When my mum had me as a shadow in her kitchen, one of the first things I learnt was to "always have a bowl of hot soapy water ready". The kitchen sink would be full of hot soapy water ready to dunk sticky hands in or drop in a used spoon. You don't have to do this but I'm just passing on the wisdom. She certainly taught me a few helpful tips.
Here are 5 top kitchen basics tips and 5 baking methods you need to know to get you started in baking. If you have any questions at all just message me and I'll be glad to answer them.
5 Top Kitchen Basics Tips
2) Your food is only as good as your ingredients, it is worth the effort to get the best ingredients you can and no substandard cheaper alternatives. Your body deserves the best, not crap. Especially bear this in mind when you are choosing chocolate.
3)Now this tip is genius! Save your butter wrappers, fold them up and keep them in the fridge - I have so many memories of the fridge door having many butter wrappers folded up. Why? I hear you ask. These wrappers make fantastic instant greasing tools for greasing tins and trays for baking. No mucking about, just grab, grease your tin then throw away. Trust me.
4) Preheating your oven makes all the difference, when you know you're going to whip up a quick cake or something, get that oven on!
5) Kitchen scales, get them! Baking is a science and weighing ingredients is the way forward.
5 Baking Methods You Need To Know
2) The 'creaming' method involves a few steps and makes sponges spongy, light and fluffy. First you beat (cream) the sugar and butter together until light in colour and nice and fluffy. Next the eggs have to be combined into the sugar and butter mixture, one at a time. Beat the mixture until the egg is fully combined and repeat for each egg addition. The flour is then sifted over the mixture and gently folded in using a large metal spoon. You can used the paddle attachment on a stand mixture super slowly, being careful not to over beat the mixture and lose all the lovely air that has been beaten in.
3) 'Folding' the mixture means to literally fold the mixture into itself using a mental spoon to combine it, folding gently. This, again, preserves all the air that you have carefully beaten in.
I always, always sift my flour. Hold the sieve above your bowl and sprinkle over the flour, this helps trap and incorporate more air into your mixture.
4) Recipes for making pastry or scones will likely have the instruction to 'rub' the butter into the flour. When making pastry and scones you will definitely be using cold butter, cut into cubes, rubbing in is the action of using your finger tips to rub the flour and butter together.
Tip - make sure your hands are cold or cool because warm hands will warm your butter, it will start to get a little oily and what you want to achieve is a final texture resembling breadcrumbs. Use a firm yet gentle touch, picking up the lumps of butter with your finger tips. Use a sprinkling action rubbing your finger tips together, lift your hands high. You will see the ingredients beautifully combining before your very eyes.
5) 'Cutting' in, for example milk into a scone mixture, means to use a blunt edged knife and a cutting action to combine the liquid with the dry mix.