Wednesday, October 28, 2009

: : Be [[ CREATIVE ]] : :

Well, to be honest, I'm not really a conclusion type person as I do not believe good things should come to an end...So instead I'm going to leave this blog with an open ending...


So, right now I'm just hoping that people found their way through this blog to this page and weren't completely freaked out by the term : : Ingredient Substitution : :

I also hope that you haven't completely emptied out your pantries or that they are not completely devoid of baking ingredients from all my tests your cake/muffin had to pass ☺.

Well, even if your pantry now looks like [[ this ]] : : at least now you know what ingredients to use to substitute them with *wink wink nudge nudge*. See, even if you didn't need the knowledge I have provided you with prior to this blog, now you do ☺.

Okay, so that last two words I am going to leave you with in regards to presentation (remember, it doesn't have to taste long as it looks good, people will eat it ; ) ) as well as ingredient substitution are : :

: | : BE CREATIVE : | :

ILP. Complete.

Inspiration ♥

: : Recipe #3 [[ Maple Passion ]] : :

This recipe was inspired by Australian Summers. Generally in summer we feel as if we don't want to eat something heavy or too sweet...or for that matter, hot - let's face it, heat is the last thing you need on 48*C days!

On top of a maple syrup sponge, I have added refrigerated (yes, that means cold people!) seasonal fruits (although, I did come up with this recipe in early Spring, so I have used seasonal Spring fruits) and drizzled the sponge and fruit with passion fruit pulp to cut through the sweetness.

: : Seasonal SUMMER Fruits in Australia : :

Because I haven't given a good indication in my pictures of seasonal summer fruits, here is a list of ingredients you can put in your fruit salad : :

kiwi fruit
passion fruit

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♥ Preheat oven to 180*C
♥ Grease 8 pie tins (small) or 1 muffin tray (12)

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: : Ingredients : :

1 x cup maple syrup
1.5 x cup milk
2 x cup self-raising flour
2 x eggs
3/4 x cup butter (approx.)
1 x tbsp vanilla essence
1 x large tin of passion fruit pulp (or the pulp 12 fresh passion fruits)

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: : Method : :

1. Combine the maple syrup, butter, vanilla essence and eggs
2. Add 1/2 cup of self-raising flour at a time (until 1 cup has been combined), stirring in 1/2 cup of milk (until 1 cup has been combined) whilst doing so
3. Repeat step number 2 so that a smooth consistency is achieved.
4. Pour mixture into pie tins 3/4 full to allow space of rising.
5. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the 'knife comes out clean'
6. Leave to cool before topping with seasonal fruit salad. Then drizzle the passion fruit pulp on top.

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Ingredients substituted in this recipe : : SUGAR

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Recipe by Rebekka Lord-Johnson. Photos by Rebekka Lord-Johnson.

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: : Recipe #2 [[ Bananas About Breakfast ]] : :

Serving Suggestion: Serve with Greek yogurt, honey and chopped almonds

Okay, so I know most of your thoughts about breakfast will probably contradict my oh-so-wonderful title for this particular creation of mine - but, although the pictures may not look all that appetising (I promise you, the first batch looked scrumptious...and I would have photographed it - but apparently they were just so scrumptious-looking that my step-dad thought so and decided to eat them...ALL! To say the least, I was very saddened by this and proceeded to curl up in our pantry and sob at my loss - yes, they were that good : ( ) I promise you they are ; ).

Okay, so in this recipe I have substituted : :


*this particular recipe does not require any sugar as is not required to rise

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IMPORTANT: Serves 12

◘ Preheat Over to 180*C
◘ Prepare your muffin tins by greasing them

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[[ Recipe ]]

: : Ingredients : :

1 x cup honey
1 x cup milk
3/4 x cup fruit muesli
1/2 x oat bran
2 x eggs
1/2 x butter

: : Method : :

1. Combine eggs, butter and honey
2. Add the muesli to this mixture (fold in)
3. Add 1/2 cup of milk and combine
4. Add the oat bran and combine
5. Add the rest of the milk - more or less if required.
6. Bake in 180*C oven for 25 minutes or until 'knife comes out clean.

