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Thread: The Cookery Tips Thread

  1. #1

    Default The Cookery Tips Thread

    This thread is for any little tips that you have picked up relating to cooking, especially those 'smack yourself in the forehead, my that's simple' type of things that really make a difference.
    Quitting something because it's hard is wrong, and quitting something because it's wrong is hard. One takes cowardice, the other bravery.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Always use water that has been boiled and mostly cooled when making bread. The chlorine in fresh tap water can slow the activity of the yeast. The difference when making pizza dough is huge.
    Quitting something because it's hard is wrong, and quitting something because it's wrong is hard. One takes cowardice, the other bravery.

  3. #3
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Do you have any tips to bake cakes? I'm thinking of making one next week and I have never made a vegan cake as yet. Do you know how to make that hard icing? I keep finding recipes for the fluffy kind.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    The main thing when icing a cake is to make sure the cake is fully cold before you ice it. I sometimes put mine in the fridge to make sure. If its warm, the icing will melt into the cake.

    I've not used this recipe before because I tend to use softer frostings if icing a cake, but the BBC has a recipe for vegan 'royal icing' which is the traditional hard one
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/da...ng_77309.shtml

    And you can use broken chocolate instead of chocolate chips, but never use chocolate chips to replace chocolate in a recipe. It is a lot softer, and if you are making an icing or a Granache it will simply not set.
    Quitting something because it's hard is wrong, and quitting something because it's wrong is hard. One takes cowardice, the other bravery.

  5. #5
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Is Granache like an old grenache?



    Blackcats: shame on you for not having made a vegan cake before. You've got lots of catching up to do.

    My top tip is to never buy a block of knives ever again. Just buy a cheapo small sharp knife for times when a small knife is absolutely required (doesn't happen very often) and one good quality cooks knife. I've used my 20cm Global G2 almost exclusively for all chopping over the past few years. It's far safer than smaller knifes because its large enough to curl you knuckles against and ensure you won't chop the ends of your fingers off when you push down. It's also sharp enough (and stays sharp) to cut through most things in one slice, meaning that you don't get onions skating off across the room and finger slicing related accidents when the thing you're chopping moves under blunt pressure.
    Last edited by Mr Flibble; Oct 23rd, 2009 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Added a picture of Granache
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  6. #6
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote Mr Flibble View Post
    Blackcats: shame on you for not having made a vegan cake before. You've got lots of catching up to do.
    I think I just worry something will go wrong with baking cakes. I don't know why. I'm going to bake a cake for Halloween and then next month for my husband's birthday.:smile:

    Thanks Ms_Derious for the tips.

  7. #7
    Windfall
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote Mr Flibble View Post
    Is Granache like an old grenache?

    [

    or Ganache? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganache

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    The BBC site also has a good section about Vegan baking in general:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/vegetarian...anbaking.shtml

    I would highly recommend getting the 'Vegan Cupcakes....' book and trying one of the simple vanilla/chocolate cupcake recipes to get you going -they're so easy, and the cakes are always delicious
    "I am not mystical: it isnít as if I thought it had a spirit. It is simply in its element. That gives it a kingliness, a right." [Sylvia Plath]

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    RubyDuby
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote Mr Flibble View Post
    I've used my 20cm Global G2 almost exclusively for all chopping over the past few years. It's far safer than smaller knifes because its large enough to curl you knuckles against and ensure you won't chop the ends of your fingers off when you push down. It's also sharp enough (and stays sharp) to cut through most things in one slice, meaning that you don't get onions skating off across the room and finger slicing related accidents when the thing you're chopping moves under blunt pressure.
    How is it for bread and sushi rolls? My good chopping knife won't do for things that require a serrated knife, but admittedly my good knife wasn't that expensive.
    Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.

  10. #10
    RubyDuby
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Along the same lines of the one good-quality knife... one good quality non-stick pan works wonders for anything you want to brown on the stove top. Making tofu scramble and breakfast potatoes is a nightmare without the non-stick surface!
    Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.

