—You only need to lose the bottom half of a sticky or fragile cake to a wire rack once; in future, you’ll place a sheet of baking parchment on first.
- —If your cake isn’t cooked in the middle or has sunk, all is not lost. Dig out and discard the middle then fill the resulting hole with cream and berries.
- —On New Year’s Eve (after the shops shut) I made a very large rich chocolate cake for a party. I took it too soon from the oven; it was raw inside. So I cut out rounds (avoiding the centre), decorated with gold leaf and arranged on a platter. No one knew.
- —When adding eggs to creamed butter and sugar, do so very slowly, as the batter can otherwise curdle. If it does, just carry on. The cake may not rise as it should, but will taste delicious.
- —If your cake is very dry, douse it with a dessert or fortified wine and use it as the base for a trifle.