Want To Bake? With A Little Effort You Could Be Queen Of Cake

 

Under the Sea

Have you always wanted to perfect baking? Do you want to create baked treats for your family, special birthday cakes?  Maybe you want to move beyond, cake in a cup, and make a work of art just for yourself.  Either way, baking skills are useful.  It’s one of those things many of us don’t get around to in a busy life.  Who has time to bake?  You do! We can all make time for the things we love. Stop putting your baking quest off. It’s time to perfect your cake prowess. Instead of sitting in front of the television, take to the kitchen. It may seem like an effort, but it’ll be worth it! Soon, baking will be your favorite way to relax. Here’s how to get started.

 

GET STUCK IN **

**get stuck in (or into) phrase of stick 
  1. 1.
    BRITISHinformal
    start doing (something) enthusiastically or with determination.
    “we got stuck into the decorating”

The best way to improve at baking is to get started. That’s why it’s important to get stuck in. Don’t put your task off by waiting for the perfect cookbook, or the right equipment. All you need is a few basic things and your ingredients. If you don’t have a recipe to follow, take to the internet. Basic baking recipes aren’t hard to find.

Construction

There’s no denying that you’re going to fail along the way. Some of your recipes will come out perfect, but some won’t. You might have to throw whole cakes away. It’s important you’re not afraid of that. If you let the fear of failure overtake, you might stop trying. Instead, use it as a learning experience. Once you’ve seen what doesn’t work, you’ll be able to change your method for the better. Failure is the best teacher when it comes to learning how to bake! Realize, too, that some recipes aren’t going to work for you. Read a recipe through before you start. If the method sounds strange, it may be best to find a different recipe! Being aware of elevation is important too.  Cakes for the coast aren’t necessarily cakes for the mountains.

…BUT BE AWARE OF THE COST

One thing you do need to consider with your failures is the cost. Baking can be expensive.  Here is the truth: store bought cakes are sometimes cheaper. Even so, baking is worthwhile.  If you’re trying a recipe for the first time, you may want to buy the less expensive ingredients to start with, or be prepared to “eat” the cost instead of the cake.  If you intend to do a lot of baking, stock up in bulk to save money.

Spring Garden

LEARN TO IMPROVISE

Any good baker knows how to improvise. Once you know the basics, start straying from the recipes. This is when your baking will come into its own. It’ll also mean that you can replace ingredients with what you have in your cupboard. Another excellent way to cut costs! You’ll develop a palate for flavor combinations that work. That will allow you to develop some wonderful ideas. The more you express your creativity with your baking, the more fun you’ll have. As soon as you think you’re ready, start creating your own ideas. And remember; failure is okay!  I’m not a professional baker, like Terry of Terry’s Baking, but we had fun!

Monster Truck

Digger

Race Track

Rocket Ship

Here is a quick recipe to get you started, it is a basic yellow cake and very easy to experiment with.

Easy Basic Cake

Ingredients

  • - 2 Cups flour
  • - 1 1/2 Cups white sugar
  • - 3 1/2 teaspoons Baking Power
  • - 1 teaspoon salt
  • - 1/2 cup butter (or half butter and half coconut oil)
  • - 1 cup of milk (or coconut milk)
  • - 1 teaspoon of flavouring, I like almond
  • 3 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. Grease and flour a 13x9 pan
  3. Put everything into large bowl and blend
  4. Pour into pan
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes
  6. Cool and add icing.
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Best Banana Bread

We love Banana Bread at our house and as they grow, our little wolves love it too.  This recipe has been used for many years, tweaked and sampled, until it’s just right.

Best Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread

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Fresh Raspberry Muffins

Do you ever get a craving for baking?  I often get this niggle in the back that says, Yummy, I want ….  Fill that in with the food of choice.  Today I wanted Muffins.  Raspberry Muffins.  This tale is about Raspberry Muffins turned to Blueberry Muffins.

Found the recipe I have used many times, Fresh Raspberry Muffins.  I began the recipe, 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup brown sugar before I glanced down to read 1 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup milk.  Well, there is a problem.  I can no longer have milk, but that can be solved with coconut milk; and I figured I could substitute mayo for sour cream.  Next was the oil, no cooking oil, all I had was olive oil.   And last, my frozen, not fresh raspberries were in a big lump, just not usable for muffins but I found blueberries tucked in the back of the freezer.   This was going to be trickier than I thought!

The Raspberry Muffins, turned Blueberry were light and tender as any you could wish for.  The one item I would not use again would be Olive Oil, unless perhaps it was a butter flavoured.  Right out of the oven all you could smell is the olive oil, but after cooling it was not so distinctive.Blueberry Muffins Muffins

The real Fresh Raspberry Muffin recipe is below.  What have you made that required a few creative substitutions?

Fresh Raspberry Muffins

Fresh Raspberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups raspberries

Instructions

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Measure liquid ingredients into a separate bowl and mix
  3. Stir liquid into dry ingredients until just moist
  4. Fold in raspberries
  5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle with a bit of white sugar
  6. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes
  7. Cool on wire rack
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Family Christmas Traditions

There are so many great family traditions, especially centered around the holidays.

I have always loved to bake and the traditions of baking certain recipes was an easy one for me to keep.  Handed down from my Mom and my handyman’s Mom are treasured recipes for Christmas cookies.  There are also a few grownup recipes too.  Like Butter Tarts!  mmmm I still remember having those around the Christmas Table.  I think they were my Dad’s favourite.  Butter Tarts

The best recipes are ones that are just a little tacky looking!  Maybe a few thumbprints over the years.  Or written out on scraps of paper!  Some of mine were typed on an old manual…remember what those were?   A couple of my recipes were given to me in a recipe box that I received from a dear friend for my bridal shower.  Oh I love the memories.  Looking at these and using them help to keep the love alive.  Old recipes

Shortbread, one of my favourites, is a recipe I found many years ago and have tweaked till it’s mine.  Do I have to share?

The Jam-Jams are from my Mom.  She loved to spoil “her boys” as she called them and my sweetheart was thoroughly spoiled by her.  So guess who has to make them ever year now?  They are a soft molasses sandwich with homemade jam in the middle.  So Rich!Shortbread and Jam Jams

And last but never least, are “Mom’s Christmas Cookies for Tiny Tots”.  This was from my mother in law.  It is the best sugar cookie recipe ever.  doubled it makes tons of cookies.  We often try to have a cookie decorating day with the grand boys.  As you can see, I have yet to start these cookies.  They are mixed and thinking in the fridge, waiting for me to start.  Cookie Cutters

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