WATCH | Five hacks that'll make baking quicker, easier and less messy

When it comes to baking, the devil is in the details. Follow these simple tips to make it less finicky and more fun

15 April 2021 - 06:00
Who said ice cream scoops were just for dishing up frozen desserts?
Who said ice cream scoops were just for dishing up frozen desserts?
Image: 123RF/arinahabich

1. HOW TO EVENLY PORTION CUPCAKE BATTER

You can fill cupcake pans or muffin tins using two spoons (one to scoop up the batter and the other to scrape the batter off the first spoon into the tin), by using a piping bag or by pouring the batter from a measuring cup.

But the easiest — and least messy — way to portion your batter for evenly sized cupcakes is to use an old-fashioned ice cream scoop with a release lever.

Be careful not to overfill the cups of your tin with batter as it could spill over as it rises in the oven: filling them about two thirds of the way up is best.

2. HOW TO MEASURE STICKY INGREDIENTS

If you’re measuring sticky ingredients like honey, syrup or peanut butter, first coat the measuring cup, spoon or jug with a non-stick ingredient like cooking spray or oil. The sticky ingredients will slide right out without you having to scrape or waste those last little bits sticking to the container.

3. HOW TO REMOVE A STRAY PIECE OF EGG SHELL FROM THE MIX

If you’ve cracked an egg and a small bit of shell has escaped into the bowl with the yolk and white, it can be frustrating to try to fish it out. Next time, rather than using a spoon or your finger, take your cue from celeb chef Jamie Oliver and use half an egg shell to scoop it out. No chasing, no slipping, no fuss.

WATCH | How to remove broken egg shell from a bowl.

4. HOW TO MEASURE BUTTER OR MARGARINE IN CUPS

Measuring butter or margarine can be a messy business if your recipe calls for cups or spoonfuls of the stuff rather than grams. 

Says our Food editor, Hilary Biller, "Remember butter or margarine is the same in weight as it is in volume. So 250g of butter/margarine is the same as 250ml of butter which is 1 cup".

5. HOW TO LINE A ROUND CAKE TIN WITH BAKING PAPER

Not sure how to cut a perfect circle of baking paper to line the base of your round cake tin? Try this trick from the Institute of Culinary Education (video below):

  • Take a rectangular piece of baking paper and fold it in half twice.
  • Fold one corner towards the other, making a pointy cone shape.
  • Place the point of your cone shape in the centre of your upside-down cake tin and cut off the piece of baking paper that sticks out past the edge of the tin.
  • When you unfold your piece of baking paper it will be the perfect size to fit into the bottom of the cake tin. 

WATCH | How to line a round cake tin with baking paper.