3 Ways To Be A Better Baker (Volume 2)

Hello all, I hope you’re doing well! I thought I’d do a part two of a post I added to my blog a couple years ago. It seemed pretty useful, so if you like baking like me, here are 3 more of my top tips to increase your skills!

1. ALWAYS PREHEAT YOUR OVEN. This one may sound basic, but it’s very important! If you don’t preheat you’re oven, a whole host of bad could go on in there! For example, when baking you use leaveners to help whatever you are baking rise properly (baking powder, baking soda, yeast, eggs). If you put your baked good in an oven that is improperly heated, your leaveners will cause your baked good to rise unevenly. Speaking of which, not waiting for your oven to preheat seriously messes with the constant temperature. Could you imagine putting your muffins into a cold oven that only gets to 350°F when they are supposed to be finished baking? I can’t imagine the horror. (But I digress). As you can probably guess, not preheating your oven will result in a slower baking time as well; like I said earlier, whatever you bake will take longer in an oven that is unevenly heated.


2. NEVER LET A RECIPE SCARE YOU. I wanted to mention this on today’s list because there are obviously recipes that take more effort and possibly more skill than others- croissants, macarons, puff pastry, etc. But that does NOT mean you shouldn’t be making them! If you really want to master your skills, you have to practice; if a recipe fails once, do it again! And don’t think about the failing part- just read your recipe carefully and be confident in your skills! (If you would like to venture into the world of macarons, I have a step-by-step photo post here: https://madebybernadine.com/2018/11/09/french-macaron-recipehelpful-tips-to-master-your-macaron/). I can honestly say that I’ve made a lot of “hard” baking recipes before as a beginner, and they turned out great the first time!


3. SUBSTITUTE SENSIBLY. I think this is one my most important tips because baking substituons have to be chosen correctly depending on what recipe you are making. There are some substitutions I always consider safe most of the time, like buttermilk (milk and vinegar/lemon juice), or powdered sugar (grind granulated sugar in a blender or food processor until fine). Others however, have to be used the right way, like eggs for example. There are tons-and I mean tons of egg substitutes: chia egg, flax egg, banana, store bought egg substitute, nut butter, apple sauce, and a lot more! At the end of the day, substitutions just depend on what you’re baking: if you’re making some blueberry muffins, you might want to go for the flax egg instead of the peanut butter. Another substitution I’m personally weary of is heavy cream, or at least whipping cream. I’ve seen that you can make this with milk and butter, and I suppose that could work if your recipe just called for the thick substance, but I’m certain it wouldn’t whip up like the cream you’d get from the store. At the end of the day, substitutions should be determined based on your best judgement!

That’s it for today, let me know what you thought of these tips in the comments below, I’d love to hear! Until next time!

Classic French Toast Recipe (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone! Today’s recipe is for a classic and delicious breakfast recipe, one of my favorites to make on the weekend: French toast! This recipe is classic, yet simple to make. Easy, yet sophisticated. Delicious, yet…well just delicious! I hope you guys get to try this one; enjoy!



CLASSIC FRENCH TOAST RECIPE VIDEO TUTORIAL:

CLASSIC FRENCH TOAST RECIPE VIDEO TUTORIAL


Classic French Toast Recipe:


Ingredients: 

  • 4 slices of stale bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 2 tbs granulated sugar (25g)
  • 1 tbs (15g) butter, for the pan 
  • Assorted fruit, to top
  • Maple syrup to top 
  • Powdered sugar, to top


Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, and spices.
  2. Butter a medium sized skillet or griddle and heat.
  3. Place the stale bread in the French toast mixture for a couple of seconds and place in the prepared pan. 
  4. Cook on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until a golden crust has formed.
  5. Top the French toast with your desired toppings.
  6. Enjoy!


NOTES: 


MAKE IT VEGAN:

  • For the milk, any plant milk will work.
  • For the egg, use 3 tbs. (45ml) of JUST egg (vegan egg substitute)
  • For the butter, use any flavorless oil, or Earth Balance (vegan butter brand)


Did you make this recipe? If so, be sure to tag Bernadine @madebybernadine on Instagram, and follow this page as well! And for more easy delicious recipes, be sure to follow my blog! 

White Sandwich Bread Recipe (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing well! When I came back to blogging, the first recipe I posted was for whole wheat sandwich bread. And while I prefer to eat wheat bread more often, you can’t go wrong with a deliciously freshly baked white loaf! This is especially perfect for picky little kids who don’t like wheat flour (I might have some experience with certain people in my household 😅). Whatever the case may be, this bread is a great option all around, and the perfect vessel for all of your toppings! It’s a great example of simple ingredients come together to form a great recipe. You can even eat this bread plain as I’ve done, because it tastes great! This recipe is also family critic approved, and if you cook as much as I do, you will know that is a must! However you choose to enjoy it, I really hope you try out this bread for yourself, it’s definitely worth it and doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare at at all; enjoy!



