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Waitrose web series: add your tips and questions on the lost art of baking and have the chance to win £100 of Waitrose vouchers

(30 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 17-Jul-09 10:21:42

Mumsnet are working with Waitrose to produce a six-episode web TV series that will launch in September and they want your feedback to help shape this episode on cooking for the family and reviving the lost art of baking.

Do you have a secret family recipe that has been handed down through generations? Or a school cake sale/kids' birthday party no-brainer?

Whether you're offering advice or looking for it, please post here and we'll try and take the best tips and questions and build some of them in to the microsite where the web TV series is going to be shown.

Everyone who takes part in this or any of the Waitrose threads will be entered into a draw to win £100 of Waitrose vouchers.

And if you want to star in the web series, you can find out more and volunteer here

whomovedmychocolate Fri 17-Jul-09 11:26:09

Cheese, roasted onion and thyme can be added to basic muffin recipes to make lovely savoury cupcakes (eat them warm and they are delish) but work well in fussy toddler's lunchboxes.

Housemum Fri 17-Jul-09 19:48:23

I can't claim it's original but you can't go wrong with bung-it-in-the-mixer sponge cake.

6oz SR flour
6oz soft marg
6oz caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder

Shove in bowl, beat for about 2 mins with electric mixer until pale coloured.

Put in 2 sandwich tins, bake at 180 degrees C for about 25 mins

OR put in cake cases in a bun tin and bake at 200 degrees C for about 15 mins

Options - dissolve 1 spoon coffee in hot water and add to mix for coffee cake

Filling - basic buttercream twice the amount of sugar to soft marg or softened butter (6oz to 3oz is more than enough usually)

Comes out really light and fluffy and takes hardly any effort! (I use ounces to measure as I can remember it that way - double the ounces of ingredients to the number of eggs eg 3 eggs to 6 ounces, for bigger/smaller quantities use the same ratio)

Housemum Fri 17-Jul-09 19:49:07

Forgot to add - if making a sponge I usually put a slightly sharper jam eg blackcurrant if using buttercream as the buttercream is v sweet

moliereroger Sat 18-Jul-09 12:22:00

do you all want my rich chocolate and beetroot cake recipe?

thought not wink

It rocks!

cornsillk Sun 19-Jul-09 19:47:54

I do molie!
I use apple juice instead of wine in the cooking if I only have nice wine in. Tastes okay.

mollyroger Sun 19-Jul-09 21:22:16

OK, tried and tested

1 1/2 ozs cocoa powder
4 ad a half oz plain folour
1 and a half tspns bakig powder
punch salt
5 and a half oz caster sugar
8 and a half fl oz vegetable oil
2 tsps vanilla essence
3 beaten eggs
10 oz pureed cooked beetroot (boiled or roasted)
4 oz plain chocolate.

grease 7in round tin, oven 190deg C
Sift dry ingredients into a bowl
add everything else.
pour into cake tin, bake for 50 mins or until skewer comes ot cleabn.

Allow to cool and smother cover in chocolate butter icing or chocolate sauce (butter, dark chocolate, icing sugar and cream melted together)

watch your children eat it and try not to shriek ''hahahahah! You just ate beetroot!''

MrsBadger Mon 20-Jul-09 21:17:05

my best recipe is also my most-used and simplest

emergency biscuits:
1oz sugar
2oz butter
3oz plain flour

beat sugar and butter
stir in flour
roll out and cut out (or, better, get kids to do so)

10min gas 4

ice afterwards, or sprinkle with caster sugar while warm, or tart up by adding orange zest / dried fruit / choc chips

if you do them in small shapes and ram a cocktail stick into each before baking they make good 'lollipop biscuits' to serve stuck in a grapfruit at parties

or make holes in them and hang on the Christmas tree.

or sandwich together in pairs with Nutella

GoldenSnitch Mon 20-Jul-09 21:30:51

You don't need a recipe for sponge cake!!!

Weigh the eggs you want to use (2-3 for a cake or a dozen buns, more for more cakes)... measure out the same weight in caster sugar, self raising flour and butter. Cream butter and sugar then add the eggs and flour gradually with a few drops of vanilla essence and bake at 200 degrees until the cake bounces back when tapped on top.

Voila! No need to dig out the recipe books and no panicing that you have the 'wrong size' eggs grin

helenfjms Thu 23-Jul-09 14:05:46

Instead of a normal lemon syrup sponge, try using lime juice instead of lemon and add some dried chillies - about half a teaspoon. makes a really delicious cake with a bit of a kick! Make sure you warn any children though!

moomillion Thu 23-Jul-09 20:50:29

home made chicken and leek pie

Either use leftover chicken or use diced chicken breast

500gms chicken
4 rashers bacon - chopped
4 leeks sliced around 1/2cm
15 ish mushrooms
1 pint chicken stock (may not need all)
250ml milk
plain flour

ready rolled pastry (or be brave and make your own) have tried this with shortcrust pastry and puff pastry and works well with both

put oil in pan and add leeks and bacon
cook on low heat for around 20 minutes or until leeks tender. add chicken and a few tablespoons of flour.
Cook until chicken coloured (ie no longer pink if raw, if using leftovers go to next step immediately)
Turn up heat to half heat and add mushrooms
when pan hot add half stock and the milk. cook for 10 minutes adding stock if looks low.
Put in a pot and add pastry and cook in an oven at 180 for 40 minutes comes out delicious.

