Fonterra Food Services
resources : Tips and Hints
Western Star Butter Tips
BAKING
Forgotten to soften the butter for a cake?
Grate butter coarsely, spread onto baking paper and stand for 10 minutes before using or chop into 2cm cubes, microwave on 30% power in 10 second bursts until just softened.
Why did my cake crack on top?
This is probably because the oven temperature was too high, causing the cake to form a crust on top before it rises. As the cake cooks and rises internally, it bursts through the crust causing cracks.
Why do I need to use caster sugar when making cakes?
Cake recipes usually call for caster sugar because it has the perfect crystal size for producing light fluffy cakes. Ordinary A1 sugar or raw sugar crystals are too large and won’t dissolve well in the cake mixture, resulting in a spotty and crunchy cake crust. Icing sugar is too fine and will not hold any air in a creamed butter-sugar mixture. Sometimes for a rich caramel flavour, some of the caster sugar can be substituted for brown sugar.
Why did my cake peak on top?
There are a few things that can cause cakes to peak in the centre. If the cake recipe doesn’t contain enough liquid it will be low in volume but will peak in the centre. If the cake has been over mixed you will notice a peak, along with tunnel like holes inside the cake. It could also be that the oven temperature was too high, causing the outside of the cake to form a crust too quickly, as the mixture in the cake centre continues to cook and rise it bursts through the top of the cake.
Can I substitute some of the melted butter for milk or juice when baking?
Never alter the butter ratio when baking, baking is a science and when you alter the recipe you will get a very different result in both flavour and texture. Butter can’t be substituted for liquid ingredients. Depending on the recipe, you may end up with either a tough, dry cake or it may be soggy and dense.
Why should I preheat my oven?
Oven temperature is crucial when baking as baking is a science! Having the oven at the right temperature when the cake goes in will ensure that the natural chemical reactions that occur during baking happen at the correct times to produce an even result. If a cold oven is used, a baked item will not rise at the rate it should causing cakes to have many faults, including:
• heavy textured crumb
• reduced volume
• dry end result
• sunken centre
• sugary crusted cakes
COOKING TIPS
When cooking rice by the absorption method, add a knob of butter to the water before cooking for a delicious buttery flavour and separated grains. Especially great served with curries.
Stir a squeeze of honey and dab of butter into steamed carrots, the kids are guaranteed to eat these veggies!
Tightly wrap a fish fillet in a sheet of foil with a generous knob of butter, sprig of thyme and a few slices of garlic. Bake for 15 minutes until cooked through and voila, instant meal!
Stand out at your next barbecue by making a quick basting butter. Combine melted butter with flavours of choice, try chilli, garlic, lime and coriander. Brush over cooked meats or seafood as soon as they come off the barbecue for a mouth watering flavour kick. – No tomato sauce required!
When panfrying, use half butter and half oil. Butter adds flavour, while oil prevents the butter from burning.

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