You may not be aware, but this week is in fact National Baking Week. Great news, right? That, combined with the new series of Bake Off starting, and autumn being pretty much synonymous with tasty, cinnamon-filled baked goods, all leads us to the conclusion that we needed to do some research and supply you with our best baking hacks and recipes.
Let’s start by weighing up some of our favourite hacks to ensure you’re star baker time and time again!
Posh Pie Crust Made Easy
Having people round for a meal and want to impress? Get yourself some ready rolled pastry and a couple of tins of filling and you’re good to go. The finishing touch, to really make it look like you slaved over a hot stove all day, is a perfectly crimped pie crust. You wouldn’t believe how many kitchen items give a professional finish including tongs, corkscrews or even measuring spoons.
Does your recipe dictate that you use room temperature eggs? Well, it’s not a disaster if yours live in the fridge and you need to get them warm in a flash - simply submerge them in warm (not hot) water for 3 minutes and you’re good to go.
Why Wait for Ripe Bananas?
We’ve all become accustomed to whipping up a banana bread (thanks to the numerous lock downs), however, you don’t need to wait until your bananas are on their last legs to bake one. Peel and bake your bananas for a few minutes first to achieve that ‘couple of weeks old’ look, perfect and no one will know the difference.
Run Out of Something…? We’ve Got a Substitute!
There are loads of surprising substitutes that can be used to replace more common baking ingredients so no need to abandon your urge to bake with this extensive list which should help you out.
Mess Free Muffins
Baking is, in essence, a science - so all of your ingredients being precisely weighed and bakes all being a consistent size, is important. To ensure consistent muffin sizes, and to avoid the numerous messy spoons dotted around the kitchen, why not use your ice cream scoop!
Now onto some actual recipes…
Giant Sharing Cookie
This tastes as good as it sounds and is super simple to whip up. Tip 200g of butter and 250g of light brown sugar into a bowl and beat until combined. Then, stir in 2 egg yolks and half a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Add in 275g of plain flour, 150g of chocolate chips, a pinch of salt, and any other filling you fancy. Mix that until a crumbly dough forms. Press into an ovenproof frying pan or baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with a few scoops of ice cream, some pretzels and pecans, and you’re really onto a winner.
Melt in the Middle Mug Cake
A tasty warm pudding that takes less than 5 minutes to make. Sounds too good to be true right? In a large mug, using a fork, whisk together 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, 1 medium egg, 2 tablespoons of plain flour, 3 tablespoons of light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, a dash of vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of boiling water. Push a chocolate truffle of your choice (Lindor work very well) into the centre of the batter and microwave for 45 seconds. Add cream or ice cream for the ultimate cosy comfort bake.
Did you try out any of our hacks or recipes? Or maybe you have you own that you’d like to share? We’re a pretty social bunch over at Manchester Apartments so feel free to brag about your bakes or tell us your ways to avoid soggy bottoms via our social channels.