The Great Hunt: How to bake cheaply

edited 28 August 2014 at 3:10PM in Gone Off!
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  • IzadoraIzadora Forumite
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    TK Maxx often have some really good bakeware as well. I've managed to pick up Wilton tins for a fraction of their normal price from there.
  • happyinfloridahappyinflorida Forumite
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    Use the cheapest of everything - it's all the same, almost but you will save yourself a fortune.
  • Izadora wrote: »
    TK Maxx often have some really good bakeware as well. I've managed to pick up Wilton tins for a fraction of their normal price from there.

    I second this, I've bought most of my baking stuff from here.

    I got Judge trays, loaf tins etc. dirt cheap. They last forever. Also got some good silicone muffin trays.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell
  • VfM4meplseVfM4meplse
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    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
    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
    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!
  • For at least 30 years now I have used vegetable oil instead of butter in ALL cakes, self saucing puddings, muffins and scones. This makes all these foods healthier (unsaturated fats), easier (no creaming butter and sugar, or rubbing in for scones), and cheaper. I use sunflower oil because that is in my food co-op, but have also used olive oil, peanut and safflower oil. I never use mixed vegetable oil.
    I used to convert butter quantity to a liquid and substitute the straight amount. I've recently read from a local olive oil producer that you should use a little less oil than butter (about 3/4, example 60ml of butter use 45ml of oil). Perhaps this is why my cakes are always so moist! I began using oil when I didn't want to use margarine because I dislike the production process, now I need to use unsaturated fat as much as possible, so this works well. My scones are always successful, I mix the oil and water together and add to self raising flour with milk powder added - cheaper! I use milk powder in all cooking too, as it's much cheaper than fresh milk.
  • toadfindertoadfinder Forumite
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    Slightly odd one this, but I wish someone had told me so I didn't have to learn the hard way!

    When buying flour, check over seams (and on the shelves) for small pale brown crawling insects. Don't buy if you see any, as they spread extremely fast - if you spot even one, the whole shelf is probably contaminated.

    When you get your flour home, as an extra precaution store it in the freezer for at least 24 hours (this supposedly kills any eggs inside the pack).

    If you find them in your home, check all your flour and other dry goods - you'll probably have to throw out most of them, although if you are made of sterner stuff than me you can still bake with it as they're not dangerous, just rather unpleasant!
  • dandelionclock30dandelionclock30 Forumite
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    Use the cheapest of everything - it's all the same, almost but you will save yourself a fortune.

    Not always, I've tried a variety of different flour and Bero is definatley the best compared to supermarkets own. I can tell the difference.
  • VfM4meplseVfM4meplse
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    52reynolds wrote: »
    For at least 30 years now I have used vegetable oil instead of butter in ALL cakes, self saucing puddings, muffins and scones. This makes all these foods healthier (unsaturated fats), easier (no creaming butter and sugar, or rubbing in for scones), and cheaper. I use sunflower oil because that is in my food co-op, but have also used olive oil, peanut and safflower oil. I never use mixed vegetable oil.
    I used to convert butter quantity to a liquid and substitute the straight amount. I've recently read from a local olive oil producer that you should use a little less oil than butter (about 3/4, example 60ml of butter use 45ml of oil). Perhaps this is why my cakes are always so moist! I began using oil when I didn't want to use margarine because I dislike the production process, now I need to use unsaturated fat as much as possible, so this works well. My scones are always successful, I mix the oil and water together and add to self raising flour with milk powder added - cheaper! I use milk powder in all cooking too, as it's much cheaper than fresh milk.
    I have used oil for a long time in cakes, but there is definitely a difference in texture between a cake made with a hard fat such as vegetable shortening (or butter) and oil, even flavourless oils. Being moist is one thing, tasting like batter the minute it gets in your mouth is another. I was substituting oil in weight for weight but maybe that was the problem. I hate a greasy cake :o.

    I too dislike production process of synthetic plastic marg but I'll trying mixing sunflower oil with a bit of milk powder to see if it makes a difference. Wiling to try on scones to start with the next time I have friends over.
    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!
  • Just to explain a bit more about using milk powder in my scones, cakes & muffins, I mix the milk powder in with the flour before I add the liquid and oil. I just stir the powder into the flour, then pour the oil and water onto the dry mix and bring it all together into a dough ball. I don't cut out the scones into rounds either, just pat the ball flattish into one large round then cut into wedges and bake - saves plenty of time and fiddling around.
    I'm a bit puzzled by your comment, VfM4meplse, about the texture of cakes made with oil, as I don't think I know what it means to have it tasting like "batter in the mouth". Perhaps my mixing method makes a difference, as I use the blender/liquidiser a lot - throw eggs, sugar, milk/water and oil into the blender and blend until the mix is fluffy and light coloured. Pour it all over the flour and other bits in a large bowl and beat or mix the lot together. Maybe my fan-forced oven makes a difference too? I've shared my cakes with many friends, as we often share the cooking around to have meals together, and have only had good comments (are they all too polite?).
    I might try the same cake made both ways to check the texture - I'll let you know the outcome, but it won't be this week!
  • edited 1 September 2014 at 3:14AM
    JILJIL Forumite
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    edited 1 September 2014 at 3:14AM
    Pound land. They sell loaf and cake tin liners, I think there are 15 per pack.
    Well worth buying. You can buy a cheap loaf tin and two cheap round cake tins no messy greasing required and your cakes will never ever stick. Also pound land have some cake storers for both round and loaf shapes. So you have a wrapper and storer.
    Some great cheap recipes on here for a lemon curd cake, a Jamaican ginger cake and some really good banana bread loaf recipes.
    I usually mix up a cake if the oven is on. Usually lasts a few days and its stored really easily in the aforementioned container.
    Happy baking.
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