How to Use a Kitchen Scale

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  1. Turn your kitchen scale on using the power button
  2. Place a bowl on top of the kitchen scale for measuring.
  3. Push the power button or scale tare button to make the scale go to zero.
  4. Change the measurements by using the other button for what your recipe requires. Change the measurements to grams, fluid ounces, ounces, milliliters, or lbs.
  5. Pour your ingredient into the bowl until you reach your desired measurement.
  6. Add your ingredient to your recipe. You can reuse the same bowl for your next food to measure. But make sure you zero the scale again after you place the bowl on the scale.
How to Use a Kitchen Scale

Scale tare vs Zero

A scale when turned on measures zero.

When a bowl is added to the kitchen scale, this adds weight.

You can use the scale “tare” button to make the scale measure zero again.

According to the scale you can now measure your ingredient, without having to worry about how much the bowl weighs.

The scale tare tells the scale you don’t want to measure anything you have added to it yet, aka the bowl your using to measure your ingredient.

What foods can you use a kitchen scale for?

Where can you find recipes measured by weight?

King Arthur Flour and The Joy of Baking have all of their recipes in weight and volume.

Is it better to weigh ingredients when baking

Weighing ingredients is more accurate than using measuring cups.

Measuring cups use volume to obtain the amount needed for a recipe.

This doesn’t take into account packing brown sugar, flour that has been packed into a measuring cup, or just sifted flour.

Weighing ingredients takes all of these concerns into account because air doesn’t add weight to the food.

Therefore, weighing the ingredient is the most precise, accurate measurement you can get when baking.

Why are measuring spoons measured with volume and not weight?

Measuring spoons are measured with volume instead of weight because they are very small amounts.

These low weight foods generally cannot be measured accurately with a kitchen scale because the weight is too low for a large kitchen scale. Kitchen scales can measure heavy weights over 10 lbs.

You would need a much smaller scale with a smaller weight range (only up to 15 g or 0.03 lbs) to accurately measure the weight used by measuring spoons.

Kitchen scales are not calibrated to measure very low weights.

These small volumes do not dramatically change recipes because of their size.

Therefore, measuring spoons are ok to use volume to measure instead of being weighed.

How to Use the Paddle Attachment for Stand Mixer

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A stand mixer comes with several attachments including the paddle attachment, also known as the flat beater attachment.

The paddle attachment is used for heavy duty mixing.

The paddle attachment can be used at the beginning of a recipe when you’re creaming fat, eggs, and sugar together. Cookies are made using this method, and then you can continue using the stand mixer for the rest of the recipe. The paddle attachment is heavy duty, and can beat this thick batter together.

The paddle attachment is used for making several recipes including:

  • cookies
  • icing
  • pancake batter
  • crepe batter

Other uses for the paddle attachment include:

  • creaming butter
  • creaming cream cheese
  • creaming butter with eggs and sugar
What is the Paddle Attachment Used For

Paddle attachment vs Whisk attachment

The whisk attachment is used to aerate foods like egg whites and whipping cream.

The whisk attachment is a sphere shape and uses a circular motion to mix, whereas the paddle attachment beats with a large flat paddle.

The whisk attachment is used for making whipping cream and making soft or stiff peaks with egg whites.

The paddle attachment isn’t able to perform these tasks due to the different shape of the attachment and the motion it mixes in.

The paddle attachment is used for beating fat and creaming sugar and eggs together to make batter. The paddle attachment is used for heavy mixing and thick ingredients.

The whisk attachment is used for more lighter ingredients and adds more air in the ingredients. This creates small bubbles which makes the egg whites or whipping cream turn into a different state.

The whipping cream will become soft peaks, perfect for serving. The egg whites will become soft peaks, and then stiff peaks. This creates foods for soufflés, twice baked potatoes, meringues, etc.

Paddle attachment vs Whisk attachment

When not to use the paddle attachment

For foods like cakes, scones, and muffins, they need to mixed until only just combined, otherwise they become tough by developing the gluten too much with vigorous mixing. Therefore, you do not want to use the paddle attachment to mix these sorts of quick breads.

