Lifestyle: baking: can you line a baking pan with wax paper?

Self-tutoring: the tutor inquires whether wax paper can be used to line a pan for baking.

Two sources indicate that wax paper can be used for baking, but only under the following two conditions:

  1. The batter must completely cover the wax paper.
  2. The wax paper does not come in direct contact with the oven’s heat.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle, baking: a chocolate cake recipe without cocoa

Lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor shares a recipe that’s proven popular.

Some weeks ago:

“If I bake something, what would you like?”

“Chocolate cake.”

Not too surprised, I went searching for a recipe. The first I found asks for more cocoa than I had.

I did have chocolate chips, so queried a chocolate cake recipe that uses them. I found this one, which my family loved. I’ve since made it a second time, and it came out even better.

I’m always impressed with a recipe that is done when the cook time says. This one says bake 40-45 minutes; both times I made it, it was done at 40 minutes.

Good baking:)

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: baking: successful substitution of bourbon for vanilla extract in a recipe

More lifestyle self-tutoring: the tutor confirms the idea of yesterday’s post.

In yesterday’s post I brought up the idea that bourbon can perhaps be used as a substitute for vanilla extract in some baking recipes.

Last night, I made rice pudding with the substitution of bourbon for vanilla. The recipe called for two tsp vanilla extract; I used four tsp bourbon instead.

Perhaps surprisingly, the rice pudding seems to have a lighter taste. However, I wouldn’t notice the difference if I didn’t know I’d made the switch.


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Baking: bourbon: a possible substitute for vanilla extract?

For me, baking leads to constant self-tutoring. The tutor shares a discovery.

I’ve read, in two places now, that in a typical baking recipe, bourbon can possibly be used instead of vanilla.

As I understand, the substitution is recommended when you don’t have enough vanilla for the recipe. It’s most effective in a recipe that doesn’t call for much vanilla, but rather, just a teaspoon or less. To make the substitution, the idea is to use at least as much bourbon, but up to twice the amount, of vanilla called for.

Interesting, eh?


Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.

Lifestyle: baking: mixing by hand vs using an electric mixer

For me, lifestyle means constant self-tutoring. The tutor reflects about why he mixes by hand.

I don’t use an electric mixer when baking; rather, I do so by hand, typically with a wooden spoon. My wife always uses an electric mixer, and often suggests, in a very helpful, encouraging way, that I might do the same.

I understand, of course, that mixing with the electric device saves labour with the actual mixing. However, it needs to be retrieved from its resting place and set up. Then, there is cleaning afterwards that results from its use.

What I like about mixing by hand is its spontaneity. It takes no planning, nor any set up. It’s mobile: I can walk around the kitchen while doing it, and leave the bowl somewhere else if counter space is limited, for instance. The only clean-up is the bowl and the wooden spoon, which is simple.

I often listen to videos on the computer while mixing. Hand-mixing doesn’t make noise, of course, so the videos are easy to hear.

So far, I haven’t encountered a mixing job that wasn’t easy and quick by hand. Last Friday I made icing, which involved incorporating icing sugar into margarine. Even I wondered if it was feasible to do so by hand, but it turned out much easier than I expected: I had it “whipped up” in a few quick minutes. Its ease reconfirmed, for me, that hand-mixing is practical.

I understand, of course, that for a professional, electric mixing probably makes much more sense than doing so by hand. However, in my context, hand mixing seems better.

Jack of Oracle Tutoring by Jack and Diane, Campbell River, BC.