WHITE SANDWICH BREAD VIDEO TUTORIAL:

WHITE SANDWICH BREAD VIDEO TUTORIAL


White Sandwich Bread Recipe


Ingredients: 

  • 5 to 5-1/2 cups of all purpose flour (600-660g)
  • 3 tbs. of granulated sugar (37-1/2 g)
  • 4- 1/2 tsps. yeast (2 packets)
  • 2 tsps. salt 
  • 1-1/2 cups of warm water (350ml)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (120ml)
  • 2-1/2 tbs. butter, melted (37-1/2 ml)



Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, add two cups of the flour, then add the sugar and salt and mix until combined. 
  2. Add the yeast to the flour mixture and mix until combined. 
  3. In a separate bowl, add the water, milk, and 2 tbs. of the the butter. Mix the wet ingredients until combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture; add enough flour until a dough comes together.
  5. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. 
  6. Let the dough rise covered with a clean kitchen towel in a lightly oiled bowl for 45 minutes in a warm place, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl; on a lightly floured surface, fold the dough into a rectangle and DIVIDE IT IN HALF.
  8. Place one half of the dough it into a lightly oiled loaf pan. Let the dough rise for an additional 45 minutes in the loaf pan, covered with a clean kitchen towel, or until the dough had doubled in size.
  9. At this point, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). 
  10. Bake the bread for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Repeat with the other half of the two, to get two loaves total.
  11. Remove the bread from the pan by running a knife around the sides and invert onto a wire rack to let cool completely before slicing and serving. 
  12. Enjoy!


NOTES:


MAKE IT VEGAN:

  • For the butter, use a vegan butter (Earth Balance is my favorite vegan butter brand). 


If you make this recipe, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram @madebybernadine! Let me know in the comments if you tried this recipe and what you thought about it. As always, let me know in the comments if there is any specific recipe you would like to see! If you like my blog, follow for more declines recipes and be sure to follow my Instagram as well! Until next time!

THREE INGREDIENT Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bites Recipe (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone! Hope you all are doing well; today’s recipe is for an easy snack that is good for cravings or when you feel like you want a yummy but kinda healthy treat! Within three ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, you will have a delightful snack on your hands: banana coins filled with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate! These are also very easily adaptable based on what you’re feeling like (see notes below). I really hope you guys make this easy snack and if you do, please let me know! Enjoy!


PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA BITES VIDEO TUTORIAL:

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE BANANA BITES VIDEO TUTORIAL




THREE INGREDIENT Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bites Recipe 



Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 3 tbs. peanut butter 



Directions:

  1. Slice the banana into equal sized coins; pair them on a plate.
  2. On one pair of the banana, spread the peanut butter; put the other pair on top; repeat with the rest of the pairs.
  3. Dip the peanut butter filled banana pairs into the chocolate and repeat with the rest of the pairs.
  4. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!




NOTES:

  • MIX IT UP-
  • The spread in this recipe can be altered to whatever you’d like! Almond butter, Nutella (if you’re feeling scandalous), cashew butter, etc. Your favorite nut butter/spread will work here!
  • The chocolate in this recipe can be changed as well; milk chocolate, white chocolate, whatever you’d like! Make this snack yours.
  • Even fruit can be changed here; if you don’t like bananas, I would suggest substituting strawberries or apples.


MAKE IT VEGAN:

  • For the chocolate chips, use vegan chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a good brand).


If you make this, please let me know by tagging me on Instagram @madebybernadine, I’d love to see! If you have any recipe suggestions for me, please let me know and I’ll try and make it happen!

THE BEST Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread that is QUARANTINE APPROVED (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone! I’m really excited to share today’s recipe as it’s been a staple baked good since quarantine started- in fact, we could call this the national COVID baked good because at this point, who hasn’t made banana bread? Well if that’s you (or even if it isn’t), I’ve got you covered with my favorite recipe that I’ve been making this quarantine for the BEST banana bread ever. Is that a bold statement? Yes…but hear me out! Moist and light banana bread complete with chocolate CHUNKS and a light spread of butter; what could be better? I really hope you guys try this recipe; it’s easy, delicious, and like most of my recipes, vegan friendly! Enjoy!



THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHUNK BANANA BREAD VIDEO TUTORIAL:

THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHUNK BANANA BREAD VIDEO TUTORIAL



THE BEST CHOCOLATE CHUNK BANANA BREAD RECIPE:


Ingredients: 

  • 1-3/4 cups (235g) flour 
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar 
  • 1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 2 tsps. cinnamon 
  • 3 ripe bananas 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil (I used vegetable)
  • 1 cup (175g) chocolate chunks 



Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas; add the eggs and mix to combine.
  4. Add the oil and mix until the wet ingredients come together.
  5. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, stirring the bowl after each addition; mix until combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chunks (reserve some for the top of the bread if you would like). 
  7. Pour the bread into a lightly oiled 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan and dot the top with the rest of the chocolate chunks.
  8. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden and no wet batter comes out when tested with a toothpick/knife.
  9. After letting it cool for 5 minutes, remove the banana bread from the pan and let it cool completely before serving plain with some butter if desired.
  10. Enjoy!