I have also made this with savoury choux pastry and it is yummy but much more time consuming so please email me if you want that recipe

I also have a fab pumpkin cake recipe which even children love which i have adapted to be carrot cake too.

Muuuuummmm Fri 24-Jul-09 09:52:08

Making your own cakes is so relaxing - and so easy! I'm not artistic but necessity forced me to start making my son's birthday cakes when we found out he had a peanut allergy when he was three. Nine years on, they still don't look like a masterpiece but they taste ten times better than the dry, tasteless shop-bought cakes. My five year old did most of the mixing when we made his twelfth birthday cake the other day.
These days I can make and bake a cake within about 40 minutes (cooling included.)It's a good job too as I now work full-time. I NEVER use a mixer; I melt the butter in a pan first, then add the sugar, then the flour, then beaten eggs. I don't have scales either; I used cups and a bit of judgement. Here is quite a simple one that tastes absolutely delicious:

Three quarters of a 250g slab of butter (60z)
3 eggs
Three quarters of a cup of sugar (6oz)
1 and quarter cups of SR flour (6oz)
Teaspoon baking powder
Grated rind of one orange
Bit of milk

Preheat oven to gas 5 (180). Melt butter in pan then put in bowl. Add sugar and beat. Add flour and beat. Beat eggs in cup then pour in. Grate orange into mixture. When it is all beaten, you may want to add a little bit more flour, or a bit of milk, to get your perfect cake consistency. Pour into greased cake dishes and bake in centre of oven for about 20 minutes.

When cake is baked and cooled, put straweberry jam in middle then make chocolate butter icing to cover it. I melt:
Large Aero (cooking chocolate not nut-free)
Dessertspoon of butter
Desserspoon of icing sugar
I mix these in a pan then pour over the cake so it runs down the sides.

The icing takes a bit of practice. As you can tell, I do this more by feel than exact measures!
This is a delicious, moist cake. Enjoy!

FlyMeToDunoon Fri 24-Jul-09 10:10:49

Scones are the simplest, quickest and most satisfying things to make but the instruction in most recipes to knead the dough is misleading. You must mix the ingredients very lightly together and not knead at all.
Keep the dough in a thick blob and cut out your scones, I use a small glass to do this.
Remix any left over bits agin very lightly. Your scones will be high and light.
Serve warm with butter and honey, clotted cream and jam or warm minutes out of the oven with just butter. Mmmmmmm

stealthsquiggle Fri 24-Jul-09 12:43:02

If you are reviving the 'lost art' then definitely start with muffins. As long as you remember to combine all dry ingredients and then add all wet once and mix carefully until just combined, you can't go wrong. They take 5 mins to mix, don't need an electric mixer, 20mins to bake, are delicious, healthier than cakes, and way cheaper (and better) than bought muffins.

Freeze (individually wrapped - I buy 'value' rolls of small food bags for this) any which don't get eaten immediately - put them (still frozen) into lunchboxes and they will thaw in time for lunch, or microwave for 30 seconds for instant snacks. children like making them too!

TheChewyToffeeMum Fri 24-Jul-09 13:06:07

Soda Bread - a great basic to have up your sleeve when you run out of bread.

450g plain flour
1tsp salt
1 level tsp caster sugar
1 tsp bicarb
approx 350ml buttermilk (or use soured milk - just ordinary milk with a dash of vinegar/lemon left to sit for 5 mins)

Combine dry ingredients in large bowl, gradually mix in milk until soft dough forms - do not knead.

Shape into a flattened round about 5cm deep, slash cross in the top.

Bake in preheated oven at 220C for 15mins, turn down to 200 for further 30 mins.

You can add herbs, spices, cheese etc to dry ingredients.

butles Fri 24-Jul-09 14:48:53

Granny's fruit cake

An absolute fail safe recipe that anyone can make.
4oz marg
4oz sugar
8oz SR flour
4fl oz milk
2 eggs
10 oz mixed dried fruit
1 tsp mixed spice
Handful of glace cherries (optional)

Sling in all in the mixer and mix it up. When done stir in the fruit by hand or it will end up being chopped to bits by the mixer, same goes for the cherries.
Pop it all in a 2lb loaf tim, use a liner or grease it with some marg first. Pop it in the oven for about and hour to an hour and a half at 170 degrees C, or until it is golden on top and a cake tester comes out clean.

tinyfishy Sat 25-Jul-09 08:46:15


When I'm pushed for time and the fridge is short of food, I find fruit pizzas a really easy, tasty dessert that my toddler loves!

