Category Archives: Cooking

ChefStack Pancake Machine

ChefStack Pancake Machine

The ChefStack Pancake Machine isn’t designed for home cooks, but it’s such an interesting gadget I can’t resist mentioning it. The clever machine makes pancakes without any human intervention and can turn out up to 200 pancakes an hour. Since it takes a few minutes to cook a homemade pancake after whipping up the batter, you’d need a very large and very hot griddle to ... Read More »

What is mascarpone?

Mascarpone cheese

Mascarpone cheese is a rich, creamy cow’s milk cheese that is somewhere between butter and cream cheese in terms of both texture and flavor. It is smoother than cream cheese, but thicker and much less “melty” than butter. It has a very delicate, subtle flavor, more like butter than cream cheese. The cheese originally comes from Italy and is popular in many Italian dishes, including ... Read More »

How to make a double boiler

Homemade double boiler

When you put a pot on the stovetop, it gets hot – especially the parts of the pot that make physical contact with the heating element, be it flame or electric coil, of the stove. I’m not going to speculate about how hot your stove gets, since it depends on how your stove is powered, but that flame or coil is very hot. When heating ... Read More »

What is dulce de leche?

Spoonful of dulce de leche

Dulce de leche is a thick, milk-based caramel sauce. It is probably most popular in South American Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, but variations exist in other countries and cultures as well. The most simple caramel sauce starts with sugar, and depending on the variation you have in mind, ingredients like cream and butter are added to the hot sugar to form caramel. With dulce de ... Read More »

What is cocoa butter?

Cocoa butter

In the simplest terms, cocoa butter is the fat in chocolate that makes it melt in your mouth and in your hand. It is a plant fat from the cocoa bean that has a melting point that is just around body temperature (somewhere around 95F, give or take a few degrees, actually), meaning that it is a solid at any temperature below that point and ... Read More »

How to choose fruit for grilling

Grilled fruits, pineapple and peaches

Cooking outside when the weather is nice is very appealing, and it’s nice to be able to make dessert while you’re outside – and without heating up the house to bake – so one of the best summertime desserts out there is grilled fruit. Grilling can make fruit sweeter, as it caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit, and can make them seem even juicier ... Read More »

What is arrowroot?

Arrowroot starch

Arrowroot, or arrowroot starch, is a powdery product made from the arrowroot plant, a starchy tropical root. The plant is dried and ground up to make the powder, which is primarily used as a thickener in the kitchen, much like cornstarch. Much like cornstarch, it is an excellent thickening agent. It has about twice the thickening power of regular flour. Unlike cornstarch, however, arrowroot is ... Read More »

Batter Blaster, reviewed

Batter Blaster

Batter Blaster is a product that I really wanted to lampoon when it first came out. It is pancake batter that comes in a spray can, just liked canned whipped cream. It’s organic and promises to produce light and fluffy pancakes with with “no mess – no cleanup!” I like to make pancakes from scratch and thought that the product was a little unnecessary, but ... Read More »

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