Culinary Hotline with Zola Nene
(14 Aug 2015)

Culinary Hotline Expresso

Culinary Hotline with Zola Nene


Every Wednesday, our resident chef and foodie Zola Nene answers your culinary questions. Whether you've come across a strange ingredient and want to know how to use it, or perhaps your recipe flopped and you'd like to know why - we're at your service to lend a foodie hand!


I'm good at baking, but why do my cakes break in the centre or stick to the bottom?


The reason why your cakes break in the centre could be because your oven temperature is too high, so what happens is that the top sets, while the inside is still liquid, and as it bakes it bubbles and expands, and cracks the top, and that's why it breaks. What you can do is get an oven calibrator to test and measure the exact temperature inside your oven.

In terms of sticking, you can spray your tin with non-stick spray, and then line your cake tin with baking paper at the bottom with a long strip of baking paper along the edges.


Nuts and berries Expresso 


When making easy mix muffins, what sort of things can I play around with to enhance the flavours?


The only rule you need to remember is not to add any extra liquid to your mix, but you can add any amount of dry ingredients to your mix, such as nuts, seeds, goji berries, raisins, etc. You can even add herbs and spices, and for savoury ones you can add some cheese.



How can I make syrup?


A simple syrup is basically equal quantities of sugar and water. All you do is heat your pot, add your sugar and add your water, and stir it until it dissolves. From there you can flavour it by adding vanilla, or cinnamon, or star anise, or whatever flavouring you would like. What you need to do is stir it on a low heat until it dissolved, and bring it to the boil - it will thicken as you simmer it.


Syrup Expresso 



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