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Kitchen Wisdom

  • I saw the query on substitutes for eggs. I had to bake a cake for a little girl a number of years ago who was allergic to eggs, so I had to do some research as to what I could use instead of eggs. I found some info that said to use white vinegar instead. I used 2 teaspoons as I was making an oven pan cake. I was a bit dubious about how it would turn out, but I was quite surprised. The cake was soft and there was no taste of the vinegar. You wouldn't even know that there were no eggs in it.

    "Posted by CordyB"

  • When Adding Chocolate Chips, nuts, dried fruit etc. to a cake or biscuit batter, add them before you fold in the dried ingredients, this will make sure they are divided evenly and there will be less chance of developing the glutens in the flour because of extra-mixing! (plus trying to fold chocolate chips into a cookie dough can lead to quite a arm-ache after a while!)

    "Posted by shmolie100"

  • Self-raising flour goes off much more quickly than plain (cream) flour. Avoid this by buying only plain (cream) flour and adding one teaspoon of baking powder per 4 ozs/approx 100g of flour where self-raising flour is required.

    "Posted by dnic"

  • For an extra light and fluffy finish to any creamed sponge cake recipe, just substitute one ounce of the self raising or 'sponge' flour wirh an ounce of cornflour. Beautiful results.

    "Posted by glassdarkly"

  • When your bananas are on the turn (the blacker the better) pop them *whole* into the freezer without peeling. Defrost (in a bowl - they leak!) and snip off one end. You can then squeeze out your blob of banana mush, to be used in banana loaves, biscuits, muffins etc. with minimal mashing. It's true that bananas don't freeze at all well for raw consumption but they freeze like a dream for cake making.

    "Posted by melbelline"

  • Left over cooking pastes that you are unlikely to use by the best before date can be spooned into an ice cube tray and frozen for another time.

    "Posted by smooth&dark;"

  • When making scones, less really is more: don't knead the dough too much or they won't rise. Rub in the butter, then add the buttermilk (or plain milk and some lemon juice) and turn onto a work surface and bring the dough together with some minimal kneading (just 30 seconds or so). Also, don't use a rolling pin: just gently pat down the dough ready for cutting. When cutting them out (I use an upturned whisky glass) do not twist the glass as this will cause the scones to rise unevenly.

    "Posted by ZeTallGerman"

  • As if you ever need to make chocolate taste better... add a little coffee to a chocolate recipe and it will bring out the flavour of the chocolate. Yum

    "Posted by Nigelinthekitchen"

  • Tepid water won't kill your yeast but make sure it is tepid and not hot. Mix the water into the flour, salt and yeast with a rubber/silicon spatula until it is just mixed in (there will still be dry flour but don't panic) and let it stand for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes mix, knead, prove, shape and prove as usual and the end result will be a loaf of bread with much more flavour. I also add dry milk powder to the mix for a milk loaf with better keeping qualities.

    "Posted by Nay Ager"

  • When using a grater to zest oranges, limes, lemons etc, cover the grater with greaseproof paper and grate the fruit over the top. The zest is left on top of the paper and doesn't make a mess of the grater and therefore it is easier to clean.

    "Posted by KatSmith"