Angelica is the crystallized stalk of the angelica plant, an aromatic
herb. It is candied and dried which creates the distinctive green colour.
It is used as a decoration as well as in recipes using candied fruit.
SODA: Baking soda, or Sodium Bicarbonate is an alkali that requires
the presence of an acid in the dough or batter to begin the leavening
process; it reacts to being moistened.
Used to leaven cakes and pastries, it is composed of baking soda and
two acids, calcium acid phosphate and sodium aluminum sulfate creating
two chemical reactions, one when moistened, the other when exposed to
heat. Also, starch is found in baking powder to stabilize it and neutralize
the chemical reaction; as well as to absorb the excess moisture in the
A type of batter used to make sponge sheets or fingers. Also indicates
a batter where the yolks and whites are whipped separately and folded
A grayish film on chocolate that develops when chocolate has been exposed
to warm temperatures, extreme changes of temperature or poor tempering.
Sugar bloom results in a rough texture and appearance and is caused
by high humidity.
BUCHE DE NOEL:
French name for a traditional Christmas cake which is decorated as a
Christmas log .
Made from pasteurized cream mechanically churned to separate the fat
granules from the liquid buttermilk. Required to contain a minimum of
80% milk fat; the other 20% is water mixed with milk solids. Salt and
colouring may be added.
are many varieties of buttercream used in a pastry kitchen; most buttercreams
contain unsalted butter, either egg yolks or egg whites, sugar and flavourings.
In most cases, the butter is double the weight of the sugar, incorporating
as much air as possible.
Composed of skim milk and bacterial cultures; contains no butter. It
gives a rich, tangy flavour to baked goods. Derives its name from its
history as a by-product of butter. Method of production is similar to
yogurt and sour cream.
sauce is made from brown sugar, cream, butter, sometimes condensed milk
and rum (or scotch whiskey). The candies are made from a caramel with
Careme was one of the great geniuses of French patisserie in the 1800's.
He invented recipes that are still popular today, such as vol-au-vents,
meringues, soufflé Rothschild as well as magnificent displays
a sugar syrup to the point where all the water has evaporated and the
sugar begins to burn results in caramel. The sugar begins to colour
when it reaches about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Caramel can also be made
by the dry method, where no water is added before cooking. This is a
faster method as it eliminates the evaporating time but requires more
attention to avoid burning. Caramel sauce is made with the addition
of whipping cream and butter. Caramel can be made into spun sugar, and
it is the base for nougatine and praline.
A cold charlotte is made by lining a mold with sponge type cakes or
biscuits such as ladyfingers which enclose a light filling such as a
mousse or bavarian cream. Charlottes have been popular since the time
of Careme, at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Traditionally,
the mold used is smaller in diameter at the base than at the top. The
other type of charlotte is served hot, in which a mold is lined with
buttered bread slices and filled with sweetened fruit or fruit puree,
baked and served with fruit sauce.
Chocolate first made its way to Europe as a beverage, via the 16th century
explorer Cortez. Not until the early 20th century, was it processed
into bars for eating and pastry making. There are various forms of chocolate
This is the pure chocolate liquor, with no sugar added. It contains
about 50% cocoa butter. Cocoa beans are roasted to develop their aroma
and flavour. Once cooled, the beans are crushed into nibs and their
hulls are blown away. The cleaned nibs are ground into a paste called
chocolate liquor. The liquor is formed into blocks or used in its liquid
Butter: This is a shiny, yellowish white butter, quite hard
at room temperature. It is made by processing and separating the pure
chocolate liquor into cocoa solid cakes (used to produce cocoa powder)
and cocoa butter. It is composed entirely of vegetable fats. When added
to mixtures it will make them firmer but will also create more of a
melt in the mouth experience.
Powder: Cocoa cakes, as described above, are passed through
hydraulic presses to extract more of the cocoa butter. The mass which
remains is pressed into cakes, dried, pulverized and sifted to make
cocoa powder. It contains 10-25% cocoa powder.
