Tag Archives: what-is

What are moon cakes?

5 kernel mooncake

Moon cakes are a traditional Chinese pastry that is eaten every year around the time of the Mid Autumn Festival, one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. Moon cakes consist of a thin layer of pastry wrapped around a dense filling. The filling can be almost anything, although the most traditional cakes will use a lotus bean paste and me include a ... Read More »

What does ultra pastruized mean?

Ultra pasteurized heavy cream

Pasteurization is the process of heating a food – usually a liquid – to a specific temperature for the purpose of slowing microbial growth, extending the shelf life of a product by slowing the spoilage process. The technique was first developed to prevent wine and beer from souring quickly, but it is very widely used today with dairy products because pasteurization actually halts the growth ... Read More »

Does my bread need salt?

Freshly baked bread

Basic bread has yeast, flour, water and salt as its primary ingredients. Whether you add in the yeast yourself as active dry or instant yeast, or rely on naturally occurring yeast, as you might for a sourdough bread, the basic bread ingredients don’t change. I often have people questioning the addition of salt to bread and it’s not difficult to see why. When you bake ... Read More »

What is semifreddo?

Tim Tam Semifreddo

Ice cream, gelato and frozen yogurt all show up regularly at shops and restaurants but semifreddo is another delicious frozen dessert that might be a little less familiar. Semifreddo – which translates to “half cold/frozen” -  is a dessert that falls halfway between mousse and ice cream, with the consistency of a frozen mousse and the flavor of ice cream. It is much lighter than ... Read More »

What is vanilla bean paste?

Vanilla Bean Paste

Vanilla extract appears in so many sweet recipes that it’s almost automatic to add it in when you’re making cookies or cakes, so when you see the words “vanilla extract” replaced with “vanilla bean paste” you might have to do a double take before you realize that these are quite the same thing. Vanilla extract is made by infusing vanilla into alcohol , which bakes ... Read More »

What is chiffon cake?

Chiffon Cake

Cakes go through trends just like everything else, and while chiffon cakes were hugely popular just a few decades ago, these days they tend to get upstaged by butter cakes and don’t get served quite as often. Chiffon cakes are foam cakes, cakes that are leavened primarily with beaten egg whites, just like angel food cakes are. In fact, they are very similar in appearance ... Read More »

What is brioche?

Brioche buns

Brioche is a type of bread that comes up often in recipes, particularly recipes for bread pudding and french toast where you might want to add some extra richness to the finished product. But what sets brioche apart from, say, regular sandwich bread? Brioche is an enriched French bread, meaning that the dough contains a high proportion of fat it in. Adding ingredients like milk ... Read More »

What is candied ginger?

There are many ways to get a spicy, gingery flavor into baked goods. One of the easiest is to add dried, ground ginger right into your batter or dough, just as you might add in ground cinnamon or any other dried spice. This adds a lot of flavor, but if you want even more of a gingery bite, opt for grating in fresh ginger, which ... Read More »

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