Betty bought some bitter butter…..

Well, wasn’t that an interesting tongue twister we used to have fun with when we were in the school? The bitter part of it was just to make your tongue twist 🙂 Otherwise butter is one of the most flavourful ingredients used in baking in the fat category. Fats can be classified as solid and liquid. Apart from butter, shortening and margarine fall in the solid fat category. Oils that can be used for baking fall in the liquid fat category. In India, even ghee is used for baking and can be counted in the liquid category. This blog is all about the fat ingredients that can used in baking. Continue reading “Betty bought some bitter butter…..”

Sweet syrups used in Baking

Every year in the season of strawberries, we make our annual trip to Mahabaleshwar, a hill station in the proximity of Pune. For me, apart from the strawberries and mulberries that grow there, honey sold in Mahabaleshwar is also a big attraction. Honey bee farming happens in the jungles of Western Ghats and Mahabaleshwar is a seat for Directorate of bee-keeping. So when I walked into the Government shop selling honey, I realised that they had a variety of honey based on the type of trees on which the bee-keeping happens.  My interest in honey stems from the fact that it is probably the oldest sweetener used in cooking and baking long before sugar was invented. This blog is not just about honey, it is also about all the sweeteners in syrup form.  Continue reading “Sweet syrups used in Baking”

For that sweet tooth – Sugars !!!

In one of my previous blog, we had discussed about different types of wheat flours and how to choose the correct one for your dish. This blog is all about different types of sugar used in baking.  We cannot imagine our lives without sugar.  Statistically, I do not know how the world is divided between people who have a sweet tooth and people who don’t. But going by the statistics in my family, I can safely say that the haves exceed the have nots by a whopping margin 🙂

Sugar is often associated with craving. Sweet is one of the important tastes amongst the five different tastes that our tongue can identify. Long before, honey was used as the natural sweetener before the discovery of sugar. It is said that, Indians can take the credit of discovering how to crystallise sugar during the reign of Gupta dynasty way back in 352 BC. Pastry industry was revolutionised once the sugar entered European markets. So why is sugar important in baking? What are the different types that can be used in baking? How do we decide which sugar to use in a particular recipe? Well these are some of the questions I will address in this blog.

Continue reading “For that sweet tooth – Sugars !!!”

Are you baking with the right flour?

When I conduct workshops on baking, I get a lot of questions about the use of ingredients. Every ingredient used in a recipe has a definite role to play. It has certain behavioural characteristics that one needs to understand. Hence, I thought why not write a blog about introduction of the commonly used ingredients in baking? As the topic is so vast, obviously it will be a series of blogs. This one is all about the flour!

Continue reading “Are you baking with the right flour?”

Bring out the chef in you!

My tryst with cooking began sheerly by accident when I was a teen. My mom was unwell and being the eldest one, I had to manage the kitchen one day. Till then, I had assisted my mom occasionally but had never cooked anything independently. So for the first time, I cooked a typical Maharashtrian meal and irrespective of the taste, it was appreciated by everyone just out of their love. When I went to meet my mom in the hospital, she looked at her young apprentice with such pride! That day is etched in my memory forever! It taught me three important lessons: Continue reading “Bring out the chef in you!”