When the process
is accompanied by the addition of alkaline chemicals, the cocoa is said
to be "Dutched". The alkalines remove some of the bitterness of the
unrefined cocoa, resulting in a cocoa powder that is darker than nonalkalized
cocoa powder, milder in flavor.
of couverture and eating chocolates is different than for chocolate
liquor. When the nibs are ready to grind into a paste, various additions
are made such as sugar and milk powders. Once the paste is made, it
is milled through fine openings between rollers and then conched, for
a period of 24 to 144 hours. This conching process removes the bitterness
and acidity of unrefined chocolate. During conching, additional cocoa
butter and lecithin can be added to the chocolate for richness and texture.
The quality of chocolate is determined by the cocoa beans, proportions
of chocolate liquor, sugar and cocoa butter in the mix and the length
of time it is conched. European chocolate is of higher quality because
of the above reasons.
Has a chocolate liquor content on average of 60%; also contains sugar,
cocoa butter (average 30%), lecithin and flavoring.
Chocolate: Has a higher level of sugar and a lower percentage
of chocolate liquor (49% - 53%) and cocoa butter (27%).
Couverture: Has a higher content of cocoa butter; 36-40%
to give it more viscosity; it is more fluid than semisweet or bittersweet
chocolate and used for decorations, molding and enrobing. It requires
tempering before using to give it the shine and snap required.
Chocolate: Has more sugar, a minimum chocolate liquor content
Chocolate: Has added dried milk powder, along with cocoa
butter, sweeteners and flavorings; contains a minimum of 10% chocolate
liquor, 12 % milk solids.
Chocolate: This is a mixture of sugar, cocoa butter, milk
powder, vanilla or vanillin, 30% fat, 30% sugar and 30% milk solids.
Chocolate: This is composed of hard vegetable fat mixed with
sugar, cocoa powder or powdered milk as well as flavorings. It is used
for molding and dipping and can be produced in various colors.
From the latin word "confect" which means that which is produced with
skill. Confectionary has been in production since the Babylonians. A
Confiseur is the European name for those who work with confectionary.
Derived from the Dutch word "koekje", which means little cakes. In countries,
other than North America, cookies are known as biscuits. In North America,
biscuits are scones or shortcake type products.
thin puree of fruit which is sweetened and strained to a sauce consistency
using sugar syrup.
CREAM OF TARTAR:
Potassium acid tartare is a by-product of the wine industry. It is used
to stabilize egg whites and in making sugar syrups to prevent crystallization.
As well, it lowers the ph in certain batters such as Angel Food Cake.
Made from cream and milk, cream cheese is an unripened cheese, sometimes
stabilized with gum arabic. Milk that is treated with bacteria or enzymes,
separates into curds and whey. The curd is cut up, then drained to produce
Also know as Pate a Choux (derived from the old French meaning "to cherish"
or cabbage paste because of its shape), this pastry has been in use
since the sixteenth century. It is a cooked mixture of water, butter
and flour which rises due to steam expansion. The paste crusts on the
outside, trapping steam inside, creating a puffed shape with a hollow
interior. The crisp shells are filled with a variety of creams and finished
with a glaze. Classic desserts such as croquembouche, profiteroles,
Gateau St. Honore, and eclairs are made with cream puff pastry.
A rich, smooth custard sauce made with eggs, sugar and milk or cream.
It is naturally thickened by the coagulation of the eggs. Literally
A cream dessert made from crème anglaise or fruit purees bound with
gelatin and lightened with whipped cream. Can be served as an unmolded
dessert or as fillings for cakes, charlottes and other pastry lines.
Very lightly sweetened whipped cream, served with desserts or folded
into mousses and creams. The name Chantilly comes from the Chateau of
Chantilly, which had a reputation in the 17th century for fine food.
Invented by French pastry chef Chiboust, this is the filling used in
the Gateau St. Honore as well as other French desserts. It is based
on crème patisserie lightened with Italian meringue and set with gelatin.