How to Use a Candy Thermometer

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  1. Select a saucepan that is small enough to have your candy thermometer bulb in the contents of your ingredients. The saucepan size should allow for the ingredients to be bubbling at the surface.
  2. Attach the clip of your candy thermometer to the edge of the saucepan. Slide the thermometer down to the lowest point so the metal portion touches the bottom of the saucepan. The bulb will be above the bottom of your saucepan. If it was touching the bottom of the saucepan it has the potential to explode due to the direct heat.
  3. Add your contents to the saucepan. Start cooking on 3 on your burner. You want to slowly add heat, and even on 3, the contents will go up to temperature.
  4. Only stir your ingredients as needed. Sometimes with foods like caramel sauce, you just leave the saucepan to bubble and come up to temperature without stirring.
  5. When your food has come to temperature, remove it from the heat source. Put oven mitts on and gently remove the candy thermometer from the sauce pan. Let it cool on a cutting board, or on your stovetop where it is heat safe to cool.
  6. If you have to add any other ingredients to it at this point, use oven mitts to add the foods to the hot contents. Stir gently.
How to Use a Candy Thermometer

How to clean a candy thermometer

To clean a candy thermometer, do not soak it fully. Gently place the dirty end in a bit of soapy water and let the food dissolve. Wipe clean with a cloth gently. You don’t want to use that much force since the bulb is glass. Set it to try on a drying rack.

How do you read a candy thermometer

A candy thermometer is read by looking at the mercury and then the measurement beside it where it lines up exactly. The thermometer will have both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Be sure to check which side you’re reading the thermometer, versus what your recipe requires.

What is the difference between a candy thermometer and a regular thermometer

A regular thermometer cannot be left in extremely hot contents. A candy thermometer can be left in very hot foods, and read at extremely high temperatures (400 degrees F). A regular thermometer is not able to read high temperatures because it isn’t calibrated to read that high.

How does a candy thermometer help when making candy

A candy thermometer will help when making candy because it can be cooked until the exact degree of measurement needed for a candy recipe.

Candy can range from being soft, firm, hard, soft-crack, or hard crack.

This means that you need a candy thermometer to help determine the exact measurement for your recipe. There isn’t a way to guess the temperature or how “cooked” the sugar is.

What the 5 stages of sugar

Sugar StageTemperature in FahrenheitTypes of Candy Made
Soft Stage235-240Fondant, pralines, fudge
Firm Stage245-250Individual Caramels
Hard Stage250-265Nougat, gummies, rock candy, marshmallows
Soft-Crack Stage270-290Butterscotch, saltwater taffy
Hard-Crack Stage300-310Caramel, toffee, peanut brittle, lollipops

What temperature does sugar burn at

Sugar burns at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once sugar has burned, there isn’t anything you can do to mitigate the burnt, bitter flavor. Restart the sugar again on a low temperature to make sure your sugar doesn’t burn.

What temperature does a candy thermometer go to

A candy thermometer measures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.

How to use a Pastry Blender

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A pastry blender is used for cutting fat into flour. A pastry blender is a tool that bakers use to cut fat into small pieces for a buttery flaky effect for specific baked goods.

What is a good substitute for a pastry blender

A good substitute for a pastry blender is 2 butter knives. Use the knives parallel to each other and cut away from each other. This should create strips of butter. Turn the bowl in the opposite direction and repeat until you’re butter is in pea sized pieces.

Is a pastry blender necessary

A pastry blender is necessary for recipes like scones and pie crusts. You can use alternatives, but it will take you longer, and you may not be able to cut the butter as small. Pastry blenders are able to cut butter into the appropriate sizes effortlessly.

What can you use instead of a pastry blender

Instead of a pastry blender, you can use 2 butter knives to cut your butter into small pieces for your recipe. Alternatively, you could use a potato masher, but it’s very difficult when the butter is cold. Typically when you’re cutting in fat to flour, you want the butter cold, so try the 2 knives method first.

What does a pastry blender make?

A pastry blender makes fat (butter, etc.) into small pieces in baking recipes. A pastry blender makes scones and pie crust flaky.

What is a pastry blender used for

A pastry blender is used for baking scones and pie crust. The butter is cold when you’re adding it to your recipe – coarse crumbs of butter.

A pastry blender creates a flaky effect with the butter for your baked goods. A pastry blender cuts fat into small pieces which melt in your dough. This creates a thin layer of fat which flakes the pastry dough.

For recipes that have cut in fat, the dough is not meant to be manipulated too much. It’s meant to be only mixed until just combined. If you mix too much the dough will be too stiff. Only mix until it’s combined, and stick it in the oven to bake. When it comes out of the oven, you’ll see the flakes of butter have melted into your pastry.

