Tips To Make Desserts From Scratch With Recipes

If you are like me you grew up with easy cake mixes available. While these cake mixes do a fantastic job making a cake they lack any individuality.

There’s something to be said about making something from scratch.

Below you will find a couple recipes that I have made from scratch that came out Good.

Baking 101

Bake: Cook in an oven using dry heat.

Bakers’ Dozen: For bakers, a dozen of an item means 13 pieces.

Caramelized sugar or caramelize: To heat and melt sugar in a saucepan until the sugar turns brown and is ready to be drizzled on pastries or other baked goods.

Dough: A mixture of ingredients like butter, sugar, and eggs. This is the base of many baked desserts like cookies, bread and cakes.

Frost: Put on the icing.

Glaze: Coating or brushing food with eggs, milk and sometimes sugar before the baking

Grease a pan: Brush some oil or butter onto the baking pan to prevent baked goods from sticking. This is also done so you will have a perfect cookie or cake without forcing it off the baking tray.

Pre-heat an oven: Turn on and heat up the oven 10-15 minutes before use in order to equalize the temperature.

Kneading bread: Kneading develops long strands of proteins, also called gluten. When the yeast is combined with liquid, it comes to life, starts eating the dough’s starches, reproduces, and causes the bread to rise. Both too little kneading or too much yeast will cause the bread to fall during baking.

Pastry flour in cakes and cookies: For a tender crust and interior crumb, many bakers use pastry flour, which is low in protein.

Raw, clean eggs in meringues: When you beat

raw egg whites to make a soufflé or a meringue,

you incorporate air bubbles into the water-protein

solution. Adding air bubbles to egg whites unfolds

egg proteins just like heating them. When an egg protein is up against an air bubble, part of that protein is exposed to air and part is still in the water. The protein uncurls so that its water-loving parts can be immersed in the water—and its water-fearing parts can stick in the air. Once the proteins uncurl, they bond with each other creating a network that can hold the air bubbles in place.

Baking powder and baking soda: Both baking powder and baking soda are chemical leavening agents that cause batters to rise when baked. The leavener enlarges the bubbles which are already present in the batter produced through creaming of ingredients. When a recipe contains baking powder and baking soda, the baking powder does most of the leavening. The baking soda is added to neutralize the acids in the recipe plus to add tenderness and some leavening. When using baking powder or baking soda in a recipe, make sure to sift or whisk with the other dry ingredients before adding to the batter to ensure uniformity. Otherwise, the baked good can have large holes.

Too much baking powder can cause the batter to be bitter tasting. It can also cause the batter to rise rapidly and then collapse. Baking soda has an indefinite shelf life if stored in a sealed container in a cool dry place. Too much baking soda will result in a soapy taste with a coarse, open crumb.

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate or bicarbonate of soda (alkali) is about four times as strong as baking powder. It is used in recipes that contain an acidic ingredient (e.g. vinegar, citrus juice, sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk, chocolate, cocoa (not Dutch-processed), honey, molasses (also brown sugar), fruits and maple syrup). Baking soda starts to react and release carbon dioxide gas as soon as it is added to the batter and moistened. Make sure to bake the batter immediately.

Eggs: Eggs have two parts, whites and yolks, which do two different things. Whites are an incredible leavening agent, and yolks are nature’s great emulsifiers for a creamy texture.

Sugar: Sugar prevents the flour proteins from joining and making gluten; gluten development would make a cake or cookie tough. In this way, sugar acts as a tenderizer and can replace some of the fat in the recipe. When sugar is present in amounts above 2 tablespoons per cup of flour, the two proteins in flour that normally join with each other and water to form gluten join with the sugar instead.

Sugar also caramelizes in baking, which enriches flavors. Substituting as little as a tablespoon of corn syrup for sugar can make cookies much browner because of corn syrup browns at a lower temperature than sugar. Some sugars, like honey and brown sugar, absorb moisture from the atmosphere, which means that things baked with them will stay soft and moist longer.

Don’t use sugar substitutes: Sugar is a key ingredient in baking, providing structure and mass in many desserts. Consider a cake: If you substituted artificial sweetener for sugar, you would lose the volume that sugar contributes, and the cake batter would not have enough substance to become a cake. Also, the tastes and textures of sugar substitutes may change when they’re heated.

Why do we use butter: Cookies made with butter spread during baking, which means they’re thinner. Trimming the amount of fat just a little will limit their spread. If you want to reduce the amount of butter but preserve the crispness, add a little corn syrup to the cookie dough.

Butter has three roles in cakes: to make the cake light and delicate by holding air bubbles produced by leaveners like baking powder or soda; to make the cake tender by coating the flour protein, and to carry rich flavors. Stick margarine and shortening can substitute for butter; in fact, shortening is already aerated before you buy it, so it can produce a fine, tender cake.

“Cream” Butter: For air bubbles, during baking, it is important to cream the butter/ shortening and sugar together properly to create air bubbles that will expand during baking.

Basic Cookie Dough
  • 2 1/2 cups butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking
  3. powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture, beating just until combined. Divide dough into four 2-cup portions.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Bake for 7-9 minutes until edges are golden.

According To IKEA:

Cake Making PDF

Yogurt Cheesecake
  • 1 container 32 ounces plain or vanilla yogurt (low- or full-fat)
  • 3 cup s unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 1- pint berries washed, dried
  1. Line a medium sieve (about 7 inches wide) with two layers of paper towels. Place sieve over a bowl. Stir yogurt in a container for consistency before pouring into a sieve. Adjust paper towels to remove any folds. Cover with plastic wrap and
  2. refrigerate 24 hours, until yogurt thickens.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring pineapple juice to a boil. Cook over high heat until reduced to scant 1 cup, 25 to
  4. 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
  5. When ready to serve, remove yogurt from the refrigerator and place a plate over a sieve, making sure paper towels are not
  6. covering yogurt. Turn plate and sieve over to unmold yogurt. Gently remove paper towels. With a knife, smooth yogurt
  7. on sides and top to make a flat “cheesecake.” Garnish with berries and serve with pineapple sauce on the side.
Recipe Notes

Per Slice (Makes 8 “slices”) 148 calories, 1/6g fat, 24g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 7g protein

Jelly Roll
  • 1 16 ounce package angel food cake mix
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar divided
  • 1 8 ounce container reduced-fat frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 20 ounce can reduced-sugar cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Line two 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans with ungreased parchment paper. Prepare cake batter according to package
  2. directions. Spread evenly in prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-16 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile,
  3. sprinkle 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar over two kitchen towels. Immediately invert cakes onto prepared towels.
  4. Gently peel off parchment paper. Roll up cakes in towels jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a
  5. wire rack.
  6. Unroll cakes. Spread each with 1 cup whipped topping to within 1 in. of edges. Combine pie filling and extract; spread
  7. over whipped topping on each cake. Roll up again. Place seam side down on a serving platter. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  8. Dust with remaining confectioners’ sugar. Slice; garnish with remaining whipped topping.
Recipe Notes

Per slice: 175 calories, 36g carbohydrates, 3g protein

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