Bake Like a Pro

To help you bake like a pro, here are some helpful tips and information, including hints from our good friends at the CWA of Tasmania.

Helpful Hints

How to Frost a Cake

ButterThe secret to perfect frosting is to apply a “crumb coat” and let it chill before slabbing on a second layer. This will keep all those pesky crumbs from getting mixed up in the frosting.

Perfectly Melted Chocolate

ButterChop chocolate into uniform chunks or use chocolate chips. To avoid grainy texture or burnt chocolate, the key is heating it in the microwave gradually in 30 second intervals. Stir the chocolate each time with a wisk. Remove from microwave when there are still a few chocolate pieces visible - these will evaporate with the existing chocolate heat.

Light and Fluffy Cake Batter

ButterCream the butter and sugar until the mixture lightens in texture and colour. Then sift the flour and other dry ingredients together. Both these steps will add air to the batter and volume to the cake making the end result light and fluffy.

Always have your ingredients prepared

ButterIt’s called preparation time. Don’t just dive in, take the time to read the recipe and gather/ measure your ingredients. It will half your cooking time!

Use High Fat Content Spreads

ButterThe problem with lower fat spreads and butters is that they also have higher water content. When it evaporates, it can cause layers to bind together in your mix.

Flawless Icing Trick

Cold EggsTo create a thick and uninterrupted layer of icing, brush the cake mixture with a jam coating first. This seals the cake and acts as a base for icing to be added.

Use An Ice Cream Scoop to Fill Cupcake Layers

Cold EggsThis is the perfect quantity for each cupcake and makes very little mess! Alternatively, fill a zip top freezer bag and cut off a corner to pipe batter into the liners.

Wrap Baked Goods in a Tea Towel

Cold EggsIf you wrap your baking in a tea towel, this will help it stay nice and fluffy to stop it from drying out

Avoid Using Cold Eggs

Cold EggsWhen baking, it's best to avoid using cold eggs. So if you can't wait for them to reach room temperature, just place them in warm water for approximately 10 minutes.

Extra Fluffy Icing

Short Cut PastryBefore whipping up your icing, be sure to leave the butter out on the bench to soften and become room temperature. This will give it the fluffy edge it’s most likely been lacking.

Egg Storage

Short Cut PastryWe recommend that you store your eggs with the large end facing upwards, in order to keep the yolk centred. As there is an air sac at the blunt end of every egg, storing them correctly will preserve the eggs shelf life.

Read the recipe before beginning

Short Cut PastryIt might sound silly, but don’t get half way through a recipe to realise you’re missing a vital ingredient! Reading ahead will also allow you to get your head around the different components of the recipe.

Position pans in the very centre of the oven

Short Cut PastryIt is also important that all over pans don’t touch one another or the oven walls. If your oven isn’t wide enough to put pans side by side, place them on different racks and slightly offset, to allow for air circulation.

Chill your cookie dough

Short Cut PastryCookie dough can be incredibly sticky and soft. Chilling it will firm up cookie dough, ensuring a thicker, more solid cookie and accentuated flavour. Even if you want to bake the cookies at a later time.

Egg Substitute

Short Cut PastryIf you’re out of eggs or do not wish to use them, simply substitute 3 eggs by using 1 tablespoon of golden syrup dissolved into a small cup of milk.

Cake Collapse

Short Cut PastryIf your cake collapses, it was most likely because you used too much raising agent or your oven temperature was too high. If there’s too much raising agent, your cake will rise quickly as bubbles of carbon dioxide form. This is because there isn’t enough time for the gluten to set and there is no support for the bubbles, so the cake collapses!

Quick and Easy Short Cut Pastry

Short Cut PastryIf you’re after a reason to use up left over thickened cream, combine it with enough Self Raising flour for the mixture to hold together nicely but still be fairly dry. Knead the mixture for a short while and roll it out for a pie or tart.

