Here are some of the Tips that I initially wrote to go on the packaging of the mixes and equipment in my Home Bargains range, and I’m also answering your questions here as they come in. I’ll add more Tips as they occur to me - do let me know if you have any useful ones of your own that we can share here, and send me any comments and questions you have too.
A quick effective decoration for cakes or cupcakes is to use sprinkles and a stencil - maybe a heart or simple flower. Position the stencil on top of the icing, brush the icing with a tiny amount of water then sprinkle well. Press lightly with your hand to make sure the sprinkles are fixed, then remove the stencil and gently shake off the excess.
I sometimes soak a handful or two of sultanas in lemon juice overnight: by morning they’ll have become plump and lemony and the taste of sweet and sour together is great.
My tip for home cooks: pop a tea towel under the mixing bowl when whisking or beating to stop it slipping about on the work top.
When whipping egg whites, make sure none of the yolk gets in the bowl – add a small pinch of cream of tartar or half a teaspoon of vinegar to keep them stiff and stable And for making quickly whipped cream, use it very cold just out of the fridge