Hi guys I am back and my friend is back to her busy life fulfilling her duties of a perfect mum….its a tough job and i salute all you mums out there for looking after home,work and your sun shines…lots of hugs to them.Any ways coming to the topic ……….I LOVE RAIN…its final & I wont say it again,saying that i also believe in rainbows and so comes the statement below………
without rain there would never be a rainbow….(I am true believer of unicorns too)
I love rain…& to my delight it was raining in Delhi,but that is not the topic of our post today(I am sure you are thinking how is it relevant then?) It is because without Rain there are no rainbows & just like that without wet ingredients there cannot be a beautifully baked to perfection cake or pie dough or even my morning doughnut.Liquid plays a very important role in the art of baking whether it is as simple as water or as complex as milk(soy,nut,almond,cashew,buttermilk etc.).
we will discuss the liquid ingredients in 2 parts as there is so much to talk about and i do not wish to make it long and boring for you guys…so I have decided that i will be doing this post in 2 parts for easier understanding for all of you….
Every liquid in a recipe is there for a reason and that reason is for your recipe to be a success,so make sure you read the recipe very carefully and see what it asks for.Buttermilk is not as same as normal milk,neither is half and half same as full cream milk,so if your recipe asks for an ingredient it is for a reason…I would not say they are not inter changeable however following the recipe is always the best and safest bet,unless you are trying to make one of your own.
As you would bake often,you would become a better baker and that my friend will help you create your own recipes,play with quantities of liquid as well as dry ingredients…but most importantly you will learn what and how each ingredient works.
Lets get started………..
The most basic yet most essential part of our lives water.It is also the most basic ingredient recipes call for assuring you the taste of your baked product wont be altered,& that is exactly what it does,other than providing moisture or help in binding(especially breads).
At the right temperature it can activate and dissolve yeast or piping hot it can accentuate the flavor of cocoa in your chocolate cake(you might want to add 1/2 tsp of coffee to it when you bake next time and see how it does wonders…Believe me..*wink*wink).
Another basic liquid ingredient that is commonly used instead of water,when you want richer texture and taste to your baked good,however it also provides the same old moisture just like water.Now,the richness of your baked product will depend on how rich your milk is & by richness I mean the fat content in your milk (imagine….the fatter you are the richer you get…I would be a MILLIONAIRE by now..*wink*) anyways so the fat content is basically written on the pack of milk you buy but most common types of milk available through the market are
whole milk…the milk which has about 3.5% fat content and like the word suggests is whole/full fat milk.
skimmed milk…is the kind of milk that is left when all the cream has been removed from it.Also known as fat free milk.
low fat milk..is the choice when you want your milk creamy but not too rich.
LACTOSE INTOLERANT??????? we have you covered darlings…..
A condition in which people cannot digest “LACTOSE”,which is basically a sugar found in milk or milk products.
well answer to this is…..
Soy milk…as the name suggests is made from soy.It is a plant based milk which is obtained by soaking dry soy beans and grinding them with water and thus has no lactose whatsoever. A lot of flavors are available in the market these days like vanilla,strawberry etc. Sofit and silk are two brands that I have usually seen online and in the general stores near my house.
Almond milk..blanched almonds are ground and squeezed and the milk produced is almond milk,which can easily be replaced for your normal milk in every day routine or in a lactose free recipe.It is available at some of the supermarkets however since made form almonds can be expensive.Silk is the brand i have seen for almond milk and comes in a packaging of 32 oz for about 230 odd INR.
Lactose free milk by Amul..I recently read about this milk and the company states that it has less than 0.01% of lactose however it is still providing the goodness of essential nutrients like calcium,proteins & pre digested lactose that helps in easy digestion of milk for all you out there who are lactose intolerant.One can easily purchase a pack of 4 from here: lactose free milk.
Rice milk is a grain milk made from rice preferably brown rice and is unsweetened.It can be made by boiling rice in large quantity of water,after which it is ground and strained and the liquid product is rice milk.You can DIY making rice milk at home or it can be found online by the brand DREAM.
Coconut Milk…is the liquid that comes out when a mature fully ripped coconut is grated squeezed and strained.The rich taste of coconut milk comes from high oil content,most of which is saturated fats.(just in case you are thinking …too much of saturated fats are not good for our health).
Saying that I remembered I completely forgot about one important milk which is not milk but made from it or lets say its a byproduct. “Buttermilk”,a very important substitute as well as an ingredient in many recipes.
Buttermilk can be referred to as many dairy drinks,but originally it is the liquid that is left behind when butter is churned or cottage cheese is made(aka whey). This can be easily be made at home if you do not have buttermilk in hand or have run out of it.
take 3/4 cup milk and add enough vinegar/lemon juice to complete one cup.Leave for 5-10 minutes and buttermilk at your service.There are a lot of brands selling buttermilk plain and flavored like Mother Dairy,Amul & Danone etc. but i prefer making my own when i am short on some however if i do buy then it is plain rather than flavored.
An ingredient which can easily replace water/milk,either by fully using it or using it as half milk and half cream.Milk and cream both not only give richness to the bake but moisture and texture as well.They also help the bake to brown on the surface.
