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Glossary Of Dessert Terms - B

These are small cakes made from a yeast dough containing raisins or currants. They are baked in cylindrical molds and then soaked with a sugar syrup usually flavored with rum.

Backdrop: Used to accent a wedding cake setting and for taking professional photos. The backdrop is normally made of fabric or paper which is hung in the background of the cake. With fabric you can drape it to give a more exquisite effect. 
Background: The area of a cake which is decorated first before any fine decorating of the rest of the cake is done. Many times the background is applied with a airbrush.
Bag Striping: A method of applying stripes of color from either icing or colored paste on the inside of the decorating bag for a multi-colored decorating effect.
Bain-Marie: A bain-marie (also called a double boiler) is a device used in to heat materials gradually to a fixed temperature. The bain-marie consists of a large container filled with a working liquid (usually water) and another, smaller container filled with the substance to be heated. The smaller container is partially immersed in the larger container, and the larger container is heated.
Bake: To cook raw food or a mixture of batter in the oven using dry heat.
Bake Blind: Also known as Baking Blind. To bake an unfilled tart shell to produce a partially or fully baked crust. The shell is usually pricked all over with a fork to prevent it from blistering and rising. Sometimes it's lined with foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried beans or rice, or metal or ceramic pie weights. The weights and foil or parchment paper should be removed a few minutes before the baking time is over to allow the crust to brown.
Bake Even Cake Strips: These are a innovative way to bake perfectly level, moist cakes and avoid high-rise centers, cracked tops or crusty edges.
Baked Alaska: A dessert consisting of hard ice cream on a bed of sponge cake, the whole thing is then covered with uncooked meringue. The cake is kept in the freezer until serving time, then it is placed in a very hot oven, just long enough to brown the meringue. You can also brown it under a broiler or use a small propane blowtorch to brown the meringue. 
Baker's Percentage: A method used by some professional baker’s, normally used in making large amounts of bread. Using the Baker’s Percentage, the amount of each ingredient is given as a weight, stated as a percentage of the weight of the mixture. Then the formula is converted to pounds and ounces. 
Bakers Sugar: Its a professional grade ultafine granulated pure sugar cane. That has an average crystal size smaller than that of normal table sugar. It blends smoother and melts faster with no gritty texture, so it's especially good for fillings, frostings, and glazes. It retains more moisture. Cakes are fluffier with a lighter texture and cookies are moister with fewer cracks. It dissolves easier. Meringues turn out lighter and more delicate. It bakes more evenly without those soft spots and lumps.
Bakestone: A round flat iron plate that was used as a griddle, usually with an half circle type iron loop as a handle that allowed it to be hung over a fire. Or it could also be set down directly on hot coals from the fire. Before baking ovens it was a common way of baking simple quick breads. Bakestones are sill popular today with campers. They can be used to cook biscuits, cakes, pancakes and pizzas. They can also be used very effectively to cook lean meat, or griddle steaks that are very good since it helps to retain the juices and flavor of the meat.
Baker's Ammonia: Its a pure powdered ammonium carbonate. This is called for in some old recipes and also some new ones.
Baking Pans: Baking pans are used for variety of baking needs such as; roast meats, poultry, bar cookies, and cakes. They vary in size and may be round, square, rectangular, or a special shape, such as a heart. The standard size is 9 inches by 13 inches.
Baklava: Baklava is a type of Greek pastry traditionally made with phyllo dough, honey, nuts, and orange essence. It was originally considered a food for the wealthy, today it can be found in many pastry shops. 
Bananas Foster: Is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with the sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, and then the alcohol is added and ignited. The bananas and sauce are then served over the ice cream. Many restaurants prepare this dish to use some showmanship as a tableside performance.
Basketweave: A decorating technique performed with a decorating tip with at least one serrated side for making ribbed stripes and for producing interwoven vertical and horizontal lines. Giving a basket weaving effect on the side of the cake.
Batch: This is a large number of cookies that are made and baked at one time. Many times the cookies may need to be baked in rotation in the oven by moving the baking sheets from one level to another for the best end result.
Batter: A liquid mixture, usually based on a flour, with water or milk, sugar and eggs. Batters may be thin or thick (but even when thick, they must be fluid enough to drop from a spoon). When thin, they should pour out like a creamy milk. 
Bavarian Cream: Originally a cold dessert of egg custard stiffened with gelatin, mixed with whipped cream, and sometimes with fruit purée or other flavors, then set in a mold. Today, its used mostly as a filling for cakes and pastries. Its a light and delicious cream that can be eaten as pudding, or when used to fill cakes and pastries, gives them a real wow factor.


