TIP: Melting Chocolate

Beginner bakers often overheat and burn chocolate, but there are two easy ways of melting it into a perfect, silky cream without using water bath (too much hassle and dishes for me).

01
If you melt only chocolate, simply weigh the amount you need, break it into smaller pieces and place it in a pot. Set the temperature to the highest setting and once chocolate starts properly melting (after about a minute), switch it off completely and stir. The remaining heat from the pot and the already melted chocolate should be enough to finish the process, but it will not burn as you are not adding any more heat.

02
If you need to melt butter and chocolate together, it is even easier. Weigh both, but start from melting butter. It melts much easier and keeps the temperature, so heat up the pot at the maximum heat, melt the butter, then add the chocolate and switch the heat off. The butter will melt chocolate without burning it.

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TIP: Cleaning Dough Off Dishes and Utensils

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Soaking is the key here. If you try to clean it off straight away, you will end up with sticky dough clogging your sponges and sink. Simply soak the dishes and utensils in cold water for a few hours (I usually leave them overnight), and in the morning the flour will gather at the bottom of the bowl rather than sticking to everything in sight. Result!

TIP: Rising Your Dough

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To rise quickly and be light and fluffy after baking, your dough needs perfect temperature during resting time. Optimal fermentation range is between 27ºC and 40ºC. In summer, it works well to rise your dough in the sun. In winter, place it next to a radiator. To me, the most tricky is time in between seasons, without direct sunlight and without heating working yet. Then, I place my dough in the oven on the minimum temperature mark. It cannot be more 50ºC, though, or your yeast will get killed in the process.

TIP: Choosing Coconut Milk

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Choose your coconut milk carefully. Many have additives and I do not recommend buying these. Yes, they are super smooth and creamy, but I always go for a natural one. You can blend it a bit, if you would like to make it smoother. Also, add some water, if it is too thick. It needs to be either similar to normal milk, or a little thicker, but not much.