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.
How to Frost a Cake
The 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
Chop 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
Cream 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
It’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
The 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
To 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
This 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
If 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
When 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
Before 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.
We 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
It 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
It 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
Cookie 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.
If 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.
If 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
If 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.
To 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.
If 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
We 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!
We 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!.
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!
Lightly coat choc chips, nuts and fruit in flour before adding to cake batter. This stops them from sinking to the bottom of your slice.
- 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
- Click the image to zoom in
- Download Measurement Chart & Conversion Table PDF
|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|
|1 tablespoon (4 teaspoons)||20ml|
|Celsius||Celsius (Fan Forced)||Fahrenheit||Gas|
|120°||100°||250°||1 very slow|
|160°||140°||325°||3 moderately slow|
|190°||170°||375°||5 moderately hot|
|230°||210°||450°||7 very hot|
|250°||230°||500°||9 very hot|
|125g||4oz (1/4 lb)|
|250g||8oz (1/2 lb)|
|375g||12oz (3/4 lb)|
|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)|
|Mini||30ml||1 1/2 Tbsp|
|Regular 1||80ml||1/3 cup|
|Regular 2||125ml||1/2 cup|
|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.