Top 5 Ingredient Shortcuts

Some bakers will say, “You have to make everything from scratch to be considered a good baker” Errrmm… What century are you living in? The 1950s. Just because you don’t make EVERYTHING yourself, doesn’t mean you aren’t a good baker or chef. From my experience working in some hotels, half of the stuff is brought in from companies and assembled with fillings or whatever. There’s nothing wrong with a shortcut now and again, to make your baking days easier and sometimes, and I really mean SOMETIMES, it can taste equally as good as what you would produce at home without the endless waiting and slaving over stoves, especially on those “I want to bake but I just cba days” But because it is out there already made. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go and have go at making it yourselves.

@ number 1, Puff Pastry!
Ready made puff pastry is probably the next best thing to sliced bread. It is a pastry made with flour, sugar, salt and water and has all butter or a mixture of butter and lard placed between pastry, then folded and chilled several times to create layers. Making puff pastry is a very daunting task as there is a lot of turning, folding and chilling to be done. The gaps and distinct layers are formed when the water evaporates, which produces steam during the baking process. I always buy Jus Rol All Butter puff pastry in the blocks so I can roll it out to the thickness I require. The ready rolled one is usually more expensive although there is less in the packet. Puff pastry is used to make Mille Feuille, or as I call it, Mille Feuille, Tarte Tatin, Sausage Puffs and Palmiers to name a few

@ number 2, ICE CREAM

Another one of the best shortcuts. My favourite is Haagen Dazs; and I do love a bit of Ben & Jerry’s. Ice cream makes the perfect accompaniment to most desserts, especially hot ones like, apple pie, sticky toffee pudding or waffles. They are fantastic ingredient to have in milkshakes or sundaes and even better sandwiched between two biscuits or cookies for an ice cream sandwich. Really and truly who has time to put a base in the freezer and whisk it every 30mins or whatever. I usually forget!! You can buy ice cream machines. You have the ‘ freeze the bowl ones’ where you have to decide the night before if you want to make ice cream the next day or the ‘integrated self freeze one’(purchasable from lakeland) This costs around £200, but I’m sure the machine will pay for itself if put to good use.
@ number 3 Jams & Preserves
I have actually made my own jam, well marmalade before. Yup there is a difference. Sometimes it can be laborious. Stirring, boiling,cooling, sitting there wondering if it will hold. Although I do recommend you giving it a go making it yourself. I use Bonne Maman if I’m going all out and fancy, or Asda Extra Special range as they have some nice flavours and decent size pieces of fruit if I’m after a preserve. Yes there is a difference!
If I’m experimenting or layering cakes for 3D structures I use a cheap jam, so I’m not wasting money if something goes to waste. I don’t like to waste! My favourite jam has to be raspberry, with seeds of course. Super fruity!
Going in @ number 4, Biscuits
 
Yes, I do cheat OCCASIONALLY when it comes to biscuits. ONLY when I’m doing a cheesecake sometimes, or layering a mousse or to use crushed. Other times I do make my own. I’m not saying serve your lovely mousse or syllabub with a chunky digestive. That’s just ultra laziness. Digestive, chocolate or plain, ginger nuts and wafer cookies, okay! Anything else your’e better off mking it yourself
Last but not least @ number 5, Dulce de Luche
Translated to milk jam or milk candy. Super thick and creamy! This can be made by boiling sweetened condensed milk for 3 HOURS. Yup you saw correctly. If I’m preparing ahead, then yes I will make it but for those days where you wanna rustle up something like millionaire shortbread, or spread it onto a pie crust and make banoffee pie, then get it out of a tub or can. It’s just as good.!!
Oh So Sweet Baker x
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Trackbacks

  1. […] sausage roll. No not even Greggs. And yes I cheated! I used shop bought puff pastry. Like I said here, it’s one of my favourite short cuts. I haven’t got the time to make it from scratch […]

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