Tag Archives: what-is

What is vienoisserie?

Croissant, laminated dough

In France, bakeries usually have signs in the windows that prominently say “Boulangerie” and “Patisserie.” A boulangerie is a bakery that specializes in breads. A patisserie is a bakery that specializes in pastries. The majority do both and offer a wide selection of both sweets and baguettes and other breads. Some bakeries also display a sign that says “vienoisserie,” usually without much explanation. Vienoisserie means ... Read More »

What is crème anglaise?

Creme anglaise

Crème anglaise is a very rich custard that is often used as a sauce with other desserts. It is sometimes described as a “pouring custard” because it is thin enough to be poured and is not, unlike some pudding-like custards, thick enough to be scooped for serving. The custard sauce is made with cream and egg yolks, lightly sweetened with sugar and lightly flavored with ... Read More »

What is puff pastry?

Puff pastry close up

Puff pastry is not just a riff on pie crust, although there are many instances where the pastry can be used in place of one. Puff pastry is a laminated dough that contains hundreds of thin layers of butter and pastry dough, which puffs up into a light, crispy pastry once it bakes in the oven. A laminated dough is one that has many layers, ... Read More »

What is marshmallow creme?

What is marshmallow creme?

Marshmallow creme is scoopable, spreadable marshmallow confection. Packaged in jars, the semi-liquid marshmallow is much softer than a regular marshmallow, and both creamy and sticky at the same time. I tend to always call this confection “marshmallow fluff,” although the name might not be familiar to all consumers, as it is actually a trademark for a single product. When produced by other companies, the marshmallow ... Read More »

What is lemon zest?

Zested lemon

One of the easiest ways to infuse a citrus flavor into a baked good of some kind is to add lemon, lime or orange zest to it.  Zest is not the same thing as the peel, or rind, of a lemon, although it is a part of the peel. The zest is the colorful outer layer of the citrus peel. The soft, white part of ... Read More »

Natural peanut butter vs Regular peanut butter in baking

Natural peanut butter

Your most basic peanut butter contains just peanuts and some oil to help the peanuts blend together into a smooth paste. There are two distinct types of peanut butter: “regular”  and “natural”. “Regular” is the term I’ll use to define your standard peanut butter and jelly sandwich peanut butter, and a category that includes most easy to find national brands. It’s creamy and thick, even ... Read More »

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 »

What is a microplane?

Microplane

Adding zest from fresh citrus is one of the easiest and best ways to brighten up the flavor of a dish, or to infuse an extra burst into some baked goods. For years, however, getting the zest – the brightly colored outer part of the rind – from citrus was a tricky business. Your options were to either peel the fruit as best you could ... Read More »

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