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    CurrantCottage's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote Ms_Derious View Post
    Always use water that has been boiled and mostly cooled when making bread. The chlorine in fresh tap water can slow the activity of the yeast. The difference when making pizza dough is huge.
    I've been making bread for years and never knew this !!!!!!!! Thank you !!!!!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote fooldramaqueen View Post
    The BBC site also has a good section about Vegan baking in general:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/vegetarian...anbaking.shtml
    Thanks for that, I'm a beginner baker and so far I've had very little luck with baked goods. I hope the BBC site is more reliable.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote rulska View Post
    Thanks for that, I'm a beginner baker and so far I've had very little luck with baked goods. I hope the BBC site is more reliable.
    I hope it helps! I also found the introduction to the "Vegan Cupcakes...." book had some really useful background knowledge, hints & tips about vegan baking
    "I am not mystical: it isnít as if I thought it had a spirit. It is simply in its element. That gives it a kingliness, a right." [Sylvia Plath]

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    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote RubyDuby View Post
    How is it for bread and sushi rolls? My good chopping knife won't do for things that require a serrated knife, but admittedly my good knife wasn't that expensive.
    Can't comment on sushi rolls. It's fine for most bread products, but for loaves I do use a standard serrated one.

    I'd agree with you on non stick pans.
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote fooldramaqueen View Post
    I hope it helps! I also found the introduction to the "Vegan Cupcakes...." book had some really useful background knowledge, hints & tips about vegan baking
    It did! I made the brownies on Saturday and they were gone by Sunday evening. Hint: I live alone.

  16. #16

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I've also just found this post whilst looking through some blog archives:

    http://blog.vegcooking.com/2008/03/e..._and_trick.php

    I made a wonderful pumpkin pie at the weekend using one banana to replace the egg, and it turned out perfectly, so I can vouch for that one
    "I am not mystical: it isnít as if I thought it had a spirit. It is simply in its element. That gives it a kingliness, a right." [Sylvia Plath]

  17. #17
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    *Going from the weightloss thread to the cooking thread and wondering why I haven't lost any weight*

    I have started baking a few things lately. I just started with easy recipes that I don't think can go wrong so I have made rock cakes (from Cherry's recipe) and shortbread. Both were delicious if I say so myself.

    I just made some Irish soda bread but I noticed that the soya milk seems to make it wetter than cow's milk. When you bake with soya milk do you have to use less milk than you would with an omni recipe?

  18. #18

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Blackcats, I did a bit of googling and most sites that mention soya milk in baking talk more about the sweetness and/or fat content rather than how moist it makes your baking!

    One source did say it will thicken up a bit like buttermilk if you add lemon or cider vinegar (I guess any vinegar will do in theory, sometimes I use balsamic). Otherwise, maybe try adding a little less soya milk or a little more of your dry ingredient(s)?

    Here are a couple of links I found:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...king_with.html

    http://www.recipelink.com/mf/0/82608
    Last edited by fooldramaqueen; Nov 4th, 2009 at 12:42 PM. Reason: Vinegar detail!
    "I am not mystical: it isnít as if I thought it had a spirit. It is simply in its element. That gives it a kingliness, a right." [Sylvia Plath]

  19. #19
    BlackCats
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    ^ Oh thanks. I just thought maybe the adding less soya milk was a vegan secret I didn't know about. Maybe I will add lemon or cider vinegar next time.

    (The bread tasted really nice anyway, I just had some with some LM sausages, fried onions and mustard.)

  20. #20

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Sounds lovely! I've seen a few soda bread recipes around and keep meaning to try it, it's something I always used to enjoy when in Ireland. Let us know if you perfect it next time
    "I am not mystical: it isnít as if I thought it had a spirit. It is simply in its element. That gives it a kingliness, a right." [Sylvia Plath]

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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I usually use silk unsweetened soymilk in recipes. I find it works best and doesn't add any extra sweetness or flavor. If a recipe specifically calls for almond or rice milk I will use that.

    For adding vinegar I use apple cider vinegar and add 1 teaspoon per cup of "milk". This will make vegan buttermilk. But I only use that if a recipe specifically calls for it.

    Kudos to you BC. I'm impressed on the Irish soda bread. I'm an avid baker but have never made that.


