HOW BAKING TIMES AFFECTS CAKE MOISTURE AND STRUCTURE…

Did you know that baking times can affect cake moisture and structure? Well, this handy infographic will show you ho minutes can change a cake from soft and moist to dry and crumbly.

BAKING SUBSCRIPTION OF THE MONTH…

What is there to not like about a subscription? It’s like a magazine subscription and lots more. You start counting down the days to your next arrival and baking subscriptions are right at the top of the list.

Subscription boxes from Bakedin have two completely unique subscription boxes, the baking club and the bread baking club. Each month, they deliver a unique baking kit with a recipe exclusively developed in-house and posted through your letterbox. Like their famous baking kits, it contains all of the dry ingredients you’ll need, an easy to follow recipe card and some handy extras!

You still get the joy of baking from scratch, just with no food waste, a great taste and something new to impress your friends and family with each month.

This is how it works…

CHOOSE YOUR PLAN

Pick whether you would like to pay monthly, quarterly, every 6 months or yearly. Your first box will be delivered around the middle of the month following the month you’ve subscribed in. These are auto-renewing plans with no tie in, so you can cancel at any time!

GET YOUR BOX

Our kits contain all the dry ingredients, an easy to follow recipe card and some handy extras like the baking paper. All our flour is local to Bakedin HQ in Hampshire.

BAKE & ENJOY

Add a few fresh ingredients, follow the step-by-step recipe card and enjoy the bread baking experience with a little less fuss and no waste!

GIVING AS A GIFT

Our Bread Baking Club gift subscriptions are the perfect gift for any bread baking lover. We offer 3 gift subscriptions to the club: 3, 6 and 12 month options. We send out the first box immediately along with a gift certificate and unique code for the recipient to activate the remaining boxes.

They start from £10.99 a box monthly to £7.50 a box for a 12 month subscription.

10 TIPS ON BAKING THE BEST FRUIT CAKE…

1. For a really moist fruitcake, use marmalade instead of candied peel.

2. 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.

3. If you are adding dried fruit then it should be plump and soft, if it has gone horrible and hard, then soak in hot water for a few minutes before adding it to your mixture

4. For an extra rich, tasty fruitcake, use cold coffee instead of milk.

5. For a moist fruitcake with extra flavour, grate a cooking apple into the mixture.

6. For a moister fruitcake in electric ovens or Agars, place a dish of water on the floor of the oven when baking.

7. Always cool fruitcakes for 10 to 15 minutes on a rack in the dish in which they were baked. Then turn them onto the rack and carefully peel off the paper.

8. Fruitcakes freeze very well; however, they must be aged for at least a few weeks before freezing, as they do not mellow and ripen while they are frozen.

9. To keep the calories down grate an orange and only use half the sugar.

10. Completely dust the fruit and nuts with flour so they don’t fall to the bottom of the batter while baking. Shake off excess before incorporating into the recipe.

FLOUR THAT’S GLUTEN AND WHEAT FREE…

With so many of us suffering with gluten and wheat intolerances but still wanting to bake it was great to see flour without either.

Oast to Host has solved this problem with its two new flour blends Cake and Pastry. They have been expertly blended to give you light and fluffy cakes and crisp pastry. They contain a little dried egg albumen, which helps with the texture of the bakes.

They start at Cake Flour £4 for 450g for 2 available online at Oast to Host. And the Pastry Flour £9 for 2 x 450g.

This wonderfully versatile flour allows you to make your favourite: CAKE/cup cakes, SCONES, BLINIS, STEAMED PUDDINGS & BISCUITS.  Everyone will be coming back for more!  Each 225g recipe will make a generous 8″ Cake. 

You can make anything from Lemon Drizzle, Coffee and Walnut, Chocolate, Battenburg or Carrot Cake!  Our new in-house favourite is Earl Grey Cake using real tea leaves! 

See how easy it is to make this delicious subtly perfumed sponge cake by watching their video. They have lots of recipes on the website.

TEN HEALTHY BAKING TIPS…

Simple changes to make your baking a little bit more healthy.

1.Avocado – Use this healthy fat to make a frosting, pudding, or replace butter in recipes for cakes, brownies, bread, and other baked goods.

2. Apple Sauce – Use this instead of oil adding unsweetened applesauce into those moist baked treats.

3. Fitness Magazine suggest paying a little extra for high-quality products, like premium chocolate and pure vanilla extract, can pay off. “More-flavorful ingredients make you less likely to miss any calories you’ve cut,” says Kim Macy, the pastry chef at Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona

4. Beets add sweetness and moisture without taking away from the flavor,” says pastry chef Marisa Churchill, the author of Sweet & Skinny. Add two-thirds of a cup of finely grated raw beets to brownie batter and you can reduce the sugar by a quarter cup.

5. Another one from Fitness Magazine is for a lighter spin on cream cheese frosting, which is typically made with full-fat cream cheese and butter, beat together with an eight-ounce block of reduced-fat cream cheese, one cup of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. The fluffy icing contains a mere 59 calories and three grams of fat per tablespoon.

6. Eat This also says when you’re baking try substituting the recommended oil or fat in the recipe with Greek yogurt. You won’t lose any flavor and still have plenty of moisture in the consistency.

7. The British Heart Foundation says using an unsaturated spread instead of butter has more benefits than simply reducing the amount of saturated fat: it actually gives a lighter texture, especially if you’re making an all-in-one sponge cake.

8. They also point out that try using a drizzle of glacé (water) icing rather than butter icing for cake toppings. Or, a light sprinkle of icing sugar may be all you need to give your bake the final touch.