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Recipe by Rebekka Lord-Johnson. Photos by Rebekka Lord-Johnson

: : Recipe #1 [[ Tim Tam Temptation ]] : :

| : : Ingredients : : |

[[ serves 12 ]]

8 x Tim Tam : : flavour of your choice
1 x cup vanilla bean ice-cream
2 x cups self-raising flour
2 x eggs
2 x tbsp room temp. butter

NOTE: some measurements may vary from person to person - add more flour if the mixture appears runny and more ice-cream if it appears dry and heavy.


- Preheat oven to 180*C
- Grease a muffin tin (preferably for 12 muffins)
- Bake for 20 minutes or until "knife comes out clean"

| : : Method : : |

1. Prepare the Tim Tams by crushing them with a mortar and pestle until some are fine crumbs and others are uneven chunks.

2. Beat the eggs, butter the ice-cream until a smooth consistency is achieved.

3. Combine the flour with the wet ingredients until the mixture is smooth.

4. Fold in the Tim Tam chunks and crums, and fill the greased muffin tin to 3/4 to allow room for expanding.


--- Best enjoyed hot out of the oven when the chocolate coating of the Tim Tams are still melted ---

"The main ingredients substituted in this recipe are milk and sugar."

| : | This is an original recipe | : |

| : | Recipe by Rebekka Lord-Johnson. Photos by Rebekka Lord-Johnson | : |

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: : 1 x [[ egg ]] : :

So, we come to eggs. Eggs are probably one of the least important ingredients when it comes to baking.

[[ Here is a picure of an eggless chocolate cake: ]]

[[ Let's compare this to a chocolate cake recipe which uses eggs : ]]

So,as you can see - there is not much visual difference between a cake with egg and one without; however if you noticed that one is slightly more compact than the other (the eggless), well done! Eggs, along with other ingredients assist with the rising of the cake/muffin.

More than anything though, eggs are used in baking to bind the ingredients together and to develope a smooth texture - yes,just like that silky (okay, and slightly off-putting) inside once you crack open that delicate eggshell.

Yes, yes, I know, I know...more to do with "eating with your eyes", but truthfully, a cake or muffin with eggs does not "retain that dear perfection" (yes, thought I might add in a bit R & J in there ☺) those that do contain eggs do.

How do eggs contribute to the overall presentation of a cake or muffin? You may ask...

Well, anyone who has ever seen the inside of an egg before (if not proceed to your fridge - or supermarket - get an egg...and a bowl, and crack open the egg) knows that there are two main parts of an egg.

The egg white and the egg yolk.

Notice the golden-orange colour of the yolk - this is what gives cake and muffins their beautiful golden colour. Funny enough, the yolk also assists in bringing out the cake/muffin's creamy texture.

If you really feel the need to substitute eggs for something else, here are a few things you can use:

: : Most of the following ingredients are based on developing taste or texture, not imitating the golden colour of the yolks : :

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[[ First of all, what can go wrong? ]] --- Yes, that means that yet again, a piece of your *cough fabulous cough* cake or muffin is required ☺.

Did your cake/muffin not rise?
Is your cake/muffin's texture compacted?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, the eggs you used were cold. Just like butter, the temperature of the eggs when you add them to your mixture is vital. They must be room temperature to allow air pockets to form when beated.

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[[ One WHOLE egg ]]

♥ 2 yolks and tablespoon of water
♥ 1 egg white and two teaspoons of oil
♥ Any other egg substitutes
♥ [[ baking only ]] 2 tablespoons of water and ½ teaspoon of baking powder
♥ [[ baking only ]] 2 tablespoons of flour, ½ tablespoon of shortening, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of liquid (that is used in recipe)

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: : 1 cup [[ milk ]] : :

Okay, so right now I'm thinking of a way to open up this entry with a 'punch'. So I am currently looking for a fitting 'milk quote' (weird eh?) on : :

Oooh, yay, I found one : :

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” --- Woody Allen

Now, let us all be thankful of baking where you can still consume milk, laugh and it still will not come out of your nose ☺.

