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Glossary Of Dessert Terms - C

Its more than likely the most popular desserts served at Weddings and Birthday parties. Cakes are made from numerous combinations of flour, some form of shortening, sweetening, eggs, milk, leavening agent, and flavoring. Thousands of cake recipes are available; from very simple to extremely complex, with many different flavors and types of icing.
Cake Board: A corrugated cardboard that is sized to provide bases for cakes. The most popular are a rectangle shape sized to fit ¼, ½, ¾ and full sheetcakes. Cake boards are available in waxed and not waxed, we always use the waxed. They also are available in gold and silver colors and in single or double thickness.
Cake Circle: A corrugated cardboard in a round shape sized to provide bases for standard circular cakes. The standard sizes are 6", 8", 9", 10", 12", 14", 16", 18" and 20". Cake circles are available in waxed and not waxed, we always use the waxed. They also are available in gold and silver colors and in single or double thickness. You can find them with a embossed pattern or with ruffles already applied also.
Cake Dummy: A cake dummy is an inedible form usually, made from hard foam in the shape of a cake. Just like a real cake, a cake dummy can be round, square, rectangular, or just about any shape you can imagine. A cake decorator might choose to use a cake dummy instead of a real cake for a variety of reasons. To practice a new decorating or icing technique, or for a decorating competition because they are solid styrofoam and re-usable. Many times they are used to make a wedding cake or a party cake look bigger then it is, so they fill in with "dummy" layers, they will look just like a real layer of cake when iced and decorated.
Cake Pan: Cake pans come in variety of different shapes, sizes and depths. Professional cake pans have sides at least 2" high, the taller sides result in taller cakes. Round, square, heart, hexagon and rectangular shapes are typical, and hundreds of specialty shaped pans are also available.
Cake Leveler: With a cake leveler you can create perfectly layered cakes and cake tops. For perfectly level cakes just place adjustable wire in notches to height desired in the cake leveler and glide through the cake. Makes torting easy.
Cake Rack: Also known as cooling racks are a open metal wire rack used to cool baked goods like cakes and cookies, after they have been removed from the oven. Cake and cooling racks are available in round or rectangular shapes.
Cake Stand: A round plate or a series of plates with pedestals at the bottom, made of either glass, plastic or metal. To display cakes and other baked goods, such as; cupcakes and cookies. These stands are very popular today, to display tasty treats and cakes at weddings, showers and parties.
Cake Tester: With the cake tester you simply pierce your cake with the wire and remove it. If there is any dough that sticks to the tester the cake is not ready and if the tester is clean the cake is done.
Calyx: Is the cup-like green portion of the flower connecting the petals to the stem. Which is the outer protective covering of a flower.
Candy Clay: Also known as candy molding clay its a combination of chocolate and corn syrup to keep the chocolate pliable. Used to form flowers, ribbons and baskets.
Candy Funnel: These funnels are used to neatly control the flow of your candy liquid to make hard candy.
Candy Thermometer: Also known as a sugar thermometer used to check the temperature of sugar when making candy and sweets. A sugar thermometer is also used for making jams and jellies. You can also use to check the temperature of most liquids like oils used for deep frying, water, etc.
Cannoli: The original cannoli is a Sicilian pastry made by stuffing cylinders of fried dough with sheep’s milk ricotta flavored with sugar, pieces of candied fruit, and bits of chocolate. That was served as a carnival dessert. In America the cannoli is many times a twisted strip of puff pastry, baked, then fill with whipped cream, pudding, custard or jam.
Cannoli Forms: Cannoli forms are tinplate steel measuring (3/4" x 5-1/2") that create the shape of this ethnic treat. To create wrap the form with a strip of puff pastry, bake, then fill with whipped cream, pudding, custard or jam.
Caramel: A sweet food which has a color from beige to dark brown and a sweet toasted flavor, derived from the caramelization of sugar.
Caramelization: Well I can’t think of much to say about caramelizaion, except its the browning of sugars caused by heat.
Caramelize: To caramelize is basically done in a saucepan over medium heat, to melt granulated or superfine sugar, by stirring consistently, until the sugar caramelizes into a golden-brown syrup.
