There’s nothing more relaxing than baking up a fresh batch of cookies or muffins. Whether you’re whipping up a batch of cookies for a party or rustling up a cake for someone’s birthday, being able to create sweet treats from scratch is always impressive. But if you’ve never baked before, the process can seem daunting. Where do you start? What ingredients do you need? And what equipment will you need to get hold of? Never fear – we’re here to help.
In this article, we’ll share with you six essential ingredients that every baker needs in their cupboard (or should have easy access to). From high-quality dried fruits sourced directly from a dried fruit supplier to fresh eggs, these ingredients will help you create a variety of sweet treats for your friends and family. Read on to find out what they are!
Dairy & Fats
Cream, milk and butter are all dairy products that can be used in baking. They add flavour, moisture and richness to cakes, biscuits and pastries. In addition to being delicious, they also help keep these items moist for longer. For example, cake flour has a lower protein content than all-purpose flour, which means it will absorb more liquid than its all-purpose counterpart. This makes it ideal for recipes that require the use of cream or milk.
Eggs are another key ingredient in baking because they help bind ingredients together, provide structure and add lift to cakes. You’ll need to make sure you get the right amount of eggs as well as what type of egg, this is going to be important when making your batter or dough. For example, if you want a light sponge cake, then you should use large eggs, whereas if you want something really fluffy, then medium eggs would be better suited!
Flour is an essential ingredient in most baked goods because it provides structure and texture; however, there are different types available depending on your recipe. In general, plain flour contains between 70-100g per 100ml; this will give you a more dense batter, which is great for cakes like Victoria Sponge. Self-raising flour has around 130g per 100ml; this gives a lighter texture that’s perfect if you have an airy sponge cake in mind. Other flours can also be used depending on your recipe; these include strong white bread or wholemeal.
Sugar is a key ingredient in any recipe. It helps to sweeten your food, but it also helps with browning and caramelization during cooking. Sugar can be used in cakes, cookies, pastries and even savoury dishes like barbecue sauces or glazes. There are a number of different types of sugar available, from granulated white sugar to light brown sugar and dark brown sugar. Caster sugar is also a common type of sugar used in baking, as it dissolves quickly and easily into batters or other liquids.
Extracts and Flavorings
Extracts and flavourings are essential ingredients to have on hand if you’re a baker. When it comes to flavouring your baked goods, you have plenty of options available. Here are the most common ones you should keep in stock
Vanilla extract is made from vanilla beans that have been soaked in alcohol or water. It’s the most popular flavouring for everything from baked goods to ice cream to cocktails! If you don’t have any vanilla extract on hand, try using another extract such as almond or maple instead.
Almond extract is made from bitter almonds and has a distinct taste that does not smell like almonds at all! Instead, this flavour tastes like marzipan or coconut candy (which is why many people use it in recipes for those foods). You can use almond extract anywhere you’d use vanilla extract — just be careful not to add too much, since it has a strong flavour!
Cinnamon is one of those flavours that go well with almost anything — especially cookies! Whether you prefer traditional cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon powder (which is easier to measure out), this ingredient is a staple in many recipes and should be used in moderation. Cinnamon has a strong flavour when used correctly; however, overusing this spice can cause your cookies not to taste good! So, try adding small amounts at first, then increasing gradually until you’re satisfied with how much is just right.
And last but not least, we have baking soda! This is another key ingredient for leavening (making things rise), so it’s often used in conjunction with baking powder. It also has a neutralizing effect, which means that it can help balance out the acidity in a recipe. For example, if you were making a chocolate cake and wanted to add some coffee for flavour without making the cake too acidic, adding a bit of baking soda would do the trick.
So, there you have it, six common ingredients found in most kitchens that can be used to make a cake! Of course, there are endless variations and flavour combinations when it comes to cakes, so don’t be afraid to experiment. And if all else fails, you can always just buy a box mix ;).