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.

CHOCOLATE WITH ALL THE GOODNESS BUT NOT THE CALORIES…

I am a chocoholic and proud to be one. From an early age when away at school all my chocolate in my tuck box would be eaten first then I would do a never-ending amount of jobs for senior girls in order to get some more. I really should have opened a chocolate shop before now. I’ve even been on a chocolate diet ! and ‘no’it did not work but it was rather enjoyable.

However, we all know it’s not good for our waist line nor our teeth but over the years it does get some good press as being good for your heart in the right format and the amount you eat. Chocolate is made from cocoa, which contains polyphenols, which may work as antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and reduce blood pressure. Some experts suggest that eating some chocolate every day can decrease your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cocoa contains epicatechins and catechins, which are similar to the polyphenols found in green tea; and quercetin, which is found in fruits and vegetables. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than milk chocolate because certain processing methods remove the polyphenols, which have a bitter flavor.

Dr. Arebi on Net Doctor wrote “Fermentation in the bean and subsequent extraction generates cocoa butter and releases a variety of vitamins and minerals such as potassium and anti-oxidants,” she explains.

“Cocoa beans also contain dopamine, phenylethylamine and serotonin, chemicals with powerful antidepressant properties that also promote wellbeing. In addition, theobromine is another component of the cocoa bean and has caffeine like properties.”

And she says that many more healthy chemicals are released when chocolate is fermented in our intestines by our gut bacteria, citing research that showed the antioxidants released are similar to those found in green tea.

So, where can we buy chocolate that is that bit healthier but tastes as good as ordinary chocolate? Well there are many companies out there with healthier chocolate treats for us in fact far to many for me to write about in one post so instead I am going to write a regular post on it with all the information I have found about each company.

To start off this regular slot my first post is all about a company called The Skinny Food Company, The Skinny Food Co. was founded in May 2018. James Whiting and Wayne Starky (Directors) have previous experience in the food and beverage/health and wellness market and have discovered the need for great, tasty, and healthy products. It is promoted by diabetic family members who avoid so many favorite foods. This brand was born with the release of zero-calorie syrups, healthy, almost zero table sauces, and shortly thereafter.

Some of the products which I cannot wait to try are-

The Chocolate Flavoured Zero Calories Syrup at £3.99

The Prodigy Chunky Chocolate Low Sugar Vegan Chocolate Bars at £1.99

The Skinny High Protein Milk Chocolate Crispies at £1.25

The Double Chocolate 3 calories a cup drink at £2.49

The 92% less sugar Chocolate Spread at £3.99

I don’t need to go any further as I am sure your mouth will be watering by now but I promise I will follow up after I have tried some of these and another post on chocolate for fewer calories.

VEGANUARY 1st-31st JANUARY 2021…

Join the New Years Revolution – Since 2014, Veganuary has inspired and supported more than one million people in 192 countries to try vegan for January – and beyond. They have worked with businesses to drive up vegan food provision in shops and restaurants, and have made veganism more visible and accessible through our work with national and international media.

Facts:

Over 1,000,000 participants since 2014

192 countries around the world

More than 1200 new vegan products and menus were launched for Veganuary 2020

98% would recommend Veganuary to a friend

More than 600 businesses took part in Veganuary 2020

Veganuary is a non-profit organisation that encourages people worldwide to try vegan for January and beyond. During the 2020 campaign, more than 400,000 people took their pledge to try a vegan diet, while more than 600 brands, restaurants, and supermarkets promoted the campaign, and launched more than 1200 new vegan products and menus in the UK market alone.

Throughout the year, Veganuary encourages and supports people and businesses alike to move to a plant-based diet as a way of protecting the environment, preventing animal suffering, and improving the health of millions of people.

The UK is now officially the world leader for vegan food launches. Mintel reports that around 16 per cent of new food products released in the UK in 2018 were vegan, which more than doubled the previous years’ output. Veganuary is cited as being behind this upswing.

Every January, retailers vie with one another to bring out more, bigger, and better vegan products and menus to capitalise on the huge popularity of Veganuary. But there work with businesses takes place year round! From the large multinational corporations, to the smaller high-street retailers – they offer support and promote their increased production of delicious animal-free items. In 2020, 600 companies promoted Veganuary and veganism, while there were more than 1200 new vegan products and menus launched during the month.

Some of the items that really got pulses racing were Gregg’s Vegan Steak Bake, Pizza Hut’s Pepperphoni Pizza, KFC’s Vegan Burger, Subway’s Meatless Meatball Marinara and Marks & Spencers’ No Chicken Kievs.

