Chef Nicole's Baking Tips
Tips on icing, low gluten baking and more
Chef Nicole Juliano Peranick, with a new kitchen in Westport, also has a business called With Love From The Cupboard! How perfectly timed as the baking season (some call it holiday season) arrives. Chef Nicole also provides a Recreate-A-Recipe service, which allows clients to submit a traditional recipe that Chef Nicole brings to life through her expertise and sophisticated pallet. She can also provide tips/steps on how to recreate an old family Holiday Recipe if that is of interest. We approached this busy chef for a few tips, and here's what she shared.
Tips on ingredient substitutions for older recipes that are more traditional:
- Use Baking Soda if a recipe calls for soda or Bicarbonate of Soda
- Powder Sugar is another term for ‘Confectioners’ Sugar’
- If a recipe requires “Fresh Sweet Milk” then “Fresh Whole Milk” can be used
- Mace is a spice that can be interchangeable with Nutmeg
- Pot Cheese is a specific type of cheese (cross between cottage cheese and farmer's cheese), but can be substituted for or with Ricotta Cheese.
Tips on how best to use ingredients when baking
- Gluten Tip: Cake Flour is a specific type of flour with a lower gluten content than All Purpose and Bread Flour. If a recipe calls for cake flour and you can only find 'Self-Rising Cake Flour" in the store, simply use this flour 1:1 in the recipe, but eliminate the baking powder and salt in the recipe as these ingredients are already included this flour and in the right proportions.
- Tip when Baking with Nuts and/or Dried Fruit: If a recipe (like loaf bread or muffin) uses dried fruits, whole nuts, raisins, etc -- add a pinch of flour or just enough to lightly coat the dried fruit/nut before adding it to the batter. This technique prevents the fruits/nuts from falls to the bottom of the pan.
- Homemade Icing/Frosting Tip: When making icings/frostings that call for confectioners'/powdered sugar, sift it first and add it gradually to the mixture to prevent clumps from forming in your icing.