Can’t Get Hold of Kitchen Essentials? Try This…

As the covid-19 pandemic continues, more and more of us are using lockdown to learn a new skill or polish an old one. Not surprisingly, baking and cooking are top of most people’s lists when it comes to hobbies to indulge in during self-isolation or social distancing.

But, if you’ve been to the supermarket lately, you’ll know there’s a severe shortage of baking ingredients – and some key cooking ones, too, like pasta, rice and tinned goods. So, what can you do to ease the boredom while developing a skill? Here are some easy substitutes or ideas to try…

Homemade Pasta

So, you might not be able to get hold of bags of pasta from the shops, but if you’re fortunate enough to own a pasta maker, why not create your own at home?

In fact, did you know you don’t even need a pasta machine? Bigger Bolder Baking has a recipe here you can try, which means you can make homemade pasta without a fancy gadget.

If you have some eggs in the fridge and some all-purpose flour in the back of your kitchen cupboard, that’s all you’ll need to make this two-ingredient pasta, as detailed via the link above. Go on; give it a try during lockdown and you may never go back to shop-bought pasta.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Perhaps you fancy making some chocolate cake at home, but you’ve had a root through your cupboard and found that you’re missing flour. Never fear – you can make a delicious chocolate cake without flour! Yes, that’s right.

The BBC website has a recipe you can make use of when you have every ingredient you need to make a choccy cake – bar flour!

For the cake itself, you’ll need plain chocolate, caster sugar, salted butter, eggs, instant coffee powder, and vanilla extract, while you’ll require some crème fraiche, summer berries, some more plain choc, and some icing sugar for the frosting. Who’ll be trying this recipe during lockdown?

Bread That Doesn’t Require Yeast

Everyone’s giving bread-making a go now – well, why not? But you’ll probably find that dried yeast is few and far between in the supermarket. So, is there an alternative to yeast – or a bread recipe which doesn’t require the traditional raising agent?

Irish soda bread (not pictured) doesn’t require yeast, which means you can make like Paul Hollywood and whip up something tasty without having to search for yeast.

That said, you really shouldn’t be visiting more than one supermarket during lockdown anyway. Try the above recipe for soda bread and see how you get on; once there’s more yeast in the shops, you can progress to a traditional loaf which uses yeast.

What have you been trying during the lockdown? Do you have some failsafe recipes? If you want to whip up some easy yet tasty treats with the kids, here are a few things we recommend trying…

Peppermint Creams – Who remembers making these as a kid? They’re so easy to make – and you barely need any ingredients at all.

Peanut Brittle – The Martha Stewart website has a great recipe for peanut brittle; just make sure you convert the US measurements (cups) to UK ones (grams).

Honeycomb – Now here’s another easy recipe to try while you’re at home. It’s simpler than you think to make a batch of this – just make sure you have a good sugar thermometer before you get started.