Sunday, December 16, 2007

Emergency Baking substitutions

So you're in the kitchen and open your cabinet to get out the ingredients to bake and find that the kids have used up the last of something and neglected to tell you. What to do, what to do?

Here are some handy substitutions. Actually, many of these are useful for everyday cooking. You know what the ingredients are! For instance, most baking powders have Alum in it. Do you know what "alum" is. Aluminum! Yep, the stuff that's been indited as a culprit in Alzheimer's. I'm under the impression that there are only 2 brands available. One is found in health food stores. I don't remember the name brand. The other is Rutherford's. The Rutherford's is a double acting, but you can make your own single acting powder.

Baking Powder (single acting)
This works well, but doesn't store well. Also, you need more of this than you do commercial.
2 Teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon Baking SODA (sodium bicarb)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Mix together and add to your flour. (Use about half again what the recipe calls for)

Cake Flour
For each cup of cake flour you want, measure 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch into a 1 cup measure, then spoon in enough flour to make 1 cup. Level off and sift together.

Self-Rising Flour
8 cups flour
5 Tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt

Mix together, then sift a couple of times. Store in an airtight container. (Don't use homemade baking powder unless you're going to bake with the flour immediately.)

Confectioners' sugar
Put 1/4 cup regular sugar into the container of your blender and blend at highest speed for 2 mins. Stop the blender once in a while to push the powdered sugar off the sides of the container.
If you use a food processor, you can process up to 1 cup at a time.

1 cup regular sugar = 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups in a blender and a bit more in the processor.

To stop it from clumping together, mix in 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch to each 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar. (Store-bought sugar has the cornstarch in it so it won't mess up your recipe.)

Commercial powdered sugar is a little finer powder than what you can do in a blender, so know that 3/4 cup of your homemade sugar is equal to one cup of commercial stuff. 2 1/4 teaspoons is equal to 1 Tablespoon of commercial.

If your processor can make 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar from 1 cup of regular sugar, then you won't need to make any adjustments.

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