Similar to sour cream, but with a higher butterfat content. Crème fraiche
can be whipped and used as a filling or accompaniment to desserts
Also known as pastry cream, this is a starch thickened custard made
from eggs, milk, sugar and cornstarch or flour. Enhanced with butter
and pure vanilla. It is used as the filling for fruit tarts, cream puffs
and other custard type desserts.
FRUIT OR FLOWERS:
The process to crystallize fruit involves dipping fruit into increasingly
dense sugar syrups, then allowing it to dry. Used to refer to candied
fruits well. Fruits are also known as "glace" referring to their iced
or glazed appearance. Flowers are crystallized by painting them with
egg white, then coating in sugar and drying.
and crisp meringue made with ground nuts; almonds or hazelnuts. Usually
piped in discs and sandwiched together in layers with buttercreams.
Eggs are primary in the production of desserts. They perform many tasks:
leavening, binding, enriching, emulsifying liquids, glazing. They are
categorized by grade and size; based on the inner and outer quality
of the egg.
The egg white
is composed of water and a protein called albumin; they are used to
aerate, bind and to emulsify preparations. The yolk is composed of all
of the fat and less than half the protein of the egg. The yolks provide
richness, a golden color and a tender texture to preparations. Yolks
can also emulsify mixtures due to its lecithin and cholesterol content.
are similar to tarts; open face pies, either fully baked or filled with
pastry cream and covered with fresh fruit. Not to be confused with the
dessert "flan", a South American dessert, similar to the French Crème
Very thin cookies that are almost a confection, made with dried fruits,
nuts, butter, sugar and cream. The underside of the cookie is covered
produce flour, the wheat berries are milled and sifted to remove the
bran germ. After milling, flour is sometimes bleached to lighten its
color. Protein content determines whether a flour is hard (strong) or
soft (weak). Hard flour is harvested in the fall; soft flour is harvested
in the spring. Gluten is formed when flour is moistened and mixed. The
degree of mixing and the protein content determine whether a strong
or weak gluten is formed.
Bread flour has
a protein content as much as 15% and is made from hard wheat.
All Purpose Bleached
or unbleached Flour is a blend of hard and soft wheats and has 10 to
Cake Flour is
made from soft wheat and is bleached. It's low protein content, 7 -
8% and low gluten strength make it suitable for cakes.
Pastry Flour has
a protein content between 8 ½ and 9 ½ %. It has some gluten development
powers but not enough to make the dough elastic. It is used to make
A carefully measured mixture of water, sugar and glucose which is boiled
to the soft ball stage, then poured onto a marble slab and worked into
a white opaque paste. It is used to form a smooth, white shiny liquid
paste used to decorate cakes and petit fours. Rolled fondant has a smooth,
satiny texture that covers cakes with a soft, matte glow and seals in
An almond filling or batter, usually baked in a sweet pastry crust with
fruit or puff pastry pithiviers (a puff pastry dessert filled with frangipane,
originating from the town of Pithiviers). It was created in France and
named after the Marquis Frangipani, a 16th century nobleman.
The American sweet light icing used on cakes and pastries. Usually composed
of icing sugar, butter, shortening, milk or cream and flavourings.
used for free form pastry filled with fruits and baked, the fillings
and designs being dictated by the region it is made. A traditional French
flat cake, it is one of the many forms of Twelfth Night or Epiphany
cakes served on January 6. The Galette de Rois, one of the most famous,
is very similar to the pithivier (see Frangipane).
is a wonderful combination of chocolate and whipping cream, the ratio
differs according to its use. It can be made of white, milk or dark
chocolate with the addition of flavours such as liqueurs, extracts or
essences. It is the base of truffles and lightened truffle cream.
is the french word for cake. It is traditionally a multi-layered cake
filled with cream fillings or buttercreams, rectangular or round and
more decorative than the American style layer cake.
