Zola Nene on the set of her show Celeb Feasts. Picture supplied

Zola Nene and the team at Rhodes Quality have shared these simple, great baking hacks 

Make measuring easier

Use cooking spray on your utensils to make measuring things like honey, chocolate and syrup sugars easier. Spray onto measuring spoons and ingredients will slide right off into the mixing bowl.

Hard butter

Forgot to take the butter out the fridge? I usually just cut the butter into small pieces, then massage it in my hands, using my body temperature to soften the butter without melting it.
 
Cutting a cake

Some cakes can be hard to slice. To get professional looking slices, fill a jug with hot water and [place dip your knife into the jug of water, wipe, then slice cake before cutting. 

Or you can use unflavoured dental floss to get perfect pieces every time.

 
Fresh eggs

Using fresh eggs is key, I always recommended it for baking, but do you know how to check if an egg’s gone off? 

Fill a glass bowl with water and gently place the egg inside. If the egg stays at the bottom and lies on its side, it’s fresh. 

If the egg floats, it’s past its best and you shouldn’t bake with it as it's not at its optimum freshness.
 
Re-use your tin cans

If you’re like me, you will want to re-use the tin can from your fruity ingredients you’ve just used in your baking. 

Cans are great for baking tall, narrow, interestingly shaped cakes. Clean the can thoroughly, coat the inside with cooking oil or spray, preheat oven, prepare the cake batter as per recipe and pour into the can or cans. 

Place cans onto a baking sheet, spacing them evenly if you’re making more than one, and bake according to recipe. 

Useful hint: Check 10 mins before recipe baking time to ensure you don’t over bake.  

No more air bubbles

For perfectly smooth cakes and cheesecakes, pour your batter into a greased baking tin, and tap the tin onto the countertop a few times before baking. 

The force of the pan hitting the counter makes sure that air bubbles come to the surface and don’t get trapped in the batter.