I usually use the self-raising version of a generic supermarket option* so if the recipe doesn’t specify, assume self-raising. If a recipe requires plain GF flour, it will be indicated as such.
(*rice flour 46%, potato starch 18%, tapioca starch, maize flour 10%, buckwheat flour 2.5%, raising agents [calcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate], xanthan gum)
I’ve developed these recipes using an electric, fan-assisted oven calibrated for celsius. The non-fan oven celsius temperatures are standardised at 15-20 degrees higher. (Some people might still have gas ovens but they seem to be pretty rare these days, hence I don’t specify the gas mark number.) Since every oven is different, when you make a recipe for the first time keep a close eye as the recommended baking time is drawing to a close.
I always instruct to turn the tin halfway through baking, even with a fan-assisted oven, which is supposed to obviate the need to do that. Through doing loads of baking, I’ve found this is always required.
You’ve probably noticed that I don’t include a total time on most of my recipes. This is because how long it takes you, me, or the postman to whip things up, grease and line tins, chop / measure / mix, can be very different. I trust you to read through the recipe and determine how long it will take for you. The exceptions are those recipes categorised as ‘30-Minute Meals‘ which should be achievable in roughly that time frame for almost everyone.
Where necessary to ensure a baking recipe works perfectly, I specify weights of ingredients as opposed to simply saying ‘4 large’ or the like. The exception is unwaxed lemons, which when bought from supermarkets tend to be pretty standard in size (100-110g). Limes also tend to be uniformly sized (70-75g). I also prefer to weigh liquid ingredients rather than use a measuring jug, for precision.
I only use unsalted butter, and rarely instruct to add salt to a baking recipe. There are anecdotal arguments for how salt enhances flavours, but I’m not convinced that a pinch adds much to a cake, ice cream, or other sweet treat. The health dangers of over-consumption of salt are widely documented, so why add it when it’s not even noticeable?
My recipes tend to err on the side of less sugar than most other peoples’ recipes, because I don’t have a sweet tooth. If you tried one of my bakes and think it could be sweeter for your own tastes, add about 10% more sugar when you make it (i.e., 165g instead of 150g). The exception is pastry where you really should keep to the stated amount.
I separate eggs that I worry I can’t use in time, into airtight plastic containers, and put them in the freezer with a label describing number of whites / yolks and date stored.
Don’t leave them in the freezer longer than 5-6 weeks, for best use. When you need them, pull out the container(s) of whites and/or yolks, and let them come to room temperature (ideally overnight on the counter).
As is always recommended, by everyone*, with citrus fruits you are juicing: roll over the countertop under the heel of your palm to soften, so you get the maximum amount of juice.
* (Some folk say to put citrus fruit in the microwave for a few seconds to soften. This is dicey, because depending on your microwave oven’s power, you could cook – or even burst – your fruit.)