Here's some more baking tips I thought I could pass on. While the things I do while baking are habit to me, some may be new to you.
Here's what I came up with while baking recently:
1. You can cover any old pizza pan, cookie sheet (mine are old and BLACK from use!), tray, or even thick corrugated piece of cardboard to make a very nice holder for your cake. Doesn't matter how awful whatever is UNDER the foil looks like, as long as it is sturdy enough to hold a cake.
2. Instant pudding (stock up when it's on sale) makes a great filling for any cake. I use one cup of milk with one instant pudding box mix to make a thick filling. This will fill one layer of a 9 inch round or square cake nicely (with a little left over to lick off the spoon!).
3. You don't necessarily need 2 layers to fill a cake. One thick layer (that is, one 18.5 ounce cake mix baked in a 9" round pan, for example) can be sliced in half and then filled. This takes a little practice, but go slowly and use a long narrow bread knife or slicing knife to cut the cake into 2 layers.
4. You can enhance a can of generic frosting (or stock up when they are on sale) with a block of cream cheese beaten into it. However, if you FREEZE your cream cheese (like I do), once you defrost it, it does not "blend" as well and can become "grainy" in the frosting, so nuke it a bit first to make it *very* soft. (However, ex-frozen cream cheese is fine on bagels, however; just defrost & no need to nuke it!)
5. If you are "flouring" the cake pan so you can turn the cake out after it is baked, and the cake is chocolate, you can use a little cocoa powder instead of flour. Looks & tastes great!
6. You can use spoiled milk instead of the water called for in a cake mix, so no need to toss the milk that went a little sour; make a cake with it instead. You can also use the juice from any canned fruit when baking a cake mix, instead of the water the recipe calls for, as well as orange juice, lemonade, buttermilk, even beer or whiskey, etc. You get the idea. Each liquid gives the cake a subtly different and good flavor.
7. An inexpensive chocolate cake mix (again, stock up when they are on sale!), split into 2 layers, filled with chocolate instant pudding filling, and topped with about 1/4 cup of sifted confectioner's sugar can be a very elegant dessert with just a little extra effort. Yes, that's what I made recently, and it turned out so pretty (and tasty). It looks even prettier with a few fresh strawberries or some well-drained canned mandarin oranges to garnish the top.
Have fun baking everyone, I sure do!
About The Author: Ness, list mom of Frugal Friends in the Kitchen
Here is another tip. Instead of cutting a cake through the center with a knife, use dental floss. Cut a piece of floss longer than the cake is round. Wrap it around the cake and tie a knot, continue pulling on the ends until it has cut through the cake. Clean, no crumbs and very easy. - (05/10/2001)
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