Monday, January 16, 2006

Basic Terminology, Dedicated to Kung See Lai

I received these sms-es yesterday from a dear dear friend, and contrary to what she said, I wasn't laughing at her. I mean, a few years ago, I didn't know what these terms meant anyway, so today's post is dedicated to her, for daring to ask, without fear of reprisal and whatever else.

Question 1. Is Flour Self Raising Flour?
Ans : Well, self raising flour is one type of flour, but usually plain flour (unless otherwise specified) is plain flour. Self raising flour can be made from plain flour by adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder for every cup of plain flour.

Which brings us to the next question:

By layman's terms, the picture below IS a cup, and those spoons are table and teaspoons respectively.

These are measuring cups, and measuring spoons (pic below). A standard cup holds 250 fluid ml. I think a standard teaspoon holds 15ml. But I could be wrong. Oh, and a bit of juicy information. Unless you have a digital scale, if ever a recipe asks for 7gms of yeast, that's equivalent to 2 teaspoons.

You can even get the pink cups (its a combo of cups and spoons) in Ikea for next to nothing.

The one above is a measuring jug, which is pretty useful for various kinds of measurement. It even has the weight equivalent for sugar, flour, rice, etc.... so if some idiotic recipes ask for 200gms sugar, and you dont have a scale, presto, use the magic measuring jug.

This below is a whisk, and a sieve. There are various kinds of sieves, for sifting flour. Or is it called a sift. Whatever.

Other questions I've been getting recently and some I myself used to be confused by:
Almond meal = ground almond
Cream of Tartar = NOT tartare sauce for fish. it's a powder, like talcum that you put on a baby's ass. (though these days not advisable apparently). It's one of the components of baking powder. Is used to stabilise meringues, etc.
Baking Soda = Sodium Bicarbonate = Bicarbonate of Soda. It's like Tolkien referring to a particular character by myriad names. gandalf, mithrathir, whatever whatever.
Confectioner's Sugar = Icing sugar
Buttermilk = STILL DONNO what the heck it is....
Baking Powder is NOT baking soda.

Hope you have been enlightened.


Anonymous said...

Fatboy, you are quite incredible. I am practically addicted to your bolg! Your basic teminology is great. BTW, investing in digital scales is the best thing I have done. It was recommended by my boss, the family and children pastor, who like me and you, love to cook.

fatboybakes said...

thanks for the compliment (blush blush). and for the tip about digital scale (no pun intended about tipping the scale)...might invest in one lah, but so far, apart from yeast for pizzas, i've never had to resort to any measurement in miniscule portions, so it hasn't been necessary. what recipes do you use such precision for?

Anonymous said...

I was taught in medical school that a teaspoon is 5 mls and a tablespoon is 15 mls (for taking your medicine!)

fatboybakes said...

dr tiger, u are absolutely korek, 1 teaspoon is 5ml, and 1 tablespoon is 15mls in britain and north america, but APPARENTLY, according to the OZ Women's Weekly, in Australia, 1 tablespoon is 20ml.

jacqui said...

They sell buttermilk here by the carton. Here's what I found:
Old-fashioned homemade buttermilk is the slightly sour, residual liquid which remains after butter is churned, ie. milk from the butter or buttermilk. It was usually flecked with tiny spots of sweet, creamy butter that didn't quite make it to the top to be skimmed. The flavor of buttermilk is reminiscent of yogurt and most people prefer it well-chilled.