Some of the sweetest moments in our lives happen when we share meals with our family and friends. Whether you are baking for a crowd, with your kids, or making that family favourite dessert that everyone loves, baking could not be easier with these helpful baking hacks.

The three most important elements in getting your baking right include taking measurements seriously accurately, understanding your oven and knowing that a big part of baking is the science behind temperatures, ingredients and methods. Don’t deviate from the fundamentals of the recipe. Check out these amazing baking hacks.

Make measuring easier

Use cooking spray on your utensils to make measuring things like honey, chocolate and syrup sugars easier. Spray onto measuring spoons and ingredients will slide right off into the mixing bowl.

Hard butter

Forgot to take the butter out the fridge? Cut the butter into small pieces, then massage it in your hands. Your body temperature will soften the butter without melting it.

Cutting a cake

Some cakes can be hard to slice our baking hacks have you covered. To get professional looking slices fill a jug with hot water and dip your knife into the jug of water, wipe it down and cut the cake. Alternatively, use unflavoured dental floss to get perfect pieces every time.

Fresh eggs

Using fresh eggs is the key. To check if an egg’s gone off fill a glass bowl with water and gently place the egg inside. If the egg stays at the bottom and lies on its side, it’s fresh. If the egg floats, it’s past its best and you shouldn’t bake with it not at its optimum freshness.

Perfectly sized cookies

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into cupcake holders or a muffin tin! You will get even, perfectly sized cakes and cookies every time.

No cupcake liners

No problem, make some yourself using parchment or baking paper and a small glass. Tear off a square, pop it into the cupcake tin and place a glass firmly on top, swivel from left to right until the shape is formed.

Re-use your tin cans

Cans are great for baking tall, narrow, interestingly shaped cakes. Clean the can thoroughly, coat the inside with cooking oil or spray. Preheat the oven, prepare the cake batter as per recipe and pour into the can or cans. Place cans onto a baking sheet, spacing them evenly if you’re making more than one, and bake according to the recipe.

Reducing mess

Punch a hole in the center of an ice cream lid or paper plate to use as a splash guard for your hand mixer, preventing splatters.

No more air bubbles

For perfectly smooth cakes and cheesecakes, pour your batter into a greased baking tin, and tap the tin onto the countertop a few times before baking. The force of the pan hitting the counter makes sure that air bubbles come to the surface and don’t get trapped in the batter.

Here are a few recipes to try:

Chocolate Bundt Cake – Guaranteed to satisfy any chocolate craving, this is an excellent cake to keep in mind when you have a houseful of guests. The ganache glaze makes it dressy enough for dessert after a special dinner.

Strawberry Cake – This strawberry cake is winning in every way: simple ingredients, easy to make, perfect for entertaining and completely yummy.

Information supplied by Zola Nene in collaboration with Rhodes Quality
For recipe suggestions visit: www.rhodesquality.com