Tuesday, 14 June 2011

3 little tips that mean a lovely lifetime of chocolate cakes!

It's amazing how little tips go a very very long way. I'm not talking horses (even if it is Ascot Week), I am talking about the every day little things that make a big difference to your life. It may come as a surprise to some of you but I'm a cook (not professionally!) and if everyone I've cooked for is right - I'm quite a good cook as well (great cook if you ask Daddy DayCare). It may come as even more of a surprise but I'm a terrible baker.

You'd think as a scientist (yes really) it would be the other way around?! Baking requires people to be exact and follow the instructions, cooking is a little more artistic - throw stuff in and see how it comes out. But nope, I can cook a feast fit for a King (Henry 8th inspired Christmas dinner last year was a sight to behold!) but ask me to make a cupcake and you'll have this deflated thing in a paper case. For some reason I just can't keep cakes, muffins, cupcakes, and all manner of baked goods 'up' (probably why my 'English Welsh Cakes' are OK).

I searched the internet, asked friends, watched Raymond Blanc, read cookery books and even took advice from people in supermarkets but to no avail. I was going to give up but then saw that in my most recent cupcake / muffin book (present in my Christmas stocking from Daddy DayCare) that she gave three tips to making the best muffins ever. I tried them and guess what? IT WORKED! My mini-muffins stayed up and looked like muffins!! Woo hoo! Here are her tips: 1. Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. 2. Sift all your dry ingredients. 3. Don't over mix. The batter should be lumpy and bumpy!

I'm hoping these three little tips mean that I can cook birthday cakes and party muffins for some years to come. Be it a chocolate smartie cake or a knitted hat, we all appreciate the love and quality that comes from something that is handmade.
DangerBaby's 1st Birthday cake

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