Their corporate collaborations are making plant-based foods so prevalent and so delicious that it is now easy for anyone to choose vegan options anywhere in the UK. They are now expanding this work globally!

Comedians like Romesh Ranganathan, Sara Pascoe and John Bishop have supported them; EastEnders’ Kellie Bright and Emmerdale’s James Moore are also Veganuary fans, alongside international athletes Hector Bellerin and Anthony Mullally. Paul McCartney has expressed his support for Veganuary and Brian May participated in January 2020 and plans to stay vegan. Joaquin Phoenix, Evanna Lynch, Chris Packham and Peter Egan are just a few of their incredible Ambassadors! This publicity is crucial to get veganism and, more importantly, the reasons to choose vegan, in front of a mainstream audience.

Their work with businesses doesn’t stop at product and menu collaborations, they also encourage them to run a Veganuary Workplace Challenge in January. In 2020 several large and influential businesses, including Pizza Hut Restaurants, Marks & Spencers, Price Waterhouse Cooper, Booking.com, Deliveroo and Ernst & Young took part and encouraged their staff to try vegan for January as well as providing more vegan options in staff canteens.

They also work with social media influencers, including some of the most exciting plant-based chefs, inspiring activist kids and animal campaigners with worldwide audiences.

They share their work with media around the world, and are happy to supply statements and images, statistics and case studies. As a result, Veganuary has appeared in every major UK publication and on every major UK television channel. Their message has spread worldwide – from the Los Angeles Times to the South China Morning Post.

THEIR VALUES

Impact: They are committed to a vegan world; they will utilise research to evaluate how the highest number of lives can be spared and direct resources to that end. 

Empowerment: They will optimise there outreach to support and encourage people on their vegan journey in a non-judgmental, positive, constructive, and easily accessible way. 

Collaboration: by partnering with other mission-driven organisations and working closely with corporates, they will make a bigger difference. 

Diversity and inclusion: they know that it takes people with different ideas, strengths, interests and backgrounds to achieve their vision; they appreciate the value of this and how it brings them closer to achieving their mission. 

Respect and integrity: in all internal and external relationships, they will strive for genuine, honest, and transparent communication. 

Resilience: they will continue to create a professional and sustainable (human, social, economic and environmental) organisation.

Source : Veganuary

3 GREAT EASY RECIPE COOKERY BOOKS…

Even though life has been strange over the last twelve months many of us have changed the way we eat and cook. I started doing a bit of batch cooking to help my daughter with her young baby and I also started being a bit more adventurous with my baking. And, finally something I am going to be writing about lots on this blog is how I buy more food from local sources to enjoy from the fields to the plate.

My first book of choice is called The Batch Lady : Shop Once, Cook Once, Eat All Week by Suzanne Mulholland.

This book was a present from my daughter and I cannot wait to try some of her batch recipes. It has over 80 simple, freeze levels store cupboard recipes. The Batch Lady has been transforming how thousands of people cook and eat through her revolutionary online channel. Now she shares her secrets with you.

With over 80 delicious, home-cooked recipes that are quick to make, create and store, Suzanne’s brilliant recipe combinations and time-saving tips will transform your kitchen, and will buy you back extra hours in your week. This is the only guide you will ever need to save you money, time, and headspace, and change your life for good.

Fast Cakes :Easy Bakes in Minutes by Mary Berry

Of course, I had to add a Mary Berry baking book and this one is absolutely brilliant. Over two afternoons before Christmas I baked a fruit cake for my husband, a chocolate cake for my daughter and family and 3 dozen mince pies for the whole family. This book is laid out so well you can bake in minutes just like it says. It’s all about being organised which is something The Batch Lady talks about in her book above.

Mary has incorporated her ‘all-in-one’ method of preparation into as many recipes as possible, so her recipes are faster to make than ever. Nearly 100 of the bakes take only 10 minutes to make and Mary has included small bake variations for fruit cakes, which traditionally take a long time in the oven, so you can make one even when you are pushed for time. It has over 150 easy recipes to make with confidence.

Simple Good For You by Amelia Freer

This book contains over 100 quick and easy recipes bursting with greatness. She gives advice to stabilising your blood sugars which includes not avoiding meals and checking labels on some supposedly healthy snacks which are actually packed with sugar. If you check the line ‘carbohydrates’ of which sugars per 100g. They say less than 5g per 100g is considered low sugar protocol.

The author is a No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author and renowned nutritional therapist, who A-listers turn to when they want to look and feel great. In this beautiful cookbook, discover 100 quick and easy recipes for varied and tempting dishes that are, quite simply, good for you.