Have you been inspired by the latest series of The Great British Bake Off to come up with some culinary creations? Avoid soggy bottoms with this list of baking tips from yesteryear

1. Nice and moist

If your fruit cakes go a little dry in the oven, then this historic hack will help you out. Add a little extra moisture to the air by popping a small bowl of water in the oven while cooking.

2. Whip it good

In the past, if cream was particularly difficult to whip, people couldn’t simply grab an electric mixer to help out. Instead, they’d use the trick of adding a dash of lemon juice to the cream, which works wonders in making it easier to whip.

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iStockphoto

3. Total separation

This hack is often forgotten, but still useful today. Touching egg yolk with a cold, damp cloth will make it stick so it becomes easier to separate from the egg white.

4. Staying local

Local and seasonal produce used to be the only option, but now we’re inundated with choice when we pop to the shops. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, though, as seasonal produce is generally fresher and tastes better. Try buying the vintage way and only shop for in-season fruit to ensure your baking ingredients are sweet and full of flavour.

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iStockphoto

5. Soft sugar

Knowing how to store ingredients is important to ensure they stay their best. To keep brown sugar from drying out, store it in a sandwich bag rather than the original box it comes in.

6. That pesky shell

Rather than faffing around with a spoon to get rid of that annoying bit of egg shell which has managed to sneak its way into your mix, the old trick was to wet your finger so the shell would stick to it. Genius!

7. How jammy!

To keep cookies softer for longer, people would add 1tbsp jam to the mix. It’s not enough to adjust the flavour (other than make it a little bit sweeter) but it adds the moisture needed to keep cookies soft.

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iStockphoto

8. Turn the milk sour

Ingredients weren’t as readily available in the past as they are today, so people found creative solutions to shortages. Rather than buying soured milk for baking, adding 2tbsp vinegar to 1 cup of milk did the trick just fine.

9. No egg? No problem!

Back in the day, people couldn’t pop to their local 24-hour supermarket if they were running low on ingredients, so they found substitutes instead. When out of eggs, they’d add 1tbsp cornstarch to make up for the missing ingredient. Give it a go!

10. Take it with a pinch of salt

If dry ingredients stick to the bottom of the bowl, it may cause lumps in the mix and stop everything mixing properly. Rather than grabbing a tea towel and doing your best to dry the bowl, try the vintage trick of adding a pinch of salt before popping in your ingredients.

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iStockphoto

11. Keep it light

Flour that’s not really dry doesn’t work as well, so folk used to dry it out in the oven to keep their bakes light and fluffy.

12. Wedge it in

Fed up with soft cookies going dry once stored? Simply pop an apple wedge into the container to add a little moisture to the air.

13. Take it out

Keeping butter at the right temperature was important in a time before microwaves, so keeping butter out of the fridge meant it could be more easily incorporated into recipes. However, when making pastry, an old-fashioned trick is to store butter in the freezer to make sure it doesn’t melt in your hands.

14. Butter me up

If your butter IS too hard to cream, pop some boiling water in a bowl to warm it up. Simply pour it out then add your butter to the warm bowl to soften without melting.

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iStockphoto

15. Don’t forget to measure!

A common mistake in the world of baking is to measure butter before rather than after melting, but to get the cake absolutely perfect, older generations consider this an important trick.

With thanks to www.promotionalcodes.org.uk

Now you’ve mastered these vintage baking hacks, why not try out some retro beauty tips?