Is Baked Food Good for Health?

        

Now days, everything is modernized and new technologies have changed everything from eating habits to day schedule. There are actually lots of changes that have come in foodie items which improve its taste and variety. Coming to the topic, baking is the method of cooking food in a closed system (sealed enclosure). Earlier, it was cooked underground or in wooden enclosures but now different technique has advanced and thus baking is done in an oven (a new device for grilling and baking). Cooking food in closed enclosure and consuming it is quite healthy as the food retains most of its nutrients in it. Oven can be operated either by using gas or electricity. If healthy foods are taken into concern then baked food comes first in the list because they are very low fat containing foods.

  • As food is prepared in a closed environment, heat neither passes out nor comes into an oven (an isolated process). The heat which is stored into the vessel helps in releasing the stored fats or energy from the food itself and thus little oiling is done in the starting that to for triggering the procedure of baking.
  • As the food is prepared in totally closed environment thus it retains all types of nutritious items in it. The food is cooked with its own oil so it remains full of flavor and juicy. But it should be maintained at proper temperature, accurate timing and calculated ingredients (otherwise the food will become more hard, dry and tasteless).
  • Actually, baked food becomes more healthy and nutritious if they are cooked underground. This is because the underground food remains totally covered and carry (preserved) all of its flavor and aroma.

These all benefits provide a very healthy and nutritious baked food which contains low fats and low calories.

     

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

They are really good with a tall glass of cold milk. I love baking cookies!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2) In large bowl, beat butter and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.

3) Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets.

4) Bake about 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Fudge Delights

A great lovely recipe that sure to delight your friends and families!

Chocolate Fudge Delights

Makes 1 square baking pan (7in)

Ingredients:

3 ounce dark chocolate

1/3 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup self-raising flour

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 cup flaked almonds

1/4 cup glace cherries

2 eggs

1 tablespoon sifted icing sugar

 

1) Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C) and lightly oil the square baking pan. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a pan over a low heat.

2) Add the butter and melt slowly over a gentle heat. Stir until smooth.

3) Add the sugar and stir well until thoroughly mixed.

4) Remove from the heat. Sift the flour into the pan and stir.

5) Break the eggs into a bowl and beat. Add to pan and stir.

6) Add in vanilla extract and flaked almonds.

7) Chop cherries then rinse in warm water and pat dry with absorbent paper.

8) Stir in cherries then spoon mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes; insert a toothpick into the center comes out clean.

9) Leave until cold; dust with icing sugar.

What are The Top Cake Decoration Supplies?

Cake decorating is a sugar art of making cake very attractive or eye-catchy food by using frosting or icing and other decorative ingredients. Plain cakes are decorated using colored cream and various dry fruits. In the form of cake, one can express his/her feelings simply by molding the cake. Cakes are an important central point/item in various celebrations like wedding, birthdays, bridal showers etc. There are various styles for decorating a cake which involves covering of cake with a form of icing and making use of decorative chocolate, candies, sugars etc to revamp a cake. Simple sprinkling a coat of icing sugar can also give a nice look to a cake.

  • European style of cake decoration is the most affective and preferred form of decoration. Wedding cakes were traditionally decorated in European culture and thus made its importance there.
  • The Australian method involves fondant covered cakes which are topped with royal icing piping and later on involves slight lacework and extended to curtain work.
  • On the other hand, lambent method involved dimensional over piping of borders on a covered cake, icing is done one over the other until a proper style is achieved.
  • The method is Wilton method which makes use of butter cream just to cover up the cake in a decorative manner including borders and pipe flowers. The butter cream used is of high quality and much tastier than rolled fondant and pipe flowers. This method is also famous as it is an easy and quick method of making and decorating a cake, as the cake is baked in a good shaped vessel or container and then decorated with various decorative contents.

There are various ingredients used for decorating a cake i.e. butter cream, airbrushing, Royal icing, marzipan, ganache and fondants. Cake decorating is not only a profession but it is actually an art for most of the people. Before becoming a cake artist, cake decorators are well trained to make decorative cakes.

            

The Truth About The Types of Flour

Flour. It is one of the most important ingredients in home baking. Its origins go back to the beginnings of civilization. How can so many different types of flour come from just this one grain of wheat?

There are different classes, or types, of wheat. Each class is used for specific purposes to get the best possible finished product. This information will explain the different types of flour and how they are best used.

All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour includes a happy balance of hard and soft flours. And as the name suggests, it is a type of flour that lets you make a wide variety of baked goods–cookies, cakes, muffins, quick breads, biscuits, and pie crusts–without having to stock up on multiple types of flour.

Bread Flour

Bread flour is milled primarily for commercial baking use, but can be found at most grocery stores. While similar to all-purpose flour, it has a higher gluten content, which is optimal in making yeast breads. When water is mixed into the flour two of the flour proteins combine to form gluten. It is gluten which forms a network that will stretch as the dough ferments and carbon dioxide gas is released. On baking this stretched gluten network sets to give the structure and texture to bread. Strong flour is needed to ensure that sufficient gluten is formed to produce bread of good volume and appearance.

