Using Dairy Products
Elegant curls are easy to make if you first dip the curler into warm water. Pull it lightly across a block of firm butter; then drop the curls into a bowl of iced water and store them in the fridge.
Milk in a vacuum flask
Keeping milk hot for any length of time subtly alters its taste, which is why drinks from a vacuum flask can taste different. Most people don’t mind the change in coffee or cocoa, but find it unpleasant in tea. To avoid the problem, put black tea into the flask and take a separate container of milk to add when you’re ready to drink it – or use a non-dairy milk substitute.
Easier whipped cream
You’ll save time and effort if you chill the whipping bowl and beaters or whisk in the freezer before you begin.
Make double cream go further
Add one egg white for every 285ml (2 pint) of cream before whipping. It also whips more easily and gives a greater volume if you add 15ml (1tbsp) of milk to every 150ml (1 pint) of cream.
For a fluffier cream
Whip in a little sifted icing sugar with the cream for a fluffier result and cream that’s less likely to separate. Use 5ml (1tsp) to 150ml (1/4 pint) of cream.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape. The heat of your hand and the effort of forcing it through the piping bag will cause it to stiffen further.
Cream gone sour?
Don’t throw it away: add it to shortcrust pastry for a light, crumbly texture and a delicious flavour. Rub the fat into the flour as usual; then stir in 70ml (4tbsp) of soured cream to every 225g (8oz) of pastry and add water to bind.
Place grater and cheese inside a plastic bag and grate, holding the cheese and grater from the outside. To avoid the cheese crumbling on the grater, chill it thoroughly before attempting to grate it.
Ripening soft cheeses
Slightly under ripe soft cheeses such as Brie and Camembert can be ripened by placing them in a microwave oven set to Defrost. Fifteen to 30 seconds is long enough for a 75g (3oz) piece.
Substitutes for dairy products
Mix together 175ml (6fl oz) of natural yoghurt and 50ml (2fI oz) of milk for a substitute of similar consistency.
Make your own by mixing 285ml (1/2pint) soured cream with 450ml (15fl oz) double cream. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature for several hours, or until it thickens; then refrigerate. Don’t use UHT cream; it won’t work.
Add 15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice to 285ml (½ pint) single cream.
You can make cream at home by melting together 125g (4-1/2oz) unsalted butter with 150ml (1/4 pint) milk. Heat gently but do not boil. Then blend it in a liquidiser or food processor for ten seconds. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally.
Heat together 125g (4soz) unsalted butter with 285ml (½ pint) creamy milk until the butter is melted, but do not allow the mixture to boil. Sprinkle 2.5ml (1/2tsp) of gelatine powder over the top, and stir until dissolved. Blend in a food processor for ten seconds. Chill until firm.
HAVING TROUBLE WITH MAYONNAISE?
Add 15ml (1 tbsp) of boiling water to the mixture and beat hard. If it remains curdled, start again with a clean bowl and a fresh egg yolk. Very gradually beat the curdled mayonnaise into the new egg until you obtain a smooth consistency.
Mixture’s too thick
Thin it down with a little warm water or single cream.
Allergic to eggs, or just want a low-fat alternative?
Try tofu (soya bean curd) mayonnaise: place 175g (6oz) tofu, 35ml (2tbsp) milk, 35ml (2tbsp) lemon juice and 15ml (1tbsp) sunflower or olive oil in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Season to