If you could ask Mary Berry one baking related question, what would it be?

(63 Posts)
RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 21-Feb-14 15:32:46

Hi all,

The one and only Mary Berry is launching an app called Mary Berry Bakes in a few short weeks.

The app will have 70 recipes, from quick traybakes and biscuits to savoury nibbles and sponge cake.

To celebrate, Mary has asked us for some baking questions, which she'll answer in a short video. Since we know how much you love her - as this webchat with her made clear grin, we thought we'd hand over the question-asking to you.

Have you had any baking disasters that Mary could help you with? Do you want to know how to make the perfect sponge?

Post your questions below and we will select a few to be put to Mary and we will share the video with you when it's been made.

Gooseysgirl Fri 21-Feb-14 21:34:09

(Similar to Babyheaves ques) ... how do you stop cherries (glacé) sinking to the bottom of a cherry cake

emotionsecho Fri 21-Feb-14 21:37:18

If a recipe just says butter do you use salted or unsalted?
How do you stop cherries sinking in cherry cakes, I've done the dust in flour thing and they still sink.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 21-Feb-14 21:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Debs75 Fri 21-Feb-14 21:50:45

Can you suggest a low fat/low sugar/low calorie cake which tastes lovely?

SecretNutellaFix Fri 21-Feb-14 21:54:15

Everyone has had at least one baking disaster. What is yours and how did you solve it?

MoreBeta Fri 21-Feb-14 21:55:06

I bake the Mary Berry lemon tart fairly often but why does it not set for ages and I have to bake it at a slightly higher temp until it goes slightly brown on top.

Should I bake it until its still a bit wobbly or until its firm?

cremolafoam Fri 21-Feb-14 22:05:49

Mary,
Can you suggest a good lunch box bar recipe that I could make at the weekend for the week ahead. Preferably without chocolate please.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Fri 21-Feb-14 22:39:08

Which is better for baking, an electric oven or a gas oven? I'm perfectly comfortable using the different heat zones of a fan-less gas oven, that's not an issue for me at all. But, does the fact that water is a by-product of gas combustion make a gas oven a more humid environment than an electric oven, and does that affect baking?

superlambanana Fri 21-Feb-14 23:38:26

I second both Salty's flour question and Goosey's cherry question! Rolling fruit in flour first doesn't seem to work :-(

hanloumac Sat 22-Feb-14 00:09:17

How do you get your Victoria sponges to rise level, mine always have a peak in the middle and also I have an aga but always play safe by baking in the electric oven, is baking in an aga easy?? Or should I stick to conventional??

vvviola Sat 22-Feb-14 00:33:00

Do you have any foolproof recipes that are egg and dairy (or at least butter, I can improvise with non-dairy milks, but butter alternatives aren't great)? Baking for a child that's allergic to both, but still wanting the family to enjoy the results can sometimes be frustrating.

VestaCurry Sat 22-Feb-14 01:57:39

What would you recommend as the best sugar free treat I can bake for a diabetic?

Why do my flapjacks never stick together? They taste lovely but I would love to be able to eat them without needing a spoon!

Monkeyandanimal Sat 22-Feb-14 07:19:21

Why do some recipes call for plain flour with baking powder and others for self raising? Can you substitute one for the other in these recipes? I even have a recipe that uses plain, raising agents and then SR flour as well...is this unnecessary faff?

also butter v margerine?

HermioneWeasley Sat 22-Feb-14 10:43:50

Top tips for avoiding a soggy bottom?

An Aga wink

Whoever mentioned carrot and parsnip, there is a recipe in today's Telegraph.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sat 22-Feb-14 19:16:47

Hermione don't sit on wet grass grin

JadedAngel Sat 22-Feb-14 20:06:53

I'd like to ask Mary why she recommends margarine in some of her recipes when it's so artificial and so bad for you. Is there a benefit to using it instead of, or alongside butter, rather than 100% butter in a cake recipe? It can't be about flavour, so is it something else?

I always use just butter, but would like to know if I'd get a different or superior result adding margarine? I'll never use it, but would like to understand the science.

Ooh yes, intrigued by the value flour question and the butter one. Is the butter about consistency? I also bake with butter, but get it really soft first - is recommending margarine just about "foolproofing" it?

squarecircle Sat 22-Feb-14 21:51:24

Are baking powder and bicarb of soda interchangeable?

nobodysfool Sat 22-Feb-14 21:58:46

Hello Mary, I would like to ask you how to get the really chewy/toffee like centre to a meringue rather than the soft marshmallows type I keep getting.
Thanks cake

Aga

Squarecircle this link explains the difference. Bicarbonate of soda requires a source of acid to react with to make the carbon dioxide which makes your cake rise. It is generally used in recipes which have an acidic ingredient (e.g. buttermilk, lemon juice). Baking powder is a mixture of bicarb and acid, so you don't need to add an acidic ingredient. So they aren't interchangeable.

tb Sun 23-Feb-14 12:07:44

Square baking powder is bicarb and cream of tartar and some flour - can't remember the proportions but it's 1/4 flour and 1/4 and 1/2 other 2, just not sure which way round.

The average amount of baking powder to add to plain flour is 3 tsp for each 8oz or 225g. The tubs in the supermarkets used to say how much for different things, but don't seem to any more.

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