Baking thoughts, techniques and know-how from Anneka Manning. 

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Heavy sponge cakes

24 May 2017 10:44 AM -

Q: I tried making your sponge cake and it wasn't fluffy and light! It came out of the oven quite heavy. My egg mixture was lovely and light before adding the flour and cornflour so why did this happen? - Effie

A: The main reason that ma...

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Rancid Butter

18 May 2017 8:36 PM - Anneka Manning

Q: When I cut through some blocks of butter there is a darker yellow layer around the outside. Is the butter still OK to use in my baking?

A: If you also take a whiff you may also notice it has a slightly sour smel...

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Oven hot spots

11 May 2017 3:45 PM -

Q: My cakes are often slightly lopsided and my biscuits are always unevenly coloured – can you please tell me why?

A: The most common reason for baked products to rise and b...

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Cacao powder vs Cocoa powder

8 Jun 2016 5:12 PM -

Q: Can I use cacao powder instead of cocoa powder in baking recipes?

A: The flavour and texture of cocoa powder (unsweetened cocoa, not drinking chocolate which is cocoa pow...

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The different stages of beating egg whites

16 Dec 2015 12:33 PM - Anneka Manning

Q: A recipe calls for egg whites to be whisked until they reach 'soft' peaks. How do I know when this has happened?

A: 'Soft' peaks describes the point at which the egg white mixture becomes thick enough that when t...

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What's the difference between bicarbonate of soda of baking powder

3 Dec 2015 10:29 AM - Anneka Manning

Q: I would love to know the difference between bicarbonate of soda and baking powder? – KIMBERLY NICOLUSSI

A: Both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda are known as chemical leavening or raising agents (yeast is also a raising ...

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Why is it best to use fresh eggs at room temperature when making a sponge cake?

19 May 2015 5:24 PM - Anneka Manning

When making a sponge cake eggs are whisked with sugar to increase their volume and lighten them, resulting in the characteristic fine crumb and light texture of this wonderful cake. Fresh, room temperature e...

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Q & A - The secret to a good cupcake

8 May 2015 1:09 PM - Anneka Manning


I love to cook and bake, but I never have very good results with cupcakes. The smaller I make them (for the grandchildren), the drier they become. Is there a secret to a good little c...

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How to Make Great Scones

22 Mar 2015 12:16 PM - Anneka Manning

I have vivid memories of baking batches of scones at shearing time. I would bundle them together in a tea towel to keep them warm and take them up to the shearing shed where they would be devoured at ‘smoko’.

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Top Tips for Healthy Kids' Lunch Boxes

21 Jan 2015 8:28 PM - Anneka Manning

Whilst it can often seem such a chore to pack healthy but tasty options for your kids' lunch boxes, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are my three top tips that will help take the headache out o...

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Preparing a Cake Pan for baking a Rich Fruit Cake

25 Nov 2014 10:07 AM - Anneka Manning

I was taught this method many years ago by CWA judge Norma Allen. It is far quicker than using multiple layers of brown paper and will effectively protect your cake during the long, slow baking - the aim being to stop the outs...

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Top 5 Tips for Easy Entertaining

13 Nov 2014 3:58 PM - Anneka Manning

Feeling the familiar sense of panic over the impending festive period, particularly around the need to impress friends and family when entertaining?

Well this year there’s no need to worry! Keep re...

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How to avoid the 'nasties' when packing your kids' lunch boxes

17 Oct 2014 9:01 AM - Anneka Manning

What did you put in your kids' lunch boxes today? Did you find it hard to fill them with yummy, but healthy, snacks?

Believe me, I know how you feel. It seems...

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Top Time-Saving Kitchen Tools

10 Oct 2014 3:58 PM - Anneka Manning

Having a carefully selected collection of kitchen tools and appliances will save you a surprising amount of time when you bake. Here are my top five picks that will help ensure that you use your time in t...

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Top 10 Safety Tips for Kids in the Kitchen

22 Sep 2014 6:15 PM - Anneka Manning

Getting your kids into the kitchen really is so much fun, but ensuring they stay safe is crucial. Here are my top 10 safety tips for kids when baking:

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