As a person who keeps at least 1kg of butter on hand at all times, I’m constantly cycling blocks of the stuff between my freezer, fridge and butter dish. Recently, though, I found myself in an unthinkable predicament: I was out of butter. I dug around in the back of my freezer, and behind a half-empty bag of frozen dumplings and some chicken stock, I found one last box.
Tagged With baking
While I’m not the biggest fan of unicorn food, there is no denying the beauty of a brightly coloured confection. I don’t have any particular qualms with the little bottles of artificial food colouring but, thanks to Stella Parks, I have recently become a huge fan of colouring sweet things with pulverised, freeze-dried fruit.
If there is one hill I will die on, it is that boxed mix brownies are usually the only brownies worth my time — but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to get fancy with them. If you’re looking to pass yours off as a little more gourmand, simply change the oil.
In terms of earthly delights, a fresh, soft cookie with perfectly crispy edges and gooey chocolate chips is extremely hard to compete with. Though there is nothing wrong with making — and eating — an entire baker’s dozen in an evening, you might be the type of person who has “impulse control”, and wishes to enjoy only a cookie or two a day.
In that case, the best gift you can give yourself is a bag of pre-portioned, frozen cookie dough.
It is well documented that I am not above using a boxed baking mix, particularly those of the chocolate variety. But just because something doesn’t require any culinary creativity, that doesn’t mean you can’t play around with tweaks.
Just as there are "process" killers and "product" killers, I like to think that there are process bakers and product bakers. Process people take comfort and joy in the execution of their favourite hobby, whereas product people are in it for the result. Like Jeffrey Dahmer, I’m a product person, but our goals are very different. Dahmer wanted a comatose sex slave; I just want some brownies.
If you have an oven with a convection setting - meaning it is equipped with a fan that circulates the hot air around the food - it may be tempting to use it on your cakes, cookies and biscuits to help things cook "more evenly". However, according to Patron Saint of Good Baked Things, Stella Parks (AKA The Brave Tart), this can lead to non-optimum results.
If you've happened to visit Pinterest in the last five years or so, you have no doubt seen a recipe or 10 for some iteration of three-ingredient, no-knead bread. These recipes are popular for good reason. Not only are these loaves extremely impressive for the amount of work they demand, they are excellent vehicles for any odds and ends you wish to rid your fridge of, from a handful of cheese to lonely fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes you need a reasonable number of cupcakes - like a dozen - but sometimes you need many more than that. Unless you have a whole mess of wire racks, and a bunch of counter space, cooling them down can pose a bit of a problem. Luckily, you can employ most ironing boards which, as Reddit user Something Else points out, are giant wire racks.
As an unapologetic craver of the glorious mineral that is sodium chloride, I firmly believe that anyone who's serious about cooking needs an easily-accessible salt cellar. No other ingredient changes the way you perceive flavours like salt does; while it's rarely the sole seasoning agent in a recipe, it's the most important to get right.
Baking beautiful bread requires the skillful manipulation of three big, messy variables: technique, equipment, and ingredients. Poor technique accounts for most subpar results, but a sudden change in kitchen conditions or ingredient availability can throw even a seasoned baker for a loop. If your bread has started acting up for seemingly no reason, your water might just be the culprit.
Being the son of a baker and, in a former life, a scientist, there are a lot of Universal Forces dictating that I should have a talent for baking. I'm not very good at baking. On top of that, I'm not into all those tears and painful pauses you see on Masterchef, either.
That's why I am stoked that Netflix has produced Nailed It, a TV show about people that aren't very good at baking. It is hilarious.
Dessert and cocktails both come after dinner, but combining them is a tricky business indeed. The best boozy desserts neatly split the difference between sugary treats and nightcaps; the worst are indistinguishable from mild physical assault. Sadly, the latter is far more common than the former - but it doesn't have to be.
It's a pretty popular culinary opinion that everyone should own a cast iron pan, but I am of the opinion that everyone should also own a mini cast iron pan. Like its classic 30cm counterpart, the mini has a myriad of delicious uses from appetisers to dessert.