Tarek Malouf, Hummingbird Bakery founder:
Home baking is the very ethos behind everything we do at The Hummingbird Bakery so we’re delighted to get behind the Great British Sunday Lunch in aid of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Preparing food for others to share and enjoy is one of life’s great pleasures and this national fundraising event is the perfect reason to get your nearest and dearest around the table for a good cause. And when you’re finished with your Sunday lunch, remember to save room for dessert!
Baking for a party: tips for bakers
- Freeze it – It’s possible to get your baking out of the way long before the party by baking the sponges, allowing them to cool completely, wrapping them well in cling film and freezing. When party time comes around, defrost the sponges completely and whip up your frostings on the day.
- Test batch – If you’re trying a new recipe and feel under pressure, it’s always wise to bake a test batch ahead of the party. This way, you can be confident you’ve got the recipe mastered and will have a much less stressful bake come the big day. Plus, you get extra cake – cook’s treat!
- Whip away – When making any sponge, the butter and sugar should be creamed together with an electric stand mixer or electric hand mixer for at least five minutes. This seems like a very long time but it will get lots of air into the mixture and leave your sponges lovely and light.
- Leave room – When baking, it’s important to leave room in the tin or in the cupcake cases for your sponges to rise. Cupcake cases should be filled no more than two-thirds full. This will prevent your mixture from overflowing and will save you a lot of time cleaning the oven afterwards.
- Temperature check – Oven temperatures do vary, with some ovens operating at warmer or cooler temperatures than the dial suggests. An oven thermometer is an essential bit of kit for any baker and will remedy this problem. This inexpensive gadget can help you to check that your oven is operating at the right temperature for the recipe, which means your cakes are less likely to emerge burnt or undercooked.