The Great Hunt: How to bake cheaply

edited 28 August 2014 at 3:10PM in Gone Off!
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  • An earlier poster mentioned buying Vanilla Sugar - I keep any vanilla pods I have used for custards etc and put them in my caster sugar storage jar - you then always have a supply of vanilla sugar at no additional cost. They flavour it for ages as well. Learnt that tip from my ex-MIL
  • gloriouslyhappygloriouslyhappy Forumite
    514 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gloriouslyhappy View Post
    Buy Sainsburys basics sponge mix, 22p per packet. Follow the packet instructions - add 1 egg and 5 tablespoons of water to the mix - and bake as instructed. Makes a pretty decent sponge cake [/QUOTE]
    VfM4meplse wrote: »
    I gave this a shot last year thinking of the bargain factor; it was the lightest cake I've ever baked but was also dry and tasted of egg. It went in the bin :o

    Sorry your cake came out dry - a good tip to rescue a dry cake is to make a syrup by melting a couple of spoons of sugar in a little boiling water, put in a syringe or turkey baster, and inject the top of the cake in a few places. The syrup will gradually spread downwards, moistening as it goes. You can use lemon juice instead of water for a lemon syrup, or use boiled jam thinned with a little water. If you don't have a syringe or baster, poke holes with a toothpick, and spoon the syrup over the holes.

    Alternatively, substitute vegetable oil for one or two of the spoonfuls of water called for in the basics sponge mix.

    And always check the cake two or three minutes before the scheduled end time, better to pop back in for a little longer than to over-bake!

    Hope this helps.
  • I too am one that only uses stock marg for my baking, you really cannot tell the different and as i bake a lot this really does keep the cost down.

  • AuntyVi wrote: »
    Sainsbury's have 1/3 off their posher-range baking trays and pans etc at the moment...

    Definitely worth it, I bake a lot, and found cheap items wouldnt last. I bought the 'taste the difference' baking tins in sainsburys 5 years ago, and still look as though that have not been used. Hardwearing and so worth the money.
  • I buy non-stick cake liner in a 1m roll from Amazon or Ebay and cut it to size . It's much cheaper than buying the tin shaped kind and if you buy a heavy duty one it will last ages.
  • h15t0r1anh15t0r1an Forumite
    51 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I order vanilla pods in bulk online and use them to make really nice vanilla essence for a fraction of the cost of buying it....a few vanilla pods left to steep in a bottle of vodka is all it takes. I don't think I'll ever buy vanilla in a supermarket again.
    Vanilla vodka? Yum. I'll get my coat.
  • h15t0r1anh15t0r1an Forumite
    51 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I buy non-stick cake liner in a 1m roll from Amazon or Ebay and cut it to size . It's much cheaper than buying the tin shaped kind and if you buy a heavy duty one it will last ages.
    Have just used some off the £1 roll of cake liner greaseproof paper that I got in the Jane Asher product section in Poundland. It's really excellent.
  • h15t0r1anh15t0r1an Forumite
    51 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    MSE_Andrea wrote: »
    Hopefully most people will have caught up on last week's episode by now so I don't think we'll be spoiling the pudding if we ask...

    Any top but economical tips to avoid your Baked Alaska melting? ;)
    Erm.... try not to have a BBC camera crew nearby who will make a 40 second time out of the freezer look like sabotage when someone else only needed to move it slightly to put their stuff in?
  • themull1themull1 Forumite
    4.3K Posts
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    red0209 wrote: »
    I re-use the paper cake cases when making 7 or 8 inch cakes in a big tin. If you buy the really cheap cake cases, the cake will stick terribly to them. If you buy good ones, that tend to advertise themselves as greaseproof, you can just peel off when cake is cooked and re-used over and over again. Cheaper in the long run. I keep a separate one for chocolate/ginger cake to prevent discolouring around the edges on light coloured cakes.

    One ingredient I have never found particularly cheap per kilo in any shop is baking powder. You never use much of this per cake, but I bought myself a 3kg bag of it online and two years later it is still perfectly fine to use. Keep it cool and dry, preferably in an airtight container and it will keep for years.

    A false economy I find is cheap whisks. They break easily and are not very good to use. I have had a Kitchen Craft stainless steel balloon whisk (not particularly endorsing just this brand, although it's very good) for years, while previously replacing cheaper ones every few months.

    As has been mentioned, one of the greatest supermarket rip-offs, although not many people will buy them, is vanilla pods. I bought a large quantity around 5 years ago, and keep them in an airtight Tupperware container away from sunlight, and they're still fine. When you cut them open, the seeds are as good as 5 years ago. I should probably use them more often, but when I do no complaints have been made about the resulting food despite the age of the vanilla pods! Buy in bulk and store them rather than buying in supermarkets when you need them.





    My mother is a flour snob, and for a while I'd only buy Bero because she told me it was "the best". If you actually think about it and look closely at the flour, there is little difference between brands, including value ones. If you can tell the difference between a Bero flour cake and a non-Bero flour cake then you are better than me!



    I've only ever suffered this once, but the bag of flour was absolutely crawling with insect life! I didn't realise it might be a bit more common than I thought until I read your post.


    We call the insects 'weevils' but i dont know if thats their real name. I thought freezing flour makes it damp? never keep flour loose in cupboard with top rolled down, you could get weevils, store in tupperware. I do dumplings with oil instead of suet, its cheaper, and i have never used butter in a cake, always marg,
  • VfM4meplseVfM4meplse
    34.3K Posts
    I've been Money Tipped!
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    Sorry your cake came out dry - a good tip to rescue a dry cake is to make a syrup by melting a couple of spoons of sugar in a little boiling water, put in a syringe or turkey baster, and inject the top of the cake in a few places. The syrup will gradually spread downwards, moistening as it goes. You can use lemon juice instead of water for a lemon syrup, or use boiled jam thinned with a little water. If you don't have a syringe or baster, poke holes with a toothpick, and spoon the syrup over the holes.

    Alternatively, substitute vegetable oil for one or two of the spoonfuls of water called for in the basics sponge mix.

    And always check the cake two or three minutes before the scheduled end time, better to pop back in for a little longer than to over-bake!

    Hope this helps.
    I do generally use less sugar and then syrup HM cakes (usually with a syrup made with fresh orange / lemon juice) and get a really good result. I tried the packet mix as an experiment so stuck to the instructions. The reason it went in the bin was the eggy taste, yuk! :(
    Value-for-money-for-me-puhleeze!

    "No man is worth, crawling on the earth"- adapted from Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio

    Hope is not a strategy :D...A child is for life, not just 18 years....Don't get me started on the NHS, because you won't win...I love chaz-ing!
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