Sugar High's Dufftionary: Ace Every Episode's Lingo
EPISODE 1: L.A. Desserts — Chillin' with Chocolate
- Creme egg — A milk chocolate shell houses a white and yellow fondant filling that mimics the white and egg yolk of a real egg.
- Pat (red bean paste) — Made by boiling and mashing red azuki beans, then sweetening the paste with sugar or honey. "Pat" is the Korean word for "bean."
- What determines the color of chicken eggs? The breed of the chicken determines the color of the egg. In many cases, a chicken’s earlobe tells the color of the egg: White earlobes will produce white eggs, while chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs. Keep in mind this does not affect the flavor of the eggs; only the chicken’s diet determines the flavor. And white and brown eggs have the same nutritional value.
EPISODE 2: Dallas Desserts — Down-Home And Made From Scratch
- What is gelatin? A translucent, colorless, brittle (when dry), flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. In its most basic form, commercially processed edible gelatin is a tasteless beige or pale yellow powder or granules. In the processed food industry, it is used a thickener, a gelling agent, a stabilizer and an emulsifier.
- What is "blooming" gelatin? Blooming gelatin is a step integral to ensuring the smooth texture of a finished product. It involves sprinkling the powdered gelatin into a cold liquid and letting it sit for three to five minutes. Then, when the mixture is heated, the gelatin will dissolve smoothly.
- Graham cracker — What makes a graham cracker a graham cracker? The true graham cracker can be made with graham flour, a type of coarse wheat flour that is high in fiber. Graham crackers are often used for making s'mores and pie crusts.
- Marshmallow — Traditional marshmallow was made with a combination of marshmallow root, corn syrup, sugar and flavorings. Today, since marshmallow root is more difficult to find, marshmallows are more typically made with gelatin instead of marshmallow root.
- Marshmallow vs. meringue — Gelatin and egg whites, even though some marshmallow recipes call for the use of egg whites.
- Peppermint vs. spearmint — Peppermint is a natural hybrid of spearmint and water mint.
- Whoopee pie — The whoopie pie is an American baked good that may be considered a cookie, pie or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, or sometimes pumpkin or gingerbread cake, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them. The Amish of Lancaster County, Pa., are usually credited with the invention of the whoopie pie, but it is not exactly known where whoopie pies originated. One version of the story says Amish women baked the pies for their husbands, who, upon opening their lunchboxes and seeing the tasty treat, exclaimed, "Whoopie!" Another version of this story says the children cried out for joy when they found whoopie pies for lunch.
EPISODE 3: New Orleans Desserts — Fire, Ice and Bacon!
- Simple syrup — Simple syrup is made by adding granulated sugar to water in a saucepan, cooking over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and then cooling the solution. Generally, the ratio of water to sugar can range anywhere from 1:1 to 2:1 or 3:1, heavy to thin densities.
- Cardamom — It is native to India and Southeast Asia. Cardamom has a delicately fragrant, slightly astringent flavor with warming qualities. Black cardamom is much stronger than green cardamom, with a strong, lasting, smoky flavor.
- Brain freeze — A form of brief cranial pain or a headache commonly associated with the consumption (particularly quick consumption) of cold beverages or foods such as ice cream and other cold treats. It happens when something cold touches the roof of the mouth (palate), and is believed to result from a nerve response causing rapid constriction and swelling of blood vessels or a "referring" of pain from the roof of the mouth to the brain.
- Proofing (dough) — This term is used by bakers. Proofing is the final step in making leavened bread or leavened dough before baking and refers to a specific rest period known as fermentation. Fermentation is a step in creating yeast breads and baked goods during which the yeast is dissolved in a warm liquid (sometimes with the addition of sugar) and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes; during this time, the yeast swells and becomes bubbly. This proves that the yeast is alive and active, meaning it is capable of leavening bread or other baked goods.
EPISODE 4: Chicago Desserts — Something Old, Something Bold and Something Rock'n'roll!
- History of Elvis’ love of peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches — Elvis was known for having interesting cravings, the most famous of which was the peanut butter and banana sandwich. Some reports say that bacon was also a favorite addition to this sandwich. He would eat the sandwich often on Hawaiian bread, with the bacon crisped and the peanut butter lathered on. The Fool’s Gold Loaf is a spin on this classic, but no banana and with the addition of grape jelly. It is a hollowed out loaf of bread, filled with one jar of peanut butter, one jar of grape jelly and 1 pound of bacon. As the story goes, Elvis heard of this Fool’s Gold Loaf from a few men visiting his home, Graceland. This sandwich was actually created at the Colorado Mine Company in Denver, so Elvis and the men hopped on his jet that night to try the sandwich in person.
- Slurry — A slurry is a combination of a liquid, sometimes water, and a starch, usually flour or cornstarch, which is added to a hot mixture as a thickening agent. Combining the thickener with liquid ensures a smooth texture in the new mixture. When adding a slurry, you want to stir it in and cook any raw flavors of starch out before serving.
