Category Archives: Ingredients

What is ganache?

Bowl o' chocolate

Ganache is a word that gets tossed around a lot in cookbooks and on dessert menus, and while it is easy to figure out that it has something to do with chocolate, what makes this particular kind of chocolate a ganache is often a little less clear. Ganache is a mixture of melted chocolate and cream that can be used as a glaze for pastries ... Read More »

What is cornstarch?

Cornstarch

Cornstarch is a fine, powdery starch that is made out of corn. The cornstarch is actually made from the endosperm of the corn, which makes up most of the kernels that we eat when enjoying popcorn or corn on the cob. Cornstarch, also sometimes called cornflour, is produced by grinding, washing and drying the endosperm of the corn until it reaches that fine, powdery state. ... Read More »

What is panna cotta?

Panna Cotta

Panna cotta is a dessert that shows up on restaurant menus a lot more than it does in home kitchens, but the simple dish is one that is very easy to make at home. Panna cotta, or “cooked cream” in Italian, is a dessert that consists of a lightly sweetened cream mixture that is set with a small amount of gelatin. The gelatin allows the ... Read More »

What is guava paste?

Guava Paste

Guava paste is an ingredient that pops up in many Cuban, Caribbean and South American recipes, and seems to be popping up more often in markets in the US. This specialty ingredient, also known as goiabada or pasta de guayaba, is basically candied guava puree. It is made by cooking together guava fruit and sugar until it is very, very thick and then leaving the ... Read More »

What is coconut milk?

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is an ingredient that is frequently called for in Thai and other Southeast Asian cooking, and also frequently pops up in recipes for baked goods, particularly in recipes that are showcasing coconut in some form. You might think that coconut milk is simply the liquid inside of a coconut, but it is actually made by making a puree of equal parts water and ... Read More »

What is matzo meal?

Matzo and Matzo meal

Around the Jewish holiday of Passover, supermarkets start to fill their shelves with matzo and matzo meal alongside piles of egg-shaped Easter chocolates. While all foods eaten during passover are supposed to be kosher-for-passover, the most famous passover food is matzo (or matzah). Matzo is an unleavened cracker-like bread that is traditionally eaten at Passover. It is made with flour and water, and it is ... Read More »

How to make Homemade Peanut Butter

how to make your own peanut butter

Peanut butter is a delicious and versatile ingredient that we can spread on sandwiches, mix into cookies and use as a base for all kinds of savory sauces. Most of the time, we buy our peanut butter and choose from one of dozens of varieties available at the supermarket. If you have a food processor, you can actually make your own peanut butter very easily ... Read More »

What is steel cut oatmeal?

Irish Oatmeal

Steel cut oats, also known as Irish oats or pinhead oats, are whole oat groats that have been chopped into large pieces and make a minimally processed cereal with a good oat flavor and a hearty texture. They are different from regular oatmeal because of the way that the oats are processed. Most oatmeal is made by rolling the oats under heavy rollers until they ... Read More »

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