Cascade: A cascade is a continuous flow of decorations from one level to another. Such as from one tier of a cake to another.
Cast Sugar: We also have had folks call this casting sugar or molding sugar, all you do is boil sugar to the hard crack stage and then poured into molds to harden. The principle is similar to making "sand castles", from sand and water. Casting sugar is used mostly for making decorations such as bells.
Casually Iced: A casually iced cake or cookie surface has a textured look, that is achieved with a light stroking motion of a spatula or knife. Its a easy way to ice almost any sweet good, even kids can enjoy this simple icing technique.
Celsius Scale: The metric system of temperature measurement, with 0° C at the freezing point of water and 100° C at the boiling point of water.
Cheesecake: A sweet, cheese-based dessert normally the shape of a circle or pie. A combination crust and filling typically containing eggs, cream, and a soft fat like cream cheese. Ordinarily, the cheese filling or topping covers a crust, which may be pastry, cookie, cookie or graham cracker-crumbs. Sometimes the base is a layer of cake. Flavorings such as vanilla or chocolate may be added, and a fruit topping, like strawberries or blueberries, are added to garnish the top.
Chiffon Method: A cake mixing method involving the folding of whipped egg whites into a batter made of flour, egg yolks, and oil.
Chiffon Pie: A pie with a light, fluffy filling containing egg whites and, usually, gelatin.
Chill: Chill or to chill is basically just stick it in the refrigerator, for a little while nothing high tech here. The temperature should be less than 40°F, to reduce the temperature of food.
Chilled: Any food that has been stored in the refrigerator or cooler at a temperature of less than 40°F, in order to reduce its temperature before serving.
Chocolate Compond Coatings: A melting chocolate that is available from several manufactures which include choices of milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, and several different colors for candy making. The most popular are Mercken’s and Peters which are available in convenient wafer drops for ease of melting. These compound coatings are easy to use for molding and dipping candies or fruit. Best of all they eliminate the tempering process necessary for real chocolate.
Chocolate Liquor: A un-sweetened chocolate, consisting of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
Chocolate Shaver: A hand held stainless steel tool with an adjustable blade, that you can easily add chocolate curls on top fancy desserts. Used to top off tortes, cheesecakes, mousse, etc.

Citric Acid: Citric acid is a natural preservative acid found in citrus fruits. Citric acid is widely used in the food industry. It is used primarily to produce a tart (sour) taste and to complement fruit flavors in beverages, beverage powders, fruit-flavored drinks, jams and jellies, candy, and wine. Citric acid helps prevent sugaring and improves flavors, especially in fruit type candies. Citric acid comes in liquid or crystal powder form, the crystals can be mixed with an equal amount of water to form liquid citric acid.
Coats a Spoon: In some recipes you will find directions that say, cook on low heat until mixture coats a spoon. Its a cooking technique used to test the doneness of a cooked, egg-based mixture such as custards and sauces. The mixture is done when it leaves an even thin to thick layer on a metal spoon, depending on the recipe instructions as a test for doneness. The doneness can be tested by drawing your finger across the coating on the spoon. If it doesn't run and leaves a clear path, it's ready.
Cobbler: A deep-dish fruit dessert or pie with a thick crust, usually a biscuit type crust, and a fruit filling, such as; peaches, apples, strawberries, etc. They can be enclosed in the crust or have a or crumb topping.
Cocoa: Cocoa, is the dried and partially fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree from which chocolate is made. Cocoa can often also refer to cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the dark, bitter cocoa solids.
Cocoa Butter: Cocoa butter is the natural fat extracted from the cacao bean. Cocoa butter is slightly yellowish in color, and while it is extracted from chocolate, it has a bland taste and only a faint chocolate smell. It is edible and is used in making white chocolate and some other confections. Cocoa butter has a melting point just below average body temperature, that’s what causes chocolate to remain solid at room temperature, but melt in the mouth. Cocoa butter is called for in some gourmet desserts. You can also add cocoa butter to chocolate for a thinner consistency.
Coconut Dough: Coconut Dough is chewy and moist and ready for rolling and dipping or combining with other centers such as caramel, whipped chocolate, or almonds.
