The most important thing to remember when buying and using bakeware, is to follow the recipe very carefully. If it calls for an 8” round tin, this is what you should use – because the cooking time will have been judged according to the depth and width of your finished cake. When buying trays, you’ll find a wide choice is available. As usual, you get what you pay for – the more expensive, cast iron trays and tins are going to last longer than flimsy trays which could buckle in the heat of the oven. Professional chefs including Delia recommend Mermaid Bakeware.
Probably already in your kitchen, baking trays are essential for cookies, flapjacks and brownies. You’ll need a deep roasting or baking tray for cheesecakes and puddings which call for a water bath.
Ideal for jellies, mousses, terrines and pannacotta, a good mould is indispensable for the dinner-party chef. You can buy moulds in all kinds of shapes and sizes; they’re usually made in aluminium, copper or silicone. Use your imagination and you can pack almost anything into a mould! Try buttering it and packing it with mushroom pate for a smart-looking dinner-party starter. (Just cover the top, weight it with something heavy and leave in the fridge overnight.) Or you could always try a twist on classic strawberry jelly…
Rosé Jelly With Strawberries
This is a jelly strictly for grown-ups!
- 570ml (20floz) rosé wine (check packet and adapt amount to suit)
- 4-5 sheets gelatine or Veg-E-Gel
- 1 punnet fresh strawberries
- 2tbsp caster sugar
- 4 individual jelly moulds
- This jelly is easy. Warm the rosé wine gently in a saucepan with the strips of lemon zest.
- While it’s coming to a low heat, wash and halve the strawberries, put into a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar, and put into the fridge.
- Following the instructions on your packet of gelatine or vegetarian gelatine, pour enough wine onto the sheets to dissolve them, and then top up to the recommended amount (which varies according to manufacturer – please check the packet).
- Gently divide your jelly mix between four moulds. Put into the fridge to set overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve, remove the strawberries from the fridge. Turn out the jellies onto small plates, scatter with strawberries, and dust the plate with icing sugar. Serve with glasses of the remaining rosé.
A 12-hole bun tin is essential for cupcakes, buns and miniature puddings. For best results, choose a sturdy, solid one with a good non-stick or enamel coating.
Apple Popovers With Toffee Sauce
Once you’ve bought your bun tin, you’re bound to find a hundred ways with it. Here is just one. The popover is an American version of our Yorkshire Puddings. It can be sweet or savoury; this one is sweetened with the addition of some chopped apple in the bottom of the tin. You could use half the batter to make some Yorkshire Puddings for the main course, and follow with the apple popovers. These are best served warm with custard!
- 110g (4oz) plain flour
- 0.5tsp baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 0.5pt milk
- 3 eating apples
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- Butter for the tin
- 55ml (2floz) water
- 55ml (2floz) golden syrup
- 110g (4oz) Demerara sugar
- 25g (1oz) unsalted butter
- 110ml (4floz) double cream
- Butter a 12-hole bun tin and preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt.
- Beat the egg with the milk and pour gradually into the middle of the flour, whisking as you go.
- When all the liquid is in and the batter is frothy, set it aside while you make the apple topping.
- Peel, core and dice the apples. Put them into a frying pan with the caster sugar, turn the heat to low, and leave the apples to soften and caramelise until slightly golden around the edges.
- Divide the apple mixture between the 12 bun tins and top up with your batter.
- Slide the tin into the oven and bake for 20-35 minutes, until puffy and golden.
- When the buns are cooked, make the sauce: heat the water, syrup, sugar and butter in a large pan until they boil.
- Cook for 5 minutes, until caramel in colour. Add the cream and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the colour deepens.
- Set aside to cool for a few minutes before pouring over the warm buns, and serve with custard, cream or ice-cream on the side!
Converting Your Recipe to Fit the Tin!
If you ever see a great recipe but don’t have the right size baking tin, we’ve created a great tool, the ‘cake-o-meter’ that can really help. Just key in your existing tin size and recipe ingredients – then the size of the new baking tin; your new ingredient amounts will appear on the screen for you!