- Tempering eggs — Tempering eggs is a culinary process essential to the success of making puddings and custards. This process keeps eggs from scrambling when added to a hot liquid. Start by whisking the eggs to combine the yolks and whites, then add a little bit of the hot liquid to the eggs while whisking. This “tempers” the heat and warms the eggs slowly without cooking them. The mixture can then be added back to the original hot liquid and fully combined. When properly incorporated, eggs have thickening properties that will help bring a custard to the appropriate consistency.
- Capillary action (when using a slurry with apples for strudel filling) – Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to flow against gravity where liquid spontaneously rises in a narrow space such as in porous materials.
- Phyllo dough — Directly translated, the Greek word means “leaf.” This is paper-thin sheets of unleavened pastry dough used for both sweet and savory preparations in Greek, Balkan and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is best known as the dough in baklava and spanakopita.
- Worcestershire sauce — Worcestershire sauce was originally bottled in Worcester, England, hence the name. It is a dark, thin liquid used to season meats, soups, stews and gravies; it is also used as a condiment. While there is no one formula for the sauce, it usually includes garlic, soy sauce, anchovies, molasses, onions, vinegar and various seasonings. It is pronounced WOOS-tuhr-shuhr or WOOS-tuhr-sheer.
- Demi-glace — A rich brown sauce in French cuisine used by itself or as a base for other sauces. The term comes from the French word "glace," which, used in reference to a sauce, means icing or glaze. It is traditionally made by combining equal parts of veal stock and sauce espagnole, the latter being one of the five mother sauces of classical French cuisine, and the mixture is then simmered and reduced by half.
EPISODE 5: Boston Desserts — Doughlicious!
- Semolina — Semolina comes from durum wheat and is coarser in texture than normal flours. Semolina is used to make pasta, as well as breakfast cereals and puddings.
- Why does pastry dough need to be wrapped in wax paper when it is left to chill? Pastry dough needs to be wrapped while chilling to keep it sanitary and smooth. Wax paper is one way to do it, but you can also use plastic wrap or a clean dish towel.
- Tuile — A tuile is a thin, crisp sweet or savory cookie or wafer made of dough or cheese. Originally from France, tuile means "tile" in French and is named after the shape of the French roof tiles it is supposed to resemble. They are commonly added as garnishes to desserts such as panna cotta or used as edible cups for sorbet or ice cream.
- Boston cream vs. Bavarian cream — What’s the difference? There’s no such thing as Boston Cream. Boston Cream Pie is a two-layer sponge cake with a thick custard-filled center, usually glazed with chocolate or sprinkled with powdered sugar. Bavarian cream is a cold dessert made with rich custard that has whipped cream folded into it, usually flavored with some fruit or chocolate and set with gelatin.
EPISODE 6: Philadelphia Desserts — Phreakin' Phenomenal!
- Couverture chocolate — Couverture chocolate is a very high-quality coating chocolate that professionals use because of its glossy visual appeal. It contains extra cocoa butter (32 percent to 39 percent). The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer "snap" when broken and a creamy mellow flavor. The total "percentage" cited on many brands of chocolate is based on some combination of cocoa butter in relation to cocoa solids (cacao). To be properly labeled as "couverture," the percentage of cocoa butter must be between 32 percent and 39 percent, and the total percentage of the combined cocoa butter plus cocoa solids must be at least 54 percent. Sugar makes up the remainder, and up to 1 percent may be made up of vanilla — and sometimes soy lecithin.
- Milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate vs. white chocolate — Dark chocolate is an all-encompassing term for unsweetened, bittersweet and semisweet chocolate, but it does not include milk or white chocolate. The level of sweetness in dark chocolate is determined by the amount of sugar, lecithin and vanilla added to its makeup of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. Milk chocolate contains at least 12 percent milk solids with the addition of dry milk. White chocolate actually has no chocolate liquor at all (which makes it technically not a chocolate). Instead, white chocolate is a combination of cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids, lecithin and vanilla.
- Macaron vs. macaroon — Macaron is the French word; macaroon is the English version. French macarons are small merengue-based cookies made from egg whites, sugar and ground almonds or paste. These cookies can be sandwiched together with cream or fruit fillings and come in a variety of colors and flavors. Coconut macaroons are more commonly found in the U.S. and are made of egg whites and shredded coconut. These can be found sometimes dipped in chocolate and have a chewy, more cookie-like texture.
- Magma stage (when making macaron batter) — This is actually not a technical culinary term. Many talk about the visual cue when you know the batter is ready for piping as “flowing like magma.” More technically, it is at a thick, ribbon-like stage — when you use a spoon to lift and let the batter flow, it falls back onto itself like thick ribbons.