Basics of Cake Making – Formulas and Measurements

FORMULAS AND MEASUREMENT

Bakers generally talk about formulas rather than recipes. If this sounds to you more like a chemistry lab than a food production facility, it is with good reason. The bakeshop is very much like a chemistry laboratory, both in the scientific accuracy of the procedures and in the complex reactions that take place during mixing and baking.

MEASUREMENT

Ingredients are almost always weighed in the bakeshop, rather than measured by volume, because measurement by weight is more accurate. Accuracy of measurement, as we have said, is essential in the bakeshop. Unlike home baking recipes, a professional baker’s formula will not call for 6 cups flour, for example.

To demonstrate to yourself the importance of weighing rather than measuring by volume, measure a cup of flour in two ways:

(a) Sift some flour and lightly spoon it into a dry measure. Level the top and weigh the flour.

(b) Scoop some unsifted flour into the same measure and pack it lightly. Level the

top and weigh the flour. Note the difference.No wonder home recipes can be so inconsistent!

The baker’s term for weighing ingredients is scaling.

The following ingredients, and only these ingredients, may sometimes be measured by volume, at the ratio of 1 pint per pound or 1 liter per kilogram:

o Water o Milk o Eggs

Volume measure is often used when scaling water for small or mediumsized batches of bread. Results are generally good. However, whenever accuracy is critical, it is better to weigh.This is because a pint of water actually weighs slightly more than a pound, or approximately 16.7 oz. (This figure varies with the temperature of the water.)

For convenience, volume measures of liquids are frequently used when products other than baked flour goods-such as sauces, syrups, puddings, and custards-are being made.

Units of Measure

The system of measurement used in the United States is very complicated. Even those who have used the system all their lives sometimes have trouble remembering things like how many fluid ounces are in a quart and how many feet are in a mile.

The Metric System

The United States is the only major country that uses the complex system of measurement we have just described. Other countries use a much simpler system called the metric system.

Abbreviations of U.S. Units of Measure Used

pound(lb)

ounce (oz)

gallon (gal)

quart (qt)

pint (pt)

fluid ounce( fl oz)

tablespoon (tbsp)

teaspoon (tsp)

inch (in)

foot(ft)

In the metric system, there is one basic unit for each type of measurement:

The gram is the basic unit of weight.

The liter is the basic unit of volume.

The meter is the basic unit of length.

The degree Celsius is the basic unit of temperature.

Larger or smaller units are simply made by multiplying or dividing by 10, 100,

1000, and so on.These divisions are expressed by prefixes. The ones you need

to know are:

kilo- = 1000

deci- = 1D10 or 0.1

centi- = 1D100 or 0.01

milli- = 1D1000 or …

German Food – What Type of Food Do Germans Eat?

After living in Germany for 5 years, having a German Wife and many German Friends, I have become accustomed to the types of feed the average German eats in Germany.

First, you should realize traditional German foods like Jaegershnitzel are not everyday foods for Germans. Yes, they are eaten there, but the purpose of this article is to explain the everyday foods that are eaten in Germany.

1. Bread – When the words “food” and “Germany” are spoken in the same sentence the FIRST thing that comes to mind is bread! Germans LOVE their bread! Bread is eaten in different ways for every meal of the day including snacks. That doesn’t mean that every German eats bread with every meal, but bread is a common part of many German dishes, no matter what the time of day.

2. Potatoes – In a close second is potatoes. I had no idea potatoes could be served in so many different ways until I moved to Germany. Many German Potato Dishes are REALLY good too!

3. Cheese – Cheese is commonly eaten in Germany along with bread and lunch meat and like the different potato dishes that you will find in Germany, there are SO many different kinds of cheeses in Germany it’s incredible.

4. Lunch Meat – Lunch meat, like salami, is very popular in Germany especially accompanied with cheese on bread. Lunch meat and cheese on a brochen (bread) is a very common breakfast and supper meal.

5. Salad – Salad is very popular in Germany as a lunch and/or dinner side dish.

6. Bratwurst & French Fries – A brat and fries to a German is like a Cheeseburger and fries to an American. It’s their junk food and it’s eaten a lot, just like American junk food.

