Category Archives: Ingredients

What is a sugar pumpkin?

Sugar pumpkin and regular pumpkin

Alongside the big, decorative pumpkins typically used for making jack-o-lanterns around Halloween that they stock at most markets, you’ll also see smaller pumpkins with names like “sugar pumpkins” or “pie pumpkins.” Large pumpkins tend to have watery and stringy flesh, so they’re not a great choice for cooking with. Sugar pumpkins, on the other hand, are an excellent choice for cooking and baking applications. These ... Read More »

What is half and half?

Half and Half carton

The term “half and half” shows up very frequently in cooking and baking recipes in the US, but it is not particularly well known outside of the US (or the term refers to something completely different). When it appears in a recipe, it sometimes generates a little confusion as to what it is. “Half and half” is a mixture of half heavy cream and half ... Read More »

What is buttercream?

Chocolate Chip Layer Cake with Chocolate Chip Buttercream

You can top a cake with whipped cream or glaze it with ganache, but the most popular way to finish off a cake is with a layer of buttercream frosting. Buttercream is a sweet frosting that is rich with butter and has a silky texture that melts against your tongue when you bite into it. There are several types of buttercream and some are far ... Read More »

What is cream of coconut?

Cream of Coconut

Coconut milk is an ingredient that is often called for in baking recipes that showcase coconut, used in place of regular milk or other liquids to further emphasize the coconut flavor of a recipe. Most grocery stores stock it, and they also stock a similar looking product called cream of coconut. Coconut milk is a creamy liquid with the consistency of milk made by cooking ... Read More »

What is confectioners’ sugar?

Powdered sugar

Confectioners’ sugar, also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, is a ultra fine sugar with a smooth and powdery consistency. Confectioners’ sugar is available in several degrees of fineness, from XX to 10X, and the finest is 10X. 10X is type that you are most likely to see in the market or baking supply store because it is the most widely available and the ... Read More »

What is fruit butter?

Fruit butter is a very thick, smooth fruit puree. It is made by slowly cooking fresh fruit with sugar until the fruit is so tender that it can easily be made into a puree. There is no butter in the recipe, and the name comes from the fact that puree has a smooth, silky texture to it. In terms of flavor, fruit butters have a ... Read More »

What is a galette?

Easy Peach Galette

Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat, round cakes, usually made with a flaky pastry dough of some kind. The term is very broad and can actually encompass a wide variety of different desserts, including a type of buckwheat crepes popular in parts of France and even types of cookies in French Canada. More often than not, despite the fact ... Read More »

What is vanilla extract?

Rodelle Vanilla Extracts

Vanilla is one of the most ubiquitous flavors in baking. Not only are there a wide variety of vanilla baked goods, but vanilla is in the vast majority of baking recipes regardless of the primary flavor in the cake/cookie/pastry in question. Vanilla beans are always an option when baking and cooking, but the beans can be quite expensive. Vanilla extract is the most common and ... Read More »

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