I keep my cupboards stocked with ready-made pizza bases which can then be used to make savoury pizzas or desserts.

Simply cut up whatever fruit you have to hand (apples, cinnamon and raisins go well) and layer over the pizza base. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake 10 - 15 mins at ~200 C, until the dough is crisp and the fruit has caramelised.

I like to serve with a dollop of ice-cream or creme fraiche. Yum!

munki Sun 26-Jul-09 20:24:37

My daughter has a love/hate relationship with bananas and either adores or detests them on any given day so we often have a glut of overripe ones to use up. This is always great as it means I can make banana bread.

Really quick ( and then just bunged in the oven) and as I recently discovered when my scales broke you don't have to be too careful when measuring out ingredients as it always seems to work.

I cream together about 75 grams marge or butter and 100 grams sugar ( any, muscovado nice if you've got it), beat in three eggs with a whisk, add three ripe mashed bananas and some vanilla extract if you have it, then sift in about 300 grams self-raising flour. Bake in a 190 c oven for 50 mins (check a knife inserted comes out clean). A (relatively) healthy treat, also great toasted with butter for breakfast.

Lilymaid Sun 26-Jul-09 20:36:18

Very easy & economical chocolate fudge cake.
4oz SR flour sieved
1 tsp baking powder
4oz softened butter/margarine
4oz soft brown sugar
1 heaped tbs cocoa powder
1 - 2 tbs boiling water
2 eggs

Put cocoa powder in mixing bowl and add boiling water, then mix to a paste. Add other ingredients and mix with food mixer for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.
Divide between 2 lined/greased 7" cake tins.
Bake at 350 F/ 170 (?) C for 20 minutes.until cooked.

1tbs cocoa powder
4 oz icing sugar
scant 2 oz butter
2 oz caster sugar
3 tbs water

Put water, caster sugar and butter in small saucepan, bring to boil slowly, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Sieve cocoa and icing sugar into bowl. Add boiling mixture and beat with wooden spoon until well mixed. Leave to cool.
Sandwich cake and ice top with this mixture. (NB you can do this when the mixture is still slightly warm and is like thick pouring cream or wait until it has cooled to a more solid butter cream)

Blu Mon 27-Jul-09 13:19:12

When decorating fairy cakes use the unbleached 'golden' icing sugar before adding small drops of colouring - it gives them a sophisticated 'vespa scooter' colour range, or a slight 1950s aura.

Oh, and don't follow Nigella's instructions to either BOIL ganache cake covering, or mix bicarb to boiling water before adding to cake mix (in the lemon ginger slab recipe): you will end up with a split and grainy icing, or a flat cake because the raising agent fizzed prematurely, respectively.

Yzzil Fri 14-Aug-09 10:50:21

Great standby toddler tea - make a batch of plain white bread dough (I use the one from Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef), knead once and leave to rise then shape into small pizza bases and freeze uncooked. Make a batch of basic tomato sauce (tin toms, onion, garlic, whatever herbs are around) and freeze that in icecubes or small portion size tubs.

When you need tea in a hurry, defrost one sauce portion, smear onto frozen pizza base, add whatever toppings are to hand (grated cheddar is fine if nothing else to hand, frozen roasted peppers are great) and cook at max temp for 10 mins.

Much healthier than shop bought pizza and better portion size.

Crazycatlady Sun 23-Aug-09 20:33:53

1 - When making a banana loaf, steep some sultanas in a little orange juice then add them to the mix last. Gives a deliciously springy and moist texture and enhances the banana flavour.

2 - When a recipe calls for vanilla essence, use vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste instead for a softer, less artificial flavour.

3 - For extra flavoursome muffins, add half a teaspoon of salt to the mix. Strange but true.

4 - Buttercream icing is delicious but can be a little heavy on cupcakes. Add a little lemon juice to your buttercream mix for a lighter, slightly tangy, morish icing for vanilla cupcakes.

Tortington Sun 23-Aug-09 22:17:38

i have a ginger cake recipe from mil that i can't divulge its so bloody tasty no amount of waitrose vouchers can make me. grin

TitsalinaBumsquash Mon 24-Aug-09 08:12:14

Things to remeber.

Muffin Batter should always be lumpy.

Follow recipes Baking is a Chemistry not an art class.

ApplesinmyPocket Mon 24-Aug-09 08:56:27

BUY pre-cut circles of baking paper for cake tines (they come in all different sizes.) I don't know about you but the thought of the tin-lining palaver puts me off the idea of knocking up a quick cake more than the rather soothing weighing-and-mixing part.

Or, on riany days, set any of your DCs who are bored and capable to making a stock of paper circles for future use - very educational with all that simple geometry and pencil-and-scissor control involved. They can sit at the breakfast bar and work on it while you do something else nearby, filling their little heads with kitchen-lore.

Then you can reward them with hunks of warm sponge fresh from the oven.

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