7 QUICK TIPS ON BAKING CAKES…

  1. When baking shortbread cookies, substitute half of your plain flour with cornflour. It gives them a really nice taste.
  2. Before icing a cake, sprinkle the top with some flour, this will stop the icing from running down over the edges of the cake.
  3. To make sure the essence you use adds flavour to the whole cake, mix it into the egg before adding the egg to the mixture.
  4. Don’t crowd the oven with Baking tins. The pans should never touch each other or the sides of the oven or be placed over or under each other on the racks.
  5. Grease pans using a piece of paper towel, rub a small amount of shortening, butter or margarine evenly over the bottom and on sides of pans if directed. A small amount of pan spray may be used and spread over the pan, also using the paper towel technique.
  6. Prevent sharp edges on muffins, bar cookies by greasing the muffin cups or pans only on the bottom and halfway up the sides so the batter is higher than the grease line. This is one time you might not want to use a pan spray.
  7. To test for doneness in cakes, quick breads and bar cookies, use a toothpick inserted in the center. The toothpick should come out clean and dry or have only a few crumbs clinging to it.

For more great tips on baking check out my book on Amazon.

A Little Book On Tea, Cake and Chocolate: TEA pairings, TEA and chocolate, TEA and its health benefits plus over 100 tips on BAKING cakes.

A GREAT GIFT FOR ANY TEA, CAKE AND CHOCOLATE DEVOTEE…

I have just published my book ‘A Little Book on Tea Cake & Chocolatewhich would make a great gift for anyone who loves tea, cake and chocolate. 

This little book on tea and cake is a guide about one of our favourite beverages. It explains tea pairings, tea and chocolate, tea and health, tea and sandwiches, fascinating tea facts, buying the right tea, tea to help you sleep and tea cozies and teapots. It also features over one hundred tips on baking cakes and has some recipes for delicious loaf cakes. It finishes with several lovely tea quotes.

A great book for any tea devotee. It’s available on Amazon for £2.99

Over the last three months of spending hours after hours and days after days at the hospital, where my Dad was,  I started making notes of some of my posts on tea, cake and chocolate as I felt sure I could use it in a book.

There are nineteen chapters which cover all the tea topics I have mentioned above plus tips on how to make the best cake, pastry, and more. I also cover baking apps and recipe books old and new.

I finally finished it at the weekend and it is now available to buy as a paperback and hopefully as a kindle read soon. I would love some feedback if any readers bought the book.

 

BEAUTIFUL DANISH PASTRY IN SKAGEN, DENMARK…

We had a recent one week’s cruise to Bruges in Brussels, Copenhagen and Skagen in Denmark and Oslo in Sweden. The weather was beautiful apart from in Oslo where it was dull and damp but that certainly didn’t spoil our visit.

Our first port of call was Bruges where we could easily walk to from the ship and where we were determined to have some of their famous moules frites.

Our second port of call was Copenhagen where we were told before we embarked that eating a meal in Copenhagen was very very expensive so we decided to just have a drink then go back to the ship for lunch. We had a lovely boat ride around Copenhagen, which was stunning.

Our third port of call was Skagen also in Denmark where we were taken to a little village with lots and lots and lots of little coffee shops and restaurants but this time we decided we would have a Danish Pastry and a cup of tea.

It was the nicest, lightest danish I had ever had and was worth every penny to pay for it. I loved Skagen and it’s quirky interior shops. Our final port of call was Oslo, the home of the troll which was another expensive stop but well worth walking around the town and the views as we left Oslo were something I will never forget. It seemed to go on for ages with little island after little island and yellow painted houses and ski lifts. I would love to make a visit back to Oslo as I felt out of all three it would make a great place for a weekend break.

THE DAIRY BOX OF HOME COOKERY…

The Dairy Box of Home Cookery by Emily Anderson is a special anniversary edition of this book celebrating 50 years of this classic cookbook, featuring 950 classic recipes including 50 new recipes sure to become firm family favourites.

The Dairy Dairy website has lots of gift ideas around this famous book with recipes and competitions to enter. The legendary Dairy Book of Home Cookery is the perfect reference book for both novice and experienced cooks. It’s cited as one of the most trusted recipe books of all time and is revered by all those who own a copy.

It has extensive cook’s information and over 900 recipes from soups to desserts, baking to confectionery, this is the one cookbook you’ll return to time after time. This new edition contains all the favourites from the original book along with new British classics.

Its photography has been updated to create a stunning, attractive and invaluable book. Over 3 million sold! 18 chapters 900+ recipes & variations Triple-tested recipes Nutritional facts per recipe Ribbon page marker Easy-to-follow instructions Essential cooking techniques Hints & tips for success.

DO YOU REMEMBER ‘LUK’ SUNLIGHT FLAKES FOR ALL YOUR HAND WASHING?…

lux soap

A bit of vintage memorabilia…

‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’, which was a pure soap in flake form, shaped like tiny flat diamonds. It was introduced in the US in 1899 and was perfect for washing delicate fabrics, silk and woolens and it had no additives whatsoever.

By 1924, Lux became a mass market toilet soap throughout the world endorsed by many celebrities.

In 1943, rather than risk lowering the high quality of Lux, the makers withdrew it from the market altogether. Then in November 1947 they announced that by Christmas of that year the blue packets of ‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’ would be back on the shelves again.

I had a box which seem to last me years and years. I only used it for hand washing but used to love the smell it left on my clothes. Now, you never see it around although Ebay and Amazon  have ‘Soap Flakes‘ you can buy.

During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s they used many famous stars to endorse Lux soap including Sandra Dee and Diana Rigg and in the 70’s and 80’s the famous faces were Brigitte Bardot, Natalie Wood, Sophie Loren and Raquel Welch.

Now you can buy posters of the adverts for ‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’ and even a Jigsaw of the adverts on Ebay or Amazon.

 

8 TOP #TIPS ON USING FRUIT IN YOUR COOKING…

Eight top #tips for using fruit in your cooking:-

 

  1. Add dried fruit to your recipes it can actually be better for you than fresh fruit, as the dehydration process can make some nutrients more concentrated.
  2. The antioxidants in dried cranberries and grapes are twice as potent as in fresh fruit.
  3. Make sure you check the sugar content of your fruit as some of them in particular cranberries, can be very high.
  4. Always soak your dried fruit overnight and for extra flavour soak the fruit in apple or orange juice or marinate in your favourite liqueur (brandy) for three days, stirring it every 12 hours.
  5. For a moist fruit cake with extra flavour, grate a cooking apple into the mixture.
  6. When making an apple pie, pop your apple slices into some water and add a little salt or lemon. It will stop them from discolouring.
  7. To bring out the flavour of strawberries when cooking them in deserts, add a touch of balsamic vinegar.
  8. Hull strawberries easily by using a straw.