7. Cereal – As with many other Countries throughout the World, Germans love cereal and oatmeal, particularly “Muesli” (uncooked rolled oats.)

Obviously the German diet isn’t restricted to only this list of foods, but based on my experience and time living in Germany they are the most popular everyday foods.…

Foods For Camping, No Cooking, No Refrigeration!

As I sit here, I ask myself, do I write an article or a list? Do I list the names or just write an in-depth story about camping foods? Or can I make my list into an article.  I will do both and all, so here we go.    I have been camping many times over the past few years.  And though I do not consider myself a camping expert, I do feel that I have some great helpful hints for campers in the areas of food, hiking, putting up tents, selecting and purchasing tents and other ideas.  So, I will write a series of articles about camping, camping helpful hints, and other related items connected to camping, backpacking, hiking, and campfires, and the rest.   This article that I write here at this moment is totally dedicated to foods.  However, the article is geared to foods that you can take camping when you do not want to start fires, make campfires, or lug any cooking equipment.  Yes, you can camp out without the fire and without the charcoal and without finding firewood.  That does make camping easier for everyone and it lightens your pack.  The reason your pack is lighter is because each day as you eat, you have less in your pack, and you are not carrying matches, starter fluid, charcoal or other related items.   So now that I have explained myself, here is my list: 

Foods for a Fire-free camping excursion: 

Grains: 

  • Nuts, rice cakes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, already-popped popcorn, melba toast, dry cereals, 
  • saltine, ritz or other crackers, corn nuts, potato sticks in cans, all sorts of chips, and crackers

Cans: 

  • tuna, canned meat such as vienna sausages –these are delicious when cold or you can set them out in the sun for a while,
  • garbanza beans, sliced potatoes, peas

Other: 

  • any variety of breads or crackers, rice cakes, mini-rice cakes, raisens, prunes, dried fruits,
  • apple dippers, health food crackers and snacks
  • dried fruit rolls or fruit wraps
  • peanut butter and jelly, sandwiches
  • laughing cow cheese, bon bell cheese  –neither of these need refrigeration or cooking
  • grated cheeses by the chunk or grated
  • candies, chocolate,
  • juices or milks in the parma packs  ; none of these need refrigeration
  • pickles, all sorts of pickles

Others: 

  • fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apples, oranges, pea pods, grapefruits, watermelons, melons, pears, chinese apples, and pomegranates, and more
  • Loaves of Italian bread, sliced breads, RICE (see explanation below)
  • Anything else you have that does not need refrigeration or cooking

There is your list. You can pack any and all of that and avoid cooking and avoid needing ice or refrigeration.  Now for the rice.  Purchase minute rice.   You can soak minute rice in water out in the sun and have nice hot rice for your meal.  It works, try it.  Put the rice in a plastic clear container with some warm water.  Leave it out in the sun, and you will have hot cooked rice.  You can even just put …

Dip That Chip Into Fresh Fruit Salsa

There is nothing like the sweet, succulent tastes of summer. The summer drinks, wedges of juicy watermelon, and icy popsicles. I always love to round out the savory flavor of a meal off the grill with something sweet. I was led to this fruit salsa recipe by a friend and I don’t quite know who to credit, since the recipe I have was written on scratch paper. I’ve been told it’s based on a Weight Watchers recipe (didn’t have any luck when I tried to track it down online), but all I know is that it’s delicious and I had to share.

Fresh Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

2 kiwis peeled & diced

2 golden delicious apples peeled, cored, & diced

8 oz raspberries, diced

1 lb strawberries, diced

2 Tbsp white sugar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

3 Tbsp fruit preserves, any flavor

10 flour tortillas (I use whole wheat)

Cooking spray

1 cup cinnamon sugar mixture, to taste

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, apples, raspberries, strawberries, white & brown sugar, and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Coat one side of each tortilla with cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven 8 – 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool 15 minutes.

You could opt out of adding the white and brown sugar if you wanted to cut back on the sugar in the recipe. If I’m short on time, I purchase cinnamon sugar pita chips instead of baking the tortillas myself. This recipe is so simple! The only work involved is the chopping, so we use our awesome Pampered Chef handheld chopper for taking on that task. Or invite your significant other into the kitchen to get down and dirty and chop together.

