Whenever I’m thinking of recipes to share here on Patchwork, I always go to my recipe notebook first, it’s missing a cover, the writing in it is illegible to anyone but me and the pages are decorated with butter stains and crumbs. Not just any recipe gets to join its pages, they are tested and tweaked and tasted and tinkered with. They are rock solid family favourites.
The first two pages are full of little baking tips that I have picked up along the way and yesterday, when I grabbed my book to see what I would share with you guys this week, I realised that the first two pages were the most important. So here they are, I hope they help in your baking journeys.
Enjoy, and please feel free to share any of your tips below in the comments section.
- If your butter is in the fridge and the recipe calls for it to be soft, just grate it like cheese.
- Always preheat your oven to 20 degrees above what the recipe says then turn it down after you pop your stuff in, this way it allows for the heat that escapes when you open it.
- When you’re making biscuits, double the recipe then freeze half of it in a zip lock bag. Dough freezes perfectly and it means there is no mess the next time you want to make a batch.
- Everything looks pretty with sprinkles or shaved chocolate on it.
- When you’re piping a butter cream swirl (like a soft serve) always start with a dollup in the middle then do a spiral starting from the outside. Like in this video.
- Biscuits will harden after they cool so never think that they are too soft to come out of the oven.
- When you put cupcake batter in the pans, always tap them on the counter to get the air out.
- If you don’t have enough batter to fill each cupcake pan, half fill the empty ones with water so the rest cook evenly.
- Just use a cheap packet mix if you’re cooking cupcakes for toddlers, they are only going to eat the icing anyway.
- Always add some good quality vanilla extract to said packet mixes.
- Nothing can go wrong when you combine cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and lemon rind.
- For cakes, totally ignore cooking times and go by smell and sight. If in doubt, always pull it out, you can put it back in but you can’t un-cook it.
- You can inject chocolate sauce, lemon curd or strawberry topping into a cooked cupcake with a medicine syringe.
- You can make the world’s best lemon curd in the microwave. This recipe is my favourite.
- When you are baking for an event, un-iced cakes and cupcakes can be cooked up to three weeks early and frozen (so long as they are wrapped well to avoid freezer burn) they actually taste better after being frozen a lot of the time.
- You can put the icing on cakes while they are defrosting, especially in Summer, that way the icing won’t melt off.
- This is the best buttercream icing recipe ever.
- You can make donut holes in a cake pop maker.
- Butter can be substituted directly for coconut oil, gram for gram.
- Before you start every recipe, unload the dishwasher.