Friday, 8 March 2013

Measuring ingredients, by weight, the easy way!

My Mom can bake - she baked all sorts of yummies when I was a kid. My oldest friend can bake - including her daughters wedding cake (you know, that sort of bake, really good stuff) My Aunty is amazing in the kitchen and even my husband can bake. Ok, I'm stretching it a bit here as his whole cooking repertoire is spag bog, fried egg sandwiches and, believe it or not, a fruit cake.

I have never been a big baker. Cook? Yes!I LOVE making all sorts of savory things for breakfast, lunch and dinner but have never been too crash hot on the sweet side of things... Unless its a sauce ( I am the sauce Queen in our house!)

I'm getting there! Chocolate chip cookies baked with my very own hands!

Anyway, last year while doing the Slow Living Essentials monthly round up, that includes cooking from scratch, I started having a go at baking again. Its a bit hit and miss and I'm not the best at following recipes (which may have something to do with the misses, maybe?) and I'm also not good at measuring - which has something to do with the fact that I'm really bad at Maths...

I have just stumbled onto a way of measuring the ingredients that makes it easy for non maths enjoying persons like myself...

Here's what I did...

Get out your scales - digital or analogue - the principle is the same for both.

Pop the item you want to measure on the scales - Yes, the whole lot.
(Oooo - that's nice - I get an extra 5gms in my 500gms of butter!)

If you have digital scales - hit the zero button (some times called "Tare")
It should take your scales back to 0 (zero)
if you have analogue scales then some where there will be a button or a turning knob that will set the scales back to zero. It makes no difference if your scales are metric or imperial either!

Now take a bit of a guess and cut some butter off the block

See that the scales now say -63 (minus 63) that means I have only taken 63gms and my recipe says I need 125gms

So I take a bit more off and this time I'm a bit over.

Pop a bit back and there's my 125gms. The scales stay clean and the butter off to the side on the bench is what needs to be creamed with sugar and them mixed with eggs and flour and chocolate and eventually gets turned into a biscuit! 

You can also apply this method when ADDING ingredients.

Put the bowl on the scales and zero it. Then slowly add the ingredient until the right amount is reached. Then zero the scales again (with the bowl and ingredient number 1 still on it). Slowly add the next ingredient until the right weight is reached. Zero the scales and keep adding the ingredient by weight.

For me, its one less bowl to was up, and in my world, that's a good thing! As long as you remember to zero the scales BEFORE you add each ingredient each time, you'll be fine!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 for cooking at home from scratch!
 Frugal-ness:5/5 for not wasting ingredients
 Time cost: No extra time really.
 Skill level: Number matching - the number in the recipe against whats on the scales!
 Fun-ness: Great fun  to use less bowls and to then have less washing up!

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