Beat: To mix together an ingredient or a combination of ingredients vigorously, by using a whisk, fork, spoon or electric mixer. To bear or beating is used as a method to soften and/or blend ingredients or to incorporate air into a mixture.
Beaten: Ingredients or an ingredient that have been vigorously whipped together using a fork, spoon, whisk, or electric mixer.
Beet Sugar: A sugar processed from the sugar beet plant.
Bird's Nest Pudding: A pudding containing apples whose cores have been replaced by sugar. The apples are nestled in a bowl held by the crust. 
Biscotti: A Italian cookie generally containing nuts or flavored with anise. They are made by baking cookie dough in two long log type slabs and baked until golden brown, cutting them into slices, and reheating them to dry them out. Biscotti means "twice cooked."
Biscuit: In England, it is the equivalent of cookies in America. In America its a non-yeast bread made of flour, milk, and shortening, usually served with breakfast or as a breakfast sandwich. In much of the world they are similar to what is known as "scones." 
Blintz: A thin, pan-fried batter cake that is rolled and filled with meat, potato, cheese, or fruit filling. Then sautéed or baked and often served with sour cream.
Blend: Is the to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients together or to process food using an electric blender or mixer.
Bloom: A whitish coating that appears on chocolate that is not properly stored or tempered caused by the separating of the cocoa butter. 
Blown Sugar: Pulled sugar that is made into thin-walled, hollow shapes by being blown up like a balloon. 
Board Wrap: The act of wrapping a cake board with foil wrap to better display the cake, before you place the cake on the cake board. The most popular colors are White, Gold and Silver.
Boil: To heat a liquid to a temperature of 100°C, that’s when the bubbles will start to rise rapidly to the surface. We recommend to use a saucepan large enough to prevent the liquid or ingredients from boiling over the edges of the pan. If you have a recipe that says to boil vigorously, it means to boil the liquid or ingredient, for a specific amount of time, without the temperature falling below the specified temperature.
Boiled Icing: This icing, has the consistency of melted marshmallows; fluffy, sugary and slightly sticky. It is made by gradually pouring a hot sugar syrup over stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly until the mixture is smooth. This icing holds up nicely in warm weather, that’s why its popular on cakes at summertime family gatherings.
Bombe: A frozen type of dessert made in a dome-shaped mold. 
Bon Appetit: A French phrase that means "good appetite" or "enjoy your meal." 
Boston Cream Pie: This is actually a cake not a pie. Its a sponge cake or other yellow cake filled with pastry cream and topped with chocolate fondant or confectioners' sugar and baked in a pie tin. The idea of it being a pie most likely stems from the easier availability of pie tins over cake pans during the time the dish originated.
Border: A continuous decoration piped around the top, side or base of a cake using a decorating bag.
Bowl Scraper: Most commonly used to scrape ingredients off the sides of bowls during mixing and for folding ingredients into a dough or batter.
Bring To a Boil: To heat water in a pan, with or without other ingredients until it reaches 100°C, that’s when the bubbles will start to rise rapidly to the surface.
Brown Betty: Also known as Betty or Betties. A old fashion dessert consisting of a fruit, most commonly apples, baked between layers of buttered crumbs. They are an English pudding dessert closely related to the French apple charlotte. They were a popular baked pudding made during colonial times in America.
Brown Sugar: This sugar comes in two forms; dark brown sugar and the lighter brown sugar, both containing molasses. The dark brown sugar contains more molasses that light brown sugar, sometimes call golden sugar or golden "C". To prevent hardening of either sugar, its best to store it in an airtight container. Brown sugar must be packed to measure accurately for use in recipes. 
Brownie: A cake like bar cookie, that is chewy and normally chocolate-flavored and cut in bar shapes to serve.
Brush: The use of a pastry brush or wax paper to cover pans or pastry lightly with lard, pan release, oil, cream, etc.
Building Up: Is a term used in making larger decorations by keeping the tip in the icing for a longer time and continuing to squeeze the bag, like making a dot then creating a dot five times as big.
Bundt Pan: A bundt pan is a one-piece pan with a hole in the center like an angel food pan but is distinguished by fancy, fluted indentations. This pan can be used to make pound cakes, fruit cakes, mousses and fancy desserts.
Buttercream Icing: Buttercream icing is made of butter, confectionery sugar and milk. This is the most popular icing used by bakers to decorate wedding cakes and the majority of other party cakes. Buttercream icing is the most versatile icing to decorate with because its smooth and creamy and the decorations remain soft. A stiffer consistency of butter cream icing is used for flowers with upright petals, a medium consistency is normally used for the borders and flat flowers, then a thin consistency is used for icing the cake, writing of a message and making leaves and etc.. The thick but creamy texture of this flavorful icing makes it ideal for decorating. It can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

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