Quick tips

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Measure Ingredient
Grating Citrus Peel
Melting Chocolate
Quick Decorating Tube
Avoiding Splatters
Torting a Cake

When grating citrus peel, tiny pits of peel often stick to the areas of the grater between the holes. Rather than wasting this peel, you can quickly and easily brush it off onto waxed paper, using a clean toothbrush kept especially for this purpose.

1. Line a metal bowl with a heating pad. Place a second metal bowl on top of the pad and put chocolate to be melted into this bowl. Turn on the heating pad.

2. To melt chocolate quickly, cover the top bowl with plastic wrap, lifting the wrap occasionally to stir the chocolate smooth.

1. Put chocolate in a heat-safe zip-lock bag and immerse in simmering water until the chocolate melts. Snip off just the very tip of one corner of the bag.

2. Holding the bag in one hand, gently squeeze the chocolate out of the bag. Discard the bag when finished.

1. Put the mixer (without beaters) down on the convex side of a paper plate and mark spots where the hole for the beaters hits the plate.

Punch holes through the plate at those two spots, then insert the beaters through the holes and into the mixer.

2. Proceed to mix, keeping the surface of the plate approximately even with the top of the bowl. Any food that is kicked up by the beaters will splatter onto the paper plate.

1. Place several toothpicks around the edge of the cake halfway between the top and bottom. Use a ruler to determine the midpoint, thus ensuring even layers.

2. Wrap a long piece of waxed dental floss around the circumference of the cake making sure that the floss rests directly on top of the toothpicks.

3. Once floss has cut through the cake, lift top layer and set aside.

Remove toothpicks from the bottom layer and proceed with filling and decorating the cake.

Cook's Illustrated

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 12-23-94

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