Cream is a dairy product which is skimmed off the top of the milk before homogenization.Cream can be sold in several grades and is high on saturated fats.there are various types of cream that one might find in the market today under various brands,some of them are….
Full Cream/Dairy Cream/Heavy Cream…this is the type of cream that I usually find at my local dairy in small packets of 250 gms. This cream can be tricky when whipped if too warm,it wont whip and might split.If over whipped might churn and make butter leaving behind whey(watery substance also called buttermilk).
The easiest method to whip this cream is to refrigerate everything that the cream touches.Put the bowl of cream on another bowl of ice and whip (beaters are refrigerated too) until it starts to reach soft peaks.Now you can add sugar and beat slowly and steadily until it reaches stiff peaks or the consistency you are looking for.
Whipping Cream….This is by far the easiest procedure/product to whip up a batch of whipped cream for your fresh fruit cake.There are a lot of brands in the market that are selling this in 1 ltr tetra packs.All you need to do is take out the quantity you need and whip up a batch in a few minutes without bothering to over whip your cream or to cool the accessories.The most common brands available are Rich’s,Tropolite etc.I prefer storing mine in a freezer than in a refrigerator that way it whips better and fluffier.
Dairy Free Whipping Cream….As the name mentions this cream is also a whipping cream however is for people who are lactose intolerant or vegan.It is whipped exactly the same way your normal whipped cream is whipped and one of the brands offering this is Tropolite.
Instant Powder Whipped Cream…this cream is more expensive than your other whipping creams.It comes in a sealed bag further packed in a box to avoid humidity and maintain freshness of the product. This cream is made by adding some water,little at a time(as mentioned on the box..however i add milk) and whipped until it reaches desired consistency.It is always better to add little water/milk at a time as excessive liquid can result in a soupy cream rather than a whipped one.Blue Bird is one of the most common names that I have seen through the market for powder whipped cream in 50 gram packs.
YOGURT & SOUR CREAM
yogurt and sour cream again from the milk family…but what do they do other than adding moisture??? They make your dough/batter/cakes or pies sharper,well what we mean here is that it will give your baked goods a sharp taste,something like an edge to your baked goods when you taste them. I usually can pin point that the recipe has curd,yogurt or sour cream in it because of the distinct flavor and taste it leaves in my mouth.I also believe that that they help me cut off some off my sweetness in my muffins and breads by giving that acidic hint.
So what is yougurt? Is it the same as curd?
the answer to your questions is yes and no…..how is that we’l discuss that in a minute…
yogurt is a dairy product and is made by taking the milk,warming it up and then adding some already made yogurt to it and then I leave it in a warm place overnight or a few hours so that the good bacteria can do its job and give me a perfectly set yogurt the next day.So basically what I am doing is……
bacterial fermentation of milk using ‘yogurt cultures’. The bacteria causes fermentation of lactose and produce lactic acid. bacterial fermentation of milk using ‘yogurt cultures’. The bacteria causes fermentation of lactose and produce lactic acid.
in may countries such as India curd is also known as dahi…and is confused with yogurt. So people basically think curd and yogurt are the same thing,however in my knowledge they are two different things and curd comes from curdling the milk.
The process is simple you add acidic substance such as vinegar,lemon juice etc. to your warm,boiled milk and what it will do is curdle your milk and the substance that is formed is called curd and the left over liquid can be drained or kept (we will just talk about it) and is called whey.
what is sour cream? how is it different from yogurt or cream?
well sour cream is a mix of both and is also a dairy product obtained by fermentation of cream using some lactic acid bacteria as base such yogurt itself.
when cream is mixed with yogurt it is set aside to set and ferment and form something that is thick such a scream itself with a sour or tangy taste so this the name …sour cream.
one would see a lot of recipes that use sour cream instead of cream,milk or even water.
OH MY GOD…I had no clue the number of oils available in the market but do they all do the same job….i hope so,because i haven’t tried using so many different oils and like to stick to the one I have used always…that is sunflower oil(its tasteless and gives a beautiful texture to my cakes or other baked goods)
Oil is usually used to replace butter or can be used with it as well in certain recipes,its job is simple to keep your baked goods nice and moist.However we need to realize that oil wont give you the richness that a butter based cake would. We need to be very careful how and which recipes to use oil/butter and the quantities that i would like to put them in in the recipe(if i am making/experimenting with my own recipe).There are a lot of oils available in the market some with flavor and some flavorless. I personally prefer the flavorless ones as they do not alter the taste of my baked product yet help retain the moisture that i am looking for in my product.I personally prefer oil based cakes(please don’t judge me) but at the same time i am huge fan of butter based cakes for thee texture,flavor and richness.
So now i use a recipe that uses both and believe me the cake that comes out is so moist,yet full of flavor (problem solved yay!!!)
some of the oils mainly used in baking are sunflower oil, soya oil,canola oil(expensive here in India) and last but not the least olive oil for a orange and olive oil cake which is to die for.
So here i end the 1st part of my liquid ingredient post. you guys are more than welcome to ask me any doubts that you might have or tell me a post or topic you would want me to write about…i am always around to help in any way i can when it comes to your baking needs….
lots of hugs and kisses to all of you and I will see you real soon with the 2nd part.
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