Gelatin is an odorless setting agent derived from meat products. It
is found either in powder or leaf form. It is used to set cold desserts
such as mousses and bavarian creams.
are a type of sponge cake, invented in the city of Genoa. They are the
base for most French gateaux, a light mixture of eggs and sugar, with
flour and butter folded in. Variations include the addition of cocoa,
nuts, and zest of citrus fruits.
are two types of gingerbread commonly known: the cake and the cookie.
The first is a soft, cakelike batter, flavoured with ground ginger,
molasses and brown sugar. The second, the cookie, is rolled thin and
cut into shapes, decorated with royal icing.
To glaze is to coat a product to give it a shiny or glassy appearance.
Many pastries are glazed with an egg/water mixture before baking; fruit
tarts and small pastries are glazed with diluted and strained apricot
Gold dust and gold leaf are 22-karat gold, and are edible decorations.
Silver leaf is also used in the same manner.
This is a general term for mixtures of icing sugar and water, but sometimes
refers to frostings, royal icing, fondants and buttercreams. It is used
to decorate cakes.
Also known as savoiardi biscuit, sponge fingers or Biscuits a la cuillere
(cuillere coming from the french word for spoon as they were produced
in 17th century by dropping from a spoon). They are used for lining
charlotte molds, piping into circular discs or as tea biscuits.
series of lines crisscrossed with a second set of diagonal lines; can
be piped in buttercream or made with strips of dough. Lattice is often
used as a decorative garnish on a variety of desserts.
This is made from the juice of lemons, sugar, eggs and butter. It is
used to fill tarts, spread on bread and as the base for lemon mousse.
Curd originates in England and can be made from the juice of any citrus
Liqueurs are made from brandies, flavorings and sugar syrups. Fruit
liqueurs are made by the infusion method, soaking the fruit in brandy
to give aroma, flavor and color before sweetening. Other plant liqueurs
are made by pumping brandy through the ingredients to extract the flavor;
then distilled and sweetened. Fruit alcohols are made from well ripened
fruit, which is mashed and fermented, then distilled (such as Kirsch
and Eaux de Vies). Some are aged (such as Calvados), but no sugar is
added to fruit alcohols. Amaretto is a liqueur, made from apricot pits,
not almonds as commonly thought. Rum originates in the Caribbean islands
and is distilled from molasses and sugarcane juice (a by-product of
a substance to soak in a flavoured syrup, sauce or marinade. It is usually
fruits that are macerated in alcohol and sugar, to increase their flavour
A combination of almond paste, sugar and corn syrup. It is used to cover
cakes (originally, to cover wedding cakes before a layer of fondant
or icing but more currently as a final finish) as well as to mold, coloured
decorative candies and figurines.
Almond paste is
less sweet, is made from bitter and sweet almonds and can be used in
baking; it is used in frangipane fillings, nut cakes and cookies.
made in Egypt, from the mallow root. They are now made from sugar, water,
vanilla and gelatin. A high compression method called "jet puffing"
makes the commercial varieties light and fluffy.
The term used for covering a cake or pastry with a sauce, buttercream,
layer of marzipan or fondant, chocolate, ganache, frosting or icing.
is a mixture produced from whipping egg whites until they form stiff
peaks then combining them with sugar. It has many forms: as a base for
lightening mousses and buttercreams or aerating batters. With the addition
of nuts, meringue can be made into products such as japonaise, dacquoise,
succes, progress. Without nuts, meringue can be made into vacherin shells
and various decorations. It can be used on the outside of cakes that
are flamed (baked alaska) or poached to create Oeufs a la Neige. The
texture varies according to the amount of sugar, and the addition of
is made by warming sugar and egg whites over simmering water, then whipping.
It is the base for buttercreams and baked meringues.
is made by whipping egg whites, then adding a boiled sugar syrup. It
is the most stable and often used to fold into mousse mixtures, chiboust
creams and pastry cream as well as for piped decorations and toppings
is a simple mixture of egg whites and sugar. It is used to make baked
meringues and meringue shells.
yellow flowers from the acacia (wattle) tree have been used in baking
for centuries. They are used in the production of liqueurs and the flowers
are candied as decorations on cakes and pastries.
