pumpkin soup (click on the link for the recipe) is peeling the pumpkin. It didn't take too long before I had several people who offered me a variety of tips.
One was to not peel it at all if I was using Butternut pumpkin, because by the time it is cooked in the slow cooker the skin will be soft and therefore when you blitz it you won't be able to tell it was there. Other options were to wrap the pumpkin in cling film and put it in the microwave for a while which will soften the skin and make it easier to peel (be careful though because the pumpkin will be hot), or to roast the pumpkin and then scoop the flesh out and use that in the soup.
When making hamburgers one of my favourite cooking tips is to shape the burger using a quarter cup measuring cup. It means that you get consistent size and shape and makes it easier to get even, well cooked burgers.
Then on Masterchef the other day, Australian celebrity cook and food stylist Donna Hay shared her tips on creating the perfect Baked Cheesecake. Now, I love cheesecake, but when I make cheesecake I always make the chilled version of cheesecake. In fact, I will be making my absolute favourite cheesecakes at least once next weekend, but I am thinking that this one looks pretty achievable too.
Watch the video to see a couple of very handy tips, especially one about using springform cake tins.
Donna Hay's Classic Baked Cheesecake
1/3 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
¾ cup plain flour
¼ cup caster sugar
90g chilled butter, chopped
330g cream cheese, softened
500g fresh ricotta
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons cornflour
1½ tablespoons water
Strawberries and raspberries, to decorate
1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
2. To make the base, place the ground almonds, flour, sugar and butter into a bowl. Rub mixture with your fingertips until it forms coarse crumbs.
3. Line the base of a 20cm spring form tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the base mixture in the tin and press gently with fingers until even and then smooth out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden, set aside.
4. To make the filling, place the cream cheese, ricotta, eggs, sugar, lemon rind, juice and vanilla in a food processor. Combine the cornflour and water until smooth and add to the cheese mixture. Process the mixture until smooth.
5. Grease the sides of the cake tin with a little butter and then pour the filling over the base. Tap lightly to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and stand the cake in the oven for 1 hour, leaving the door closed. Refrigerate until cold and serve with fresh berries.
I had never, ever even considered turning the base of the springform pan over, but it makes perfect sense!
So my question for all my Weekend Cooking peeps is...
What's the best cooking tip you have ever been given?
Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs.