We’re back with another beginner’s guide for the newbies who are taking on baking! This time we’re focusing on the ingredients that are must-have and essential when it comes to making those warm, delicious baked goods. You’re pretty much aware of these ingredients but let’s get in depth with them.
Well, this is definitely the ingredient you should’ve expected. Flour is basically everything, like how I need chocolate. You should always have it in your kitchen, so you wouldn’t panic when a recipe calls for a flour, but you must know there are various types of flours such as:
Yep, there’s a lot and we’re so used to using all-purpose flour for some baking activities but you can’t just use it when a recipe tells you to use self-raising flour. It has a difference so better be careful with which flour you’re using and buying or else, your hopes and expectations won’t achieve when you bake. (Psssst, we also have top 10 articles of various flours for you to check out! Don’t miss it.)
Eggs are everything. You can make it for breakfast or as a side dish when your meal seems a little lonely, and of course, for baking! When it comes to eggs in cake batters, they are used to both trap air in the cake and to bind the ingredients together. Always prepare a dozen when it’s needed, and egg sizes do matter in baking recipes. Sometimes when you read one, they would ask for large eggs. The bigger the eggs, you’ll be getting more yolk and the egg white. So, keep an eye on what kind of size of eggs that you’re going to need.
3. Baking Powder
When you want your cakes and breads to rise, baking powder is here to help! It’s basically a rising agent, so don’t be surprised when you’re baking a cake and they ask for this powder. Make sure to always have it ready in your cupboard.
4. Baking Soda
People often confuse baking soda with baking powder, just so you know they’re both different. Baking soda or also known as bicarbonate soda. When a recipe asks for a baking soda, it is usually used when there’s any sort of acid type of ingredient in the recipe such as yogurt, milk, buttermilk etc. When these two ingredients react to each other, your baked goods can finally rise. So definitely have it ready because you know, you’ll never know!
Sweet treats call for sugar, obviously. Pretty sure you don’t need to worry much about this one because you would always have it in the pantry but you do need to know that there are various sugar out there like:
- Granulated Sugar – It’s commonly known as white sugar or the regular sugar among people. You probably have one now in your kitchen.
- Brown Sugar – Less refined. They are white sugar that has been added molasses.
- Icing Sugar – Most commonly known as well when it comes to desserts. Also known as confectioners’ sugar or powdered sugar.
- Castor Sugar
Cue for Salt Bae. Important to always have for your cooking needs like when you’re boiling spaghetti. When you’re called for salt in a recipe, always have it ready. There’s also another salt that I would like to point out which is sea salt. Sea salt is basically used when you want to add a little flavour to your dessert. Case in point, sprinkle it over your cookies. Usually used as a finishing touch. Oh yeah, then there’s also kosher salt. What makes it different from regular table salt is the size of the salt crystals and less likely to contain additives.
Dairy stands for many ingredients. This includes:
- Buttermilk (Yes, there is such a thing. It’s basically liquid that’s left behind after the butter has churned)
- Cream Cheese
Some of these dairy ingredients are super important to have, especially butter. How do you not have butter in the kitchen? How do you even make toasts? Many recipes would ask for butter to be included so you butter be ready with it. Milk too! Some may wonder if flavoured milk like chocolate milk would be a great substitute for recipes that call for milk. Well, better not. Only use chocolate milk when the recipe calls for chocolate milk or else your baked goods aren’t going to come out good like you expected. Buttermilk on the other hand has a thicker consistency so it’s usually used to make pancakes, waffles, cakes and muffins. It makes them light and moist. Cream Cheese is soft cheese with a light-tangy flavour that’s made from milk and cream. Widely known in the baking community and my favourite way to use it is to make Cheesekut. It tastes so good. It’s often used to make frosting as well.
Now, how do you not have chocolate in the kitchen? How do you even survive? Chocolate has several types and various common flavours like milk, white and dark (the dark chocolate is apparently considered as the ‘healthy’ chocolate). The types would include:
- Baking Chocolate (There are so many names for this. Unsweetened chocolate, cooking chocolate, bitter chocolate. Usually when it’s not sweet like how you would think chocolate should taste like, this means that it’s high in cocoa and there are no added sugars. Obviously perfect for baking!)
- Cocoa Powder (You’re definitely going to need this one when you’re making chocolate flavoured treats)
Here are some of our top 10 lists that you should check out to help with your chocolate needs!
- Top 10 Cocoa Powders in Malaysia
- 15 Types of Chocolate Can Be Use In Your Baking
- Top 10 Best Dark Chocolates for Baking
9. Heavy Cream
Heavy cream doesn’t seem too important to some but you’re gonna need some when you need to make whipped toppings for your cakes and pies. Heavy cream has slightly more fat than whipping cream if you were wondering even though both ingredients are high fat dairy products. With more fat, it’ll be more stable when you whip it up.
10. Vanilla Extract
Last but not least, vanilla extract. Better have this ready in your kitchen because many dessert recipes would call for a teaspoon of vanilla extract to be poured into your mixture. To let you know, vanilla extract has a stronger vanilla flavour as it’s less processed than vanilla essence.
Now, you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between those two?
Vanilla essence is considered as a processed product as it’s made from artificial flavours and colour. Check out our Top 10 Vanilla Essence in Malaysia!
If you’re thinking of making any vanilla-flavoured recipes, have this ready and yeah, they can be substitutes for one another but when you only have vanilla extract when a recipe calls for vanilla essence, be careful of the amount you’re adding as vanilla extract is pure and has a more stronger flavour!
Now that you’re all caught up, make sure to stock up your baking pantry with these essentials or else you would have to go for an emergency run for one of these. Happy baking!
Don’t forget to read our other top 10 baking guide for newbies!