So slip this summery treat on the table at your next BBQ or summer dinner date with friends. This appetizer is sure to be a hit and why not secretly load your friends and family up with some super foods while you’re at it? Strawberries and apples pack a real punch with antioxidants to protect the body. You’ll get twice the Vitamin C from the kiwis than you would from oranges and the raspberries really deliver in the fiber department. Dip that chip and enjoy the fabulous flavors of summer!

Do you have a non-traditional salsa recipe that you love?…

Convection vs Conventional Ovens – What’s the Difference?

If you are in the market for a new oven and you’ve already begun shopping for one, you’ve probably noticed that there are a few different types. Two of the most popular types are conventional and convection, and many newer ones have the option of cooking food in either fashion depending on the set mode. The difference in these two types is the way in which the heat in the oven is dispersed during the cooking process.

Convection

A convection oven uses a fan which is usually located on the back side. The purpose of the fan is to force the heated air inside and circulate it around the item being cooked. The heated air is constantly pushed over and around the food, and therefore a convection oven cooks food much faster than a conventional one.

Not only does a convection oven cook food more quickly than a conventional, but it can also thoroughly cook food at lower temperatures. The average amount of time saved when cooking with a convection oven is about 20 percent of the food’s normal cooking time. The temperature a it uses to cook food is also about 20 percent lower than a recipe’s suggested cooking temperature.

Typically, convection ovens are known for their popularity in the restaurant industry as well as in commercial cooking facilities. However, it is becoming more popular for individuals to own convection ovens in their homes… or at least a conventional one that can switch to a convection mode upon request.

Convection ovens are speedier and more efficient than conventional, and therefore may be more expensive. However, professional chefs from around the world swear by them and rely on them for delicious tasting food. Also, since the air circulation in a convention oven is the same throughout, food will cook at the same rate no matter where it is placed in the oven… on the top or bottom rack or near the front or back.

Conventional

Traditionally, most personal residences in the United States come equipped with a modern conventional ovens. These are the most common type, and are used every day by men and women to cook all sorts of meals, desserts, breads, and many other types of food.

Conventional ovens are similar to convection ones in that they both cook food using heat. They both have the ability to use either gas or electricity, depending on the hook-up in a home. Some may have the versatility to use either gas or electricity simply depending on what is plugged in to them, and some are made to be either gas specific or electricity specific.

The most obvious difference between conventional and convection is the fact that in conventional, air is not forced throughout the oven on a constant basis with the aid of a fan, as it is in convection.

In a conventional oven, the heat circulation in the oven can become blocked by pots and pans inside of the oven. The blocking of the heat can cause uneven cooking. …

Safety Precautions For Stove Use

Your stove is possibly one of the most useful appliances in your home, but it can also be the most dangerous if you aren’t careful. It´s something that most people don´t think about much, but your stove can be the scene of many accidents. It pays to be cautious whenever you use your stove to avoid injuries and possible problems.

General Safety Precautions

Whether you have a gas, wood or electric stove, there are certain safety tips that should always be followed to keep your family safe.

o When cooking, turn the pots so the handles don´t stick out over the edge of the stove where small children can grab them and pull boiling hot food on top of themselves.

o Always keep a fire extinguisher handy near the stove, even if there is a sink nearby, grease fires will just spread if you throw water on them, so it´s better to use an extinguisher.

o Only let children cook under adult supervision.

o Use oven mitts and potholders to handle hot pans and pots to prevent burns from the high temperature metals.

o Don´t use metal spoons to stir food on the stove and then leave them in the pot. They heat up quickly and can burn your hand the next time you touch them.

o Avoid using loose, flowing clothing or leaving dish towels near hot burners, since these can catch fire.