Coconut Oil: A ingredient used to thin chocolate or soften finished candy and make it less brittle. Coconut oil has a long shelf life compared to other oils, lasting up to two years due to its resilience to high temperatures. For more information about coconut oil go to
Color Flow: Also known as "Floodwork", "Run Sugar", or "Icing Runout". It is Royal Icing that is thinned down with water, and formed into a picture. You outline the picture with thicker icing, and then thin the icing down. It flows out of the bag filling the area. After it dries, it is lifted off the wax paper, and set down on the cake on top of sugar cubes or wax paper cutout, so as not to come into contact with the grease or humidity of the cake icing. Color flows are extremely fragile, so they need to be handled very gently. For a shiny effect, use a warm light bulb shining close to the surface while drying for 48 to 72 hours. 
Combine: What can I say about combine. Its basically just the mixing together of ingredients evenly, using a fork or wooden spoon.
Confectioner's Sugar: Also known as Powdered Sugar or Icing Sugar. Its a granulated sugar that has been processed into a powder and contains either cornstarch or wheat starch to keep the powder from clumping. All confectioner’s sugar are pre-sifted but with different gauges of mesh. The size of the gauge is indicated 4x, 6x, or 10x with 10x being the best to use for icing. It is used to make icings, gum paste, fondant, or sprinkled on top of cakes, cookies, donuts or other baked goods. Its also great for rolling fresh strawberries in then EAT AND ENJOY! WOW!
Convection Oven: A oven equipped with a fan that continually circulates the hot oven air around the product. Circulating hot air allows products to bake on several racks at one time. Oven temperature can usually be reduced by 25°F and preheating may be unnecessary. 
Cookie: A flour-based, sweet, hand-held small cake. Prepared in many shapes and textures and usually categorized by the way they are formed. Drop cookies are dropped from a spoon. Rolled cookies are made from a chilled dough that is rolled out and cut into shapes. Bar cookies are baked in sheets and then cut into squares or bars. Molded cookies can either be shaped by hand, stamped with a pattern before baking or baked directly in a mold. Bagged or piped cookies are shaped with a pastry bag or a cookie gun. 
Cookie Cutter: A tin, stainless steel, copper, or plastic shaped tool with a sharp edge that is used to stamp out shapes from dough to make cookies, biscuits, scones, pasty, sandwiches, French toast, or to make designs on a cake. Many shapes of cookie cutter are available ranging from circles, stars, numbers, letters and many other novelty shapes.
Cookie Sheet: Cookie Sheets are also called baking sheets and baking trays. Flat, resilient sheets of regular or nonstick aluminum or tinned steel, with a raised rim all around or just on one edge. They are used for baking cookies, pastries, roasting chilis, toasting bread crumbs, nuts, and coconut, and much more. Several different sizes are available. 
Cooking Spray: Aerosol cans containing vegetable or olive oil which can be sprayed in a fine mist. This spray is used for "oiling" cooking and baking pans so food does not stick. 
Cooling Rack: Also known as cake rack are a open metal wire rack used to cool baked goods like cakes and cookies, after they have been removed from the oven. Cake and cooling racks are available in round or rectangular shapes.
Core: The center uneatable part of a fruit which contains the seeds or pits. For instance to remove the core of a apple, for best results use an apple corer on a apple or a knife to core smaller fruit.
Cornelli Lace: An intricate piping technique using a series of curved lines that makes a lace-like pattern. Normally used in decorating wedding cakes.
Cornstarch: A dense, powdery "flour" obtained from the endosperm portion of the corn kernel. Cornstarch is most commonly used as a thickening agent for puddings, sauces, soups, etc. Because it tends to form lumps, cornstarch is generally mixed with a small amount of cold liquid to form a thin paste before being stirred into a hot mixture. Mixing it with a granular solid like granulated sugar will also help it disperse into a liquid. Cornstarch can be used to dust your work surface when rolling out fondant. Cornstarch is also added to confectioner’s sugar to prevent it from clumping.
