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101 Tips and Techniques for Cooking like a Chef 91-101

Would you like to kick your cooking up a notch? Do you watch cooking shows with amazement, wondering how it is that anyone can chop onions that quickly?  An expert chef cooks all day long, and with practice comes perfection.  Here are some of the tips that we have gathered from chefs to help you develop the skills necessary to be a world class cook…

 

101 Tips and Techniques for Cooking like a Chef 91-101

 

91. Test whether your baking powder is fresh. Baking powder is a leavener that contains a combination of baking soda, an acid (such as cream of tartar), and a moisture absorber (such as cornstarch). Baking powder releases carbon dioxide gas bubbles when mixed with liquid, and this is what causes breads and cakes to rise. However, baking powder loses its potency over time, so if you’ve had the same supply for eons, be sure to test whether your baking powder is still good. Pour ¼ cup of hot tap water over ½ teaspoon of baking powder and observ – the fresher the powder, the more actively it will bubble. If a weak reaction occurs, or none at all, your baked goods will end up flat!

92. Use frozen berries in baked goods. Frozen berries can taste just as good as fresh when used in baked goods. Look for whole berries without syrup. You don’t even have to bother thawing them before adding them to your batter. You may need to add a few minutes to your cooking time however because they will make the batter cold.

93. Melt chocolate without burning it. Melt chocolate with no risk of burning! Just break chocolate into small pieces, place in a sealed bag and drop into a bowl of hot water.  Give the bag a squeeze every five minutes until the chocolate reaches the right consistency.

94. Create a wonderful vanilla taste. Do you miss real vanilla extract? Soak two vanilla beans in a litre of vodka for about three months, shaking it well every morning. At the end of three months, you will have a delicious natural vanilla flavoring to use in your baking.

95. Melt chocolate perfectly every time. The easiest way to melt chocolate is in the microwave. But be sure to stir it often because it can burn. Does chocolate go lumpy when you try to melt it? Never add milk or water, because it will make the problem worse!  Just add a tablespoon of oil or solid shortening and mix well.

96. Keep Jello-O firm. Jello-O is a favorite with kids, but it does tend to “melt” after sitting out for a while. A teaspoon of vinegar will keep Jell-O firmer, even on the hottest summer days. Simply add it in place of one teaspoon of cold water.

97. Roll out dough without a sticky mess. Professionals use a slab of marble to roll dough out on so that cleanup is easy. If you don’t have this, instead use a large sheet of waxed paper that is “anchored” to your countertop. To do this, simply moisten the back of the paper with water before laying it down. This will hold it in place while you work. When you’re finished, just toss it out and there are no sticky bits to clean up!

98. Get fluffier egg whites. Fluffy egg whites are a great way to add lightness to your baking. The fluffier they are, the more air they contain which makes for a better end result. For the fluffiest egg whites, never tap the whisk on the bowl containing the egg whites.  The vibration will cause them to lose their fluffy consistency.

99. Avoid sinking in your baked goods. You can prevent ingredients such as chocolate chips, nuts and dried fruit from settling the bottom of your cake by coating them with a light dusting of flour before mixing them into the batter. The flour absorbs some of the surface oil and water that exudes from these ingredients during baking, reducing their tendency to sink to the bottom.

100. Don’t throw away your brown bananas. Remove the peel, and toss overripe bananas into a large freezer safe Ziploc bag. Freeze until you have enough for some banana bread, banana muffins or a fruit smoothie. Since the bananas are already peeled you can easily measure exactly how much you need and simply leave the rest in the freezer for next time.

101. Make tastier oatmeal cookies and muffins. Add a different flavor to your oatmeal cookies and muffins by baking oatmeal in a shallow pan for about ten minutes before adding it to the mix. Be sure it does not get too brown or it will take on a bitter taste.

 

Believe it or not, these tips are just a few of the things that expert chefs do to make preparing delicious and enticing food for their customers.  When you use them in your kitchen, you will develop a whole new appreciation for the food that you cook.  It’s simple to create the foods that you love, and when you use these tricks you won’t believe what you can do.

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