Gas Stoves

For obvious reasons, gas stoves need extra safety precautions. You want to make sure that there are no gas leaks, so anytime you hear a hissing or smell gas and can´t tell where it is coming from, turn off your gas at the source, open all windows and exit the house. Call the fire department to check it out. Here are some other things to keep in mind with gas stoves.

o If your stove doesn’t have a pilot light, be sure to light it immediately after turning the gas on. You can cause an explosion by waiting more than a second or two. Even minor gas explosions can seriously injure someone who is close to the stove at the time.

o Check regularly for gas leaks and if you notice any stove parts getting rusty or old, be sure to replace them.

o Gas tends to heat very quickly, so watch your pots carefully to make sure you don´t end up with soups boiling over or starting a fire in a pan. If you do end up with a fire, use your fire extinguisher, don´t throw water on the flames.

Electric Stoves

Electric stoves are the staple of most kitchens. They heat evenly with coils and electricity tends to be more stable than gas as far as safety goes. However, there are still some precautions specific to electrical stoves.

o Clean under the burners regularly to prevent fires. Extra bits of food that fall under the burner into the tray can catch fire if the burner is hot enough.

o Since pots are …

Keep Your Grocery List Simple

 

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When you are making a bunch of large meals, sometimes you can be tempted to run up a lengthy ingredient list. By checking into your pantry stocks, you may be surprised that a lot of the ingredients you need are actually already at home. When you get out shopping, rather than get slowed down by sheets of paper that have disorganized lists, keep it simple.

Before you go out shopping, you need to draft a grocery list. By now, you probably know your local grocery options very well. You probably know them so well in fact, that you have the store layout mentioned. As you make your grocery list, keep that layout in mind. A professional shopper will be as organized as possible to save themselves valuable time, so keep that in mind as you prepare to go shopping.

Before you set your list in stone, get out professionally made shopping list business cards from Vistaprint. These little babies can be printed either by category, i.e. dairy, meat, produce, dry goods, oils & vinegars, spices, etc., or they can be printed out by store quadrant, to keep you well-organized in your approach to shopping.

Armed with your business card shopping list, as you go shopping, you will not need to refer to a long and confusing list. Simply break it down into several mini shopping lists and you will find that grocery shopping is a much simpler task than before.

Pull out grocery list 1, which leads you to the left as you enter the store, and you’ll find all of the items before you. After you have run through that card, pull out the next. By this manner, you will find that you are accomplishing things faster, too – the sense of accomplishment you get after going through each card will inspire you to keep going and bring on the next set of items.

If you are curious about just how much these little shopping list cards are going to set you back, fear not. Vistaprint is offering a fantastic deal through Groupon Coupons at 50{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} off business cards right now.…

Grill Glove Reviews

The Grill Glove is one of the coolest products to be released in a long time. The As Seen On TV world is known for going a bit over the top to draw attention to their amazing items but their is nothing silly, wild or campy about the Grill Glove. Try as I might I just can’t seem to find anyone out there with anything bad to say about it. So when I actually got my hands on one at my cousin’s July 4th barbeque I was really excited.

As I always point out, the beauty of As Seen On TV items is that they do a great job of solving seemingly easy problems that nobody has ever found a solution for. This is a perfect example. The problem I find with grilling is that getting control of the food while it’s on the grill is often impossible. Tongs are clumsy and other utensils may work, but not that well.

I happen to suffer from I term the “dropsies” and I’m one of the best in the world at dropping food through the grill onto the coals. I can’t remember the last time I was asked to man the barbeque pit, but honing my skills is important to me, and I’m sure others feel the same way.

So the Grill Glove is certainly an idea whose time has come. It looks similar to a large gardening glove but it is made from 100{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} food grade silicone and is heat resistant. This allows you to trash the tongs and actually go in and grab the food and control it.

It is now super easy to turn your hot dogs without dropping them. You can place your chops, chicken and steaks however you like and easily spread them around as you add more. You won’t get burned and there won’t be any reason to have a lot of utensils around. It happens to be dishwasher safe so clean up is simple.

The way it is sold you actually get two in an order so having one on each hand is wonderful. It actually feels like you are cooking on a surface with no heat. You touch, prod and grab at will and take the food from grill to table in a single step.

It my first try with the Grill Glove our grill was too crowded to do corn on the cob so we decided to boil it. It turns out you can just reach your hands into the pot and grab the corn with no worries. You won’t get burned or scalded so it’s possible you will find a lot more uses for it than just outside on barbeque.

