Category Archives: Ingredients

How to make homemade Dulce de Leche

Sweetened Condensed Milk

One of the most frequently recommended ways to make Dulce de Leche is to put a can of sweetened condensed milk into boiling water and cook it for a period of 2-4 hours. This is not a good thing to do – and one look at the warning on a can of sweetened condensed milk will tell you why: the can can explode. This can ... Read More »

What is German Chocolate?

What is German Chocolate?

 When you hear of a German chocolate cake, your first thought is that Germany is where the cake originated – hence the name. This is one of those food items where the name is a bit deceiving, however. German chocolate cake gets its name from an ingredient it uses: German’s Sweet Chocolate. This chocolate was originated by the Baker’s Chocolate Company (now a subsidiary of ... Read More »

What is fruitcake?

As the holidays approach, there are inevitably some jokes about heavy, hard, inedible fruitcakes that get passed around as gifts. Some people, I would bet, have never had a fruitcake – and no small part of that is due to the cake’s bad reputation. So, what is fruitcake? And is it really as bad as it is made out to be? Fruitcake is a dense, ... Read More »

What is chocolate bark?

From the name alone, chocolate bark doesn’t sound particularly appetizing. Chocolate bark is actually a sheet of chocolate that is usually covered with nuts, dried fruits, candies or even additional pieces of chocolate. Its is rustic looking in the sense that it is just thrown together, not laid out with a specific pattern to how the ingredients are placed, and it is broken into shards ... Read More »

How to roast a squash

Roasted Butternut Squash

Pumpkins and other firm winter squash can seem a bit daunting the first time you set out to cook one at home. This is largely because they’re a bit foreign looking when compared to other fruits and veggies, with an intimidating outer peel. Fortunately, they can actually be very easy to cook and once you’ve done it once, you’ll find yourself doing it again to ... Read More »

What is custard powder?

Custard Powder

It’s not an ingredient that you’ll see called for too often in American cookbooks, but you’re sure to see custard powder mentioned in cookbooks published in the UK or Australia, or even in the pages of foodie magazines imported from either country. I used some recently in my recipe for Vanilla Slices. Custard powder is not dried, powdered custard. It is actually a powdered mix ... Read More »

CI taste tests ground cinnamon

CI taste tests ground cinnamon

At one time, you could search for cinnamon on the spice aisle at the grocery store and see just a plainly market bottle staring back at you. No country of origin listed, no special variety mentioned. In most stores these days, the selection looks quite a bit different, with various brands and types of cinnamon to choose from.  Is there a difference between the brand ... 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 »

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