  22. #22
    Stevie G karmafunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    How do you make Pizza dough?
    The value of a sentient life is not measured in its utility to others, but in its immense, irreplaceable value to the being whose life it is.

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    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote karmafunk View Post
    How do you make Pizza dough?
    By running a search for threads where the title is pizza

    http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14847
    http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10072
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    Stevie G karmafunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Thanks.
    The value of a sentient life is not measured in its utility to others, but in its immense, irreplaceable value to the being whose life it is.

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    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    As for pizza related cookery tips, I can highly recommend getting a pizza stone (try independant cook shops, otherwise the internet - should cost less than £10) and a single blade mezzaluna for cutting (beats the crap out of pizza cutting wheels).

    Using a bread machine to make the dough makes the process more practical, unless you've loads of time to kill (I would love to have time to make dough by hand on a regular basis).
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

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    Stevie G karmafunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Cool, I just bought a mezzaluna from Amazon for 1p. The postage was £3.70. Sorted!
    The value of a sentient life is not measured in its utility to others, but in its immense, irreplaceable value to the being whose life it is.

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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    for a simply yummy savoury treat i force the wife to make her "marmite yummy things", here is the how to:
    make or buy one quantity of puff/flaky pastry
    (the difference there is in the method of introducing the fat),
    500gram pastry should do,
    2 tablespoons of marmite mixed with one TEAspoon hot water,

    roll out the pastry to a large rectangle approx 10 X 18 inches (250mm X 450mm)
    it should be fairly thin.
    spread the marmite all over the pastry.
    roll up from a long edge, and put on a piece of baking parchment to rest. 10-15 mins.
    cover as many baking trays as you have with baking parchment ( i have 4).
    set oven to 220 c.
    on the floor of the oven place a roasting pan of boiling water, the steam will help the pastry to 'puff'.
    take the rested pastry and cut into slices approx 1cm thick.
    lay them on their sides on the baking trays, leave loads of room around each one, i get only 10 to 12 on a tray, using a small knife make a down cut right through the pastry from the centre of the swirl right through to one edge.this allows them to puff up and out into a vaugely fan shaped treat.
    bake for 8 to 12 mins, depends on your oven, til golden brown and yummy.
    WARNING: leave to cool before eating - them all. enjoy.
    Paul, and vegetarian wife.

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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    hi,
    hasnt anyone tried yummy marmite things yet?
    if any are made here they dont last long.
    paul

  29. #29
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote paul46 View Post
    hi,
    hasnt anyone tried yummy marmite things yet?
    if any are made here they dont last long.
    paul
    Thanks for reposting on this as I did not notice the first time. I have a small amount of puff pastry in the freezer. too small for pie but big enough for a few of these. I shall try some tomorrow night when I get home.

  30. #30

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote paul46 View Post
    hi,
    hasnt anyone tried yummy marmite things yet?
    if any are made here they dont last long.
    paul
    I don't eat marmite because it's made by a rather ethically dodgy (IMHO) company Unilever, but I might have a go at making them with a different brand of yeast extract.

    I tell you what though... I'd lamp my husband if he tried to 'force the wife to make' anything in the kitchen.
    Quitting something because it's hard is wrong, and quitting something because it's wrong is hard. One takes cowardice, the other bravery.

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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    hi buddha belly,
    bet you cant save any for sunday lunch, is it a packed lunch sunday?
    paul

  32. #32
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    No in Cambridge, will do my best to avoid Rainbow cafe (same menu differant day) and do the Morrocan on Mill rd. As MsD said, we use the Meridian stuff, bit thick but tastey

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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    hi bb,
    morocan on mill road,is it usefull when working in cambridge or only for special ocasions. i am not aware of it, there is a pub off mill road but i havnt used that yet, keep meaning to but have often used the trailer near the sidney st, market st junction. limited choice but good,however not there on sundays. no i dont force wife into kitchen often, i just dont let her out.
    paul

  34. #34
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    The best pub in CB is the Cambridge Blue on Gwydor st, off Mill rd, Station end. It is a real ale/ cider pub and can usually be found to contain westons cider and a few vegan lagers. The Morrocan is good (name escapes me, it's by Ar-expensive wholefood shop. There is also a take away mexican burrito place on Regents st that is reasonable and tastey. Charlie Chans on Regents st is vegan if you ask for no Oyster stuff for the veggie food, but ask the cockney fella on the door as he is quite good at the vegan thing.