Cracked Cake

Cooling CakesTo avoid cracked cakes, ensure your oven is at the right temperature. We recommend investing in an oven thermometer in order to check the temperature is correct. It is also important to avoid opening the oven door too often, as this makes the temperature fluctuate.

Icing Shortcut

Cooling CakesIf you’ve run out of time to ice your cupcakes, simply place a big marshmallow on top of each cupcake and bake them in the oven 5 minutes.

Greasing Cake Tins

Cooling CakesWe all know how time consuming it can be to grease a cake tin. The key is using a pastry brush – you’ll get better coverage and it'll make the job a breeze!

Cooling Cakes

Cooling CakesWe recommend that you cool your cakes upside down. This will flatten out the top of the cake, which will make it easier for you to stack or ice!.

Levelling Cups

Leveling Cups

Do you ever have difficulty levelling the flour in your measuring cups?
 We recommend sweeping off the excess flour with the back of a knife!

Sinking Ingredients

CWA LogoLightly coat choc chips, nuts and fruit in flour before adding to cake batter. This stops them from sinking to the bottom of your slice.

Foolproof Batter

CWA Logo

    • Mix equal quantities of plain flour and self-raising flour in a bowl. 
    • Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar, then enough cold water to make a batter.
    • Dip the items to be cooked in cornflour and then into the batter. 
    • Cook in hot oil.

Measurements & Conversions

Liquid Measurement

MetricCupImperial
30ml   1 fl oz
60ml 1/4 cup 2 fl oz
80ml 1/3 cup 2 3/4 fl oz
100ml 3 1/2 fl oz
125ml 1/2 cup 4 fl oz
150ml 5 fl oz
180ml 3/4 cup 6 fl oz
200ml 7 fl oz
250ml 1 cup 8 3/4 fl oz
310ml 1 1/4 cups 10 1/2 fl oz
375ml 1 1/2 cups 13 fl oz
430ml 1 3/4 cups 15 fl oz
475ml 16 fl oz
500ml 2 cups 17 fl oz
625ml 2 1/2 cups 21 1/2 fl oz
750ml 3 cups 26 fl oz
1L 4 cups 35 fl oz
1.25L 5 cups 44 fl oz
1.5L 6 cups 52 fl oz
2L 8 cups 70 fl oz
2.5L 10 cups 88 fl oz

Spoon Sizes

SpoonMetric
1/4 teaspoon    1.25ml
1/2 teaspoon  2.5ml
1 teaspoon  5ml
1 tablespoon (4 teaspoons) 20ml

Oven Temperatures

CelsiusCelsius (Fan Forced)FahrenheitGas
120° 100° 250° 1 very slow
150° 130° 300° 2 slow
160° 140° 325° 3 moderately slow
180° 160° 350° 4 moderate
190° 170° 375° 5 moderately hot
200° 180° 400° 6 hot
230° 210° 450° 7 very hot
250° 230° 500° 9 very hot

Mass (Weight)

MetricImperial
10g 1/4oz
15g 1/2oz
30g 1oz
60g 2oz
90g 3oz
125g 4oz (1/4 lb)
155g 5oz
185g 6oz
220g 7oz
250g 8oz (1/2 lb)
280g 9oz
315g 10oz
345g 11oz
375g 12oz (3/4 lb)
410g 13oz
440g 14oz
470g 15oz
500g (1/2 kg) 16oz (1 lb)
750g 24oz (1 1/2 lb)
1kg 32oz (2 lb)
1.5kg 48oz (3 lb)
2kg 64oz (4 lb)

Muffin Pans

MetricMeasure
Mini 30ml 1 1/2 Tbsp
Regular 1 80ml 1/3 cup
Regular 2 125ml 1/2 cup
Texas 180ml 3/4 cup

Cake Pans

MetricImperial
20cm Springform Cake Pan 8 inch
20cm Square Cake Pan 8 inch
23cm Springform Cake Pan 9 inch
25cm Springform Cake Pan 10 inch

Slipping Pastry Board

To stop your pastry board slipping, put a damp tea towel underneath it.