any fresh herbs you want. Leave in the fridge overnight and strain before making the sauce. Wonderful flavour.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Stopping Bread Dough Sticking

When making bread drizzle some oil on the work top before pulling the risen dough out of the bowl. Rub it onto the work top with both hands. The dough will not stick to you or the work surface

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Citrus Peel

Using the juice of an orange or a lemon? Zest them first and pop the zest into a bag and freeze it. Very handy for when a recipe calls for it.

Dirty microwave? Boil the used husks of lemon up in a microwavable bowl for a few minutes until the inside of the microwave is misty. Just wipe with a damp cloth. Sparkling clean.

Been chopping onions or garlic? Rub your board with a bit of lemon to remove lingering odours.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Melting White Chocolate

When buying white chocolate make sure it contains cocoa butter. Cheaper varieties don't and so won't melt properly. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Remove it from the heat and place the bowl of white chocolate over this and melt it it stirring all the time. It won't overheat then. It burns and clumps very easily.