BAKING TIPS MONDAY – REMOVING YOUR CAKE SAFELY…

On Baking Tips Monday this week I am writing about how to remove your cake without any problems.

To easily remove your cake from a loose-bottomed tin, place on a tin can or jar and press the side of the tin downwards.

To remove a cake from a solid tin, run a knife around the outside of the cake then place a plate over the tin and invert it.

If your cake is particularly rounded or uneven, then level it off with a sharp knife before decorating.

To prevent your cake from sticking to a plate or board, dust the surface with icing sugar.

When the cake is loose, turn the pan upside down and gently ease the cake out and onto the cooling rack or plate. The best type of knife to use is a non-serrated or palette knife. Or use a thin nylon spatula.

If the cake still won’t come out then when the cake is cool, preheat the oven again to about 250. Put the cake back into the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the pan over to rest on a cooling rack. The cake should slide nicely out of the pan.

BAKING TIPS MONDAY FROM AFTERNOON TEA4TWO…

Baking Tips Monday is a new post I am going to write every Monday with lots of tips for baking so make sure you subscribe to an email.

Avoid over mixing as it can cause a heavy texture, and this will cause the cake to crack, (see image below).

Bake your cake immediately once mixed as the baking process begins to act as soon as it is combined with liquid.

When mixing butter cream in a freestanding machine, cover the whole machine with a damp tea towel. This stops clouds of icing sugar dust going over the kitchen.

BREW MONDAY SAMARITANS AWARENESS DAY 18th JANUARY…

Samaritans Brew Monday will kick off on 18 January, the third Monday in January, which is usually known as ‘Blue Monday’. They will be turning this day on its head and into something positive by encouraging people to get together over a warming virtual cuppa.

Reach out to a friend, family member or colleague for a virtual cuppa and a chat. It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, just taking time to really listen to another person could help them work through what’s on their mind. ​

Because now more than ever, sharing a cuppa is more than a drink – it’s about reaching out, checking in and staying connected.

Have a Brew Monday, any Monday, or a day that’s good for you.

Here are a few ways you can connect virtually:

  • Group audio/video calling is available on Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp (up to 4 people on a call) and Facebook messenger.
  • A phone call or conference call can work just as well for connecting with people, especially for those not comfortable on camera.

And don’t forget, if you use your virtual get-together to raise money for Samaritans, you’ll help give people having a tough time somewhere to turn when they need to talk. Just £5 can help the Samaritans answer a call for help.

Want to fundraise?

Stay connected, get everyone together for a virtual cuppa and raise money for Samaritans.

Have a Brew Monday….

Every seven seconds, Samaritans answer a call for help.

They are there, day or night, for anyone who’s struggling to cope, who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure.

Samaritans is not only for the moment of crisis, they are taking action to prevent the crisis.

They give people ways to cope and the skills to be there for others. And they encourage, promote and celebrate those moments of connection between people that can save lives.

They offer listening and support to people and communities in times of need.

In prisons, schools, hospitals and on the rail network, Samaritans are working with people who are going through a difficult time and training others to do the same.

Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, and Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide.

That’s why they work tirelessly to reach more people and make suicide prevention a priority.

Read more about our vision, mission and values.

During 2018, more than 20,000 people volunteered their time for Samaritans:

  • more than 17,000 trained listening volunteers responded to calls for help
  • 2,200 volunteers supported the running of our 201 branches
  • more than 1,200 people in prisons volunteered as trained Listeners providing peer support.

Read more about Samaritans’ structure and how their volunteers, staff and branches work together.

TIPS ON SERVING AN ELEGANT AFTERNOON TEA…

A traditional afternoon tea has been something enjoyed by countless people over the last two centuries. It was created by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who used to enjoy an afternoon snack in her bedroom, to see her through from lunch until dinner. Eventually, she decided to invite some friends to dine with her, and so the afternoon tea was invented. 

The idea soon spread, and within no time all of England was enjoying afternoon tea (not to be confused with high tea, which is something entirely different). 

Although this mealtime did fall out of favour, particularly because of the ravages of the First and Second World Wars, there has lately been something of a resurgence, and many people are discovering just how enjoyable afternoon tea really is. 

Even if you can’t go out and enjoy an afternoon tea somewhere special, you can make an excellent version at home if you plan in advance and think things through carefully. Read on for some tips on how to do it and treat yourself when you really need to.

What Type Of Afternoon Tea?…

There are several different types of afternoon tea, so before you can buy the ingredients you’re going to need, you should decide which one to enjoy. The different types include: 

  • Cream tea: if you are eating scones with clotted cream and jam (and no other food or cakes), your afternoon tea becomes a cream tea instead. 
  • Light tea: a light tea consists of a cream tea with added pastries, cakes, biscuits, and even individual fruit tarts. 
  • Afternoon tea: the full afternoon tea is the same as a light tea, only there are also savoury sandwiches to add to the mix. Although these can contain anything, salmon and cucumber, beef and horseradish, and egg mayonnaise are particularly popular. These sandwiches will be cut into fingers and there will be no crusts. 
  • Champagne tea: as above, but with a glass of champagne or sparkling wine to make the occasion a real celebration. 

Although in the past, a pot of freshly brewed tea might have made the entire treat a complete one, today that isn’t necessarily the case. Enjoying a fresh coffee made from Horsham Coffee Roaster is perfectly acceptable if that’s your preference. 

Serving Your Tea…

Although no one is going to complain if you serve your afternoon tea on a selection of small plates laid out on a coffee table (for example), there is a traditional method, and it’s what really makes this meal stand out and become recognisable, so it’s worth investigating and going the full way if you can. 

In the traditional method of serving afternoon tea, you will have a teapot (or coffee pot) brewing your favourite hot beverage (in other words you wouldn’t use a tea bag or instant coffee, at least not if you’re going by the book). But it’s how the food is served that is really important; you’ll need a tiered set of serving plates, ideally in a floral pattern (rose chintz is particularly attractive). These plates will be stacked one on top of the other, and at the bottom you’ll have sandwiches, above that will be scones, and then above that it will be all the other pastries and cakes (you may need two layers for this option). 

Work from the bottom up when eating and you’ll get the best flavours in the right order.