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Avoid ‘Great British Bake Off cooking disasters’ with these helpful hacks…

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Avoid ‘Great British Bake Off cooking disasters’ with these helpful hacks…

The Great British Bake Off brings to Channel 4 screens a series of baking brilliance and mighty mishaps in the kitchen.

In honour of the iconic show, experts at home appliance brand Hotpoint have looked back at some of the most disastrous moments of the series – including celebrity fails, soggy bottoms and the notorious #BinGate – to provide tips, hacks and appliance essentials to help baking fans successfully flex their skills in the kitchen.

EASY MICROWAVE HACK ELIMINATES DREADED SOGGY BOTTOM

James Morton from season three looked set to bag the top prize until his final mishap. Having won the first of three tasks, he fell at the final hurdle, ruining his pithivier pie with a soggy bottom. So, what’s the secret to achieving the perfect base?

Hotpoint Cooking Manager, Zimbini Nkonjera:

A soggy bottom occurs when dishes like pastries, pies or even pizzas haven’t been thoroughly cooked all the way through. A simple, but little-known trick to make sure your base is perfectly cooked, is to use a crisp plate in your microwave.

“Often people think microwaves are just for reheating food and ready meals, but they can also be an incredibly useful appliance to create perfectly cooked dishes. The Dynamic Crisp function in Hotpoint microwave ovens uses a heat distribution system to evenly brown the top and bottom of your dish at the same time to eliminate food failures and deliver results in half the time.”

Hotpoint’s collection of microwave ovens feature clever technologies that help you cook perfect dishes with ease, to achieve so much more than just reheating and defrosting.

HOW TO: NOT LOSE YOUR TEMPER(ATURE) WHEN ASSEMBLING BAKED ALASKA

#Bingate caused a scandal for the humble baked Alaska in season five, after Iain Watters threw away his dessert upon discovering it was removed from the freezer by a fellow contestant.

A baked Alaska is notoriously difficult to create due to the variety of temperatures that come from combining three distinct elements: cake, ice cream, and meringue – which each require specific preparation and careful execution, using different appliances.

Hotpoint Refrigeration Category Manager, Nelson Pretti, explains:

“Freezing your ice cream allows for smoother spreading of the meringue layer and most importantly, enhances the temperature contrast between the hot meringue and the cold ice cream. If the ice cream were not frozen, it would quickly melt when placed in the hot oven and result in a soggy and shapeless dessert.

“Freezing also helps maintain the texture of the ice cream as it prevents ice crystals from forming too quickly, which can lead to a less smooth and creamy texture.”

Hotpoint cooking expert, Zimbini Nkonjera adds: “Avoid opening and closing the door during cooking to keep the temperature consistent. It can be tempting to check mid-way through cooking, but maintaining the right temperature is key to ensuring the ice-cream centre softens up just enough, while the outside of your baked Alaska turns golden-brown all over. Hotpoint cooling appliances feature thoughtful technology offering long lasting food freshness. With freestanding and integrated fridge freezers on offer, there’s a solution for every household.”

FLOP-PROOF CHOCOLATE FONDANT

2022’s all-star spin-off presented a gooey baking disaster for its celebrity contestants including Yung Filly, with chocolate fondants collapsing left, right and centre – leading fans to compare the puddings to ‘cow pat’.

Paul Hartley, Hotpoint Head Chef and former Pastry Chef at the Pharmacy:

“Always make at least one extra fondant, this way you can use it on the altar of fondant sacrifice to make sure the batch is not over or under cooked. Due to the technical difficultly of the dish, it’s very likely that one will fall apart when plating up, so having extras available is a must.

“Brushing the moulds with butter and cocoa powder before pouring in the mixture will also help you to avoid disaster, as this will provide a non-stick layer to the fondant while doubling up as a chocolate coating on the outside.”

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