Either liquid, paste, or powdered edible dyes used to tint foods.
To apply a sweet cooked or uncooked topping to a cake, cupcakes, or cookies. Frosting is soft enough to spread but stiff enough to hold its shape.
A rich chocolate icing made of bittersweet chocolate and whipping cream that's heated and stirred together until the chocolate melts. The mixture is cooled until lukewarm and poured over a cake or torte for a satiny finish.
To add visual appeal to a finished dish by decorating it with small pieces of food or edible flowers. The term also refers to the items used for decoration.
A semitropical plant whose root is used as a pungent spice. Ginger has a slightly hot flavor and nippy aroma. Ginger comes fresh as gingerroot, dried in powdered form, and in candied or crystallized form.
A thin, glossy coating on a food. There are numerous types of glazes. A mixture of powdered sugar and milk can be drizzled on cookies, cakes, or breads for a glaze.
An elastic protein present in flour, especially wheat flour, that provides most of the structure of baked products.
Sometimes called wheat gluten, made by removing most of the starch from high-protein, hard-wheat flour. If you can't find gluten flour at your supermarket, look for it at a health-food store. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to five months, or freeze it for up to one year.
To rub food -- especially hard cheeses, vegetables, and whole nutmeg and ginger -- across a grating surface to make very fine pieces. A food processor may also be used.
To coat a vessel, such as a baking pan or skillet, with a thin layer of fat or oil.
To mechanically cut a food into small pieces, usually with a food grinder or food processor.
To drizzle or spread baked goods with a thin frosting.
To extract the natural liquid contained in fruits or vegetables. This can be done with a juicer or -- in the case of citrus fruits -- simply by squeezing wedges of fruit over ameasuring cup to catch the juice.
To work dough with the heels of your hands in a pressing and folding motion until the dough becomes smooth and elastic; an essential step in developing the gluten in many yeast breads.
Leavening agents add lightness to baked goods by causing them to rise. Common leaveners used in desserts include baking powder and baking soda, which produce carbon dioxide. Double-acting baking powder produces gasses in two stages: when liquids are added and during baking.
To gently swirl one food into another; usually done with light and dark batters for cakes or cookies.
A very rich cream cheese made primarily of cream.
To press or beat a food to remove lumps and make a smooth mixture. This can be done with a fork, potato masher, food mill, food ricer, or an electric mixer.
Sweetened, stiffly beaten egg whites used for desserts. There are two basic types of meringues. Soft meringues are moist and tender and are used for topping pies and other desserts. Hard meringues are sweeter than soft meringues and are baked to form crisp, dry dessert shells or cookies, such as macaroons. Meringue shells often are filled with fresh fruit or pudding.
Milk and milk products
Milk and milk products provide moisture, flavor, and color in baked goods, and they activate the leavening agents. Because whole, reduced-fat, and fat-free milk vary only in fat content, you can use them interchangeably in baking. However, whole milk may result in a richer flavor than fat-free milk.
Whipping cream contains 30 to 45 percent fat and can be beaten to form peaks that retain their shape. Half-and-half, a mixture of milk and cream, can be used instead of light cream in most recipes.