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Hints and tips for Baking Dairy Eggs Fish Fruit and Vegetables Gelatin Meat Rice Sauces Spices Sugar

Hints and tips for Baking

  • To make icing  on a cake go further and not be as sweet use 40 ml maziena to 500ml icing sugar.
  • Biscuits will remain crisp if a sugar lump is placed in the biscuit tin.
  • To make extra light pancakes use soda water instead of milk.
  • For sponge cakes use stiffly beaten eggs and the oven at the right temperature for immediate baking.
  • Run a slice of raw potato over a baking tray to stop biscuits sticking.
  • Successful pastry needs to be kept cool throughout the making process and baked in a hot oven. To make a lighter pastry use soda water and a few drops of lemon juice. To stop the pastry from becoming tough sprinkle it with a thin layer of sugar and flour before adding the filling.
  • Replace the egg for brushing the tops of pastry with custard powder mixed in milk or water.
  • To prevent pie filling from soaking into the crust by brushing the pastry surface with egg white or sprinkling a mixture of flour and sugar over it.
  • A spoonful of sago added to juicy pie fillings will absorb excess juice and help to keep the filling in the pie.
  • Freeze stale bread and use it to make breadcrumbs.
  • For lighter cakes use one part corn flour to 3 parts flour and sift three times before using.
  • Egg substitute for cakes is to replace one egg with  10ml of lemon juice and 25ml of milk
  • Sprinkle cup cakes with jelly, coloured sugar or cinnamon sugar mix , then you do not have to ice.

Hints and tips for Dairy

  • Boiled milk will not form a skin if you add a teaspoon of water to it.

  • Add beer to a cheese dish to intensify the flavor. Mustard and salt also bring out the flavour.

  •  Add a packet of chicken or onion soup to macaroni in place of plain milk.

  • To prevent milk, pasta and rice from boiling over, put teaspoon of butter in the water or milk.  

  • Make your own Ultramel custard by adding 125ml fresh cream and 5ml of vanilla to every 500ml custard and beating well.

  • Rancid butter can be soaked in 30 ml milk at room temperature. The milk will absorb the rancid flavour.

  • Grainy yogurt can be stabilized by mixing 5ml corn flour and a little water add to the yogurt and continue cooking

  • Place a marshmallow in an icecream cone to stop it leaking out the bottom of the cone. To cut marshmallows use cold water on your scissors or icing sugar to stop them sticking.

  • Cream that does not thicken can be improved with a little lemon juice.

Hints and tips for Eggs

  • Use room temperature eggs when beating the whites. A pinch of cream of tartar makes the foam more stable. 5ml of corn flour makes egg whites easy to get stiff for meringues. Store the yolks covered in water in the fridge for up to 3 days. Egg whites can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for three weeks.

  • To stop eggs from breaking while boiling pierce the end with a pin or add salt to the water.

  • Add a spoonful of breadcrumbs or corn flour to scrambled eggs to stretch it and improve the flavor.

  • Add a pinch of corn flour to omelettes to make them light and fluffy.

  • To test eggs for freshness place in a bowl of water. If it rises to the surface it is stale. A fresh egg will sink.

  • Do not add eggs straight to a hot sauce, first add a couple of tablespoons of the hot liquid to the eggs and mix.

  • Sprinkle a little flour in the pan before adding oil when you fry eggs and they will not stick.

  • If you have eggs outside the fridge sray and cook the shells and they will last longer

Hints and tips for Fish

  • Fish will scale easier if they are rubbed with vinegar first. Vinegar will also remove that fishy smell from your hands

  • Use milk to soak the frozen fish in as it defrosts and the flavour will be fresher.

  • Add lemon juice to water that you use for boiling fish and the flesh will stay white.

  • Use salt on your fingers before working on fish so your fingers do not slip.

  • Dip fish in boiling water to help scale them.

Hints and tips for Fruit and Vegetables

  • Apples will soften hard sugar, Just place one in the container with the sugar. If placed in a potato bag they will stop them from budding.
  • Add a pinch of cloves to an apple pie for instant lift.
  • To prevent bananas from turning black when making fruit salad, leave a little cold water in -the dish when rinsing it before use. The bananas will then remain white and solid. Sherry also prevents bananas from discoloring and adds a different flavor

  • To prevent beans or peas from losing their green colour, cook without a lid. Peapods, boiled make a good stock.

  • Celery wrapped in aluminum foil will keep longer in the fridge.

  • Cabbage flavour is improved by adding a sprig of mint.

  • Red cabbage keeps it's colour if you add a spoonful of vinegar or lemon juice. An apple cooked with it make a lovely dish.