What does a pastry blender look like

A pastry blender looks like a U shape, with slats of metal on the bottom end. The separated slats of metal cut hard butter to create smaller pieces resembling coarse crumbs.

how to use a pastry blender
what coarse crumbs looks like after using a pastry blender

Learn what is the best pastry blender is and how to use it for your next baking recipe.

Aluminum Baking Sheets Pros Cons and Safety

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ProsCons
Even heat distributionHand wash only
Conducts heat wellReacts with acidic foods - (not usable for tomatoes, rhubarb)
Resists warpingReplace when damaged - risk of aluminum being absorbed into food
Withstands temperatures up to 580 degrees FUse a Silicone mat to ensure safe use of aluminum pan

Are aluminum baking pans safe to use?

Aluminum baking pans are safe to use. When you use an aluminum baking pan, you could consume up to 1-2 mg of aluminum. This is a safe amount to consume. The WHO estimates 50 mg/day is acceptable for adults.

If aluminum pans become damaged with scratches or pits, this can cause more aluminum to leach out into your food. The longer your food comes in contact with the aluminum surface, the more aluminum will be absorbed into the food.

You can always use a silicone baking mat as a barrier between your baking pan and your food that you are cooking.

Avoid baking acidic foods on aluminum baking pans. Acidic foods like tomatoes and rhubarb can have a reaction to aluminum and cause the pan to break down, leaching more aluminum into your food.

What is the best material for baking sheets?

Aluminum is the best material for baking sheets.

Why?

Aluminum is the best metal at conducting heat over other baking sheets like stainless steel. They resist warping, and are extremely sturdy and durable. Aluminum baking pans conduct heat evenly throughout the pan. Aluminum is a light colored baking sheet; it doesn’t absorb heat like other metals, such as stainless steel. With a lighter colored pan, you can bake your food for a shorter amount of time than if you used a stainless steel pan. Aluminum baking sheets are used in high grade commercial bakeries around the globe.

How do you clean aluminum baking sheets?

To clean your aluminum baking sheets, soak them with soap and water and wash with a cloth until clean. Allow the pan to air dry completely before storage. Do not wash aluminum baking sheets in the dishwasher as this can cause them to oxidize and break down.

aluminum baking pan how to add sprinkles to macarons

What is the Best Pastry Blender and How to Use it

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What is the purpose of a pastry blender?

A pastry blender cuts butter or shortening into smaller pieces, creating “coarse crumbs”.

How to use a pastry blender?

  1. Place flour, baking powder/baking soda, salt, sugar into your recipe. Mix well.
  2. Add butter/shortening.
  3. Cut the butter using your pastry blender. When you cut the butter move your wrist to make a ¼ turn at the end to mix it into your flour.
  4. Cut your butter with your pastry blender until the butter looks about ½ cm pieces aka coarse crumbs. The butter will all be covered in your flour mixture.
how to use a pastry blender
what coarse crumbs looks like after using a pastry blender

How do you cut butter in a recipe?

  1. Make sure your butter is cold, right out of the refrigerator.
  2. Cut your butter into your flour mixture by pressing your pastry blender into the butter, cutting right through to the bottom of the butter. If it’s too hard, just try cutting smaller pieces off of the top until it’s a bit easier to work with.
  3. Once it’s a bit more worked in, cut your pastry blender into your flour with a ¼ turn at the end to completely mix it into your flour mixture.
  4. Cut all of the butter with your pastry blender until your butter is in small pieces ~½ cm.

How do you clean a pastry blender?

Rinse the pastry blender with a bit of water, or soak in some soap and water. Once the majority of your butter/flour is off of the pastry blender, place it on the top rack of your dishwasher to fully clean it.

Is a pastry blender necessary?

Yes. Using a pastry blender is one of the hand tools recommended for making pastry. Making pastry is already difficult enough, especially without the right tools.

What is the Best Pastry Blender?

The best pastry blender is the Spring Chef Pastry Blender.

Why?

  • Strong stainless steel blades – twice as thick as a regular pastry blender
  • Built to last – they want you to pass on your pastry blender to a future generation 
  • Heavy duty
  • Ergonomic round handle grip for small-medium sized hands
  • Thick rubber handle for more give for your hands
  • Cuts cold butter with ease

What else can you use a pastry blender for?

