Tips & Tricks

As the MKR teams prepare for the nail-biting baking challenge, we've asked them for their hottest baking tips...

"Use good quality tins and pans and good quality baking paper too"

Tasmanian childhood sweethearts, Damo and Caz, believe baking is one of their strengths, with Damo being a passionate baker. So, what are their secrets to baking success?

Caz We always cook with unsalted butter because once salt is in, you can't take it out. Add salt yourself to make sure the meal is balanced.

Damo Temperature is important whenever you make shortcrust pastry. Keep your bench cold and run your hands under cold water before you work with pastry because once you get heat in it, your pastry starts to shrink. And don't play with pastry more than you need to.

Damo I love making fresh bread and there's nothing better than taking a nice hot loaf out of the oven. When it's in the oven, have your spray bottle with water handy and spray it every few minutes – it will make your bread nice and crusty.

Tight-knit sisters, Kelsey and Amanda, love baking for their families and have a few secrets to share.

Kelsey Always spray your cake pans well before you bake and always use a mixer when making pavlova. Run your fi ngers through the mix to make sure there's no sugar that hasn't been mixed in properly.

Amanda When you make a meringue or pavlova and mix in the eggs, make sure you get stiff, strong peaks. And use eggs at room temperature, not cold from the fridge.

Kelsey If you want to make an amazing cheesecake, only use Philadelphia cheese and use Nice biscuits for the base.

Footy friends, Mark and Chris, believe using the right equipment can help lead to baking success.

Mark It sounds simple, but following the recipe to the letter is vital for when you are baking cakes. Oven temperature is important, too – if it's too high you'll burn the top layer but it won't cook through.

Chris Use good quality tins and pans and good quality baking paper, too. We learned when we made cafe-style muffins that using good baking paper in the tins makes it so much easier to pop them out when they're cooked.

Mark Give dough time to rise. The more the yeast has time to activate and rise, the better the texture of anything you make with the dough.

Source: Originally published in the Home Edition News Corp Australia