Corn Syrup: Corn syrup is a syrup, made using corn starch as a feedstock, and composed mainly of glucose. Its major use is in commercially prepared foods as a thickener and for its moisture-retaining properties which keep foods moist and helps to maintain freshness. Corn syrup is almost precisely as sweet as the granulated sugar it often replaces in recipes. Corn syrup can be naturally light in color for use in making candies or darker for general baking purposes. The light form of corn syrup may have some vanilla flavoring added, while the dark corn syrup has a stronger more natural flavor. The advantage of corn syrup over sugar is its resistance to crystallization, which prohibits crystal formations when sugar is added to a cake or fudge mixture A candy sucker made with corn syrup will retain its smooth texture, while a similar treat made from pure sugar may turn into a hardened rock like rock candy.
Coupler: A grooved insert and retainer ring for the decorating bags that allows tip changes without changing bags. The coupler has two parts; the inner coupler base and the outer coupler ring. Decorator bags are cut so that only the first thread of the inner coupler is exposed.
Couverture: Couverture or confectioners' chocolate is very high in cocoa butter and requires careful handling but produces fabulous results. Couverture chocolate has a wonderful shine and sets solid so it 'snaps' when broken. Couverture has a high proportion of cocoa butter and other fats, tempering is necessary to give the finished chocolates a crisp and glossy finish.
Covered Wire: Covered wire is used for wiring together icing bouquets of flowers, gum paste flowers etc.
Cream: A dairy product that is composed of the higher-butterfat layer skimmed from the top of milk before homogenization. The fat content of milk, the thicker the cream the higher the fat content.
Cream Of Tartar (Potassium Bbitartrate): A white powder used to hold beaten egg whites and to harden flowed sugar. Cream of tartar is best known for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. It is the acidic ingredient in some brands of baking powder. It is also used to produce a creamier texture in sugary desserts such as candy and frosting. It is used commercially in some candies, bakery products, and gelatin desserts. Cream of tartar can also be used to clean brass and copper cookware.
Creaming: The process of beating fat and sugar together to blend them uniformly and to incorporate air. To beat fat "usually butter" and sugar "usually granulated sugar" together to form a fluffy mixture which resembles whipped cream in texture and color. This mixture is used as a basis in recipes for a wide variety of cakes, pies and puddings, etc.
Cream Roll Horns: Cream roll horns are forms of tinplate steel measuring (4-1/4" x 1-1/2") that create the shape of this ethnic treat. To create wrap the form with a strip of puff pastry, bake, then fill with whipped cream, pudding, custard or jam. 
Cream Together: The process of beating fat and sugar together to blend them uniformly and to incorporate air. To beat fat "usually butter" and sugar "usually granulated sugar" together to form a fluffy mixture which resembles whipped cream in texture and color. This mixture is used as a basis in recipes for a wide variety of cakes, pies and puddings, etc.
Crimp: Pressing together two pastry layers on the edge of pie crust, sealing the dough and at the same time creating a decorative edge using your fingers, a fork, or utensil.
Crisps: Sometimes also called crumbles, they are baked with the fruit mixture on the bottom with a crumb topping. The topping is usually made with flour and nuts, or either with cookie or graham cracker crumbs.
Crumble: To crumble you basically just make crumbs or break into small pieces.
Crumbled: An ingredient that has been broken into small pieces or crumbs.
Crunches: Small pieces of hard candy that include flavors such as; peppermint, toffee, espresso, lemon, lime, tangerine and cinnamon. Just add to melted chocolate and let cool to make barks. 
Crusting: Letting the icing crust means frosting the cake and waiting just long enough so the frosting doesn't stick to whatever you are using to smooth it. 
Cube: To cube, cut the item into small cubes about ½" squares.
Cupcakes: A cupcake is a small cake designed to serve one person, usually round in shape baked in cupcake papers in a muffin pan. Cupcakes are often served during a celebration, such as birthday parties for children. Cupcakes are now gaining popularity for weddings, as they can be arranged in tiers to resemble a larger wedding cake, and each guests get their very own cake. They are also more convenient than a cake because they don't require plates, utensils, or dividing into pieces before serving. 
Cut In: To mix a cold fat, like butter or margarine, with flour or other dry ingredients by hand until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs using a pastry blender or two tableware knives.

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