The Basic Rules of Cooking: Your Guide to Cakes and Pastry

Cakes

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Apple Pie Cake Chocolate Mud Cake Raspberry Torte Blueberry Muffin Loaf Chocolate Cheesecake Mini Cupcakes Banana Cake 2 Blackberry and Apple Loaf Cake

The simplest creamed or all-in-one cake recipe is equal amounts of each self-raising flour, caster sugar, butter and eggs with some vanilla for flavour.

The Ultimate Victoria Sponge

Most cakes, except Swiss rolls, will bake at 180°C.

The simplest Swiss roll recipe is 4 eggs, 125g caster sugar and 125g self-raising flour.

Swiss Roll

Always remember to grease and/or line your tin.

Check the cake by pressing the top and it should spring back or using a skewer or cocktail stick and inserting it into the centre of the cake and it should come out clean.

Baking powder can lose its potency: check it towards the end of its use by date by adding some to water.

Pastry

Jam Tarts Rustic Blueberry and Peach Tart Instant Tartes Aux Pommes 2 Basic Tarte Au Citron Fruit Tarts Tarte Au Fraises

For a plain shortcrust pastry, the ratio of flour to butter is 2:1 and then cold water to bind.

For a simple sweet shortcrust pastry, I always add icing sugar equal to 10% of the weight of flour

Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick in general.

Unless the pastry filling is not being baked – e.g. a pastry cream or a mousse filling like in a Key Lime Pie, always blind bake the pastry. Particularly liquid fillings such as custard must have a blind baked pastry.

Blind Baking Pastry Case after Blind Baking

A frangipane filling is one example when the pastry does not need blind baking.

Bakewell Tartlets

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