WARNING: You may choke instead...

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Okay, so milk basically just adds moisture to your cake or muffin.

Too little : : texture = dry
Too much : : Why hello pancake!

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[[ The substitution side of things ]]

Because milk's only purpose in baking is to provide moisture, the main thing we have to look out for when substituting milk is something that provides that same or similar extent of moisture.

: : Useful ingredients to substitute milk with : : 1 cup | : |

♦ 1 cup Greek yogurt
NOTE: Do NOT use any type of yogurt! Greek yogurt is the only variety of yogurt that does not separate when heated.
♦ 3/4 cup cream, 1/4 cup water (combined)
♦ 1 1/2 cup water (many of the dry ingredients absorb water quickly)

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: : 1 cup [[ butter ]] : :

...And we come to butter. Yes, that golden (, trying to think of appetising ways to describe butter, which is difficult as I do not like it myself), creamy solid that melts in your mouth whether it is simmered into a sauce or spread on your morning toast with jam.

Okay - I thought I might just add (before I begin on the substitution side of things) that when using butter in baking, make sure it is used at room temperature. This is very important as it allows as much air as possible to enter the butter/sugar mixture when it is being 'creamed' (pardon the pun - oh yes, I am very funny ☺).

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[[ So, what does butter contribute to the end result of your cake or muffins? ]]

The use of butter in baking is very similar to that of eggs; however butter is vital whereas eggs are not. Butter largely contributes to the flavour, colour and texture of cakes/muffins.

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[[ So what happens if the wrong amount of butter is used? ]]

Did your cake/muffin rise?
Is your cake/muffin compact in texture?

If you answered 'yes' to both of these questions, when you creamed the butter with the sugar, the butter was the wrong temperature (in this case, too cold). Make sure if you are using butter in a recipe that the butter is room temperature (see above).

Does your cake/muffin leave your fingers oily?
Does your cake/muffin taste obviously and strongly of butter or oil?

If you answered 'yes' to either of these, you have literally drowned your cake/muffin in butter.

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[[ So what can you substitute butter with in baking? ]]

: : 1 cup butter : :

♪ 7/8 cup oil plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
♪ 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
♪ 1 cup margarine
♪ 7/8 cup oil

USEFUL TIP: If you decide to use oil to substitute butter with, choose a scented oil such as 'vanilla oil', 'cinnamon oil' or 'apricot oil' to give it that extra bit of depth of flavour.

[[ So, you may be wondering why the '♪'s. Well, I decided that seeing as so many people adore butter, they may just love it enough that it makes their 'heart sing' ☺. No, I'm just kidding. I just pressed "Alt" and a random number (which happened to be 13) and that's what popped up. ]]

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: : 1 cup [[ self-raising flour ]] : :

Self-raising flour has many of the same properties as flour; however, is a personal favourite of mine as baking soda is not mandatory

: : ...and trust me, from personal experience struggling to open that small tub of baking soda, then having the lid give way with such force, let's just say that if I had baked that cake - it would have been the highest non-souffle you would have ever seen! : :

Okay, so replacement of : : 1 cup [[ self-raising flour ]] : :

: : 1 cup [[ flour ]] : :

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: : 1 cup [[ flour ]] : :

◙ flour ◘ flour ◙ flour ◘

So, four is another factor which contributes to the texture of the cake or muffins you are baking. Just like sugar, the correct amount is vital!

Yes I know - at this stage you are probably a bit put off baking...or perhaps you have just convinced yourself that the upside-down pineapple cake you have planned for that morning tea with your in-laws may not be the right thing...