Literally meaning "foam" in French, mousse is a preparation of aerated
eggs, yolks or whites combined with flavourings, fruit purees or chocolates,
folded in whipped cream and usually bound with gelatin (with the exception
of dark chocolate mousse). Mousse has many forms, some light, some firm
but always velvety smooth in texture.
A mixture such as buttercream, lightened with Italian Meringue or Crème
Patisserie. It can be used as a filling for cakes and pastries.
Combination of caramel and toasted sliced almonds, rolled out while
still hot and cut into decorative shapes. It can support considerable
weight as well as soft fillings.
Known by various names such as success, progress, japonais, grillage,
broyage, dacquoise, russe. They are made by adding ground nuts to a
meringue mixture, then baked. Nut meringues range from very crisp to
very chewy depending on the amounts of nuts and sugar and how they are
FLOWER WATER: A fragrant liquid distilled from neroli, an oil obtained
from the flowers of orange trees.
PAPER: Stick-proof paper used in baking to line pans and trays;
also known as silicone paper.
PATE A BOMBE:
This term is used for egg yolks beaten with a sugar syrup, then aerated.
It is the base used for many mousse and buttercream recipes.
PATE A CHOUX:
See Cream Puff Pastry.
Flaky, short pastry dough made with butter and some shortening but no
eggs. Used for fruit and nut pies and quiche.
Also known as puff pastry, this pastry is composed of hundreds of layers
of butter alternating with layers of flour and water dough. Careme established
the modern method of developing the layered texture of the pastry, using
six turns. When baked, water in the butter forms steam, pushing the
layers of butter and flour apart, at the same time the butter fat melts
into the layers. The result is a pastry dough that is flaky, buttery
and multi-layered. Used for Mille Feuille, Napoleons, Pithiviers and
other traditional French fruit tarts.
A sweet, crisp pastry used for fruit tarts and flans; made with butter,
flour, sugar and eggs; also known as sweet paste.
A sweet shortbread pastry that is similar but more delicate than Pate
Sucree.with a cookie like texture. Used as a base for desserts with
soft and delicate fillings.
Since the 13th century, this term refers both to the trade of creating
and producing desserts and pastry goods and to the shop in which pastries
are produced and sold,.
A pastry with a bottom crust and filling baked in a sloping sided pan,
oten topped with a crust as well.
Praline is a mixture of roasted almonds (or hazelnuts) combined with
caramel. It can be pureed into a paste or crushed. It has been used
in French patisserie since the 16th century. The paste is used to flavour
mousse, buttercreams and ice cream and in the fillings of chocolates.
Crushed praline can be folded into pastry creams and buttercreams or
used as decoration on cakes.
There is also
a soft candy from New Orleans named Praline: a mix of brown sugar, butter,
cream and pecans.
A small ball made from Pate a Choux, filled with ice-cream or pastry
cream. Said to derive from profit, a French word meaning small gift
(which is what it is, a small sweet gift with a surprise filling).
A traditional German cottage cheese that is sour to the taste and produced
in the same manner as cream cheese. It is mostly used in baking (see
A sweet icing made from egg whites and icing sugar and sometimes lemon
juice. Used for fine piping work, to decorate wedding cakes or Christmas
cakes and to decorate where a firm, fine icing is required.
A mixture of egg yolks, flavoring and sugar, beaten over simmering water
until thick, then beaten until cool. It is the French version of Italian
zabaglione (Italian version is made with marsala wine). It can be served
over fresh fruit, or grilled over fruit (gratin). Also, sabayon is the
base for mousses and buttercreams.
A rich light chocolate cake topped with an apricot glaze then covered
with a thin rich chocolate glaze. The torte was invented by Franz Sacher
in his hotel in Vienna in the 1800's.
An English biscuit made from flour, butter, sugar, milk or cream and
baking powder, not much different from the American version. Traditionally,
they are made with currants but are now seen with other dried fruits
and flavors. They are served at tea time with clotted cream and jam.
