Saturday, January 29, 2011

Q&A with Mrs Cake

Back in December I wrote some answers to questions asked by people who'd visited me via search engines - thanks to the magic of Google Analytics, which tells me how people found my site.

I thought it might be time to do a few more of these - firstly, though, a special mention to people who must think I have higher powers than I do.

To whoever found me by searching "weather for christmas day 2010" I'm sorry, but I'm definitely not a meteorologist - though I could have given you the forecast for our Christmas Day dinner as far back as about September, if that counts for anything! ;-)

And to the person looking for "culinary escapes Italy 2011 nz" I'm also unable to help - but feel free to take me along for the ride when you figure it out, it does sound like something I would enjoy...

Can you make buttercream icing the day before you need it?
Yes you can - but you will have to beat it again to get it back to spreading/piping consistency. I prefer to make it when I need it for this reason (beating again means extra dirty dishes!) but it's perfectly viable to cover it and pop it in the fridge overnight, or even for a couple of days - just pull it out 30 minutes before beating it, beat it, and use as normal.

Can you cook two pavlovas in the same oven on fanbake?
This is a tricky one - it will depend on your oven and probably the only way to find out is by testing. In most cases this should be possible, though ovens do tend to be different temperatures in different places so they may cook at different speeds. Because I don't mind too much if my pavs crack a bit (I tend to pile cream and fruit on top so you can't tell anyway) if I was doing this I would swap their position midway through - but this will make them likely to crack. 

How many cupcakes does a 20cm cake make? 
This is going to vary depending on how tall a cake the batter is designed to make - they can vary quite a lot - and how big you make your cupcakes. Based on my experience I would guess about 18 cupcakes from batter for a 20cm cake - I usually get about 24 from my lemon yoghurt cake recipe, which makes a 23cm cake.

Can you use Special K instead of cornflakes in afghans? 
Absolutely - you can use any flakey cereal. If you use a sweetened one it will add sweetness, obviously, but I'm sure in some cases that wouldn't be a bad thing (I'm thinking Crunchy Nut, which I consider more candy than breakfast, would be delicious). Special K or even bran flakes would probably taste just the same as cornflakes.

Can I use lemon honey to make a pie?
Lemon honey, or lemon curd, is what is used in lemon meringue pie - but the stuff used in the pie is usually thickened with cornflour. You are best to make a pie-specific curd if that's what you want it for - I love the one in the Edmonds cookbook, and use that for my lemon meringue pie - but if you already have the curd and want to thicken it you can try very slowly bringing it to a gentle simmer in a saucepan and stirring through a small amount of cornflour. Another option might be to fold the curd through whipped cream or marscapone to get a thicker, creamier filling.

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments, on my Facebook page, or by emailing :-)


  1. Hehehehe LOVE the Google Analytics Q&As!! You crack me up :)

  2. Hehe, thanks Nessie. ;-) Do you look at yours? Some of the terms that pop up are so strange...

  3. Ooh, quite the fountain of knowledge! You should have a "Dear Mrs Cake" column somewhere, I certainly wouldn't have known the answer to that cupcake question. Some of my questions on Analytics crack me up, I once got asked about polar bear liver which...I swear I've never talked about.

  4. Polar bear liver??? Madness! There's no explaining some of the things people look for...

  5. hi i like polar bear liver are you calling me mad!


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