How much brown sugar is needed to "neutralize" baking soda?

Discussion in 'Disaster Help' started by John Dough, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. John Dough

    John Dough Member

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    I've read that the acid in brown sugar "neutralizes" the aftertaste of baking soda, because of the molasses.
    About how much brown sugar do you need? What's the ratio?

    I've got some cookies that have the texture about how I want them with 1/4 tsp baking soda, but I only had 2 tbs of brown sugar, and I'm quite certain that the bad aftertaste was from the baking soda.

    Also, since increasing the ratio of brown sugar to white would change the cookie, what else could I put in, and how much?
     
    John Dough, Jun 5, 2016
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  2. John Dough

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    If you are having a problem with aftertaste, then you are using too much, it's expired, or it's the wrong kind.....some of them are stronger than others.

    I've never had a problem of this kind before, and I've been baking since long before the dawn of time. LOL

    Also, I don't know what kind of "bad taste" or "aftertaste" you are talking about. Bad or too much baking soda has a definite, defined taste.

    I've also never heard of sugar neutralizing any kind of other product like baking soda.
    You can add more sugar to the mixture, but all you are doing is adding more "sweet" to the mix.

    If you know its the baking soda, then use half of what you are now and see if that makes a difference. If it doesn't then it isn't the baking soda that's giving you the bad taste.

    Adding more brown sugar will change the recipe, but not drastically....unless you are dumping a lot of it in there. If you are using 2 Tablespoons, try 3 next time. If that doesn't work, use 4. If that doesn't work, then you might be using some old/outdated/or wrong types of ingredients.
     
    ChesterV, Jun 5, 2016
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  3. John Dough

    John Dough Member

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    @Chester: Well, I assume it's the baking soda simply because it's the only thing that was different about the cookies from usual. The only thing I'd compare the taste to is when I first started baking and used a ton of baking powder by mistake (literally like 5x the amount. I have no idea how I managed it.) Somewhat of a pop-corn/vomit inducing taste. Not pleasant.

    I'm not so keen on testing brown sugar amounts (Other than using all brown sugar, or perhaps 50-50), if only because the taste makes the cookies somewhat un-salvageable when present.
     
    John Dough, Jun 5, 2016
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  4. John Dough

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, baking soda is usually the one thing that can make a funny taste. Although I don't know about the popcorn/vomit taste. I've never had baking soda give me that kind of funky taste before.
    I always get the bitter/sour "dirty cardboard" taste.

    I understand not wanting to have to experiment, but like all science, it is a guessing game as to what is going to work right, when you have issues like this. I would suggest the simplest thing to do at this point, would be cut down on your use of baking soda, but it's strange that using 1/4 teaspoon would have this effect on a large amount of anything.

    I guess I forgot to ask, are these plain cookies or is there something special in them? I have found that baking soda does work against some chocolate brands and can make a really bad, nasty after taste....but thats usually been because it's cheap chocolate or expired.

    Are you using a recipe or is this all "by ear"? If you are using a recipe, can you post it?
     
    ChesterV, Jun 6, 2016
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  5. John Dough

    John Dough Member

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    Using all brown sugar (1/4 cup to 1/4 tsp baking soda) seems to have done the trick, and without making it rise too much. Thanks for the help.
     
    John Dough, Jun 7, 2016
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  6. John Dough

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    That's useful to know, I hadn't realised it can neutralise the taste. Thanks for the tip!
     
    Becky, Jun 7, 2016
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  7. John Dough

    Valeria Member

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    My grandmother always talked about neutralising the baking soda by adding an acidic component - for example either some sour cream, yogurt or citric acid/squeezed lemon. I've always done it as she taught me. Never heard about brown sugar though... Will give it a try next time I bake with soda
     
    Valeria, Aug 23, 2016
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