Hints and Suggestions · Recap

END OF MARCH + TOP 5

Today we’re recapping March 2015 and I’m giving you my top five ingredient substitutions. Just because you don’t have the exact ingredient necessary for a recipe doesn’t mean you can’t make what you wanted to. I’ll tell you how to substituted buttermilk, cake flour, self-rising flour, eggs and heavy cream.

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IMG_2345Lingonberry Fruit Jellies

This was March’s very first post, it was an easy and quick post, nothing all that special except for the fact that Lingonberry is actually a Swedish fruit and I got the concentrate to make this at IKEA. This is probably the easiest recipe I will ever post and it’s something that goes great when adding kids to the mix, I remember making Jell-O at home with my mom and I hold those memories close to my heart to this day.

IMG_2362Faux-Tess Cupcake w. Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Ganache filling

I’m really into retro sweets right now, can I even say that at my age, and I wanted to make the most delicious homemade hostess cupcake except with more adult flavors; it worked and was a complete hit for everyone who tried it. The vanilla bean in this recipe brings depth to the ganache as vanilla itself is a flavor, a warm flavor, and the chocolate complements it well. It’s not too sweets thanks to that fact that there is no real frosting on it but the whole thing in itself is the perfect snack for a kids lunch and for adults.

IMG_2755Banana Peanut + Chocolate Chip Muffin

I made a cupcake with these flavors last month and while it was easy to make I didn’t want to have to make a cupcake every time I wanted these flavors, I’m much more of a muffin lover than I am a cupcake lover so in my opinion this was way better than the cupcake and I already thought the cupcake was damn good. This muffin is also a pretty good energy food with the banana and the peanuts and since I used bittersweet chocolate it made the overall flavors not too sweet and something that will stick to your ribs as you inhale it out the door on your way to school or work.

IMG_3007Cookies-n-Crème Meringue Cookies

In this recipe we took a little detour on what I usually make on the blog, I am so very proud of it as it’s simple flavors done well, everyone loves Oreos, it’s like a childhood staple and taking Oreos, crushing it and putting it in an adult and French treat is something where nostalgia meets creativity meets adulthood and it’s amazing.

IMG_3092Cookies-n-Crème Meringue Cake

Blame it on the meringue cookies; meringue anything is extremely porous and can go stale in a matter of days and while the recipe doesn’t make much it’s still more than what four people could eat before 3 days were gone; I’m glad it didn’t because while the meringue cookies didn’t disappear in a day this cake did; it’s gooey on the inside and crunchy on the outside and taste just like cookies-n-crème. I also put extra crushed cookies inside so the added texture just made the recipe that much better.

IMG_3483Chocolate + Marshmallow Macarons

This as well was a detour from the blog’s average scone, muffin and cupcake post. With Easter coming soon I wanted to do a twist on what’s normal for Easter; everyone remembers those marshmallow bunnies or eggs covered in chocolate and I opted to have those two flavors in a more sophisticated light. Macarons, like meringues, are French and fancy while marshmallows are childlike, sticky and sweet and these two together are something that can brighten up any holiday.

Top 5 ……. Ingredient Substitutions

  1. Buttermilk: in a recipe post this upcoming week we’re going to be making our own buttermilk; I don’t know if it’s because I just haven’t looked hard enough or if the supermarket I shop at doesn’t sell it but I can never find buttermilk; I found on Pinterest recipe substitutions and found buttermilk as one of them, simply using 1 cup (245 grams) of regular milk (any milk will do, I’m lactose intolerant, I made lactose buttermilk and it came out fine) and 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of white vinegar or lemon juice, mix it together and let it sit for 5 minutes and you have buttermilk. The acid in the vinegar/lemon juice curdles the milk enzymes to turn it into buttermilk and just like that you have buttermilk for a much cheaper price and you didn’t even have to leave your house.
  2. Cake Flour: cake flour is something a lot of bakers buy but not something someone who wants to bake a cake once in a while will have in their cabinet; cake flour does make any type of cake recipe your making better be it cupcakes, cake bread, a softer muffin or just your average cake, but it does add something to your sweet treats when you use it. It also happens to be more expensive and hard to find, and when you only use it occasionally it can go bad before you use the entire box. Using one cup (140 gram) of all-purpose flour, removing two tablespoons (20 grams) from the cup and replacing it with two tablespoons (16 grams) of cornstarch sifting it eight times, yes eight, will give you your own homemade cake flour. You must sift it that much because you want to make sure that the cornstarch is fully incorporated and equally diluted into the all-purpose flour. The cornstarch softens the flour and lightens it up as well during the baking process lending to a fluffier, lighter, more enjoyable cake and don’t worry no added flavors come from the cornstarch.
  3. Self-Rising Flour: growing up in my house if you didn’t have both all-purpose and self-rising flour we thought you were crazy; we cooked with both so often that it was a no brainer to pick up both at the supermarket and not one or the other; now that I’m an adult and I mainly only cook for myself or a few I sometimes negate buying a large bag of self-rising flour as it might go bad quicker than I would like to. To sometimes use a fake out of self-rising flour with all-purpose flour I’ll use one cup (140 grams) of all-purpose plus 1 1/2 teaspoon (6 grams) of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) of salt and sifting it multiple times. The baking powder mirrors the self-rising agent in self-rising flour and the salt gives the flour its own flavor.
  4. Egg Substitutions: nearly all of my recipes call for eggs and while I’m not vegan or vegetarian I know a few people who are that don’t have flax seeds or chia seeds at their beckon call; you can use 1/2 a mashed banana, 1/4 c. applesauce or 3 tablespoons of peanut butter in substitution for eggs. Don’t forget to be wary of the flavor each substitution will give to your baked good, try and match the substitution flavor so that it complements the flavors in the baked goods.
  5. Heavy Cream: there is a difference between heavy cream and heavy whipping cream, if you’re trying to make whipped cream then there really is no substitution and you’ll have to go out and buy some but if you simply need heavy cream for baking, say to make a ganache or it’s called for as an ingredient just use 3/4 c. (175 grams) of milk and 1/3 c. (80 grams) of melted and cooled butter or margarine. Heavy Cream has a lot more fat than regular milk, making it heavy, and adding melted cooled butter into milk adds additional fat to the milk making it a heavy cream. You can now substitute it with heavy cream and use it as your recipe dictates.

If you have any questions about these substitutions or you want more information about other possible substitutions just ask in the comments section. I also have a Helpful Hints and Suggestions Board on Pinterest which provide a variety of hints and tricks when it comes to baking and cooking.

 

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