Q&A

Your ques­tions an­swered.

taste.com.au - - THIS MONTH -

Mar­ion

QWhat is ke­cap ma­nis and how do I use it in cook­ing? Ke­cap ma­nis is an aro­matic, sweet­ened soy sauce from In­done­sia, thicker than Japanese soy sauce. You can add a dash to mari­nades or stir-fries to give dishes a lovely dark caramel colour and rich umami flavour. Tra­di­tion­ally, it’s of­ten used in noo­dle and rice dishes, like In­done­sian nasi goreng, but I love driz­zling it on av­o­cado toast or adding a few tea­spoons to a bolog­naise sauce for added colour and flavour. It has a strong, trea­cle-like flavour so just re­mem­ber that a lit­tle goes a long way!

need a lit­tle help?

If you have a ques­tion for one of our food­ies, send it to tastemag@news.com.au

Michelle

QWhat can I do to help my bread dough rise on a cold day? I was lucky enough to learn a su­per-cool trick from a pro – none other than Adri­ano Zumbo! In cooler weather, prov­ing bread dough is harder as warmth is needed to al­low the fer­men­ta­tion process to be­gin. Adri­ano’s trick is to add enough boil­ing water to your sink to cover the base with a depth of about 2cm. Place a wire rack in the sink, mak­ing sure it is sit­ting above the water. Place the bowl con­tain­ing the dough on the rack and cover the whole sink with a tea towel. This cre­ates a warm en­vi­ron­ment that your dough is go­ing to love and grow well in. Re­place the water in the sink when it be­comes cold to keep the area warm.

Louise

QHow do I sub­sti­tute whole­meal flour for plain flour in bak­ing? You can use whole­meal flour in­stead of plain flour in many recipes, such as cakes, muffins and pikelets. They have sim­i­lar calo­ries, but whole­meal has three times the fi­bre, twice the potas­sium and three times the fo­late, as well as more cal­cium. As a rule of thumb, try us­ing half whole­meal and half plain as a start­ing point and if the out­come is to your lik­ing, in­crease from there. Some recipes will turn out well with 100 per cent whole­meal, but oth­ers will end up too dry or dense, so go slowly to be­gin with. Be­cause whole­meal is heav­ier than white, you gen­er­ally need to use a lit­tle less. For ev­ery 1 cup plain, use 1 cup whole­meal mi­nus 1 ta­ble­spoon (or add a lit­tle ex­tra liq­uid).

Ali­son

QHow do I ad­just a casse­role recipe for a slow cooker? Al­though there is no strict for­mula, a casse­role in the slow cooker will re­quire less liq­uid than when cooked on the stove­top or in the oven. Be­cause the slow cooker is cov­ered dur­ing cook­ing, liq­uid doesn’t evap­o­rate and re­duce, plus the steam that cir­cu­lates also adds ex­tra liq­uid. So, start by halv­ing the amount of liq­uid in the orig­i­nal recipe. If it tells you to add enough stock to cover the meat, with a slow cooker you only need to cover about a half to two-thirds. As for cook­ing times, if a dish takes 11 ⁄ 2- 3 hours in the oven or on the stove­top, it will take 4-6 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low in a slow cooker.

Mi­randa

QWhich type of pump­kin is best for pump­kin soup? I like to use but­ter­nut pump­kin for soup, as it has a sweet nutty flavour and smooth, vel­vety tex­ture once cooked. It is a firm, dense pump­kin so it will help cre­ate a rich, thick and creamy soup. Kent (or Jap) pump­kin has softer flesh and al­though it’s full of flavour, it tends to pro­duce a thin­ner soup. For ex­tra rich­ness, try caramelis­ing pump­kin by roast­ing it un­til soft and golden be­fore adding to your soup.

but­ter­nut pump­kin

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