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4 Baking Tips this Holiday Season! Guest Blog: Made by Mith

December 22, 2014

4 Baking Tips this Holiday Season! Guest Blog: Made by Mith

 
Photo by FLUKEMEDIA - http://flukemedia.foliohd.com/

On Christmas, most people trek to a family or friend’s house usually bringing a slab of beer, a potato salad or perhaps a few boxes of El Jannah chicken. All thought for food is built up towards the main meal of carving the ham, barbecued prawns, snags and plenty of salad. Not much time is given to the "after-meal decadence" because when that time comes around, most people have bellies that rival Santa.

If I was hosting Christmas festivities and a guest brought along a centre piece for after dinner, I would treat them like little baby Jesus and shower them with my good graces because I know what it takes to make and transport such a gift.

Time and effort is precious to us and so I hope my 4 little tips prove useful for you this season and for many more to come.

1. Lining a round cake tin with baking paper

No need for origami classes when lining a clip lock style cake tin. This can all be done in 1 minute. Please check out the below:

  • Butter inside the tin cake ring and base.
  • Tear off a square of baking paper larger than the tin base.
  
  • Place the baking paper over the tin base.

  • Position the cake ring over the paper and press it down to align with the tin base and then lock it in.
    
  • From here, do the usual lining of the cake ring with strips of baking paper.
  

    As simple as this may sound, I have not seen this technique show in many books or YouTube tutorials. This part literally takes 10 seconds so you can save your first frustration for something more meaningful.

    2. Aeration of butter

    Most cake recipes start with “Whisk butter until light and fluffy”.

    Indeed this is the most important step because if the butter is not puffed and fluffy, your batter will not hold. As you mix more ingredients, the batter will begin to split and no amount of whisking will be able to save it. Do it once and do it right.

    To get your butter into a whisk-able consistency, keep the required amount of blocks out and covered on the kitchen bench to bring to room temperature. If you forgot to take them out of the fridge the night before, you can grate the butter like cheese to speed up the process.


    Image: marthastewart.com

    If preparing a large cake and you need to whisk 500 grams or more of butter, use a machine with a whisk attachment. For anything less than 500 grams, I suggest starting with a hand whisk to get this process started, then adding it to the machine to finish. This will save you time and effort as most machines don’t actually achieve a true mix at the start of this butter whisking process. Once in the mixer, make sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl so all the butter gets a good whisking. Dedicate 3-4 minutes of whisking on a medium to high speed.

    Need to hear this from a higher authority? In Heston we trust! (see video below)

    3. Buttercream frosting vs. Cream cheese frosting

    Buttercream frosting… the main reason why most people are turned off eating cakes.

    When done badly, there is usually a chunk of it scraped off on each plate. When done well, it gets a satisfactory ok from most people.

    Adding a cream cheese frosting to you repertoire and blacklisting any butter cream recipes you know will be the difference between having people ask you for more next year or being Kevin McCalister from Home Alone.

    In this great country of ours where we get smoking hot Christmas days, this frosting will hold strong during transportation and not melt as the icing sugar, cream cheese and a little butter work harmoniously to unite so all may enjoy your work.

    Transporting buttercream or chocolate ganache decorated cakes in a car is possible, but I would not take the risk if it is very hot.

    Oh yeah, don’t just think cream cheese frosting goes with only carrot cake and red velvet cupcakes. Check out this article from The Huffington Post about cream cheese frosting for some ideas

    4. Transportation of your cake

    I swear, there is a viable business for anyone that will cover the risk for transporting cakes. Cake insurance, anyone?


    Image: sheknows.com

    If you plonked a cake in a Tupperware container the usual way, you would have a hard time lifting the cake out and will be sure to break it in half. Use the following if you don’t have a pre purchased cardboard cake box:

    • Lay the lid of a plastic Tupperware container upside down on the kitchen bench, this lid is now the cake board.
    • Place your decorated cake on this upside down plastic lid.
    • Then place the storage component of the box over the cake and clip it all in place.

    Essentially you are transporting a cake in an upside down Tupperware container. Once you get to the party, you can transfer it to something fit for Christmas.

    With Cupcake transportation, I have seen people cover them with plastic wrap then rip it off with half the frosting still on the plastic. If transporting cupcakes on a big tray, cover the 4 corner cupcakes with upside down plastic cups. Then cover the entire tray with plastic wrap, doing this will ensure that the plastic wrap does not adhere to the frosting so all that time spent decorating will not go to waste.

    I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

    THIS WAS A GUEST BLOG FROM MADE BY MITH who is "hopelessly devoted to creating exquisite confectionery creations for you to enjoy".

    Made by Mith photo

     



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