Notes:

  • No chocolate chunks? No problem! Melt the chocolate and spread it out onto a silicone mat or lightly oiled aluminum foil in a medium sized layer. Freeze for an hour and cut up into chunks!



MAKE IT VEGAN:

  • For the eggs, use ONE of the following:
  • 6 tbs. (180ml) of JUST egg (vegan egg substitute)
  • Mix 2 tbs. ground flaxseed and 6 tbs. water (let sit for 10 minutes to thicken before using)
  • Mix 2 tbs. chia seeds and 5 tbs. water (let sit for 10 minutes before using)


If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram @madebybernadine! This is one of my favorite recipes of all time, so I’d love if you tried it and let me know what you think. Let me know in the comments if there is a specific recipe you would like to see and as always, follow this blog if you haven’t already for more delicious recipes!

Caramel Sauce Recipe (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone! For toady’s recipe, I thought I’d share a classic and versatile recipe: caramel sauce! This can be used for so many different desserts and sweet treats; if you read my last post, this is the caramel sauce I used on top of my apple crisp! It’s sweet with a slightly salty edge; it’s also super easy to make and only 5 ingredients; Enjoy!



CARAMEL SAUCE VIDEO TUTORIAL:

Caramel Sauce Recipe Video Tutorial



Caramel Sauce Recipe:


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar 
  • 2 tbs. (30ml) water 
  • 1 tsp. (5ml) lemon juice 
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp salt if using 
  • 3 tbsp. (45ml) milk 
  • 1 tbsp. (15g) butter 


Directions: 

  1. In a medium sized pot on low heat, add the sugar,  water and lemon juice; stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  2. Bring the heat up to medium high and let the sugar mixture start to boil. (If you are noticing sugar crystals at the sides of the pan, use a spoon/silicone brush and some water to wipe them away, otherwise the caramel will crystallize). 
  3. At this point, DO NOT STIR.
  4. Continue to let the caramel boil until it reaches a golden brown color, swirling the pan to distribute the color evenly. 
  5. As soon as the caramel reaches the desired color, remove it from the stove top immediately (it will continue to cook so just turning off the fire is not enough). 
  6. Add the milk very carefully and stir into the caramel. 
  7. Add the butter and salt (if using), and stir for a final time.
  8. Let the caramel cool for a few minutes and it’s ready to use.
  9. Enjoy!


NOTES:

  • This recipe makes a batch of caramel that is on the smaller side; it can be doubled or tripled to fit your needs.


MAKE IT VEGAN:

  • For the butter, use vegan butter (Earth Balance is good brand)
  • For the milk, any plant milk should work (just add it a little bit at a time so the sauce doesn’t get too thin)


If you make this recipe, let me know! I’d love to see what you used it for; tag me on Instagram @madebybernadine and be sure to follow this blog if you haven’t already for more easy recipes!

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe (Video Tutorial Included)

Hello everyone! In keeping with the fall season, today’s recipe is for an easy an delicious apple crisp! This recipe is one of my favorites: gooey apples, crunchy topping, all combing together with ice cream and caramel sauce…what could be better! Dare I say I like apple crisp better than its pie counterpart? (Just don’t tell my sister I said that)! I really hope you guys get to try this one, it’s really good and the recipe is pretty flexible! Enjoy!



APPLE CRISP VIDEO TUTORIAL:

APPLE CRISP VIDEO TUTORIAL



Easy Apple Crisp Recipe


Ingredients:


For the apple mixture:

  • 6 gala apples, peeled and sliced 
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar 
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon, divided
  • 1-1/2 tsp. nutmeg, divided 
  • 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice


For the crisp topping: 

  • 1 cup light brown sugar 
  • heaping 3/4 cup quick oats 
  • heaping 3/4 cup all purpose flour 
  • 6 tbs. butter, cut into small cubes 
  • pinch of salt 


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).


For the apple mixture:

  1. In a large bowl, add the apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1 tsp. of nutmeg. Mix this together until the apples are fully coated. 


For the crisp topping: 

  1. In a medium sized bowl, add the brown sugar, salt, oats, flour, 1 tsp. of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg. Stir until combined. 
  2. Add the butter and mix together until a crumble consistency is formed.


Assembly:

  1. In a lightly oiled pan, add the apples and spread out in an even layer. 
  2. Dot the crumble on top evenly. 
  3. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  4. Let the crisp cool for 5 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce if desired.


