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Baking powder does not last forever. Because it’s sensitive to moisture and humidity, it generally has a shelf life of between six months to one year. Baking powder should be kept in a cool, dry place, such as inside a cabinet, and should be discarded when it is no longer active. (Its cousin, baking soda*, has an indefinite shelf life, although some manufacturers recommend changing…

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The main questions I get about substitutions are these: Can I reduce the sugar in a recipe? How can I make a recipe gluten-free? Can I make this with a different kind of nut, or make it nut-free? What can I use in place of the corn syrup in a recipe? What can I do if I want to use a different pan size? Because these…

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Because I live outside the United States, sometimes people inquire about where they can obtain the same ingredients or equipment wherever they live—worldwide. Although I strive to make the recipes and stories as globalized as possible, infrequently I will use an ingredient or equipment that might not necessarily be as easily available to others as it is to me. So I’m sharing the same search…

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Clarified butter is used when you’ll be frying something either for an extended period or over high heat. For those times when you want the flavor of butter, rather than oil, you’ll want to use clarified butter can stand being cooked longer, and to a higher temperature, than regular butter. Clarifying butter removes the milk solids, which are what causes the butter to burn if cooked for…

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What’s the difference between Dutch-process and natural cocoa powder? Dutch-process cocoa powder is made from cocoa (cacao) beans that have been washed with a potassium solution, to neutralize their acidity. Natural cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are simply roasted, then pulverized into a fine powder. What does Dutching do? Aside from neutralizing the acidity, Dutching cocoa powder makes it darker (see photo…

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Bakers who tackle French recipes get stumped by the sugars, which don’t necessarily correspond to the sugars available elsewhere. All supermarkets in France carry white granulated sugar and there’s often unrefined sugars, such as cassonade, which grocers stock and are widely-available. In America and elsewhere, bakers often have to do a bit of hunting around to find the corresponding sugar. French brown sugars are quite…

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Over the years, a number of people have asked if it was possible to bring a KitchenAid mixer from the United States to Europe, and use it here. I certainly couldn’t live without my 5-quart mixer, and since they’re less expensive in America than they are abroad (because of the electrical modifications and shipping), many folks, naturally, want to know if they can bring their…

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To Use Powdered Gelatin -Sprinkle the granules of gelatin over the surface cold water or liquid. Use 1/4 cup, 60ml, or whatever quantity is called for in the recipe, per envelope. Do not dump them in a pile, as the granules in the middle won’t dissolve. -Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. -Add warm liquid or heat gently, stirring until dissolved. To verify the…

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A subject, and and ingredient, comes up frequently when talking about baking and candy making. And that’s about using corn syrup in recipes. I use it judiciously when it will make a discernible difference in a recipe. For those of you who are regular readers of the site and my books, you’ll notice almost all of the time, I rarely use pre-packaged or convenience foods in my…

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