When it comes making a cake, Mary Berry is reigning queen in our kitchens – mostly because of her simple, fuss-free approach to cooking.
Traditional baking recipes may dictate lengthy steps for each step of the process – weighing, creaming, sieving and folding – but former Great British Bake Off judge Mary, 83, has revealed that she doesn’t feel the need to spend hours slaving over the oven to achieve sponge success.
In a recent piece for The Telegraph, she said: ‘I no longer prepare a Victoria sandwich with the traditional creaming and folding methods, as this all-in-one method gives excellent results every time.’
‘All that creaming of butter and sugar. I never seem to have the butter soft enough. And then the tins have to be lined and everything has to be just so.’
Adding that she thinks people perceive baking to be far more complex than it needs to be, Mary explained that you don’t need a whole day to whip up an impressive bake.
‘Cakes, tea breads and biscuits can all be made quickly and easily with the minimum of fuss and trouble. There is no need to bother with fancy tins or piping bags to produce an informal, yet professional, finish to all kinds of teatime specialities,’ she concluded, adding that the most important thing was to ‘have fun’ during your time in the kitchen.
It’s not the first time Mary has subverted our expectations when making a traditional recipe – during an episode of BBC One’s Britain’s Best Home Cook, she shared her unconventional secret to making roast potatoes extra crispy: a sprinkling of semolina.
‘I like to parboil them just a bit to begin with, and then toss them in something like semolina, or scratch them so you get them all crispy,’ she detailed. ‘Then put them in a really hot pan with goose fat.’ So the next time you’re preparing a Sunday roast, you know what to do…