We’re super excited to have partnered with baking professional Laura Adlington, in a bid to encourage everyone to do their #BestBaking for this year’s Great British Bake Off and beyond!
From why you should always toast your nuts, to clever kitchen swaps and how to say no to ‘soggy bottoms’, Laura has shared her top five ways on how even the most novice of cooks can become the next star baker in the kitchen:
- Toast your nuts
Freshly roasted nuts taste better and will enhance the flavour of your bakes… Fact!
Spread your nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet in a pre-heated oven (around 180°C) for 10 to 20 minutes. Give them a shake every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn. When they have turned a lovely golden brown, they are done and ready to be used.
- Say no to sinking fruit and ‘soggy bottoms’
Currants, raisins, dried fruit and nuts – they’re all great additions to a cake but can sometimes sink to the bottom if they’re heavier than the cake mixture. The next time you make a carrot cake, place the chopped nuts, shredded carrots and raisins in a sealable sandwich bag with a tablespoon of plain flour. Shake the bag well so the flour lightly coats everything, before adding to your cake mixture.
- Make a clever swap
No rolling pin? No need to worry, you can use a wine bottle instead! Lost your piping bag? A freezer bag will do (just remember to snip a hole at the end!) – and if you’re running low on eggs, swap 1 medium egg for 3 tablespoons of apple sauce, for an easy swap which won’t harm the bake.
- Plump up your dried fruit
Before you add dried fruits to a recipe, plump them by microwaving them in water, or another preferred liquid, for 30 seconds. When I make a carrot cake, I like to plump the raisins in a little fresh orange juice before adding them to the mixture, to add a little extra flavour.
- Freeze your cakes
Putting your cake in the fridge will draw out moisture but freezing it will actually add moisture – meaning you get a softer, fluffier sponge. I always make my cakes in advance, wrap them in cling film and freeze them. It’s a great way to save time AND makes them a lot easier to stack if you’re making a big cake for a celebration!
Our organic baking range is perfect for doing your #BestBaking. The range includes: Mixed Fruit (250g), Pumpkin Seeds (100g), Ground Almonds (100g), Desiccated Coconut (200g), Sultanas (375g), plus more.
In addition, the range also includes Traditional Apricots (250g) which are slightly different than what you may come to expect from a dried apricot!
Produced just as nature intended, Crazy Jack Dried Apricots are a rich brown colour rather than the more recognisable orange due to being dried without the addition of sulphur dioxide – the chemical which is used as a preservative.
Our baking range is available from Ocado and Sainsbury’s.