Pastry Flour

Pastry flour is a medium-protein flour that produces tender pie crusts. If you use a flour with too much protein, your pastry can become tough; too little, and the pastry can be brittle and hard to work with. Medium is just right. In a pinch, you can make your own version of pastry flour by combining one part cornstarch to two parts all-purpose flour.

Cake Flour

This is a fine-textured, almost silky flour milled from soft wheat and has a low protein content. It is used to make all type of baked goods like cakes, cookies, crackers, quick breads and some types of pastry. Cake flour has a higher percentage of starch and less protein than bread flour, which keeps cakes and pastries tender and delicate. Unfortunately, substituting all-purpose flour in recipes that have been specifically formulated for cake flour will not produce happy results. Always sift cake flour before using it in a recipe.

Wholemeal Flour

All of the flours listed can be found as wholemeal and white. Wholemeal flour contains all parts of the wheat grain including the outer layers of bran and the germ. White flour contains only the inner portion of the grain called the endosperm. Often when using wholemeal flour more water needs to be added to the recipe because the bran absorbs more water than the white portion of the grain.

Self-Raising Flour

This is a plain flour to which self-raising agents have been added. Raising of the dough is caused by carbon dioxide which results from the raising agents, one alkaline (Sodium Bicarbonate) and one acidic (Acid Calcium Phosphate), reacting with water in the recipe. Self Raising flour is used for most cakes, scones, suet pastry and some biscuits.

Banana Loaf Cake

This recipe is a family favorite. It is great for using overripe bananas. I usually double the recipe and make two loaves.

Banana Loaf Cake

Makes 1 Loaf Pan

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

4 very ripe bananas

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a loaf pan.

2. Beat butter and white sugar together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.

3. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture.

4. Mash the bananas and mix well. Pour into loaf pan.

5. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. 40 to 50 minutes.

Apple Cinnamon White Cake

A buttery white cake that comes together in minutes but tastes like you spent all day making it. Adding apples and cinnamon with brown sugar in layers makes this cake into an autumn delight.

Apple Cinnamon White Cake

Makes 1 square baking pan

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, softened

1  1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 apple, peeled and chopped

 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a square baking pan.

2) Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until incorporated; add vanilla extract.

3) Combine flour and baking powder together in a bowl; stir into creamed butter mixture. Mix milk into batter until smooth.

4) Mix brown sugar,cinnamon and peeled, chopped apples together in a bowl.

5) Pour half the batter into the prepared square baking pan; add half the apples mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples mixed with brown sugar and cinnamon.

6) Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.

Popular Baking Mistakes and How to Avoid them?

Actually it is common that everyone commits mistakes but these can be simplified if proper measures are followed and kept in mind. There are some common and simple baking mistakes that may cause little changes to the baked food.

  • The first thing that is to be noticed is texture of the baked food. If the food is hard then it may be due to the reason of little water in the batter or much of baking soda is used. Proper calculated ingredients should be used before going for the process.
  • The other thing is proper temperature of the oven in which the food is to be cooked. It should be measured before the food is allowed to cook using a heat resistant thermometer.
  • Next point to be noticed is moisture content of the food. If the food itself carries very little water or moisture then baked food will be hard and dry.  In case of cake, this happens when much of baking soda or flour is used.
  • The other reason is the temperature of the oven should be perfect otherwise again the cake will be dry or hard. If excess of water is used, then cake will fall and it will go down in middle. This condition does happen again, if oven is opened again and again or the food/cake is not baked properly.
  • Ingredients must be properly measured and mixed before baking. Proper use of oven also matters i.e. proper temperature and timing is very important as different foods have different contents and ingredients.
  • Tossing/flipping of food should not be done multiple times, let the food cook properly from one side and then flip it to other side.
  • The major reason is multitasking while cooking which is difficult to; manage if good result is required.

Thus, if all the points are kept in mind and carefully managed then delicious baked food will be the ultimate result.

What Everyone Wants to Know About Baking Tips for Beginners

Cooking is an art. Baking is a science. So, for the novice baker who is used to experimenting in the kitchen with cooking, baking can be frustrating. In cooking, add a little of this and a little of that, and you can craft a masterpiece. If you try that in baking without a keen understanding of proportions, you’ll likely craft a disaster. Too much or too little of even one ingredient can lead to a flop.

