Better.TV's Rhiannon Ally asks Rebecca Gordon for some good tips to make your baking easier and less messy.
Easy Baking Tips Rhiannon Ally: There’s nothing worst than spending hours baking only to burn your cookies or even watch your soufflé fall flat. Well, Rebecca Gordon, Contributor of Southern Living’s Classics Southern Desserts is here to share some of her best kept baking secrets that will save you time, money and a whole a lot of mistakes. So, these are actually easy mistakes that a lot of people make. Rebecca Gordon: They are and we just want to make things a lot easier for you. So, the first tip that I have is that when you’re making a cake like an Italian Cream Cake, an easy thing to do is to have three bowls when you’re ready to separate eggs in front of you Rhiannon Ally: Lots of dirty dishes but it’s worth it, huh? Rebecca Gordon: It’s totally worth it and what you will do is just put the egg whites in the first bowl, put your yolk in the second bowl and then if the white is clean of any egg yolk then you can pour that into the third bowl then you can proceed. Repeat the procedure with the remaining eggs and if you have any yolk in this bowl, you can just simply toss that egg white out and then you haven’t contaminated the rest of your whites that you’ve already separated. Rhiannon Ally: And if the yolk gets broken in the egg, should you just throw it out? Rebecca Gordon: You should totally throw it out because the fat in the egg white will not allow you to whip the air into it and so, it won’t give you the volume in the cake layers. Rhiannon Ally: See? I wouldn’t have known that. I would have just left it right in there, the little pieces of it. Okay, so now we know how to separate an egg which is important for a lot of recipes. What about my favorite, cookie dough? I love cookie dough. Rebecca Gordon: Yes. This is a great little tip too because what you can do is if you don’t want to go ahead and bake the cookies right off the bat, just simply portion the dough out and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet like so and then you can just pop this into the freezer and in about two hours, you’ll have frozen cookie dough balls. You can place that in a zip top plastic bag and before sealing it, make sure you press all of the air out of that bag because that’ll keep your cookie dough balls a lot fresher that way. And then when you’re ready to bake cookies, you can just simply put however many cookie dough balls onto your baking sheet and then you can bake those according to the original recipe’s instructions adding about two to three per batch so that you get the centers of the cookies nice and done. Rhiannon Ally: So, how long will these last like this in the freezer? Rebecca Gordon: About two months. Rhiannon Ally: About two months. Okay, so you can make a whole bunch of dough and freeze half of it even? Rebecca Gordon: Absolutely. Rhiannon Ally: Okay. So, if you’ve made a homemade piecrust -- that’s what we’re doing next. Tearing is very common but there’s an easy way to fix it? Rebecca Gordon: Absolutely. Just dip your fingertips in a little bit of water and then you can just simply slide that along the edges of the tear and see how easy that comes together and you’ve repaired your crust. Rhiannon Ally: That is easy. Even I can do this. I think my husband would faint if I was making a homemade pie and he came home. Rebecca Gordon: Well, this happens too sometimes when you use the refrigerated pie dough. So, either way, if you’d make it homemade or use the refrigerated, this works well. Rhiannon Ally: Okay, and just quickly, when adding dry and liquid ingredients you say “Don’t dump it all in one time.” Rebecca Gordon: Right. You don’t want to do that. You want to always start with your flour and then alternate with your liquid ingredients and then end with your flour. In that way, once you’ve put that last flour in, you’ll give it a nice spin with the mixer, don’t overmix and you’ll have a nice cake that’s not rubbery and tough. Rhiannon Ally: Perfect. Thank you. All great tips and for more baking secrets and mouth-watering recipes, there are some great ones in there. Make sure to pick up a copy of Classics Southern Desserts. It is available now.