If ‘domestic goddess’ is on your wishlist of life skills (or ‘domestic god’, we’re equal opportunities here), Bani Nanda from MIAM Patisserie shared five at-home cooking tips that might help you along a bit:
1. Respect the temperatures of baking and familiarise well with your oven as every oven is different and yields different results.
2. Buying some compound chocolate is a great way to make quick and easy decorations for home bakers. The compound chocolate does not need tempering, it sets really fast. Melt the chocolate and spread it out on parchment paper and use stencils to cut of decorations to put on cakes or plated desserts.
3. A yoghurt based marinade for meats is always great. It tenderises the meat and has a mellow flavour. Rub the meat or poultry with some yoghurt, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper for a quick marinade before grilling or searing.
4. The quickest chocolate sauce will always be two parts of dark chocolate and one part cream. Chop the chocolate finely and pour boiling cream to it. It’ll all come together and taste amazing!
5. While making a salted caramel, never ever forget that the cream added in the end must be warm. This is the secret to making a caramel sauce which doesn’t split!
Put Bani’s baking advice to test with her recipe for a slightly sweet, slightly spicy chocolate and cinnamon cake (you’ll want to follow her lead when it comes to decoration, too – these pastries taste as good as they look, and vice versa).
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix together the following ingredients:
1/4 cup oil
1 cup sugar
100 g flour
40g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon powder
In a saucepan, boil together half a cup each of water and milk, and 85 grams of butter.
Mix all the dry ingredients along with the egg and the oil in a stand mixer.
After the water, milk and butter have fully boiled, add it slowly in 3 parts into the stand mixer bowl.
Keep scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to form a smooth batter.
Bake in desired cake tins or cupcake moulds for 20-25 minutes.