Mrs. Fixit: Baking Smarts

November 5, 2008 7:04:44 AM PST
With baking season upon us you will undoubtedly find yourself without an ingredient, or wondering if something is still good. Well, I have some tips and tricks to help you out.

Cake flour is one of those things that is rarely called for and you end up wasting the rest of the box. Instead sift together a cup of all purpose flour with one and a half teaspoons of baking powder and a half a teaspoon of salt. Need superfine sugar? Simply mix granulated sugar in your food processor or coffee grinder until it's the right consistency.

If you open your baking chocolate and it looks discolored, don't toss it, those spots are called chocolate bloom and it's caused when the fats in the chocolate separate, when chocolate's stored in a hot or humid place. It's perfectly fine to use. Once the chocolate's melted the fats will be redistributed.

When you're baking it's important to have all of your ingredients including butter and eggs at room temperature. So take them out at the very beginning of assembling your recipe needs so they can come to room temperature. Pastries are just the opposite, everything must be cold. Put all equipment in the freezer for a while before you start and the pastries will turn out flakier and tastier!

I hope these tips make your baking easier! I'm Mrs. Fixit and it's just that simple!


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