Useful things to have


Caster: white and versatile, you should always have this in the cupboard.

Demerera: brown and caramel-y. If you’re stuck you can substitute with light muscavado.

Muscavado (light and dark): The light muscavado is softer and less intense than the dark. You can usually substitute demerera or a combination of dark muscavado and caster sugar in for light muscavado.

Icing sugar: super-fine sugar, used for…icing and sometimes for very light sponges.

Golden syrup: you can substitute with honey if you don’t have this to hand but the flavour will be slightly different and the result won’t be so chewy.

Treacle: tar like creation used mostly for gingerbread and sticky toffee pudding.

Glucose syrup: slightly fancier but now available in a few supermarkets. It stops sugary things crystallizing – fudge and the like.

Floury things

Plain flour: basic flour with no raising agent.

Self-raising flour: plain flour with raising agent mixed in. If you’ve run out of it you can use plain flour and baking powder (2 teaspoons of baking powder to every 150g of flour).

Cornflour: usually used to thicken things, weird chalky texture.

Rice flour: also has a chalky texture but is used to make mixes ‘short’ i.e. crumblier

Baking powder: a raising agent

Bicarbonate of soda/ bread soda: also a raising agent, but don’t go mad with it because with too much you can end up with a collapsed cake and no one wants that.

Cocoa powder: unsweetened, chocolately goodness. The most basic way of chocolating a sponge.

Other bits

Ground almonds

Desiccated coconut

Vanilla essence

Dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, cranberries, etc.)

Mixed peel



Food colouring

Inedible other bits

Brownie tin (a small rectangular tin about 20 x 17cm)

Loose bottomed round tin (around 20cm in diameter)

Pie dish/ tin (about 23cm)

Bun tray (12 bun)

Heatproof glass bowl

Rolling pin

Measuring jug



Measuring spoons

Baking parchment, cling film and tin-foil


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