  • Always bring your ingredients in standard baking recipes to room temperature. Yes, it can be a hassle to wait for eggs, butter and milk to warm up on the counter, but it’s worth it. You’ll find much more baking success if you start off with all of your ingredients at the same temperature. If you don’t have time to wait, you can warm eggs in warm water more quickly.
  • Measurement is very important in baking. Use standard measuring cups and spoons.Also you can invest in a small kitchen scale for weighing ingredients. For example if the recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, do not tightly pack the cup with flour, instead lightly spoon it and level if off with a knife.So stick to correct measurements.
  • Before you start to bake, read the recipe 2-3 times and see if you have all the ingredients. Keeping all the ingredients ready will save you a lot of time, energy and mess. Neatly spread a newspaper on the kitchen platform as it saves the trouble of cleaning the kitchen platform after baking.
  • To prevent the dish from sticking to the pan, always grease the pan with melted butter and lightly dust with flour. You can also use ready-to-use baking pan sprays.
  • Position the pans in your oven properly and, if you’re not using a convection oven, you may want to rotate your pans for certain recipes (not for cakes, as this can cause cakes to fall).
  • Over-mixing baking ingredients will result in a dry dish. Use an electric mixer for mixing sugar with liquids but never for dry ingredients. It is best to spoon in the dry ingredients manually into the wet mixture.
  • Avoid over baking.Once the baking time is over, check the cake by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, then the cake is done otherwise bake for a few more minutes.
  • Control yourself, it is very tempting to peek inside the oven and look at what’s going on. But every time you open the oven door, you prevent the dish from cooking uniformly.
  • Don’t overknead. Particularly for biscuits, you’ll want to fold the dough just a few times. With breads and pizza doughs, knead only until the dough is a bit shiny and slightly springy.
  • Cool the cake completely before frosting.

The Truth About The Types of Sugar

When it comes to baking, sugar is one of the most important ingredients we use. Of course, the sweetness it provides to things like cookies and cakes is obvious. Sugar is an integral part of the baking that we do day to day.

For most people, the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word sugar is white, granulated sugar.  It’s the type that America uses most often for baking and sweetening our morning cup of coffee; however, the more you bake, the more different types of sugar you may come across. Are you ready to talk sugar?

White Sugar:

There are many different types of granulated sugar. Some of these are used only by the food industry and professional bakers and are not available in the supermarket. The types of granulated sugars differ in crystal size. Each crystal size provides unique functional characteristics that make the sugar appropriate for a specific food’s special need.

Confectioners or Powdered Sugar

In Canada and Great Britain (England) it is called icing sugar and in France sucre glace. This sugar is granulated sugar ground to a smooth powder and then sifted. It contains about 3% cornstarch to prevent caking. Powdered sugar is ground into three different degrees of fineness. The confectioners sugar available in supermarkets – 10X – is the finest of the three and is used in icings, confections and whipping cream. The other two types of powdered sugar are used by industrial bakers.

Granulated Sugar

Also called table sugar or white sugar. This is the sugar most known to consumers, is the sugar found in every home’s sugar bowl, and most commonly used in home food preparation. It is the most common form of sugar and the type most frequently called for in recipes. Its main distinguishing characteristics are a paper-white color and fine crystals.

Coarse Sugar

As you can tell from its name, coarse sugar has a much larger crystals than regular white sugar. The larger size of the crystals (about the size of pretzel salt) makes the sugar stronger and more resistant to heat. This type of sugar also helps to give baked goods or candy a little texture. It is used mainly for decorating and comes in a rainbow of colors.

Sanding Sugar

Sanding sugar is another large crystal sugar. It is between white granulated and coarse sugar in size. It is another decorating sugar and comes in many colors. It also reflects light and gives of a sparkly shine. And, who doesn’t love their baked goods sparkly?

Fruit Sugar

Fruit sugar is slightly finer than “regular” sugar and is used in dry mixes such as gelatin and pudding desserts, and powdered drinks. Fruit sugar has a more uniform small crystal size than “regular” sugar. The uniformity of crystal size prevents separation or settling of larger crystals to the bottom of the box, an important quality in dry mixes.

Bakers Special Sugar

The crystal size of Bakers Special is even finer than that of fruit sugar. As its name suggests, it was developed specially for the baking industry. Bakers Special is used for sugaring doughnuts and cookies, as well as in some commercial cake recipes to create a fine crumb texture.

Brown Sugar (Light & Dark):

Brown sugar is white sugar that has had cane molasses added to it. The two types of brown sugar, light and dark, refer to the amount of molasses that is present. Light brown sugar is what is used more often in baking, sauces and, glazes. Dark brown sugar, because of the rich molasses flavor, is used in richer foods, like gingerbread. Both brown sugars can harden if left open to the air, so it is best stored in an airtight container. If your brown sugar has hardened, you can microwave it for a few seconds, or place a piece of bread in the bag and leave it for a day.

Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado sugar is raw sugar that has only had the surface molasses washed off. It is light in color, usually has a large crystal, and is slightly lower in calories than white sugar due to the moisture content. Turbinado sugar is mainly used in sweetening beverages, but can also be used in baking.

Demerara Sugar

Popular in England, Demerara sugar is a light brown sugar with large golden crystals, which are slightly sticky from the adhering molasses. It is often used in tea, coffee, or on top of hot cereals. In the U.S., the most comparable sugar is Turbinado – because they are both “raw”.

Muscovado or Barbados Sugar

Muscovado sugar is a type of British brown sugar. It is very dark brown in color and has more molasses than light or dark brown sugar. The sugar crystals are a little larger than regular brown sugar and the texture is stickier. It is used in sweets with rich flavors such as gingerbread, coffee cake, and fudge.

Free-flowing Brown Sugars

These sugars are specialty products produced by a co-crystallization process. The process yields fine, powder-like brown sugar that is less moist than “regular” brown sugar. Since it is less moist, it does not clump and is free-flowing like white sugar.

Now it’s time to make sure you are stocked up and ready to bake!