Top 13 baking secrets that you need to know! 18-03-15

Baking isn’t always easy work, that’s no secret, and everyone could do with a helping hand in the kitchen from time to time.

Ever got half way through a recipe and realised you’re missing a vital ingredient? Or you don’t have the proper piping equipment? Don’t worry we’ve all been there and we love finding a sweet solution to these tricky techniques. That’s why we wanted to share some of our top baking secrets with you, that’ll help get you out of any sticky situation and make your bake stand out from the rest.

But don’t go telling everyone… after all a true baker never reveals their secret ingredient!

1. Just what the doctor ordered…
If you haven’t got a piping bag, use a syringe filled with icing or frosting to expertly decorate your bakes with precision.

2. 1 of your 5 a day
Do your biscuits and cookies seem to dry up once they’re in the cupboard? Try storing them with a wedge of apple! The biscuits will absorb some of the apple’s moisture, keeping them soft and ready-to-eat for much longer, which is what we like to hear!

3. Simply delicious!
Struggling to create a two tone buttercream affect? Simply place two separate bags of frosting into the piping bag and pipe through one tip! You’ll soon see the simple yet stunning ombre effect of two tone buttercream!

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4. Get rid of those muffin tops!
 Looking to make your bakes a little healthier? Swap your butter for avocado!

5. Memory like a sieve?
Just realised you forgot to buy brown sugar for your recipe and you only have white? Simply combine 1 cup of sugar with 2 Tbsps. of treacle in a processor to create your own fluffy brown sugar! *This is still the equivalent to 1 cup of sugar!

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6. Perfect timing…
Don’t have time to decorate your cake straight after baking? To keep your cake moist until you are ready to add the frosting, simply store with a slice of bread on top. Looking for the perfect place to store your cake? It’s the microwave! It’s sealed, it’s free from dust and it will keep your cake fresher for longer. 

7. One scoop or two?
One cupcake always seem to be that bit bigger than the rest? To get perfectly even cupcakes every time, divide the mixture into their cases using an ice cream scoop sprayed with cooking oil.

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8. How do you like your eggs?  
At room temperature – of course!  
When baking with eggs at room temperature the whites and yolks combine easier and more evenly leading to a better, airier consistency.  If you forget to take your eggs out the fridge an hour before cooking, just place them in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes and you're good to go! 

9. Got milk?
If you don’t have buttermilk and need it for a recipe, combining normal milk and lemon juice or vinegar will do the trick! 

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10. Get stuck in…
When making a recipe for something that is sticky but that needs to be formed into a precise shape by hand, get your hands wet first! When your hands are wet, the food won't stick to your fingers, making it much easier to get the food into the shape you need. 

11. A slice of something nice!
Use a hot knife to get a perfect slice when cutting your cake!
Run your knife underneath hot water, dry it off with a towel, and then cut your cake. You may need to re-heat the knife a couple times throughout the process but it creates a perfectly clean slice, especially on thick, rich cakes like chocolate ganache or brownies.

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12. Freezing fantastic!
Next time you make a batch of cookies, freeze the leftover dough into ready-to-bake cookie balls. You will always have fresh-baked cookies just 10 minutes away – now that’s what we call a delicious quick snack!

13. A sweet secret…
If you’ve run out of icing sugar, you can easily create your own from granulated sugar! Simply place it in the food blender until it reaches a powdery consistency. Simple!

If you have some baking secrets of your own then we’d love to hear from you via our Twitter page.