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.

7 UNUSUAL WAYS TO USE TEA…

1. To reduce travel sickness or morning sickness drink camomile, fennel or ginger tea. This is also good for indigestion.

2. To make your own herb tea put one small handful of the fresh herb or one heaped teaspoon of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water. Leave to stand for about five to ten minutes then strain and drink the tea while it’s still hot.

3. To refresh the colours of a carpet, sprinkle over a mixture of tea-leaves and salt, and then vacuum.

4. To remove tea or coffee stains from china, rub with a damp cloth dipped in baking soda.

5. Re-brew used tea bags to refresh parched skin. Allow the tea to cool, then pour it into a spray or squeeze bottle. Spritz it onto your skin or apply with a cotton pad. Any tea will do, but the antioxidants in green tea are particularly effective for rehydrating dry skin.

6. Place a teabag in the pan and fill it with hot water. Allow it to soak overnight, and the tannins in the tea will help loosen anything stuck in the bottom of your pan.

7. Tea and tea bags can both help with the decomposition of your compost pile.

A TOUCH OF CINNAMON FOR TASTE AND TO HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS…

Cinnamon is a great addition to your diet as it lowers blood sugar levels. They suggest you only have one teaspoon to help lower your blood sugar level.

Cinnamon is a popular spice, especially for baked goods and desserts. Aside from its distinctive aroma, cinnamon is believed to help lower the blood sugar level, making it suitable for obese patients who are at higher risk of diabetes. However, consumption should be limited to one teaspoon per day, as excessive amounts can result in liver problems.

Very Well Fit says that Cinnamon has been used in the medical arena for thousands of years. Europeans in the Middle Ages mixed cinnamon with meat as a preservative and sixth-century Greeks prescribed cinnamon to help with indigestion and other ailments. But today we’re talking about the popular claims regarding cinnamon as a weight-loss aid. A little cinnamon adds a lot of flavour to food for minimal calories, and that’s always a good thing when it comes to your diet. An entire teaspoon has just six calories and about 2g carbs, plus a little more than a gram of fiber.3 Cinnamon can also enhance the sweetness in your food, which means less need for sugar or other sweeteners.

So, why not add a sprinkle to your oatmeal or over fruit especially for crumbles as it goes with any fruit. You could try adding some to low far greek yoghurt or when making a chilly.

TEA COCKTAILS, A DIFFERENT TASTE ON TEA…

If you go to the Tate Galleries in London, Liverpool or St.Ives you will see that they supply JING teas.

JING One Cup Tea-iere for Loose Leaf tea

JING is run by Edward Eisler and his team. By building relationships with the worlds finest tea farmers in China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan and Taiwan, JING hand sources not only the finest teas and herbal infusions, but also special, rare teas which are seldom seen outside their country of origin.

They supply tea and teaware directly to customers through their website and offer full tea service concepts for the world’s best hotels, restaurants and retailers, in the finest British and modern-oriental styles.

Tate has a carefully selected JING tea range, including some of our most popular loose teas and herbal infusions including Darjeeling 2nd Flush, White Peony, Jasmine Pearls, Yellow Gold oolong, Rooibos and Lemon Verbena. Our whole leaf tea bags are also available to take away at Tate Modern.

Matcha Shaker

The barmen on the top floor of Tate Modern have put together some great cocktail recipes using their teas. The menu includes inspired twists on established classics like Martini, Negroni and Rob Roy, using our Earl Grey, herbal infusions and Lapsang.

All of the tea cocktails use tea syrups. To make these syrups, simply pour into a pan a 300ml cup of tea and add 150ml of sugar. Heat the mixture and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Taste for strength and add more tea leaves if needed. Depending on the cocktail, this syrup should be enough for 10 or more cocktails.

Bamboo Tea Tray

SOME PUDDING/DESSERT RECIPES FROM THE 1960’S…

Some great dessert/pudding recipes from the 1960’s are coming back into fashion. Remember the Fondue.

No young, hip couple was complete without a fondue set. Dipping strawberries and cake cubes into molten chocolate and bubbling apricot brandy was the perfect way to pass an evening before a fireplace.

Egg Nog, another firm favourite and easy to make.

Eggnog Pudding Recipe

Another one was Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Apparently, midcentury people treated canned pineapple as a gift from the heavens.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a classic retro cake recipe. Sweet pineapple rings in a buttery brown sugar topping, baked with a delicious cake. An easy dessert recipe by retrorecipebox.com #cake #easydessert #pineapple

1960 era Dandy do-little Desserts Recipes

BlackForest Gateaux has become very popular again now with some finished in a more modern way.

Authentic Black Forest Cake Recipe - Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

Junket was a digestive enzyme known as rennet dumped into milk, which would curdle into a kind of custard. It’s more delicious than it sounds. The stuff was quite popular in the northeast, and the Junket brand branched out to include Sherbet Mix and Quick Fudge.

What the Heck is Junket, Anyway? — Jessie Unicorn Moore

VINTAGE COOKERY BOOKS…

Before 1800, housekeeping books tended to be handwritten collections of recipes and instructions tried and tested by the household cook. By the 1850’s they were developed into books for ‘adult women’, in particular for your brides who were setting up home.

They were intended as work manuals, they were without lavish photography or even set in fine bindings but if you can get hold of one from a book shops they will amaze you. They tell us about the lives of the women in the past from where you can see social change and the disappearance of domestic servants.

Mrs Breton’s Book of Household Management, which was published in 1861 was a huge success and sold 60,000 copes in its first year and two million by 1868. Of course with no television at that time these books were inspirational.

By the time Helen Simpson wrote ‘The Happy Housewife’ in 1934 modern appliances were starting to pop up everywhere, not only helping with the housework but also removing the servants of that time.

In ‘Keeping House’ with Elizabeth Craig (Collins 1936) she said ‘ I have no use for elaborately decorated or furnished homes or for elaborate meals. The simpler the home, the simpler the housekeeping.

Some of these vintage home books can now fetch a lot of money at auction. A book published in 1687 ‘The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closit of Rarities’, by John Shirley sold at Sothebys for £1,625. So, if your great aunt or grandma are still alive and have some old cookery books make sure they don’t end up at the tip.

Even the National Trust ‘Manual of Housekeeping of 2006’ sold 10,000 copies in 2006 and is now being reprinted !!!