Lifestyle Asia has written a list of 15 of the best cooking tips learned from Chefs in 2021.

  1. Immersion blenders make great whipped cream.
  2. Sourdough belongs in bread pudding.
  3. The best biscuits have butter and shortening.
  4. Cook your pie for longer. Bake until they’re really a good colour golden-brown.
  5. Cilantro stems are for saving. Cilantro refers to the leaves of the coriander plant. It is commonly eaten as a food or used as a spice.
  6. Barista-style oat milk makes a great base for sherbet.
  7. You can use Goldfish to make an ice cream cone. Seriously !! Chef, activist, and Studio ATAO-founder Jenny Dorsey made Banana-Rum Ice Cream in Cheddar-Cracker Cones.
  8. Garlic should go in last.
  9. Parsnips belong in dessert. Krystle Swenson, the pastry chef at The Social Haus at the green o in Montana, told Lifestyle Asia that she loves to make cake using grated parsnips instead of carrots. She then tops her cake with whipped cream cheese frosting and crispy parsnip chips and fried sage garnishes.
  10. Everyone deserves a really nice vacuum sealer.
  11. Caesar salad is best served grilled.
  12. Instant coffee is a baking game-changer.
  13. Reduce wine before cooking with it for extra flavour.
  14. Shallow poaching is the perfect way to cook salmon.
  15. Harness the power of mushroom juice. For getting flavourful broth out of mushrooms wrap the mushrooms in plastic, and put them in the microwave until they’re cooked to your liking (and they’ve released some flavourful broth).

This story first appeared on


There is just about an awareness day for everything nowadays but as a chocaholic I made a note of any chocolate ones all in my diary.

National Chocolate Cake Day is Thursday 22nd January – Sainsbury’s wrote about a great idea for National Chocolate Cake Day and that is as it falls on a Friday “why not stretch your cocoa-based celebrations over the whole weekend and rustle up some decadent treats?

Some of Sainsbury’s magazine team say what good choccy cake means to them.

Flourless chocolate cake with a huge dollop of sweetened mascarpone for breakfast with a black coffee’

Chocolate Guinness cake. The sponge is so moist it doesn’t even matter if you eat the icing first. Deeeelicious!’

‘I love nuts in my brownies – I make mine with muscovado sugar, which makes them extra fudgey, and they HAVE to be gooey. I really don’t go much for chocolate buttercream – I prefer a chocolate ganache so you really get that chocolate hit. My fave cake is a chocolate soured cream cake with a dark chocolate ganache coating.’

‘I love a classic chocolate sponge sandwiched with lots of thick fudgy icing.’

All of the above had me salivating but my first choice is definitely the same as Hannah’s. You cannot beat a classic chocolate sponge sandwich cake.

National Chocolate Cake Day started when Dr James Baker and a chocolate maker teamed up to make the first chocolate cake in 1765. Dr James Baker had learned how to make chocolate by grinding the cocoa between two large millstones at his local mill.

This day is to commemorate this sweet treat that’s been a part of American society for about 252 years. It’s a great day to learn about the chocolate cake, or more likely, to serve up a plate of this delicious dessert. 

Many people believe that chocolate cake has been around since ancient times but that isn’t really true. While it is true that the ancient Egyptians were the first to bake cakes and that chocolate was first invented over 3,000 years ago by the Aztecs, the pair didn’t join up until about the middle of the 18th century in America. This is when Dr James Baker and a chocolate maker teamed up to make the first chocolate cake in 1765.

In 1847, one of the first chocolate cake recipes was published by Eliza Leslie in The Lady’s Receipt Book but American households really didn’t begin to add chocolate into their cakes until about the 1880s. They wouldn’t do so until the 1920s. This is when a food company based in Pittsburgh named P. Duff and Sons created the first boxed cake mix. During the 1930s, they would go on to create a devil food boxed cake mix but unfortunately, they had to put it on hold due to rationing during World War II. After the war ended, General Mills and Duncan Hines took over the market with their cake mixes. This is when the chocolate cake really began to take off in America.

To find out more about the history of National Chocolate Cake Day head to Holiday’s Calendar.

Why not have a Chocolate Pudding Club night and get all your friends (who love chocolate) to bring a homemade chocolate cake then sit down and enjoy tasting everyone’s baking masterpiece.