Category Archives: Ingredients

What is rice flour?

Rice Flours

Rice flour is a fine flour made from ground rice. It is completely gluten free, including even “glutinous rice flour,” which is made from sweet rice and is a staple for making Japanese treats like mochi. Rice flour can be used in a wide variety of culinary uses and is a very popular base for noodles in many Asian cuisines. It can also be used ... Read More »

What is semisweet chocolate?

Semisweet chocolate chips

Semisweet chocolate chips are a standard ingredient in most bakers’ kitchens. They are the standard for baking chocolate chip cookies, one of the most popular homemade treats out there, as well as for many other baking applications. Semisweet chocolate is typically labeled as just that: semisweet chocolate. But as chocolate labeling gets more and more specific and consumers start to identify with cacao percentages rather ... Read More »

What is Yuzu?

Yuzu

Lemons, limes and oranges might be the first fruits to come to mind when we think of citrus, but there are many varieties of citrus out there and they all have unique flavor profiles. Yuzu is a citrus fruit that resembles a smallish yellow grapefruit, with a somewhat bumpy rind. They have a unique flavor that is both tart and acidic, like a lemon, but ... Read More »

What is rhubarb?

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is a thick, celery-like plant with red stalks that can grow to be more than two feet long. The red and green stalks are the edible portion of the rhubarb and the leaves, which contain oxalic acid, are not edible. The color of the plant can vary widely from an extremely dark red to a pale reddish-green. Hothouse grown rhubarb tends to be lighter ... Read More »

What is crème fraîche?

creme fraiche

Crème fraîche is a thick, cultured cream that is very popular in France and is growing in popularity in the US. The cream has a slightly nutty, slightly tangy taste to it but is much milder and with a more distinct cream flavor than sour cream. It has a high fat content, a rich consistency that is somewhere between heavy cream and sour cream, somewhat ... Read More »

What is the difference between jam, jelly and preserves?

Strawberry Preserves

Jams, jellies and preserves are three very common types of fruit spreads that can be used for everything from topping a toasted bagel to adding a sweet center to a buttery bar cookie. When you’re reaching for one to spread on a sandwich, it doesn’t matter which variety you choose as long as you like the flavor, but these three spreads are very different. Jelly ... Read More »

What is Italian meringue?

Meringue

Italian meringue is made by beating egg whites until they reach soft, fluffy peaks, then slowly streaming in boiling sugar and beating the mixture until it is thick and glossy. A basic meringue, also known as a French meringue, is made by beating granulated sugar into egg whites until the mixture reaches soft peaks. The hot sugar syrup used to make Italian meringue essentially cooks ... Read More »

What is lemon curd?

Lemon curd is a thick, creamy spread that is made by cooking together lemon juice, egg yolks and sugar. Fresh lemon juice and sugar provide the flavor of the curd, while the egg yolks serve to thicken up the mixture as it cooks, just as eggs thicken up a cooked custard. Most curd recipes also call for butter to be added to the finished curd, ... Read More »

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