The Boarding House
Custom Bakers & Chocolatiers

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Glossary Of Dessert Terms - A

A la Carte:
To cook to order as rather than cooking ahead in large batches.
A la Mode: In America it describes cake, pie, pudding or any other dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream. In French cooking it describes beef pot roast, larded with fat, braised with vegetables and simmered in a sauce. 
Acid: A substance having a sour or sharp flavor. Foods normally designate to as acidic include lemon juice (citric acid), vinegar, cream of tartar, orange juice, pineapple juice and wine. Acidity is measured on the pH scale; acids have a pH of less than 7.
Acidify: To make sour or more sour, in food preparation by adding acid lemon juice or vinegar to a item to made it sour.

Acidulated Water: The addition of lemon juice or vinegar to cold water in order to prevent discoloration of some fruits and vegetables. The simple mixture is made by: adding 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar, to every pint of water.
Adulterated Food: Food items that have been contaminated to the point that it is considered unfit for human consumption.
Aerate: Also known as sift. To pass dry ingredients through a fine-mesh sifter so large pieces can be removed leaving no lumps. The process also incorporates air to make ingredients such as; flour lighter.
Aeration: The addition of air into the batter or dough. Proper aeration is a function of the solid-fat crystals in the shortening, butter or margarine and requires that they be of the right type, size and shape.
Aftertaste: The taste that remains in the mouth after a food has been swallowed.
Air cells: The tiny air pockets found inside most baked products. Known technically as the "crumb", these air cells are trapped inside the webbing of starch and protein.
Airbrush: A small paint gun using an air compressor pump to spray food coloring finely and evenly on cakes, cupcakes or cookies. Excellent for making backgrounds on cakes.
Airtight Container: Containers that prevent food from becoming dried out. The most popular type of airtight containers are plastic with tight-fitting lids, we use airtight containers to store many of the bulk items at the bakery, such as flour, sugar, nuts, baking powder, and etc. We also use many of them to store baked goods after they have cooled such as, cookies, muffins, pecan rolls etc. Airtight containers are available in many different sizes, shapes and materials. 
Albumen: The protein content of the white of an egg.
Albumin: Refers generally to any protein with water solubility, which is moderately soluble in concentrated salt solutions, and experiences heat coagulation.
Alkalized Cocoa Powder: A Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder that is treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids. Because it is neutral and does not react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids. It gives a deep chocolate flavor to baked goods, and its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes.

All-Purpose Flour: One of the most commonly used and readily accessible flours in the U.S. on grocery shelves. It is a mixture of equal parts of hard and soft wheat with a small amount of barley malt added to increase enzyme activity to break starches into sugars on which yeast feeds. Protein levels are between 10% and 1`1 %. Excellent for cookies, lean bread formulas, cakes Bisquick and pizza crust. All-Purpose flour is suitable for most baking purposes.
Allspice: A single spice, rather than a combination of all spices. Allspice has a flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, thus the name "allspice".
Allumette: Any of various match stick size puff pastry items made in thin sticks or strips.
Almond Paste: Its a smooth heavy dough made of ground almonds. Used in making candies and pastries.
Almond Powder: Almond Powder is made from ground blanched almonds. Almond Powder adds richness and depth to desserts which is unmatchable, used for baking cookies and cakes, or mix in as part of the necessary flour. Almond Powder is great in pancakes; though only 1/3 rd of the flour should be almond powder.
Alpine Shortening: Alpine is a hi-ration shortening it was made for making icing. It is so much better than Crisco or other shortenings for icing. It allows the incorporation of more water, so your icing can be softer and fluffier. If you 
have ever made large amounts of icing, you may have noticed when using other shortenings, that the icing is separated and soupy when you get to the bottom. This doesn’t happen with Alpine. Its a little more expensive, but definitely worth it.
Amaretti: Italian almond cookies much like a macaroon.
Amaretto: An almond flavored liqueur made from apricot pits.
Amerfond: Amerfond is a fondant sugar. Micro-sized crystals of pure cane sugar have been bonded with invert sugar to produce white, free-flowing porous particles resistant to caking. Twice as fine as regular powdered sugar, it is designated XX (as opposed to supermarket X). Your final product will be unbelievably smooth, and very glossy. Makes remarkable royal icing and fondant fillings for candy.
Angel Food Cake: An angel food cake is a light airy sponge cake made with stiffly beaten egg whites and is one of the most versatile dessert choices around. It's a plain cake that tastes delicious as is, and it's also a great dessert to dress up. Since it's a lighter cake, you can feel good about embellishing it more with fudge, caramel sauces, toasted nuts, coconut, fruit sauces, garnished fruits or whipped cream.
Angel Food Cake Pan: The angel food pan also known as a Tube Pan is a round, high-sided pan with a hollow cylinder in the center that provides the traditional angel food cake shape. It is usually a two-piece with a removable bottom for easy cake removal. The standard size is 10 inches and 4 inches deep, just right for a ready cake mix. These pans are also great for chiffon cakes, quick breads and gelatin molds.
Arrowroot: A white, powdery thickening agent ground finer than flour. It is preferable to cornstarch because it provides a clear finish, rather than a cloudy paste. It has also been suggested that the name comes from arrowroot's use in treating poison arrow wounds, as it draws out the poison when applied to the site of the injury.
Attach: This basically is the attachment of decorations to your cake such as flowers or some other icing decorations, using small dots of icing. Pretty much the same way you would glue paper to a box.
Austrailian: Australian is a technique of cake decorating using very detailed curtain work, string work and icing lace on a rolled fondant cake.

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