Did you catch the Great British bake Off Masterclass program? It was on the week after The Great British Bake Off final. and showed us how the technical challenges from the show should have been made. They made it look so easy!
I picked up a ton of tips in that one program (you can watch it here) but the tip I have used the most and think is sooooo useful is Mary Berry’s butter tip.
How many times have you gone to bake a cake and found that you’ve forgotten to take the butter out of the fridge to let it get to room temperature? Or you’ve decided that you need just a smidge more buttercream, but your butter is all still chilled and hard. Well, not anymore. Mary’s tip for quickly softening butter is ingenious.
Simply cut it up into cubes straight from the fridge and place it in a bowl of tepid water (not hot- trust me, hot water makes a BIG mess!). Leave for just 10 minutes -usually the time it takes to measure out the rest of a cake ingredients, drain the water away and it’s perfectly soft and ready to use.
I’ve done this so many times since the program. Tonight I felt like making a warm and wintery apple cake, so I softened up the butter in less time than it took to slice and core the apples! You can see from the picture above that the butter became nice and soft and left a finger sized dent when pressed after it’s warm soak!
One thing I would recommend is that you measure out the butter you need for your cake before softening it up. Otherwise you have to re-chill it and that’s not a good idea!