Top Baking Tips

You’ve watched the baking programmes and found a new lease of optimism. You take to the recipe books and prepare to become a baking (and, probably a general culinary) extraordinaire. But, on sifting through the recipes, it’s a minefield. Cups? Ounces? Sodas?! Gibberish. How will you ever become the #StarBaker of your own kitchen if you can’t even understand the recipe?!

With us of course. We’ve scoured the web of baking literature to uncover the baking unknown. Keep reading for our top baking blunders answered.

1. How much is a cup?

A common confusion in terms of measurements. Are we talking pints, shots or mugs? Lordy. Help!

But true to form of a silly system, there are exceptions. In fact, it’s mostly exceptions. Obviously a cup of flour is lighter than a cup of butter. So, here are some more common measurements.

Flour/sugar – 125g = 1 cup

Honey/syrup/treacle – 340g = 1 cup

Butter – 225g = 1 cup

2. What kind of gibberish are TSP and TBSP?

In fact, not complete gibberish. It just misses out the vowels. (And a few consonants…)

3. How much is a stick of butter?

Again, who the heck measures in sticks?! FYI it’s roughly 125g. But, if the baker is measuring in sticks, it’s safe to assume they want to see you fail. (Words spoken by a true bitter baker).

4. How many grams in an ounce?

Again, who measures in old school ounces anymore?! But, who are we to judge? Should you find yourself yearning for a 19th century cooking experience, please see the below measurements.

5. How many is a Baker’s Dozen?

Who knew it was thirteen, ey? A fun pub quiz question. But, do you know why? Legend (ok, google) has it that it originates from the Medieval period where bakers would commonly give 13 loaves for the dozen to avoid being penalized for an underweight order. Who knew?!

1. What’s the difference between baking soda, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda?

The sodas. The trixiest troupe since the Pretenders. So, here’s the low down.

1.Baking soda is the same bicarbonate of soda (also known as sodium bicarbonate). It needs to be mixed with moisture and acid for the chemical reaction to take place that allows your mixture to rise.

2.Baking powder contains baking soda – it already has acid pre-mixed into it. You use baking powder when the recipe doesn’t include additional acid to prompts the chemical reaction you get with baking soda. Examples of acid ingredients would be lemon juice, buttermilk etc.

3.Basically, it’s confusing.

2. What is blanching?

In its crudest terms, it’s boiling for stinky foods. Or, food torture. It’s the method of scalding foods in boiling water for a timed interval and then plunging it into cold water to shock it out of cooking. You might use it to soften veg pre-stir fry, to lessen the pungency of smelly foods (e.g. cabbage) or before you deep-fry chips.

3. What’s the difference between boiling and poaching?

Boiling is submerging food in boiling water (shock), poaching is submerging food on a lower heat in water, wine, stock, milk etc.

4. How do you know when a cake is ready?

The question to end all questions. Well, ask yourself this – how long is a piece of string? Joking. It’s a little more certain than that. Ever used a cooking skewer? If you skewer the middle of the cake and it comes out dry, it’s done. If it’s wet, it’s not.

But, then there’s fruit cake where the sponge might be dry but the fruit in the cake is wet which throws all the skewer rules out of the park. Bejesus.

And, there we have it. 9 baking mysteries answered. So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to our baking section and get yourself prepped with the tools and equipment to start your own production line! It’s the only reasonable next step.

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