What are your little recipe "tweaks" that make a big difference?

Discussion in 'Baker Banter' started by MissDJ, May 16, 2013.

  1. MissDJ

    MissDJ Active Member

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    What are the little special things you do when baking that make a good recipe into a GREAT recipe?

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    These are some of the little things I do to give my recipes that little extra UMPH! :cool:

    Grown-up Bread Pudding
    When I make bread pudding, I make sure to use golden raisins and soak them overnight in rum or bourbon. I drain the raisins before adding them to the mix. I use the rum/bourbon drained from the raisins to make a dessert sauce.

    Crispy Edges
    When I bake cornbread or bread pudding, I heat my well-buttered baking pan (usually in the oven while it's pre-heating) before adding the batter. This makes the edges crispy and delicious.

    Buttermilk Love
    For many recipes that call for milk (cornbread, muffins, biscuits, pancakes, etc.), I use buttermilk instead. It makes quick-breads extra tender, light and fluffy. If I don't have any fresh buttermilk on hand, I make "emergency buttermilk" from regular milk:

    1. Place a Tablespoon of white vinegar in a liquid measuring cup.​
    2. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.​
    3. Let stand for five minute. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.​

     
    MissDJ, May 16, 2013
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  2. MissDJ

    limcid Well-Known Member

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    I love the Grown-up Bread Pudding tweak! I was going to freak out if you had thrown out the rum/bourbon.

    I'll also try the Crispy Edges tweak. Thanks.
     
    limcid, May 16, 2013
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  3. MissDJ

    Lilley1 Active Member

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    Those are some great tweaks and definitely a must-do now!! Thanks for sharing.

    My tweaks are a little shabby compared to yours. :p When I bake a cake or cupcakes, I make sure to add powdered pudding mix to the recipe to make it extra moist. I also coat the bottom and sides of the pan with a nice layer of sugar. It helps add a sweet crunch to the outer layer.

    When I make marinara sauce, I grind a whole sweet onion and a couple garlic cloves. Saute them in the sauce pan, add mushrooms to absorb the onion flavor, add chopped spinach and then add the sauce. Grinding the onion and sauteing it first brings out so many flavors. I learned that from a friend who uses this method in her indian cuisines.
     
    Lilley1, May 16, 2013
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  4. MissDJ

    MissDJ Active Member

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    Oooooooooh, I would nevah evah throw away perfectly good rum or bourbon! That stuff is liquid gold in the kitchen. Mmmmmmmmm... :D


    Your tips are fabulous! Thanks!!:)
     
    MissDJ, May 16, 2013
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  5. MissDJ

    jpfm25 Member

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    Tweaks are nice because when you taste it, you know that there is something different, but you don't know what it is. What I usually do is I usually add a pinch of salt for anything I would bake that is chocolate based. It highlights the chocolate flavor and will make the people wonder what it is you added. Salt is also a great add-on for chocolate milk based drinks.
     
    jpfm25, May 16, 2013
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  6. MissDJ

    Happyflowerlady Well-Known Member

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    I love buttermilk, and use it in recipes that call for buttermilk, but had not thought of just using buttermilk instead of milk in all recipes. I have also substituted yogurt for milk in a recipe, and that gives it a richer flavor, too.
    Sauces made with milk, and cream of mushroom soup, are delicious made with yogurt instead.
     
    Happyflowerlady, May 17, 2013
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  7. MissDJ

    hmoop Member

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    Brownies that want milk chocolate chips? White chocolate chips. I find that these don't get used often enough in recipes lately! People are generally happily surprised when they find out that I've used them.

    jpfm25: I'm trying salt the next time I bake! Thanks for the tip. (Love your Ratatouille avatar btw.)
     
    hmoop, May 23, 2013
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  8. MissDJ

    Soliloquy Well-Known Member

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    When baking the Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, add two tablespoons of cornstarch per can of pumpkin. It makes the pie much smoother and cohesive.

    When you make bread dough, you can save a bit as a starter for the next loaf.
     
    Soliloquy, May 23, 2013
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  9. MissDJ

    ChesterV Well-Known Member

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    A bit of chili powder in chocolate.

    Sour cream in frosting (helps cut some sweetness).

    Amaretto/Vanilla simple syrup to soak my cakes with.
     
    ChesterV, Nov 20, 2015
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