  35. #35
    Cake Fairy Cherry's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Morrocan on Mill Road... do you mean Al Casbah? It's not veggie, but I used to eat there sometimes and they used to assure me that it was vegan-friendly. Lovely people.

    I need to buy a non-stick frying pan. Anyone got a really good one that has lasted for years?

  36. #36
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    if you want your glace cherries to distribute evenly in cakes and not sink to the bottom, pour some boiling water over them, let them sit to wash the syrup off for about 5 mins then dry and chop up and add to mix.

  37. #37
    Buddha Belly
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote Cherry View Post
    Morrocan on Mill Road... do you mean Al Casbah? It's not veggie, but I used to eat there sometimes and they used to assure me that it was vegan-friendly. Lovely people.

    I need to buy a non-stick frying pan. Anyone got a really good one that has lasted for years?
    Thank you Al Casbah! Friendly place, really hot chillis.


    We have never found a good non stick pan

  38. #38
    Rocket Queen
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I need tips on what to do with leftover curry!Don't say 'Eat it'.
    Was thinking of putting it in pasties or something!
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  39. #39

    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Curry Calazone? Honestly, don't knock it until you have tried it.

    That or cook cook a few potatoes, and blend them with some stock and the curry to make a soup. The potatoes are optional, but make the soup thicker and more filling.
    Quitting something because it's hard is wrong, and quitting something because it's wrong is hard. One takes cowardice, the other bravery.

  40. #40
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    In pasties sounds like a great idea.

    My pasta (not pasty) tips are - 1. Don't add oil to the water when cooking pasta, it'll just float to the top and be a waste. 2. Add the pasta to the sauce, not the sauce to the pasta. (I.e. mix the pasta and sauce in the saucepan before serving, don't serve a plate of pasta with the sauce on top)
    "I don't want to live on this planet any more" - Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth

  41. #41
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I am trying the soup idea!
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  42. #42
    littlemiss
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I discovered this by accident as I needed to keep my flour somewhere safer than my damp kitchen (the last place had bugs!). Keep flour in the freezer, it might need more water adding than usual but it makes great pastry as you need cool hands to make good pastry and this keeps all the ingrediants cold.
    When melting very dark choc do it as slowly as possible, over water that has been boiled and taken off the heat. Otherwise it can go crumbly.
    Always plan the recipe first to work out which bowls are needed where and use as few bowls ect as possible.
    When replacing egg, use a few drops of vannila essence to replace a little taste.
    Thats all I can think of right now.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I disovered today that a block of ready-made polenta, makes an ace pizza base!

    I put it in my food processor with a little bit of egg replacer, some flour and some water to a doughy texture (just add water n blend until it looks the right texture) and then knead!
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  44. #44
    Abe Froman Risker's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I ran out of cornflour today while making sweet & sour sauce so I used arrowroot instead.

    My tip is that arrowroot is much stronger than cornflour, the sauce ended up like rubber.

  45. #45
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    My tip is that arrowroot has no place in a modern kitchen. It's just plain nasty.

    Avoid all recipes using it as a setting agent, you will get either jelly or rubber.
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

  46. #46
    RubyDuby
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I like arrowroot. just use a small amount.
    Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty.

  47. #47
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    What can I do with Cherries? I have a bag full. Don't say eat them though, I don't like them just as they are! x
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

  48. #48
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Stone them and leave in vodka or brandy for a few months
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  49. #49
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    Default Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    I like that idea
    The greatest mistake is to do nothing because you can only do a little.

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    Smile Re: The Cookery Tips Thread

    Quote BlackCats View Post
    I think I just worry something will go wrong with baking cakes. I don't know why. I'm going to bake a cake for Halloween and then next month for my husband's birthday.:smile:

    Thanks Ms_Derious for the tips.


    Try some blueberry pancakes or some chocolate chip cookies... mmm cookies!
    http://www.thehealthyvegandvd.com/bl..._pancakes.html
    http://www.thehealthyvegandvd.com/cookies.html

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