Category Archives: Ingredients

What is Irish soda bread?

Irish soda bread – or just soda bread, if you prefer – is a type of quick bread that uses baking soda as a leavener. While this may not seem like much of a revelation these days due to the prevalence of baking soda in all kinds of recipes, it was a boon to bakers in Ireland in the mid 1800s. At that time, Ireland ... Read More »

How to make Lemon Sugar

Homemade lemon sugar, in progress

Homemade vanilla sugar is one ingredient that I always like to keep in the kitchen. Specked with vanilla beans, the sugar can be used in place of regular sugar in most recipes and can really boost the flavor in a cake or a batch of cookies. It’s easy to make, but it’s not the only flavored sugar option out there. Another type of sugar I ... Read More »

Sweetened Condensed Milk vs. Evaporated Milk

Sweetened Condensed Milk vs. Evaporated Milk

Two of the most often confused ingredients in the kitchen are sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk. Their names are similar, and when you take into consideration the fact that sweetened condensed milk is frequently called “condensed milk,” the two products seem just about the same even though they are very different. Sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk start out in much the same way, ... Read More »

What is meringue powder?

Meringue powder

Meringue powder is an ingredient that you won’t see called for in recipes very often, but you will see if you browse the aisles of a baking supply store or a craft store with a cake decorating section. It also shows up on the ingredient lists of some packaged frostings and icing mixes.  Meringue powder is a fine white powder made primarily from dried egg ... Read More »

How to toast coconut

Toasting coconut

Shredded coconut is an ingredient that is packed with possibilities, both in terms of texture and flavor. Raw shredded coconut, whether you prefer sweetened or unsweetened, has a sweet coconut taste and a chewy texture. Toasted coconut still has the same basic flavor, but it also has a caramelized nuttiness and a crisp-chewy texture that raw doesn’t offer. It’s easy to toast coconut at home ... Read More »

What is Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder?

dutched cocoa powder

There are two types of cocoa powder: natural and dutch processed. Natural cocoa powder is made from the solids of a roasted, dried cocoa bean, which are very finely ground into a powder for packaging. The powder is slightly acidic and has a very sharp taste to it, though it usually contains fruity or smokey notes just like dark roasted coffee beans do. Natural cocoa ... Read More »

What is pastry flour?

KA pastry flour

Cake flour, all purpose flour and bread flour are the three types of flour that you’ll most often see when reading through recipes. Once in a while, you might notice a wild card and see that a recipe calls for pastry flour, instead. Pastry flour is a high-starch and low-protein flour. It falls somewhere between the (average) 8% protein content of cake flour and the ... Read More »

What is Greek yogurt?

Greek Yogurt

Yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk can all be lumped into the same category when it comes to baking. They’re all dairy products that help to tenderize baked goods and can be a bit on the tangy side. At least, plain yogurt can be a bit on the tangy side. For years, it seemed like the only way you could buy yogurt was pumped full of ... Read More »

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