Posts Tagged ‘kitchen tip’

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Getting rid of air bubbles in cake batter

You make the perfect cake batter. It tastes like pure heaven. You bake it and when you turn it out you find that it’s full of air holes and pockets. Find out today how to stop this from happening!

I was asked over the weekend “How do get your cakes to not have those funky hole-y type textures and holes all through out it?”. It was from that discussion that I found that they really didn’t understand some cake baking simple concepts – room temperature ingredients, creaming butters, sifting dry ingredients, prepping the cake pans to air pockets in the batters.  Stuff that, honestly, I tend to take for granted as I’ve been baking for decades that I just assumed people knew the basics. Shame on me. So today, let’s cover one of the basics – air bubbles in your batter.

The type of flour you use is important. When I make cakes most of the time I use cake flour as it doesn’t have as high of a protein count as AP flour. The higher the protein, the more gluten. Like you would never use bread or pizza flour to make a cake. Well you could if you wanted a chewy cake. But even if you use cake flour, if you over mix it you can cause gluten to form. Thus leading to holes in your cakes.


Just bang the pan!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Difference between dark and light baking pans

You’re about to bake a cake and the instructions give 2 different times depending on the type of pan you use. Find out today the difference between light and dark baking pans.

At some point in all of our lives we’ve bought a boxed baking mix and somewhere in the directions it said “dark coated pans bake 25 minutes at 325 F and light coated pans bake 30 minutes at 350F” or similar. But do you know why this is the case? And do you know that there actually is a difference on when you should use each type?  Well today I’m sharing you the skinny on all of this stuff.

The differences:

Dark Pans – Pretty simple really, dark pans are made out of dark materials; think cast iron for example. Because they are dark they tend to absorb and retain the heat. But the downfall of these items is that they take longer to heat up.

Get your Pan 101 knowledge on!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Using Fruit and Chocolate Chips in Cake

Love to bake cakes, muffins and cupcakes but hate it when you add fruit or chocolate chips to the batter only to have them fall to the bottom of the dessert? Find out on today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer the bakery secret to prevent it from falling!

So you picked the perfect basket of blueberries or bought the most amazing chocolate chips. Your stomach is grumbling at the thought of those luscious items in your best cake or muffin. You whip up the batter (while sneaking a few tastes for yourself). You add in those luscious berries or sinful chocolate chips being ever-so-careful not to crush them or break them. You hold your breath as you put the pan into the oven and then you sit there, staring at the oven door silently willing time go faster just so you can eat the end result. You pull it out of the oven and the smell just consumes you but you wait till they cool as you know better. Finally, it’s time to cut it and <insert failure sound> all of those gorgeous berries you cradled so lovingly, all of those sinful chips all fell to the bottom of the dessert leaving you with nothing more than a layer of disappointment.

Has this happened to you? Yeah, me too. Sucks, huh? Oh sure I’ll still eat the dessert but to be honest, the flavor isn’t quite the same. You get too much of fruit or chocolate (though let’s be real, is there ever a thing of too much chocolate?) in one bite and none in the other. The ratio of cake/muffin to mix-in is way off. Plus to be honest, if it’s muffin or cake you’ll end up with a soggy bottom from the fruit. And let’s be real here, no one wants a soggy bottom! But today I have a super simple trick to help you fix this and prevent it in the future!
No more falling mix-ins with this tip!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – The Secret to Super Creamy Hummus

Hummus is to be creamy, decadent and just smooth like velvet. Find out the secret on how to make super creamy hummus at home on today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer!

Hummus is one of those foods where I’m not really sure how to classify it. It’s a condiment, a dip, a spread, a main dish all rolled up in a beautiful bowl of creamy goodness. It’s savory, spicy, sweet and delicate. However, one thing it always is is super creamy. Now I’ve had store-bought and homemade that is not-so creamy. For the longest time I thought that was normal.

But it wasn’t until I visited this one Lebanese restaurant and ordered my first dish of Beef Shawarma. This dish was amazing (well minus the pickled veggies – not my thing) and it came with a dish of the most amazing hummus I’ve ever had in my life. This hummus was so incredibly creamy and light. It literally was smooth as butter.

We’d go there every week for months and every week I’d beg them to share their secret on how to make it. Finally the one day I took in a batch that I made and asked for their help. I shared how I made it and I guess they could see the determination in my eyes to want to learn. It was then they took me back to their kitchen and shared their secrets.

Once you learn this trick you’ll be making hummus weekly!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to Clean Collard Greens

On this week’s edition of Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer learn how gravity is your friend when it comes to getting all the grit out of collard greens. Don’t grit ruin your dish. Cleaning greens are easier than you think!

Collard greens are not something I grew up on and honestly, I didn’t hear of them until I was in college. It’s funny as I grew up living on 41 acres growing almost all of our own produce but that’s one thing we never had. My first introduction to greens was, I’m almost embarrassed to admit, but in my college cafeteria. They were having a spring cookout and that was one of the side dishes they offered. Now full disclosure I didn’t grab it on purpose but rather it was put on my plate by the server. And yes, knowing me it was the last thing I tried on my plate as I pushed this funky green soft veggie around. My one girlfriend sitting with me finally said “Oh dear Lord Lori just try it. It’s greens with bacon. It’s really good.”

Bacon?  Did she say bacon?  That was all I needed to hear, to be honest. I took a small bite and immediately I was like “WHOA!  What is this stuff and where has it been my entire life???” It was luscious, rich and so good.

After that, every time greens were offered as an option I would get them…until that one fateful order. So you know how when you go to the beach you take a cooler full of food (we’ll say sandwiches). You keep the lid closed, lie out, frolic in the water and then set down to have some lunch. You take a big bite into your sandwich and you immediately make that face. Your eyes get all big and you kind of stop mid-chew. You’re not sure if you should just chew real fast and swallow or spit it out.  Oh, the sandwich is great but something there’s sand in it. Not sure how it happens but it does. That know-that-sensation-anywhere grit/grate against your teeth. Yeah, I had that experience with greens. It was like I bit into a clump of sand. It was delicious but that feeling of sand on my teeth just threw me for a loop.

So what caused this?  Simple – improper cleaning of the greens. And that’s what we’re talking about today. Clean your greens people as no one like sand!

You want to sink your teeth into deliciousness, not sand

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