In this post, I explain how to make your own non-stick, reusable baking liners for circular cake tins from fibreglass grill mats.
I have recently started experimenting with cooking and making cakes in the breadmaker. I found a recipe for brownies that I liked but I wanted a quick method that could be whipped up in minutes, without the faff of having to prepare the cake tin. Although greaseproof paper was the easiest thing to use, I wasn’t happy with the fact that you have to buy it and you can’t reuse it, and so thought about the idea of reusable cake liners. When I started looking, these do exist, but they tend to be expensive and I saw one for about 30 euros on an Australian site.
BARBECUE MATS AND OVEN LINERS
After a bit of thought, I came up with the idea of using the grill mats that you can buy to keep your barbecue or the bottom of your oven clean. These are generally made of fibreglass and can withstand high temperatures. They are also quite thin (2mm thick) and so can be cut with scissors. I knew from the size of the greaseproof paper that I used to line the cake tin that the mats would have to be at least 34cm wide. As I’ve got a round cake tin, I also bought a compass.
MARKING THE GRILL MAT
I set the compass to the internal radius of the cake tin (8.75cm) and drew a circle in the middle of the grill mat. I put the point of the compass on the diameter and marked the points where the compass crossed to divide the circumference evenly into six.
The internal radius was 8.75cm and the sides measured 10cm. Adding these two figures together, I set the compass to this new measurement and drew a second circle with the same central point as before.
I cut out the grill mat round the second circle.
Using a ruler, I lined up opposite intersecting points on the first circle. I drew a line through them to connect the two circles. I then cut down from the outer circle to the first circle.
Although traditional garlic mayonnaise or “aïoli” is only made with egg yolks, I wanted to find a recipe that used the whole egg to take full advantage of the eggs that our hens lay.
In a previous post, I described my first way of making mayonnaise with a stick blender using 1 large egg and 250ml of sunflower oil. Although this original method is fine if you have large eggs, it doesn’t tend to work so well if you have younger hens laying smaller eggs. I also wanted a way of making larger quantities and so I developed the method shown on this page.
The mayonnaise only takes a couple of minutes to make. As long as you use large eggs at room temperature, the mayonnaise will set properly. If you have smaller eggs, then I recommend you use three, blending two together in the first part of the process and using the third in the second stage.
The key to success is to slowly raise and lower the stick blender, using a circular motion to incorporate all of the mixture thoroughly. This method works best if you use the long tall jar that comes with the stick blender.
Here is a link to the video of me making this mayonnaise:
250ml or a cup of sunflower oil
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 pinches of salt
4 large cloves of garlic
Put one of the eggs, the garlic cloves, sunflower oil, mustard and salt into the tall blender bowl.
Using the stick blender, quickly blend all of the ingredients together on the fastest setting possible.
Crack in the second egg.
Gently lower the stick blender to the bottom directly over the egg yolk.
On the fastest setting of the blender, blend for a couple of seconds.
Slowly lift and lower the blender, first by about 5mm and then 10mm.
Continue blending, gradually raising the blender by a couple of centimetres each time.
As you lift and lower the blender, use a circular motion from front to back.
You should be able to see how mixture lightens at the bottom of the bowl as the mixture turns into mayonnaise.
This is a basic recipe for preparing red cabbage. It is also possible to add some chopped ginger and garlic to the sesame oil before adding the cabbage and then sprinkling some sesame seeds over before serving.
Chinese-style Red Cabbage
This is a quick and easy recipe for preparing red cabbage.
Red cabbage, finely shredded
Heat the sesame oil in a sauté pan.
Add the cabbage, season with salt and toss well
Add a splash of water and cover the pan with a lid.
Cook on a high heat for 5 minutes.
If you like your cabbage slightly crunchy, remove from the heat but if you like it softer, lower the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Many mushroom growing websites show you how to grow mushrooms outside. Once the mycelium has become well established it is possible to grow mushrooms for years.
I very much like this simple way of growing mushrooms.
I have used the lasagna method of layering the substrate and spawn.
I have used Encina (Holm Oak) leaves in various states of decomposition.
The area is very shady and happens to have an irrigation tube going past.
I used about 250 grams of spawn on about 80cm squared.
These vegetarian vegan tofu sausages are really tasty and easy to make and they can be prepared in minutes. They are made with tofu and rolled oats and flavoured with sage, onion, Marmite and soy sauce.
Vegetarian Vegan Tofu Sausages
In this recipe, you blitz up some tofu, onion and garlic and then mix with some fried onions and sage and rolled oats..
200g block of firm tofu, cut into chunks
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
a large onion
a handful of sage leaves, finely chopped1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons Marmite
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
Roughly chop the large onion.
Put the onion into the bowl of a food processor and pulse so that it is finely chopped.
Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and add the chopped onion.
Season the onion with salt and pepper, and fry gently until soft.
Stir in the chopped sage and mix well.
Remove from the heat after another couple of minutes.
Add the tofu, garlic, Marmite, soy sauce to the food processor and blitz until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and add the rolled oats, fried onion and salt.
Mix well and leave for at last 30 minutes to allow flavours to develop and the oats to soften.
Divide the mixture into 8 balls of about 80g each.
Wet your hands and roll out the balls into sausage shapes.
Put on a plate and keep in the fridge until you are ready to fry them.
Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.
Fry the sausages for a couple of minutes on each side, turning so that they brown all over.