Hi! Let’s get these articles off to a good start!
For all our first years, I’m Marigold Feathersweet, a sixth-year Hufflepuff. My family is a centuries-old confectionery-making family in the magical world. And in my second year, I started sharing that knowledge here in the Owl Post!! And I’m going to keep doing it this year! I enjoy helping people learn how to make nice treats.
This year, as I have in the past, I’m going to list some basic Vocabulary words you might see me using and next week will be some basic items. Just to help things out for the rest of the year. I’m likely going to miss a lot of them though as I’m used to them. So It may not occur to me to list it till I’m writing up a recipe. But no worries! I’ll explain it again in the recipe!
Aerate – this means to add air to what you are making. Usually by sifting it.
Al Dente – this means to cook something so it is firm, but not hard. It’s used for pasta a lot but also for some pastries
Batch – How many of something you’re making. Like a batch of cookies, a batch of cupcakes, a batch of fudge, etc
Bloom – it’s that white stuff you see on older bits of chocolate. It’s perfectly safe to eat just means it’s kinda old. It’s the Coco butter in it separating.
Caramelize -melting sugar till turns into a syrup, can also be used to refer to caramelising the sugars in something, like making caramelized onions.
Coats a Spoon – a method for telling if an egg-based mix or sauce is done. If it coats the back of a spoon in a thin layer it’s ready!
Creaming – what it’s called when you mix sugar and like butter or shorting into a smooth blend.
Crystallize – to turn a sweet syrup into crystals.
Direct Heat – when you cook the food right over the heat, like on a grill or in the toaster.
Dredge – to coat something lightly in flour, sugar, spices etc.
Drizzle – to lightly pour a liquid in a random pattern over something.
Dust – lightly sprinkle a powder onto something.
Firm Ball Stage – it’s a way to help you know how hot your liquid candy is at. Drop a teaspoon of syrup or whatever into cold water and it forms a firm ball that doesn’t flatten when you take it out of the water. It’s at the firm ball stage. This is usually around 242°F to 248°F
Firm Peaks – when whisking something like egg whites and they stand up to a point that doesn’t fall
Fold In – a method of mixing ingredients together. You put your lighter ingredients, like whipped cream, onto a heavier one, like melted chocolate, and then using a spatula you fold them together gently. You don’t stir it but slide it down the side of the bowl and flip the stuff over onto itself.
Grate – To rub a solid bit of food onto a grater to make smaller bits of it.
Hard Ball Stage -another stage like Firm ball- when you drop the syrup into the water it forms into a hard ball. 250°F and 265°F. A lot of candy is at this stage
Hard Crack Stage – yet another stage. It’s as HOT as you will ever need to get it. And there’s next to no water left in it. When you put the syrup into the water it turns into hard brittle threads that break not bend. 300°F to 310°F.
Jell – a way of setting food, usually by adding gelatin.
Pare – taking the skin off of a hard fruit or vegetable with a knife. Like with Apples and Potatoes.
Peel – different than pareing as you just use your hands to take the skin off. Like oranges and bananas.
Pulled Sugar – a way to turn boiled sugar into flowers or bows by pulling. A lot of hard candy is made this way.
Seize – chocolate does this if you don’t melt it right, it forms a gross lumpy mess that you can’t use for anything but just eating.
Soft Ball Stage – another way to tell a candy temperature. Put a teaspoon of syrup into the water and it forms a soft ball that you can smush with your fingers. 234°F – 240°F (112°C – 116°C).
Soft Crack Stage – Yet another way with the candy temp. Pour the syrup in the water and it turns into threads that bend but don’t crack. Unless you play with them too much. 270°F – 290°F (132°C – 143°C).
Steep – basically how you make tea. You let something soak in hot water, the temperature may vary, to move a flavor, color or whatnot into the water.
Tempering – If you don’t do this right your chocolate will seize up! It’s what you call melting chocolate to certain temperatures for use
Thread Stage – Yet another one of those candy stages. This time in the water it forms a soft short thread 230°F and 234°F.