Scottish in origin, cookies made of flour, sugar and butter (sometimes
cornstarch or rice flour are used to create a drier texture) that melt
in your mouth. They are baked very slowly and evenly to make sure the
full flavor of the butter is baked through.
A short biscuit mixture of butter, flour, baking powder, sugar and eggs
(sometimes cream or milk as well). They are very buttery and light with
a texture between cake and biscuits. Traditionally, they are split and
filled with fresh fruits and whipped cream.
A soufflé is a feather light baked dessert made mostly of eggs or egg
whites alone. Dessert soufflés have a base of pastry cream or fruit
puree, with softly whipped egg whites folded in, then baked in ramekin
molds until the egg whites expand. They should be eaten immediately
as they deflate as they cool. Cold soufflés are actually mousses based
on a rich gelatin, fruit or cream mixture. They are also very light,
with cream and egg whites folded in. They are served cold or frozen.
A thickened cream mixture produced by adding a bacterial culture to
fresh cream; it is left to incubate and some of the lactose converts
to lactic acid.
Sponge cakes are light and airy, leavened primarily with eggs beaten
to a foam. Cakes in this family include sponge cakes (biscuit), genoise,
roulades, jelly rolls, ladyfingers, angel food and chiffon. Lighter
and drier than butter cakes, they are meant to be moistened with flavored
syrups and filled with mousse, buttercreams, or light pastry creams.
They can be made with whole eggs, separated eggs, or the hot milk sponge
crunchy topping used to cover pies, fruit crisps and coffeecakes. It
has a high proportion of butter and sugar to flour and can contain any
kind of chopped nut, oats and spices.
This pastry is Hungarian in origin but made famous by the Viennese.
Strudel pastry is an extremely thin dough with a lot of elasticity,
made from special flour, oil and water. Commercial phyllo pastry can
be substituted. It is brushed with butter, filled with fruits and rolled
then baked until crisp and golden brown. Apple is the most traditional
filling, but other fruits such as pears, nectarines, peaches, apricots,
cherries can be used as well as cheese or quark fillings. Danish strudel
is made from a yeast-based dough and German strudel is made from puff
Sugar: Pure white crystalline sucrose, ground to fine granules,
either from sugar beets or sugar cane.
Same as refined sucrose but with some of the molasses returned to it
(3.5% to 6.5%)
Sugar: A very finely ground granulated sugar used in baking.
Similar to the English Castor Sugar.
sugar: Also known as icing or powdered sugar. Granulated
sugar that has been crushed to a fine powder with 3% cornstarch added
to prevent lumping.
Sugar: Very coarse granulated sugar used as decoration to
give a jewel like appearance.
A by-product of refining sugar cane, molasses is a thick syrup containing
about 50% sucrose. It is the liquid separated from sugar crystals during
the first stages of refining. Unsulfured molasses has not been treated
with sulfur dioxide.
Derived from the nectar of flowers, aided by bees, still used in many
desserts such as nougat; contains dextrose and fructose. Its flavour
is influenced by the type of plant tapped by the bee (orange blossom,
lavender, clover, pine, etc).
Syrup: A glucose type syrup made from cornstarch, water and
fructose. Glucose: Glucose is an invert sugar (primarily dextrose with
some maltose, water and dextrin) usually produced from corn; it does
not crystallize and inhibits crystallization of sucrose (sugar). For
that reason, a small amount of glucose or corn syrup is often used where
crystallization may be a problem, such as making caramel. It is thicker
than corn syrup with less water.
Syrup: Maple syrup is the concentrated sap of the sugar maple
tree. The sap is boiled down to up to one fourtieth of its original
volume then skimmed of its impurities.
Sugar syrups are used in a variety of desserts, depending on the density
of sugar to water. They are used to make buttercreams, Italian meringues,
or as a dessert syrup to soak sponge cakes or a poaching syrup for fruit.