May I suggest a nice packet of Tim Tams instead? [[For Tim Tam ideas visit : : Recipe #1 [[ Tim Tam Temptation ]] : :]]

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[[ The Purpose of Flour ]]

Flour has two basic purposes:

1. to bind and add bulk and body [[imagine cake batter without flour! ]]


2. to rise [[flour, when added with baking powder assists with the rising of the cake]]

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So, a cake can rise without flour, but not without baking powder; however in order to substitute flour successfully, we need to use a fine grained solid whose texture is able to mimic that of flour's.

[flour-like substance] + baking powder = rise

The ingredient you choose to substitute flour with must be a solid as it helps to bind your ingredients together (and better yet; will ensure your creation resembles something remotely cake-like...and not soup!).

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Yes, I know...
What are some safe ingredients you can replace flour with?

Probably the most popular choice is self-raising flour or almond meal.

: : Ingredients : :

1 cup of flour

3/4 cup self-raising flour, a pinch of salt and NO baking powder

1 cup almond meal

3/4 cup oat bran (you may need to add some more liquid as oat bran has the tendency to absorb moisture)

3/4 cup custard powder

1 cup potato flour

NOTE: you are only substituting flour, not baking powder

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[[What can go wrong when using too little, too much or just not the right type of flour?]]

: : Too much flour : :

NOTE: Yet again a muffin/cake by your computer/laptop is mandatory (be warned : : you may need a dozen or so to correctly identify your baking problems)

Does your cake/muffin have a hard crust?

Is your cake/muffin dry?

Is the top of your cake/muffin lumpy?

Is the top of your cake/muffin cracked?

[[ If you answered yes to any of these questions, your cake/muffin has too much flour ]]

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: : Too little flour : :

Okay - too be frank, there's no real way to tell if you are lacking flour...apart from if your cake/muffin is a blobby mess that just refuses to cook! Well, I guess there are two acceptations to that rule:

1. MUFFIN ONLY you were lazy and didn't use a muffin tin [[ AKA the weight of your muffin flattened the patty pan ]]


2. Your oven "mysteriously" turning itself (*cough cough*) off and/or lowered the temperature.

Yes, so basically - if your cake/muffins turn out resembling some sort of pancake...add more flour next time.

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: : Wrong type of flour : :

The type of flour you use really depends on the other ingredients used in the recipe - so this one is a bit of trial and error, to say the least.

Does your cake/muffin have a coarse texture?

YES: if you answered 'yes' to the above question, you are using the wrong type of flour for your particular recipe

Is your crust slight damp or soggy?

Has your cake/muffin developed a slightly soggy bottom layer?

[[ If you have answered YES to either of the above question, the flour you used is too damp for your recipe ]]

NOTE: The above two questions, if answered 'yes' could also be a result of too much sugar. Try using your taste buds here to see whether your cake/muffin tastes too sweet or not.

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: : 1 cup [[ sugar ]] : :

[[ Sunshine , lollipops , and rainbows ... ]]

Okay, so as the above lyrics point out - sugar must be a good thing, right?

: : CORRECT : :

Sure, it may do the occasional rotting of teeth, but when it comes to baking...all such teeth, crazy children, the downfall of energy after its peak and diabetes are forgotten.

Many people believe that they are doing the right thing by using less sugar in their baking; though, from personal experience - when you're craving a muffin, a sugarless scone just won't cut it.

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Hm...I am currently contemplating whether or not to use the paragraphs I have prepared earlier to explain why sugar is mandatory...although I don't want to bore you all with my scientific explanations. After all; unless you are Ms Waite, you are choosing to read this blog and I'd rather keep it so that you don't choose not to read it.

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Okay then. Sugar, apart from adding sweetness (yes, I know, state the obvious!), also provides texture and controls various aspects that people (...well, me at least) overlook when wondering how their overflowed sticky mess doesn't look anything like the beautiful fluffy, "Picture Perfect" muffin in the cookbook (although, keep in mind that your particular cookbook may be written by Donna Hay).

