Category Archives: Ingredients

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 »

What is buttermilk?

I often get asked questions about what buttermilk is and how to substitute for it because people don’t keep it “on hand.” The best answer to this is to say that buttermilk is a wonderful dairy product that makes for some delicious baked goods, and it should always be kept on hand if you like to bake more than just the occasional batch of chocolate ... Read More »

What is egg replacer?

Sometimes, when a recipe does not include eggs, it will call for “egg replacer” instead. This is most often found in vegan recipes, since vegan recipes don’t include animal products and never use eggs, although a search for egg-free bloggers will find you plenty of people who also don’t want to include eggs in their cooking. Egg replacer is a packaged product that is a ... Read More »

How to make graham cracker crumbs

How to make graham cracker crumbs

A graham cracker crust is one of the easiest crust options for making a pie. There is no rolling out dough, nor do you even have to cut butter into flour! If you buy the crust, it’s even easier. Storebought graham cracker crusts are reliable and usually taste pretty good; I always have one on hand for easy pie baking (they’re great for key lime). ... Read More »

What is crème anglaise?

Creme anglaise

Crème anglaise is a very rich custard that is often used as a sauce with other desserts. It is sometimes described as a “pouring custard” because it is thin enough to be poured and is not, unlike some pudding-like custards, thick enough to be scooped for serving. The custard sauce is made with cream and egg yolks, lightly sweetened with sugar and lightly flavored with ... Read More »

Food coloring gel vs non-gel

Food coloring bowls

Most supermarkets carry one basic type of food coloring, a water-based liquid that comes in red, blue, green and yellow. This type of food coloring works pretty well for most purposes. You can dye Easter eggs with it, get creative with cake batter colors and even add it to drinks to make things like plain milk a little more “interesting” (which I did as a ... Read More »

What is puff pastry?

Puff pastry close up

Puff pastry is not just a riff on pie crust, although there are many instances where the pastry can be used in place of one. Puff pastry is a laminated dough that contains hundreds of thin layers of butter and pastry dough, which puffs up into a light, crispy pastry once it bakes in the oven. A laminated dough is one that has many layers, ... Read More »

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