NOTES:

  • You can use any firm apple that will hold its shape in the oven, like Granny Smith 
  • The apples can be chopped instead of sliced if you prefer.
  • Old fashioned oats can be used in place of quick cooking oats if you prefer.

MAKE IT VEGAN:

  • For the butter, use vegan butter (Earth Balance is a good brand) 


If you make this recipe, please remember to let me know and tag me on Instagram @ MadeByBernadine! I would love to see it. Let me know if you have any recipe suggestions in the comments below and don’t forget to follow this blog if you haven’t already!

Avocado Toast Recipe 🥑 (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone! For today’s recipe I thought I should share one of my favorite lunches, because I need to start posting some more savory recipes here! This is super simple and always turns out delicious- avocado toast! I love having avocado toast for lunch, but it’s also great for breakfast and good for your body; enjoy!

Avocado Toast Recipe Video Tutorial


Avocado Toast Recipe 🥑 

Ingredients: 

Directions: 

  1. Toast a slice of bread and set it aside. 
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the avocado and spices; set this aside.
  3. In a pan, add the oil and egg; fry on medium heat for around 5 minutes, until the white is set (you can cook it for longer if you don’t like runny yolk). 
  4. Spread the avocado mixture onto the bread. 
  5. Add the egg on top of the bread and season a final time. 
  6. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can replace the seasonings mentioned in this recipe with any you prefer. 

MAKE IT VEGAN: 

  • For the egg, use 3 tbsp. (90ml) of JUST egg (vegan egg substitute. 

If you make this, tag me on Instagram @madebybernadine

Follow my blog if you haven’t already for more delicious recipes and let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions on what I should make next!

The Perfect Way To Start Your Weekday- Blueberry Peanut Butter Oatmeal Recipe (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone! I’m really excited to share today’s healthy recipe because it’s one of my favorite breakfasts of all time; I absolutely love spicing up my oatmeal and finding new flavor combinations and ways to eat it! This recipe however is one that I tend to eat most often during the week; for me, it’s the classic combination of natural peanut butter and warm blueberries in my oatmeal that start the day off right. I’ve shared a few oatmeal recipes in the past, but this one has to be my favorite! This recipe is so simple, healthy, and delicious! You probably have all the ingredients needed in your pantry to make this right now. So, what are you waiting for?! Go make this for breakfast and let me know how you like it; enjoy!

Peanut Butter Berry Oatmeal Video Tutorial


Peanut Butter Berry Oatmeal Recipe


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (45g) quick cooking or old fashioned oats 
  • 1 tbsp. honey  
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. (150ml) milk (my favorite is almond)
  • tsp cinnamon
  • tsp chia seeds

To Top:

  • 1/3 cup (55g) blueberries 
  • tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter 

Directions:

  1. In a pot, add the oats, milk, chia seeds, honey and cinnamon.
  2. Cook for around 5 minutes on medium low heat until thickened.
  3. Pour the oatmeal into a bowl.
  4. Cook the blueberries and the honey in the microwave for 1 minute.
  5. Add the blueberry mixture on top of the oatmeal and top with the peanut butter.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


NOTES:

MAKE IT VEGAN:

For the honey, use agave or maple syrup

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Blondies Recipe (VIDEO TUTORIAL INCLUDED)

Hello everyone! Today’s recipe is for delicious chocolate chip blondies! Never heard of a blondie? Think of the brownies lighter cousin. Blondies have this lovely brown sugar flavor and the chocolate chips add the perfect touch; as a bonus, this recipe only requires one bowl and comes together in a matter of minutes! These didn’t last two days in my house so I know they’ll be a hit in yours. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Blondies Video Tutorial


Chocolate Chip Blondies Recipe:

Makes: 18-24 blondies depending on the size


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (240g) all purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) flavorless oil, I used canola
  • 1-1/2 cups (270g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (170g) chocolate chips


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add the sugars; mix until combined.
  3. Add the eggs and oil and mix until well incorporated.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the wet ingredients. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Spread the blondie batter evenly onto a lightly oiled pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and set at the top.
  7. Let the blondies cool for 10 minutes before cutting them.
  8. Serve; Enjoy!


Notes:

MAKE IT VEGAN:

  • For the eggs, use either ONE of these options:
  • 6 tbs. (90ml) of JUST egg (vegan egg substitute)
  • 2/4 cup (125g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbs. (20.4g) chia seeds + 5 tbs. (75ml) water (mix together and let sit for 5 minutes until thickened)
  • 2 tbs. (13.2g) flax seed + 6 tbs. (90ml) water (mix together and let sit for five minutes until thickened)
  • For the chocolate chips, use dairy free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a good brand)


If you make this recipe, tag me on Instagram @madebybernadine!
Let me know in the comments if you have any recipe suggestions!

If you like my blog, be sure to follow so you never miss a post ☺️