Have no idea what I'm talking about? See below : :

[[ Remember: Practice Makes Perfect ]] : : AKA, "It's harder than you think" : :

There are numerous things that can go wrong when using sugar and you have about a 1/100 chance of getting it right when you are not all that experienced with baking. Pretty sad, eh?

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Okay, so here are some questions that may help you determine whether or not you are using enough sugar, or perhaps just too much!

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Note: You must have already baked your muffin/cake and you must have it ready for analysis

Is your cake/muffin dry?

Has your muffin/cake formed a hard crust?

Is the crust light in colour?

Does your muffin/cake feel heavy and compact?

Is the texture of your cake/muffin tough?

[[ If you answered yes to any of these questions - your cake/muffin is lacking sugar ]]

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Does your cake/muffin have a cracked crust?

Does your cake/muffin have a sticky coating?

Did your cake/muffin "fall" or collapse in the centre?

Did your cake/muffin fall or break apart when you removed (well, attempted to) from the tin/patty pan?

Does your cake/muffin have a sticky layer at the bottom?

[[ If you answered yes to any of these questions - your cake has too much of the sweet stuff ]]

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: : Substituting Sugar : :

As you can see above - there are many things that can go wrong when baking with sugar. This makes substituting sugar...potentially problematic.

You make be thinking, "meh, just use anything that is sweet"; however that is not the case. You may have realised that many cake/muffin recipes begin with something along the lines of:

: : Cream together the sugar and butter : :

Believe it or not, it is this step that determines the texture of your cake/muffins.


--- The sharp ganules of sugar cut through the butter and create air pockets which later become the little holes that make cakes and muffins nice and fluffy ---

Note: This is why, when you replace caster sugar for white or brown sugar, the texture is so different.

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So to be honest, there really isn't a substance that substitutes sugar other than...well sugar.

To achieve the best results, I recommend using 3/4 cup of brown sugar to replace 1 cup of white sugar or vice-versa.

However, not all of us own both brown and white sugar; so here's a list of other ingredient you can use to substitute1 cup of white sugar:

1 cup honey (decrease liquid in recipe by ¼ cup and mix honey with this liquid first to avoid the mixture becoming soggy) [[ in baking ]] add ½ baking soda and lower cooking temp. 5* approx

2 cups corn syrup

¾ cup maple syrup

¾ golden syrup

¾ 100s and 1000s

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

: : eg. [[---examples]] : :

The idea of substitution is something that we often have to face in our everyday lives. This idea is one that you have to grasp to fully understand how ingredient substitution works.


[[ scenario ]]

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A person has a desire to be clean : :

[[ Translation : : A person has a desire to bake a cake : : ]]

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The same person walks into the bathroom, undressed, and turns on the shower tap : :

[[ Translation : : The same person walks to the pantry, with a vision of what they are wanting to bake in their minds, and open the pantry door : : ]]

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{ So here, let's assume the worse --- }

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The same person fiddles with the tap for a while - before realising that the tap is broken and needs to be payed for to be fixed

[[ Translation : : The same person looks around amongst the food within the pantry for baking ingredients before realising that they do not have what they need and realise that a shopping trip is required : : ]]

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The same person decides that they cannot be bothered with fixing the tap at this moment as it takes time and money but it is essential to be clean as soon as possible. Instead they begin to look for alternative solutions.

[[ Translation : : The same person decides that they cannot be bothered going down to the supermarket to buy the missing ingredients as it takes time and money and they are in the mood for baking right at this moment. Instead they begin to look for alternative solutions.

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The same person has two options :
1. take a 'bucket shower'
2. take a bath
Although a bucket shower may be quicker than waiting for the bath to fill, it does not provide the person with the same amount of comfort and satisfaction.

[[ Translation : : The same person has two options (to replace sugar, for example) :
1. use artificial sweetener
2. use honey (and reduce the amount of other liquids)
Although the artificial sweetener may be the easier option than measuring out the correct amount of honey and reducing the other liquids, the sweetener does not provide the correct texture and therefore, the same amount of satisfaction than the honey.

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