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Tips for better xmas baking - Food - NairaMan

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Tips for better xmas baking by Diamondwriter(m) : 7:55 am On Dec 11, 2013

Baking is both art and science - a seemingly
mysterious blend of precision, patience and
inspiration. Use these expert techniques from
Western Star butter to take the mystery out of
baking and add some sweet indulgence to Christmas.
1) Buy an oven thermometer
Oven meters often display a different temperature
than an oven's actual internal temperature, and a
few degrees up or down can affect a dessert's
texture. Use an oven thermometer to ensure an
accurate reading.
2) Choose the best ingredients
Even if you follow your recipe to the letter, the right
ingredients can still make or break a Christmas treat.
Always select top-quality ingredients, from the
correct flour to the best butters. For an extra rich
final product, use Western Star's award-winning
butters for their creamy texture.
3) Know when to soften and when to melt
The temperature of butter affects the texture of the
final product - room-temperature butter creates more
shapeable dough, and melting makes for an extra
chewy consistency.
4) Measure accurately
Measuring cups for liquid ingredients are different
than those for dry ingredients, so it's important to
match your tool to your ingredient. For dry
ingredients, don't pack the measuring cup - just
spoon in and level off.
5) Cream correctly
Creaming - beating butter and sugar together - also
changes the consistency of baked goods. When
creaming, the butter and sugar should be beaten
together until almost white, but don't overbeat as
this can result in an overly heavy final product.
Always cream before adding other ingredients.
6) Chill out
Refrigerating your dough before baking produces a
fuller, fluffier biscuit. Chill the dough for at least 20
minutes - the longer it's chilled the fluffier the dough.
Dough can be stored up to three months in the
7) Use the right baking tin
Follow your recipe's instructions carefully when
selecting a baking tin - substituting baking pans can
result in over-baked desserts. When baking biscuits,
choose a tin that is thick at the base but has a
minimal edge. For cakes, grease or line the
appropriate non-stick pan to prevent the cake from
8) Know when your cake is done
A cake is ready when it begins to pull away from the
tin and when it springs back after being tapped
gently. As a final check, insert a toothpick in the
cake's centre - the toothpick should come away free
of moisture or dough.
9) Cool before flipping
Once a cake is done baking, let it cool before flipping.
At least 10 minutes of cooling is recommended for
standard cakes, longer for bundts.
10) Time your icing right
Wait until the cake is completely cooled before icing
it. For best results, once cooled add a base layer of
icing and let the cake set for at least an hour before
adding your final decorations.
This is a promotional feature brought to you by and Western Star. Western Star is a
trademark of the Fonterra group of companies.

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