TEN MORE BAKING TIPS FROM AFTERNOON TEA4TWO.COM…

Here’s another ten great baking tips…

1. To extend the life of your cake, store with half an apple.

2. Take your butter out of the fridge in advance so it is nice and soft.

3. For a great rolling pin, fill a wine bottle (after you have enjoyed it) with warm water and replace the cork securely or preferably use a screw top wine bottle.

4. If you do not have any cake liners then spray your cake tins with sunflower spray oil, it saves messing with butter.

5. If you forgot to get your eggs out for baking then pop them into a bowl and cover with hot water. Remove a couple of minutes before baking.

6. Get even portions of cupcake mixture by using an ice-cream scoop.

7. For perfect sponges use the same weight of eggs, flour, sugar and butter.

8. Invest in an oven thermometer.

9. Keep cookies fresh by putting a slice of bread in the airtight container with them.

10. Sift your flour it will transform your baking.

11 OLD SCHOOL USEFUL HOUSEHOLD TIPS…

The old ones are always the best. Here re 11 old school useful household tips…

1. To remove a scratch from a table, crack open a walnut and rub it along the scratch . Walnuts contain a natural resin which will conceal the scratch.

2. To get rid of ink stains from furniture soak a piece of cotton wool in water and cover the stain with it. That will then draw the mark out and into the cotton wool.

3. To make your own room spray, add ten drops of your favourite essential oil to a plant spray filled with seven tablespoons of warm water. One tablespoon of vodka or pure alcohol as this acts as a preservative.

4. Put some of your favourite essential oil on a handkerchief and put it behind the radiator, if last quite a while.


5.When defrosting a freezer, keep frozen food cold by wrapping it in several layers of newspaper.

6. Some dishwasher powders can be very expensive so buy a cheaper one and add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the dish-water. The vinegar will cut the grease, and leave your dishes sparkling. And to clean your dishwasher simply run a cup of white vinegar through the entire cycle of the empty dishes.

7. Clean your microwave by placing half a lemon in water and setting it to boil.

8. To unblock a blocked sink tip a handful of bicarbonate of soda followed by a cup of vinegar straight down the plug. After a couple of hours, pour down a kettle of boiling water.

9. Add a shot of vodka or lemonade to the water in your vases as this will keep your flowers fresh for longer.

10. Spray nice smelling furniture polish behind the radiator to leave the room smelling clean and polished.

11. To clean your computer keys use a cotton bud and the same to clean the ball of a computer mouse.

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.