You can use it to mash up avocado, cooked sweet potatoes, potatoes, or butternut squash. 

How to make Frozen Rosé at Home

How to make Frozen How to make Frozen Rose at home
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Step by step guide on how to make frozen rosé at home using an ice cream maker.

What do you need to make frozen rosé?

How do you make frozen rosé?

  1. Freeze ice cream bowl for 24 hours.
  2. Chill rosé wine overnight in fridge.
  3. Place ice cream bowl into ice cream maker.
  4. Turn ice cream maker on.
  5. Pour rosé wine into ice cream maker.
  6. Let churn for 15-20 min.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
frozen rose beverage how to make

How to store leftover frozen rosé?

  • store in an airtight container in the freezer
  • let thaw for 10-20 min at room temperature before serving
how to store frozen rose

How to Make Your Own Chocolate Ice Cream at Home

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Making your own chocolate ice cream at home is easy, but time consuming. Making ice cream usually takes a couple of days because there are multiple steps involved with different temperatures. To make your own ice cream, you’ll need your own ice cream maker

chocolate ice cream at home

What are the parts of an ice cream maker? 

The mixing paddle sits in the center of the appliance. 

The base of the ice cream maker is the electrical portion that turns the bowl and has the on/off controls.

The bowl of the ice cream maker is made with a special liquid inside the bowl walls. The liquid is able to freeze when put into the freezer. The whole bowl should be frozen solid after about 24 hours.

How does the ice cream maker work?

The ice cream maker freezes your ice cream slowly by creating small ice crystals with your mixture. The mixture comes in contact with the walls of the frozen bowl, making the mixture drop in temperature until it freezes into the ice crystals.

After about 20-25 minutes the ice cream maker creates “soft serve”.

How long to freeze the ice cream after it’s done churning?

Overnight is easiest, but give it at least 6 hours to freeze completely.

Thaw for 10 minutes at room temperature when you’re ready to eat your ice cream.

How to temper eggs for making ice cream?

  1. Separate eggs into egg yolks and egg whites. You only need the egg yolks.
  2. Select a large bowl for the egg yolks to be in. Add sugar.
  3. Using a whisk, mix the eggs yolks and sugar together
  4. Using your hot cream, slowly add 1-2 tbsp of hot cream to the bowl with the egg yolks and sugar.
  5. Quickly whisk the hot cream and egg mixture.
  6. Slowly add 1-2 tbsp of your hot cream mixture at a time to your egg mixture until it’s fully combined. Go VERY slow. This is not a rush, it takes time. The more quickly you go, the risk of cooking the eggs which will ruin your ice cream. No one wants cooked eggs in their ice cream!
  7. Add the egg/cream mixture back to the saucepan and continue cooking over low-medium heat until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon.
how to make chocolate ice cream

How to make Chocolate Ice Cream

how to make chocolate ice cream at home using an ice cream maker
Prep Time15 mins
Active Time25 mins
Refrigerator/Freezer Time9 hrs
Total Time9 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: ice cream
Yield: 10 servings

Equipment

  • Ice Cream Maker
  • Thermometer

Materials

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Measure out and add heavy cream and half and half to a saucepan on medium heat.
  • Add cocoa powder and whisk together until smooth and at a low simmer.
  • Place your egg yolks to a large bowl. Add sugar.Using a whisk, mix the eggs yolks and sugar together.
  • Using your hot cream, slowly add 1-2 tbsp of hot cream to the bowl with the egg yolks and sugar. Quickly whisk the hot cream and egg mixture. Slowly add 1-2 tbsp of your hot cream mixture at a time to your egg mixture until it's fully combined.
  • Add the egg/cream mixture back to the saucepan and continue cooking over low-medium heat until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Cook until it reaches 175 degrees F.
  • Let the mixture come to room temperature. Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Refrigerate for 6 hours.
  • Retrieve your ice cream maker bowl from the freezer (needs to be frozen for 24 hours). Place bowl into your ice cream maker and add mixer and lid. Turn on your ice cream maker. Pour ice cream into the maker. Churn for 20-25 min. Freeze for 3 hours before serving.
chocolate ice cream with caramel and oreo crumbs

How Do You Make Coconut Ice Cream

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Coconut ice cream is just about as rich and creamy as regular ice cream. Usually regular ice cream is made by tempering egg yolks, heavy cream and half and half.

