Tips from NZ's Hottest Home Baker

Last updated 11:30 15/06/2012
Spinach quiche
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SAVOURY SNACK: Spinach quiche.

Emily Taylor
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QUEEN OF THE KITCHEN: Emily Taylor is the 2012 winner of Chelsea New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker.
Custard kisses
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SWEET TREAT: Custard kisses.

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Christchurch's Emily Taylor has beaten out seven other contestants to be crowned Chelsea New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker.

Taylor went head to head with runner-up Esme Dawson in last night's final, creating a range of mini-delicacies for a high tea.

Taylor said she couldn't believe the judges had chosen her.

"I said throughout that I was New Zealand's Hottest Home Baker, but I knew that the competition was tough and it could have been anyone's."

Taylor won a trip to Singapore to train under judge Dean Brett Schneider at his artisan eatery, a new kitchen from Kitchen Mania, appliances from Fisher & Paykel and Breville, bakeware from Stevens and a selection of Chelsea products.

Here are Taylor's top five baking tips and two of her favourite recipes.

EMILY TAYLOR'S BAKING TIPS

1. Try something new. Add a different flavour or ingredient. If it works, great; if it doesn't, you just learn from that mistake and move on.

Don't just bake the same old thing all the time. Set yourself a new baking challenge once in a while. This makes baking more fun and rewarding. And if you need new ideas or recipes, use Google.

2. Put a metal tablespoon in boiling water before spooning out golden syrup or treacle to ensure it comes off the spoon easily.

3. If you can add colour to your baking, do it! Even if it's as simple as a piece of parsley or a few sprinkles.

4. When making cupcakes, use a spring ice cream scoop to scoop batter into paper cases. This ensures you have the perfect amount of batter per case.

5. Most importantly, love what you bake.

SPINACH QUICHE

Ingredients

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 tbsp butter

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup flour

1 cup spinach

1 cup tasty cheese

Instructions

Cook up onion, garlic and butter until soft. In  a bowl, mix eggs, salt, milk and flour. Add spinach.

Mix all ingredients together with tasty cheese and cook in loaf tin at 180˚C for 25-30 mins until cooked through.

Cool slightly, cut into small cubes and pipe on a rosette of cream cheese and a chopped piece of sundried tomato. Can be served for lunch in bigger pieces.

CUSTARD KISSES

Ingredients

Kisses

175 g butter, softened

1 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

½ cup custard powder

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups flour (standard)

Vanilla filling

50g butter

1 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp custard powder

A few drops of vanilla essence

Instructions

Heat oven until 180˚C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Warm butter until soft then mix with icing sugar and vanilla until creamy. Sift in the flour, custard powder and baking powder.

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Mix well and roll into about 40 small balls and flatten with fork. Bake for about 12 mins.

When cool, fill with vanilla icing and sandwich together.

Recipe from Alison Holst's 100 Favourite Cakes and Biscuits.

- Stuff

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