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     Cooking secrets on desserts
       by Southern Living Magazine

    1. If Your Melted Chocolate Clumps: If the chocolate you are melting seizes (clumps), stir in a tablespoon of vegetable oil or shortening (per 6 ounces chocolate) to smooth things out.
    2. If Your Dough Has Risen Too Much: If your dough has risen too much, punch it back down and let it rise again. The texture may be a little denser but the flavor won't be affected.
    3. Help for Hardened Brown Sugar: If brown sugar becomes hard, microwave it at medium low (30%) power until soft, usually 1 to 2 minutes. Or, if you don't need the sugar right away, place an apple wedge in the bag, and seal overnight.
    4. Help for Broken Cake Layers: If your cake layers come out of the pan in pieces, don’t panic. Pull out your parfait glasses, cut cake into cubes, and layer it with whipped cream, sliced fruit, and sprinkles of liqueur, if desired.
    5. Help Cleaning Baking Pans: To remove burned bits from baking pans, place pan on the cooktop, fill with water, and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of water; cook until the water boils and the crust begins to loosen.
    6. If Your Chocolate Looks Gray: If your chocolate looks gray, don’t worry. This gray covering (called bloom) develops when chocolate is stored in warm or humid conditions. It does not affect the taste or cooking quality and will disappear when the chocolate is heated.
    7. Help Cutting a Neat Slice of Pie: If it’s hard to cut a neat slice of frozen, cream, or chiffon pie, then wipe the knife and dip it into hot water between each cut.
    8. Help for a Fallen Soufflé: What to do with a fallen soufflé? First check to see if the mixture is undercooked; if so, then return it to the oven to finish cooking. To hide cracks, top a savory soufflé with grated cheese or finely chopped herbs, or dust a dessert soufflé with powdered sugar.
    9. If the Middle of Your Cake Has Sunk: Fix a cake with a sunken center by scooping out the rest of the center and filling the hole with instant mousse, pudding, or whipped topping. Flip the cake over and serve.
    10. Help for an Underdone Pie: If your pie looks cooked, but is underdone inside, loosely wrap it in foil and return it to the oven to cook through.
    11. If Your Cookies Stick to the Cookie Sheet: If cookies harden and stick to the cookie sheet or a cake sticks in the pan, return them to the oven for 1 minute.
    12. If Your Melted Chocolate Clumps: If the chocolate you are melting seizes (clumps), stir in a tablespoon of vegetable oil or shortening (per 6 ounces chocolate) to smooth things out.
    13. If Your Praline Mixture Is Too Stiff: If your praline mixture is too stiff, stir in a few drops of hot water and then work quickly. You can also try returning the mixture to the cooktop and heating gently, stirring just until the mixture is no longer dry.
    14. If Your Mousse Is Watery: To thicken a watery mousse, stir in whipped heavy cream.
    15. If Your Cake Is Too Dry: Moisten dry cake by brushing on a simple sugar syrup.

    Southern Living Magazine
    Published Monthly, 12 Issues: you save 67%!
    Whether you are dining out or dining in, traveling the nation or just to the supermarket Southern Living is your best guidebook for what to eat and how to entertain. Featuring home makeovers and tours of some of the most exquisite homes in the south, as well as everything you need to know about hosting a party with the recipes to impress and do-it-yourself flowers you’ll gain insight into the best ideas for adding the finishing touches to your home, meal and festivities. Special features specific to the calendar are included such as a football synopsis on southern teams in the fall, holiday ideas at Christmas and what to do with kids in the summer. Southern Living is a valuable resource and will prove to be the one you live by.


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