  • Cauliflower will keep it's colour if you add lemon juice or milk to the cooking water. You can do the same thing to potatoes

  • For yummy vegetables a little sugar can bring out the full flavour of peas, corn, pumpkin etc.,

  • A quick vegetable sauce is a carton of plain yogurt warmed, beat in two egg yolks and cook stirring for three minutes, season to taste. Pour over the vegetables.

  • Roast potatoes will look good if rolled into flour before roasting.  

  • Rub the skin of baked potatoes with a little oil before baking to make them crisp. 

  • For crispy fried potatoes steam or boil them first and allow to cool. Keep a stock of these potatoes in the fridge for frying as necessary. to keep fried food warm and crisp place on a plate lined with waxed paper.

  • Mashed potatoes are nice with a beef or chicken stock cube dissolved in milk added.

  • Too much salt- a potato will do the trick, they absorb salt

  • Potato will remove food stains from your fingers and refresh that oil painting. Just rub a cut potato over it.

  • Cook whole pumpkin by placing it in a bag unpeeled, cook in the microwave and when cooked the skin peels off.

  • Need to seed raisins- put them on a baking tray and pop into a hot oven.

  • To peel grapes plunge into  hot then cold water.

  • Crispy lettuce-: separate the leaves and soak for 15 minutes in cold salted water. Dry and place into a plastic bag and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. For a special salad dressing use fruit juice, mayonnaise and curry powder

  • Use carrot tops instead of parsley.

  • Dried fruit that has become hard needs to either be steeped in fruit juice or water overnight or placed on a wire rack over boiling water.

  • Lemons need to be warm to give the most juice so plunge them in boiling water before juicing. Keep extra juice and freeze it in ice trays.

  • Mushrooms will stay white if you add a splash of lemon juice to the butter before frying.

  • Sray and cook bananas to keep the

  • m yellow longer

Hints and tips for Gelatine

  • Lemon jelly mixed with 1/2 liter of boiled ginger beer for a different All gelatine dishes need to be removed from the fridge 20 minutes before serving for full flavour.

Hints and tips for Meat

  • Never freeze foil with salted foods. It will react badly and cause freezer burn.

  • Cook 2.5kg of maize meal in the microwave for 20 minutes. this will turn it into a quick cooking porridge.

  • Use a warm knife to cut fudge

  • Want to tenderize meat- use sour milk. Lactic acid is a preservative and will keep your meat fresh while making it tender and juicy. lemon juice or vinegar also tenderizes meat.

  • Ham must be cooled in the water it is boiled in or it will become dry. If that has happened soak it in milk for a few minutes.

  • Burnt meat- cut off the burnt edges and cover with apricot jam or soak the meat briefly in milk for a no burnt aftertaste.

  • Curry too hot? Add 5ml of sugar and juice of 1/2 a lemon.

  • when braising meat add 5-10ml of sugar to improve the flavour.

  • A stew too salty? Use a potato or a spoonful of sugar to counteract this.

  • Lemon juice sprinkled over liver or chicken, before cooking improves the flavour.

  • Skin the chicken before cooking as then the seasoning is not lost.

  • Meatballs can be bound with grated apple or potato instead of egg.

  • A dessertspoon of peanut butter added to chicken casseroles adds flavour.

  • Should you have problems with butcheries or other meat industries  Samic is the place to contact 012 428 7911 Rudi Van Der Westhuizen helped me with a weight issue and can be contacted at 082 900 3005

Hints and tips for Rice

  • Rice gets a lift with lemon rind and parsley. Cheese with rice is great for accompanying veal. Add raisins ( soaked first in hot water) and curry powder, and serve with lamb. Chopped onion cooked with rice gives a wild rice flavour. Add a knob of butter to the cooking water for a glossy finish and to ensure rice does not stick to the pot.

  • To stop mould forming on top of home made jams pour syrup on the top of the jam before sealing. 

  • Jam fillings can be made by boiling 50 with 50g butter cool and use to sandwich biscuits together.

  • Presoak rice in cold water for 20 minutes for a better result and quicker cooking time.

Hints and tips for Sauces

  • Sauces: beat a cold liquid slowly into a butter and flour mixture. Hot liquid can be added all at once and whisked.

  • Chutney substitute is apricot jam and Worcester sauce mixed.

  • Use lemon juice to mix up mustard for a new taste sensation.

Hints and tips for Spices

  • Mace and nutmeg are interchangeable, but mace is stronger in flavour

Hints and tips for Sugar:

  • For sugar that has hardened add a lemon to the container and it will soften.