Baking could be easy and fun, but it could also be an activity requiring experience and skill. For aspiring pastry chefs or if you're just an enthusiastic home baker, we have complied a list of tips on baking, maintaining the equipment in optimal condition and some general knowledge on a few ingredients. Learn about tips, from keeping ants out of sugar to the proper way of storing eggs.
Ants in the sugar : Place cloves with the sugar. This will prevent the ants from
Burnt food odors : To neutralise burnt food odors in the kitchens, mix cloves with water and allow to
boil in a saucepan. Simmer mixture for 15 minutes and allow the smell to diffuse through the
Cleaning the oven : To remove grease and stains inside the oven, put a small pan of
ammonia in the oven and close the door. After 12 hours, remove the pan and the grease can be cleaned
Cleaning of microwave ovens : Heat a bowl of water on high power for 5 to 10 minutes.
Leave the door closed for another 5 minutes to let the steam completely cover the oven. Remove the bowl
of water carefully and wipe the walls of the oven.
Refrigerators Odors : Put a couple of cotton balls saturated with vanilla into a bowl in the
Keeping serving plates clean : To decorate a cake directly on its serving plate, slip strips of wax paper under
the edge of the cake, allowing them to hang over the rim of the plate. Frost cake, then, with a
swift motion, pull out the paper. This leaves the serving plate nice and clean without a trace of
- Melting Chocolate : Chocolate, like sugar, scorches easily, so always melt it over hot but
not boiling water. It will be ideal if a double boiler is used. The water must be kept below simmering to
prevent steam from curling up and hitting the chocolate. If steam gets into the melted chocolate it will
immediately thicken the mixture to form a stiff mass, spoiling the chocolate. However add 1 to 2 tablespoons of
vegetable shortening to soften the chocolate again.
- Testing for doneness : Use a strand of uncooked spaghetti instead of a toothpick to check if baked food are
- Getting rid of air pockets in cakes : To keep holes and tunnels out
of cakes, run a knife through the batter after mixing. This removes any possible air
- Keeping cake from browning too fast in an oven : If the top of the
cake is browning too fast, place a pan of warm water on the rack above the cake while it is baking in
- Lining cake pans : Use paper coffee filters to line cake pans, which prevents sticking
- Cake stuck to the pan : If the cake sticks to the pan and threatens to split, hold the pan over a low flame
for about 5 to 8 seconds, the cake will come out nicely.
- Sticky fingers : When working with dough, don't add flour to your hands. Flour will keep dough from
sticking to your fingers but will cause the dough to be over-dried. Use olive oil to oil your hands
- Storing eggs : An egg stored under refrigeration for one week will be fresher than one that is stored
at room temperature for just one day. The egg shell is porous, thus the egg shell will hold a high
bacteria count when placed at room temperature.
- Overripe tomatoes : Place overripe tomatoes in cold water and add some salt overnight. They will become
firm and fresh.