Sometimes words used in baking like beat, cream, whip and etc sounds almost the same. Actually they are slightly different. Here are some tips to help you understand this language better, hoping that it will help you bake a perfect cake all the time.
1) To Beat – Mixing rapidly with a hand held whisk or a electric whisk. Stand mixers are also perfect for this task.
2) To Cream – Refer to butter or fat, alone or sometimes mixed with sugar until light and fluffy, and the color turn pale yellow.
3) To Fold – Combining one mixture with another, frequently refer to a light mixture such as egg whites into a heavier mixture such as butter.
4) To Stir – Mixing with a spoon in a circular motion until it is combine. Always stir the mixture in ONE direction only, either clock-wise or anti-close-wise. This little tip will help to prevent cake shrink.
5) To Whip – Usually refer to cream or eggs, mix thoroughly until stiff.
6) To Double-boil – Frequently used to melt the butter or chocolate. Place the diced butter or chocolate in a medium metal bowl over a pan of simmering water. Cook over the stove at low heat, continue stirring until it becomes liquid.
7) To Bake in a “Bain Marie” (Water Bath) – Refer to the well-combined mixture in a medium baking tin put in another large baking tin filled with hot water reaching halfway up the sides of the medium baking tin, and bake in microwave oven.
8) To Steam – To bake the cake in a pan of simmering water, cover with a lid, without using microwave oven.
Baking Is A Science, Words Matter
When you watch baking shows on TV you will notice they the baker never guesses when it comes to amounts of ingredients or how to add them to the recipe. While a good cook can look over a dish and make a few adjustments during the cooking process, a baker has to make sure that everything was done correctly before the dish goes into the oven. There isn’t a change to adjust your dish half way through the baking process. Baking at home requires a bit of discipline, a bit of knowlegde and a bit of curiosity. Know what needs to be done, know what each term means and you will end up baking some memorable dishes.