1) If your jam has become watery, re-boil it together on low fire together with a gelatin foil or a box of jelly powder for 2 mins, stirring continually. Your jam will be ready then.
2) Another way to help your jam congeal is to boil it together with a peeled apple, cut in four pieces.
3) If a thin layer of mould covers your jam, that means that you haven’t boiled it adequately. Carefully remove the mould with a knife, re-boil the jam for 10 mins and put it in another, clean jar.
4) To verify that your jam is adequately boiled, put a spoonful of it in a small plate and leave it there for 2 mins. After that, slope it and if the jam rolls very slowly, then it is ready.
5) If your jam starts burning at the bottom, quickly change casserole without scrubbing the bottom of the burnt one. Then add 1 spoonful of brandy for every kilo of lost jam.
6) Add 1 spoonful of strawberry jam in your chocolate roll before you cook it. It will acquire better taste and most important, it will remain fresh for longer.
7) Do you want to check if your cake is ready? Don’t use a knife but a toothpick. Nail the centre of the cake and if the toothpick comes out wet then your cake needs some more cooking, otherwise it is ready.
8) To decorate your cake with chocolate, put some chocolate flakes into a transparent plastic bag and tie it well with a piece of string. Then heat the chocolate in the microwave and when it melts, cut one corner making a small hole and use the bag as a cornet.
9) To cover a cake, use half cream and half yoghurt. It’s lighter and with fewer calories.
10) If in your fruit cake all the fruit have gathered in the bottom, this means that the paste was not thick enough. Next time use more flour or fewer eggs.
11) If your cake hasn’t become fluffy, just don’t worry. Remove its centre with a sharp knife and fill it with fruit and cream. No one will realize the truth!
12) Before you add julienne fruit in your cake, dredge them with corn flour. This way they will remain crispy.
13) When you prepare a cake, add a spoonful of thick syrup in the mixture. This will improve its taste and will not let the cake become too dry.
14) If while making a cake you find out that you don’t have any eggs, then replace each egg with 1 spoonful (15ml) of vinegar.
15) To get the cake out of the form more easily, cover the form with a cotton cloth as soon as you take it out of the oven.
16) A fast and easy paste recipe for fried cheese tarts: 250 gr of butter, 1 cup of yoghurt, salt and as much self-raising flour as it takes for the paste to become tender and elastic.
17) Another fast and easy paste recipe for fried cheese tarts or apple tarts: 1 glass of virgin olive oil, 1 glass of wine, salt, 2 spoonfuls of baking powder, and as much flour as it takes for the paste to become tender and elastic.
18) Always open the paste foil for pizzas moving the rolling pin to one direction. This way the paste foil won’t crack or burst while being cooked.
19) Aunt Irene’s secret: when you make paste for cold cakes or cold tarts, replace the water with light milk. Your cakes and tarts will become crispier this way.
20) If you want your tart paste crispier as well as lighter, replace its water with soda water.
21) Let the tart paste rest for 15-30 mins before you use it. It will become fluffier.
22) If you bake bread at home, pin 3-4 thin macaronis in the paste. The paste will raise much sooner.
23) If you want your bun to raise successfully, don’t put it in the oven. Leave it in room temperature (18 C).
24) Bun paste can be preserved in a plastic bag in the fridge for 3-4 days. But be careful: during that period it will double in size.
25) Prepare some paste for potato croquettes and wrap cocktail sausages or a kind of cheese in it. This makes wonderful appetizers.
26) An easy way to preserve tarts for up to 3 months is to freeze them in plastic bags.
27) Use second day bread slices to make your canapes, since it can be cut in pieces or be given various shapes more easily.
28) Stir the butter for your canapes and add some salt, a pinch of mustard powder and a little bit of milk. They will taste much better.
29)It is much better to bake your cookies on a buttered foil of grease wrapping paper and not straight on the griddle.
30) To avoid your biscuits braking when you are trying to take them out of the griddle, put the griddle on a wet towel and let it cool there. Then the biscuits will come out much more easily, without braking.
31) It is better to prepare your sweets, pies or pastes using distilled water, since it contains less mineral salts which can misquote tastes and flavours.
32) instead of flour, you can dredge the cake form with cocoa powder. This way your cake will improve in colour and taste.
33) To give your pies a nice, golden colour, smear some battered egg yoke on them a quarter of an hour before you take them out of the oven.
34) To give your pies a nice, golden crust, mix 1 spoonful of corn flour with a bit of milk. Then smear it on the pie before you bake it.
35) To be sure that you chocolate muss will congeal, add 2-3 spoonfuls of brandy in the mixture.
36) If your jelly doesn’t come out of its form easily, pour some cold water on it. That will do the job.
37) Replace milk cream or cream with fresh fruit or fine sugar on your sweets. This way you reduce on calories while you increase on vitamins.
38) To make an easy and tasty dessert, mix some yoghurt with fresh fruit and pieces of digestive biscuits.
39) To peel your hazelnuts easily and quickly, put them in boiling water, add 1 spoonful of soda (sodium bicarbonate) and leave them there for 1 minute. Then strain them and put them on a towel to dry. After that, as soon as you press them in your fingers they peel at once.
40) When boiling milk is about to spill out of the casserole, don’t remove it from fire, you won’t save it this way. Just stir it hard with a spoon.
41) To find out if your souffle is ready, touch its crust with your finger. If your fingerprint appears on it, then the souffle is not ready yet.
42) Mix cheese flakes with minced almonds when you want to dredge a pie or anything else you want to bake. You will be delighted by the taste.