Bake Off's Martha Collison shares her 7 favourite time-saving baking tips

Pushed for time? You can still produce a brilliant cake or pudding, says the former Bake Off contestant.

From carefully measuring your ingredients to painstakingly adding the final decorations, baking can be a time-consuming process.

But with a few clever hacks, you can get more efficient in the kitchen - leaving you with more time to sit down and enjoy a slice of the finished product. 

Bake Off class of 2014's Martha Collison shares her best baking shortcuts.

1. Pop it all in one bowl

Weigh everything straight into one bowl – this also saves on the washing up!

2. Soften butter in the microwave

It mixes into batters really easily and is a lot more energy efficient than doing it on the hob, too.

3. Use a microwaveable piping bag for melting chocolate

All you need to do is break the chocolate into small pieces, pop into the microwaveable bag and into the microwave. You’ll save a lot of time compared to heating on the hob, and save energy.

4. Save time on nut-crushing

Buy pre-crushed nuts rather than whole nuts for decoration or the base of recipes like my lemon & pistachio cheesecake pot.

5. Pop fruit in the microwave

For fruit puddings and crumbles, soften apples and other fruits in the microwave – there’s no need to use the oven for a delicious crumble, so save time and energy by using your trusty microwave.

6. Buy pre-cut greaseproof baking paper

For round sponge cakes, I buy pre-cut paper rounds for my tin sizes so I can save time cutting out circles – they’re a lifesaver and take just seconds to pop into the tin.

7. Buy shop-bought filo and puff pastry

This has to be my top baking tip – even Mary Berry does it! It takes forever to make your own and supermarkets really do sell some great alternatives. You’re saving both time and effort and it doesn’t cost a huge amount more than the raw pastry ingredients.

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