The desired sugar syrup is determined by using a candy thermometer;
temperatures range from thread (230-234 F) to Caramel (320-365 F).
Tartes are the French equivalent of pies and tarts. The pan shape is
usually a straight-sided fluted pan or a non-fluted straight-sided pan
with a removable bottom. Tartes can be made with any type of pastry.
A flan pan is a fluted or non-fluted ring (without the bottom).
There are many versions of this Italian dessert. It is usually composed
of layers of sponge or ladyfingers, soaked in espresso liqueur flavoured
syrup, and layered with a mascarpone cheese and custard like mixture;
then dusted with cocoa or shaved chocolate. The name means "pick me
up", from the coffee infusion.
From a Creole word for a mixture of molasses and sugar. Toffee is a
mixture of sugar, water and glucose; sometimes golden syrup or molasses
is used for colour. It is cooked to a caramel stage, then cooled before
The term torte is used primarily to define round cakes, with a large
amount of ground nuts to replace the flour. They are made without chemical
leaveners, using egg foams to lighten them. They are most often multi-layered,
filled with buttercreams, whipped creams and iced with glazes, marzipan
or buttercreams. The recipes are more typical of Austria, Hungary and
Germany and are named after princes and politicians.
English pudding composed of layers of stale sponge or pound cake, soaked
in alcohol syrup, then covered with fresh fruits and vanilla custard
or pastry cream. Like other desserts, it has many variations, using
whipped cream, jam, jelly rolls, nuts, wine or sherry as its components.
A truffle is a bite-sized petit four, made from chocolate and ganache
to which flavourings have been added, such as liqueurs or essences.
Truffle mixtures can be piped in balls or long strands, rolled in cocoa
powder, icing sugar or dipped in covertures. They are named after the
truffles found in the ground, resembling the rough, dark shape and color.
Vanilla is used as a primary flavoring or as an enhancer to other ingredients
like chocolate and coffee. It is native to the Americas although most
of the vanilla grown comes from Madagascar, as well as Tahiti and Mexico.
Flowers in the orchid family produce the vanilla beans; they are pods
containing a multitude of tiny seeds. They are harvested green, then
cured, turning brown as a result of heating in ovens. Mexican and Bourbon
varieties of vanilla beans are superior to Indonesian vanilla. Tahiti's
vanilla beans are considered to be the best and most difficult to find.
Chopping beans, then mixing them with ethyl alcohol and water, makes
vanilla extract. The mixture is then filtered. Pure vanilla extract
must be 35% alcohol by volume.
Natural vanillin is a white crystalline compound found in the pulp of
vanilla beans and is the largest component in vanilla. The vanillin
that is found in flavorings is manufactured commercially, an artificial
by-product of the paper industry (U.S. P. vanillin). Ethyl vanillin,
another artificially derived flavoring is 3 times as strong as the U.S.P.
vanillin. They are both used in artificial vanilla flavorings.
known as heavy cream; contains not less than 36% milk fat. The fat provides
rich flavor and whipping properties. It can be boiled without separating,
unlike milk, because a high level of fat molecules buffers the protein
molecules. Ultra-pasteurized cream has been brought to 280 degrees F
for a number of seconds for longer shelf stability.
Yeast is a live organism. In the presence of air, sugar, liquid and
sufficient warmth, the organisms multiply rapidly, producing the enzyme
zymase which transforms sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This
is the process of fermentation. As the fermenting yeast gives off the
carbon dioxide gas, the gas is trapped within the gluten strands, and
the dough rises. When the dough is baked, the carbon dioxide trapped
in the gluten expands, making it rise further. Then the gluten coagulates
and the starch hardens to form a stable structure that won't collapse.
The heat also kills the yeast and evaporates the alcohol produced during
fermentation. There is fresh yeast and active dry yeast.
Zest refers to the colored portion of the citrus peel. The white portion
is known as the pith and is quite bitter. The zest can be candied or
crystallized; used in marmalades, jams and jellies or chopped finely
for use in cakes, curds and other baked desserts.