Coconut milk ice cream doesn’t require any of that. It’s just as tasty and rich, with much less work.

When making coconut milk ice cream, you can pretty much add any extra flavoring you like:

  • lavender buds (cooking with coconut milk, then strain afterwards. Add food coloring if desired)
  • earl grey tea (steep for 3-4 min)
  • rose petals (cooking with coconut milk, then strain afterwards. Add food coloring if desired)
  • basil (cooking with coconut milk, then blend in a food processor afterwards. Add food coloring if desired)
  • espresso (add coffee into the coconut cream mixture when heating + 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extra when cooling to room temperature)
  • vanilla (add vanilla extract into the coconut cream mixture when it’s cooling at room temperature, before refrigerating)
  • raspberry/blackberry (add berries at the end, when the ice cream mixture is churning in the ice cream maker, or blend berries with coconut cream in a food processor)
  • chocolate (add 1/4 cup cocoa powder per 1 coconut milk can + 1/4 cup sugar/honey + 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • caramel (add caramel when it’s churning to marble the caramel throughout the ice cream)
  • mint chocolate chip (2 tsp peppermint extract + 1/2 cup honey + 1 tsp vanilla extract [when cooling], add 3 ounces of shaved [use a potato peeler] dark chocolate when it’s churning the ice cream)
lavender earl grey vanilla ice cream

Does coconut milk taste coconuty?

  • When you’re adding flavors to it – no. The flavor you’re adding to it will overpower the coconut taste. If you’re not adding any flavors, yes it will taste like coconut. But it’s a fairly neutral flavor that will not be too strong of a flavor

Is coconut milk ice cream dairy free?

  • yes and it’s vegan!

What type of coconut milk should I use for ice cream?

  • Use full fat coconut milk so it’s rich and creamy texture and smoothness comes through

What types of sweetener can you use with coconut milk ice cream?

  • honey
  • sugar
  • maple syrup

How to make coconut ice cream?

  1. Freeze ice cream bowl for minimum 24 hours
  2. Measure out your coconut milk (usually 1 or 2 cans) and add it to your medium saucepan over low-medium heat.
  3. Add sugar/sweetner to your coconut milk.
  4. Add tea/lavender/herbs/coffee to mixture. Cook on medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon (8-10 min).
  5. Remove from heat. Add extracts once your mixture has started to cool down.
  6. Add berries and puree with food processor (be careful not to keep it closed in due to the steam).
  7. Chill the mixture for minimum 6 hours.
  8. Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker for 15-20 min. (Add berries/caramel towards the end of the churning process)
  9. Freeze mixture for 3-12 hours before serving in an airtight container.
  10. Thaw for 10 min at room temperature before serving.
vegan espresso ice cream
Vegan Coconut Milk Espresso Ice Cream

How to Dust Powdered Sugar

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Powdered Sugar is dusted by using a sifter to separate the powdered sugar into dust form. 

How to put a dusting of powdered sugar for a decoration on the top of your recently made creation:

  1. Put about ¼ cup powdered sugar into a sifter
  2. Place over your creation, touch the side of the sifter with a bit of force to let the sugar be dusted onto the creation
  3. Move the sifter to a different location until the whole item is covered to your liking.
how to dust powdered sugar with sifter

What is a sifter?

A sifter is used in the kitchen to separate clumps of food. It looks like a mesh bowl with a handle. It looks similar to a strainer, but it has a long handle. The mesh on a sifter is very fine, unlike a strainer which is a bit larger. This way, it will have to pass through very small holes creating only a tiny amount of icing sugar passing through at a time.

This creates the “dust” look on a dessert

How does the sifter work?

A sifter increases the surface area of the icing sugar by separating it. 

Sifters are made of stainless steel. They resist wear and tear, and you can put them in the dishwasher when they are very dirty. 

How to clean a sifter?

Tap the sifter on the garbage can, or into the sink to get the excess off. Wash with soap and water when you want to give it a good clean after a few uses.

Only use your sifter when it’s fully dry. Otherwise, you’ll have clumps of icing sugar that will not be able to pass through your sifter.

Dusting powdered sugar onto your dessert is easily done by using a sifter and about ¼ cup of powdered sugar. Tap the sifter gently to dust lightly onto the food. Add more as needed.

how to dust powdered sugar