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Baking and cooking tips
Baking and cooking tips
- Split a vanilla bean in half and sink in a jar full of sugar. Let it sit for a week for delicious vanilla-perfumed sugar.
Perfect for baking, great in coffee or tea, or sprinkled over oats
- Avoid bacteria build up on your cutting board. Cut a lemon in half and coat the exposed side with coarse salt. Then, use it to scrub your cutting board and rinse clean.
- Braai Kebabs: Use fresh rosemary skewers for your braai kebabs for a delicious flavour.
- Test Baking Powder for freshness: Add half a teaspoon of baking powder to 2 tablespoons of warm water. This should cause an instant reaction with bubbles and foam. If not, then the baking powder is not fresh.
- Soft Peaks: Beat cream until the mixture forms soft, rounded peaks that fall over when the whisk is removed. Stiff Peaks: Beat cream until the mixture form stiff, pointed peaks when the whisk is removed.
- For a better flavour and texture, coat your fresh fruit with a layer of sugar before freezing, or freeze in sugar syrup.
- How do you keep the balance of your cake fresh? Place a piece of bread on the exposed sides and use a toothpick to keep it in place.
- We all have baked a cake that has flopped. To prevent your cake from collapsing or the crust to crack, please click here to find out what might have gone wrong.
- Did you know that it is the sugar content of biscuits and cookies that gives them that appetising golden brown colour?
- When baking, cream your sugar with your butter or margarine VERY WELL, as this incorporates air into the mixture, which contributes to a much lighter baked product.
- Sprinkle a little Huletts Castor Sugar over the top of custard to prevent a skin from forming.
- Adding a pinch of sugar to dishes containing tomatoes will counteract the acidity of the tomatoes and leave a smoother taste.
- Sugar not only lengthens the freshness of baked goods, but is crucial when using a recipe that calls for yeast. Sugar hastens the rising of the dough, and improves both the texture and taste of breads and cakes.
- To keep your biscuits fresh, add a sugar cube to the container. It will absorb any moisture in the air before the biscuits do.
- Sugar helps to delay the coagulation of protein in eggs, improving the texture of baked goods. For example, it helps to prevent custard from splitting during cooking, and ensures a smooth texture.
- Coat your fresh fruit with a layer of sugar before freezing, or freeze them in sugar syrup.
- When sugar is stored properly (in a cool, dry place) it will last for years, and is often used as a natural preservative, for example in canned fruit, jams and marmalades.
- Sugar should form part of a well-balanced diet and, if eaten in moderation, will not have any harmful effects on health, such as obesity or skin disorders.
- BUTTER: DO NOT Microwave. Rather, thinly slice and cut into different lengths to make creaming easier.
- EGGS: Place in warm water while preparing other ingredients for the recipe.
- CREAM CHEESE: Place the required portion size, as stated in your recipe, in a plastic bag. Place plastic bag in lukewarm water and allow to gently reach room temperature. Avoid HOT water as it can cause cream cheese to separate.
- Substitute 1 tsp Baking Powder with ½ Tsp Cream of Tartar + ¼ Tsp Baking Soda.
- Substitute Dry Bread Crumbs with Rolled Oats OR Crushed Bran Cereal.
- Substitute 1 Cup Buttermilk with 1 Cup Milk + 1 Tbsp Vinegar / Lemon Juice / 1 Cup Yoghurt.
- Master the art of baking with frozen fruits and berries. Simply coat frozen fruit in a small amount of flour before adding to pie or cake mixtures. The flour prevents the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the pan.
- Laying your fish on a bed of lemon slices when braaing, stops it from sticking to the grill. The lemon also adds moisture and releases a burst of flavour to the fish.
- Sudden craving for banana bread but your fruit isn't ripe enough? Simply pop the bananas in a pre-heated oven at 150°C for 40 minutes. The skins might blacken but the fruit will soften up perfectly.
- Making a perfect roast lamb can be tricky. Use this handy guide to ensure perfectly cooked lamb every time.
RARE: Cook for 20-25 minutes per 500g at 163°C
MEDIUM: Cook for 25-30 minutes per 500g at 163°C
WELL DONE: Cook for 30-35 minutes per 500g at 163°C
Rare, Medium or Well Done? No matter how you like it, you'll never go wrong again with these easy to remember timings.
RARE: Cook for 20 minutes per 450g at 180°C
MEDIUM: Cook for 30 minutes per 450g at 180°C
WELL DONE: Cook for 30 minutes per 450g at 180°C
- Healthy snacks to include in your child’s lunch box:
- Fresh fruit
- Unsalted mixed nuts
- Roasted corn-on-the-cob
- Yoghurt or custard
- Home-made muffins
- Home-made banana and nut bread
- Crackers with cheese or a spread
- Oatmeal biscuits
- Raw veggies (carrots, snap peas, cherry tomatoes and baby corn)
- Keep it interesting and add an element of surprise! Using cookie cutters, create a heart shaped sandwich and change shapes daily. The fruit may be assembled in the shape of a flower.