Quick tips mar/apr 95

Yield: 1 info

Measure Ingredient
\N \N To Chop Fennel Seeds
\N \N To Keep Cake Filling From Bleeding Into Frosting
\N \N To Clean a Food Processor Bowl
\N \N To Make a Cookbook Holder
\N \N To Form Icebox Cookies
\N \N To Skin Tomatoes Easily
\N \N To Make Your Own Magi-Cake Strips
\N \N To Grease Pans

Small hard seeds like fennel do not grind well. Here's how to chop them without scattering them all over the counter.

Pour just enough water or oil on a small pile of seeds to moisten them. The seeds can then be chopped with a chef's knife without flying all over the kitchen.

1. Fill a pastry bag with the outer frosting and fit it with a plain, round tip. Pipe a circle of frosting around the top edge of all the layers except the one that will form the top of the cake.

2. Spread the filling inside this frosting ring. the frosting ring will seal the layers of the cake together and prevent the filling from seeping out.

The easiest way to clean bowls is to soak them, but the hole in the center of a food processor makes this impossible to do. Here's how.

Remove the bowl cover and blade from the bowl. Set an empty 35mm film canister upside down over the hole in the food processor bowl. Now you can fill the bowl with warm, soapy water and allow it to soak.

1. Cut the hooks off of two wire coat hangers just below their twists.

2. Use pliers to straighten the coat hanger wire. Then bend a hook into each end of each piece of wire, making sure that the hooks bend in opposite directions on each piece of wire and that the bottom hook is longer than the top hook.

3. Hang the wires by their top hooks over a cabinet door, spacing them to accommodate the size book or magazine you're using.

1. Use scissors to cut down the length of a cardboard tube, such as the core of a roll of paper towels.

2. Line the inside of the tube with waxed paper.

3. Pack the cookie dough into the tube.

4. When the tube is full, close it, wrap a rubber band around each end, and refrigerate it. After the dough is chilled, unwrap it and slice it for baking. The dough will be perfectly shaped.

Cut the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds, and grate the tomatoes on the side of the grater with the largest holes. You will end up with grated pulp and no skin.

Moistened magi-Cake Strips prevent cakes from peaking, cracking, and overbrowning. Here's how to make your own.

1. Fold a sheet of newspaper to make a strip the width of the pan height.

2. Wet the strip with water.

3. Wrap the strip around the cake pan.

4. Secure the strips with wet kitchen twine. Fill the cake pan with batter and bake.

Purchase a bottle moistener with a sponge tip, fill it with oil, and use it grease baking pans. No more greasy paper towels or fingers.

Cook's Illustrated March/April 1995 Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 02-10-95

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