9. Eat Right suggest you try a Whole-Grain Flour. White whole-wheat flour can be substituted one-for-one for all-purpose flour in most recipes. You also can replace up to half the all-purpose flour in a recipe with a whole-grain flour without making any major adjustments to the recipe.

10.  Sainsbury’s tip is if you significantly reduce the sugar in a cake, try adding naturally sweet spices such as cinnamon, mixed spice, and vanilla, says Inman, or drizzle a small amount of honey or maple syrup over the top when serving. ‘It fools you into believing it is sweeter than it is,’ explains Bourke.

7 HANDY BAKING TIPS FROM AFTERNOON TEA4TWO…

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 or quick breads 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 centre. The toothpick should come out clean and dry or have only a few crumbs clinging.

UK’s PRIME MINISTER’S RECIPE FOR CHEESE ON TOAST…

With so many celebrity chefs in the UK, you would not expect the UK’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson to come up with his recipe for the typically British favourite of ‘Cheese on Toast’, but apparently where he was the Major of London he came up with this recipe.

Well he did and his method is quite simple, ‘Cover toast with slabs of cheese. Grill until it gets all nice’.

I think I can make that one Boris…

7 OF THE BEST WAYS TO STORE YOUR TEA…

  1. It’s best to transfer both loose tea and tea bags from a cardboard or paper packet or tub into an air-tight container.
  2. Tins and caddies with tight-fitting lids are good as they can keep out smells and humidity which can affect the tea.
  3. Storing the jars in a dark cupboard will mean the tea will keep well.
  4. You should never keep it in the fridge as there is always the chance that water will get into the packet.
  5. You should always be careful with flavoured teas, as the added flavourings can be very powerful and easily taint other teas nearby.
  6. For loose tea, it is essential that you check that the spoon or scoop that you use is completely dry.
  7. If there is even a drop of moisture on the spoon, the humidity introduced to the interior of the packet or caddy will have an effect on the quality of flavour.

10 SECRETS TO BETTER BAKING…

10 secrets to better baking –

  1. Leave your cake on a wire rack in the tin you have baked it in for 5 minutes before you turn it out.
  2. When making your cake, leave the eggs and fat our overnight so that they will be at the same temperature.
  3. For a really moist fruit cake, use marmalade instead of candied peel.
  4. For an extra rich, tasty fruit cake, use cold coffee instead of milk.
  5. Measure all your ingredients accurately.
  6. Bake your cake immediately once mixed as the baking powder begins to act as soon as its combined with liquid.
  7. Leave scones for a minute before you pop them into the oven as resting them allow the baking powder to become active.
  8. 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.
  9. When baking cakes, always sift the flour first as this will incorporate air and will create a light bake.
  10. NEVER open the oven for at least the first half of the baking time as the cold air will interfere with the rising of the cake.

GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC LOAF CAKE FROM GOOD HOUSEKEEPING…

I am sure by now that my readers know that I love making my loaf cakes and the easier the recipe the more the cake is made. Last week I held a fund-raising coffee morning for Cancer Research and made two Soggy Orange Loaf Cakes and some homemade biscuits for the everyone to enjoy.

I had so many people asking for the recipe for the Soggy Orange Loaf Cake that I was told I should have printed the recipe off and charged for a copy of it and that way I could have made more money for the charity. I will remember that next time.

The recipe I am covering today was one a friend send me the link to on Facebook as she knows how much I love making my loaf cakes. Its’ a Good Housekeeping recipe and is available from their website but also on their Facebook page where you can also watch it being made. As like all my others, it’s very easy to make.

GIN AND PINK GRAPEFRUIT TONIC CAKE…

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra to grease
  • 200 g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 200 g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated zest 1 pink grapefruit
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) gin

FOR THE SYRUP AND TOPPING

Ingredients

  • 75 g (3oz) caster sugar
  • 75 ml 1 pink grapefruit tonic water, we used Fentiman’s Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water
  • 3 tbsp gin
  • 100 g (3 ½oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • Red or pink food colouring

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Grease and line base and sides of a 900g (2lb) loaf tin with baking parchment, making sure that the parchment comes up at about 4cm (11/2in) higher than the sides of the tin.
  2. In a large bowl beat butter and sugar with a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy, about 3min. Gradually add eggs, beating well after each addition.
  3. Fold in flour, baking powder and grapefruit zest (reserve remaining grapefruit for later), followed by the gin. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for 55min-1hr or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup: Half the grapefruit and squeeze the juice from one half only. Gently heat the caster sugar and tonic water in a small pan, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and boil for 1min. Remove from heat and mix in the gin and 1tbsp grapefruit juice.
  5. When the loaf comes out of the oven, poke holes all over the top with a skewer and slowly drizzle over half the gin syrup mixture. Leave to soak in for 10min then drizzle with remaining syrup. Leave to cool in tin on a wire rack.
  6. Cut the remaining half the grapefruit in half again, then slice a couple of thin half-moons from one of the halves. Lay the slices flat on a board, and cut along the segment lines into small triangle shapes. Put the triangles on kitchen paper to dry.
  7. Using the tin as a guide, run a knife horizontally along the top of the loaf cake to cut off the rounded top. Invert the cake on to a serving plate and peel off the parchment. Mix the icing sugar with enough grapefruit juice (about 11/2tbsp), to make a slightly thick but pourable icing. Use a cocktail stick to add a very small amount of food colouring to the icing, to tinge it a pale pink (repeat if necessary until you get the desired shade). Spoon icing over the cake and decorate with the grapefruit triangles.To store

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days if without grapefruit decoration (or about 3 days with grapefruit slices).