As far As Seen On TV items go, I cannot find a single flaw in this product and that may be surprising to some. I can’t imagine anyone being dissatisfied with it and I don’t see any reason why it won’t replace the dirty charred oven mitts hanging in your kitchen right …

Johnson Brothers Ironstone – Kitchen Safety Tips

A lot of people die because of kitchen bacteria and poor handling. You do not know what microorganisms and bacteria are roaming around your kitchen. To make sure that you are eating healthy, the following information will help you in handling and preparing your food to avoid contamination.

1. Keep your Johnson Brothers Ironstone tableware in safe and closed cupboards.

2. Do not defrost your food in room temperature. Thawing at room temperature takes a lot of time and you do not know what microorganisms have gone into your food. You could either place your food in a plate, or place it in the refrigerator or use the oven.

3. Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling and preparing your food.

4. Always marinate your food inside the refrigerator. Use a fridge safe plate like Johnson Brothers Ironstone to marinate.

5. Serve your food in clean tableware. Make sure that you have washed your plates properly with a clean sponge.

6. If you have left over food, refrigerate them for future consumption. Do not store cooked food in room temperature. No need to transfer your food in a new container, all you have to do is cover your serving dish with another plate since Ironstone is fridge safe.

7. Always clean your Ironstone dishes thoroughly after work. You have to clean the counter-tops and other utensils with soap and water before and after you prepare your food. If you have a dishwasher, make sure that your utensils are dishwasher safe like the Ironstone collection.

8. Lastly, Take note of these principles:

* Germs could be anywhere, even in the air. They lodge most at the kitchen sink and dirty dishes left unclean.

* Some germs die at cold temperature. Some die during heating process.

* Germs multiply fast in wet and soiled areas. Therefore, every place and every utensil you use in the kitchen should be clean and dry.…

Meat Thermometers – How Cool is That?

A digital meat thermometer is no longer used only by a professional chef. More and more people are using this device in their every day cooking to ensure that their foods are cooked perfectly and also to ensure that they have no worries about food related illnesses. There are five features that you should look for when purchasing a digital meat thermometer:

Accuracy
Many experts consider accuracy to be the most important feature. A thermometer should register exactly 212 degrees in boiling water and 32 degrees in crushed ice and ice water. The best digital meat thermometers will be accurate within plus or minus one or two degrees Fahrenheit. If the thermometer comes up four or more degrees over or under, it is time to get a new one.

Response Time
The response time when reading a digital meat thermometer should be fast. When tested in boiling water it should take no more than twenty seconds (ten seconds is even better) to get to 212 degrees. Many can take up to thirty seconds and that is a feature you do not want especially during times like busy holiday cooking, or when you are entertaining friends or professional acquaintances.

Readability
The LCD display screen in a digital meat thermometer should display large, easy to read numbers. The plastic lens should not fog up and prevent you from seeing the numbers.

Temperature Range
Most of the time, you will need your thermometer for meats, poultry, seafood, egg dishes and casseroles, but on occasion you may want to know the temperature of hot oil before putting your food into it or of a freezing dessert to ascertain that it is will stay frozen until eaten. This is when it is important to own a digital meat thermometer that is capable of taking very low (0 degrees and under) and very high (375 degrees and over) temperatures.

Design and Features
You will find as you begin to use your digital meat thermometer that certain designs and features will make the gadget easier to use. Some examples of this are the length of the stem. You want one that is long enough to go deeply into a thick turkey breast, but not so long that it hits bone, which will give you an inaccurate reading. Ease of cleaning is also important. Can you toss it in the dishwasher or will you have to laboriously take it apart to ascertain proper cleaning? Does the thermometer have on and off switches or an automatic shut off? These features are important to many cooks.

There are many digital meat thermometers from which to choose and most of the manufacturers are dedicated to producing products that measure temperatures with accuracy and read temperatures with precision. You can find an array of these thermometers online and if you spend a small amount of time reading over their various features, you are certain to find just the right digital meat thermometer to meet your exact needs! …