Category Archives: Ingredients

What is pectin?

PEctin

Pectin is a naturally-occurring thickening agent that is most often used by adding it to jams, jellies and similar products to help them gel and thicken. Pectin creates a thick, clear set when it gels. It is a carbohydrate (a polysaccharide) found in and around the cell walls of plants, and helps to bind those cells together. All fruit has pectin in it, but the ... Read More »

What is shaved ice?

Shaved ice is not the same as the icy, frozen-solid “snow cones” that you bought from the ice cream truck as a kid. Shaved ice is made by shaving or grating solid blocks of ice into a fluffy, snow-like consistency. The freshly shaved ice is packed down into place – again, like fresh snow – and drizzled with sweet syrups for flavor. The difference between ... Read More »

What is pastry cream?

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream

Pastry cream, or crème patissière, is a staple that every baker should know how to make. Pastry cream is a thick custard that can be used as a filling for any number of cakes, tarts or pastries. It is made with milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch (or a mixture of flour and cornstarch) and flavoring. Vanilla is the most popular flavor for pastry cream, but the ... Read More »

What is coconut oil?

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a type of vegetable oil made from pressing the natural oil out of coconut meat. It can be used for a wide variety of culinary uses, including cooking and baking. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor to it but when used in conjunction with other ingredients, you are unlikely to taste it. It is not an ideal frying oil because ... Read More »

What is chocolate extract?

Rodelle Chocolate Extract

Chocolate is an almost irresistible flavor and there are many ways to boost it in a recipe. For instance, you could add melted chocolate to a cake batter, extra cocoa powder to a batch of cookies or a combination of the two to a batch of ice cream. But all these things can change the chemistry of a recipe, and there is one more way ... Read More »

What is Bourbon Vanilla?

Rodelle Bourbon Vanilla

Vanilla is one of the most important flavors in baking and we use both vanilla beans and vanilla extract in our recipes. When you see vanilla in the store, you probably notice that there are quite a few types of vanilla available. Sometimes, you’ll simply see plain old vanilla, but there is also Tahitian, Mexican and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla is the most ... Read More »

What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda?

Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Baking power and baking soda are both chemical leaveners that are commonly used in baked goods, from quick breads to cakes, to help the products rise and lighten their texture. Both chemical leaveners do this by releasing carbon dioxide into the baking process. Although they both can achieve the same end result, the two leaveners are not the same and they can produce slightly different ... Read More »

What is Ibarra chocolate?

Ibarra Chocolate

Ibarra is a brand of Mexican table chocolate that is one of the most well know, and most widely available brands of Mexican chocolate. Ibarra chocolate is sold in thick, octaganal tablets and is made with sugar, cacao nibs, lecithin and cinnamon flavoring, which gives it a little spice. The most unusual thing bout this chocolate is that it has a gritty texture, thanks to ... Read More »

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