With the rise of home cooking shows and a sense that it helps restore normality in a world gone mad, baking is definitely back (and for many, of course, it never left). The Great British Baking Show - known to its home audience as the The Great British Bake-Off - reminded us that baking is the ultimate in civil, predictable, relaxing hobbies. If you combine the right ingredients in the right order and bake them at the right temperature, magic will occur - and if you do it the same every time, it will be (almost) exactly the same every time.
Baking is something anyone can learn to do, and while doing it very well is the province of experts and professionals, doing it well enough to feed yourself a varied and delicious variety of dishes is not hard at all. Perhaps you might not be able to deliver a flawless croquembouche first time out, but if you can count to four, you can certainly knock out a simple chocolate cake or a chicken pie.
This quiz is for everyone who believes in knowing what goes into your food, in hearty meals and handy ovens, and in using the right word for the right item. Let's see how you do!
A spatula is like a spoon with a flat head.
Folding is a way of mixing while ensuring the mix remains light and airy, as stirring can make the air come out and result in the mix being stodgy.
Powdered sugar and confectioner's sugar are the same thing, but they are both American terms. The British term is icing sugar.
Bakers traditionally used to do this to avoid being accused of selling their customers short.
Agave nectar has a low glycemic index, but it's full of calories!
Intermediate proofing your dough changes the structure of the bread by letting the yeast create carbon dioxide.
A good madeleine should be lighter than air!
Marzipan is almond, sugar or honey, and either egg or egg white. Vanilla marzipan may be delicious but it's not necessary.
Tapioca can be used in puddings and is also used as pearls that go into tea.
Sugar melts at 320F, which is essential for making spun sugar and other treats.
Scoring the top of a cake means cutting shallow lines into it. It can be used for decorating.
Your loaf went in one size and it come out another, thanks to oven spring!
Flour helps stop the dough or batter sticking to the board or to the rolling pin. Using too much will make the mix powdery, though.
Stick a fork in your cake; if it comes out clean, your cake is ready to eat! There are other ways to tell, but this one is the simplest.
Pie weights are used for when you bake a pie without the filling, to stop the crust getting air in it.
Yeast produces carbon dioxide, which makes dough rise. If you kill the yeast by overheating it, your dough will not rise.
This French pastry is often eaten with jam and is a popular breakfast food.
Putting all the ingredients out before you start is wise because invariably, things get messy during the process, and organization helps all the steps to happen in the right order.
Mille-feuille is a flaky pastry with cream between its many thin layers.
Flashing is a way of crisping off something to make it golden by cooking it only briefly.
Treacle and molasses are the same thing and come from raw sugar during refining; golden syrup comes from cane sugar
Fondant is a kind of icing made out of boiled water, sugar, and glucose. Sometimes it has other ingredients, too.
A vol-au-vent is a little puff pastry that has a filling, such as ham. It is named because it is so light and airy.
The boiling point of water drops the higher you go, which means that things cook differently - a useful lesson for anyone cooking in Denver!
Emulsification is the process by which two substances that naturally don't mix, do. For example when you use egg, it can make the oil from butter mix with the water in milk.
Whipped chocolate and cream make up ganache, which is a delicious sauce, glaze or filling.
A trivet goes under a hot plate to protect the table or kitchen counter.
Petit four include glazed, salted and dry. "Petit four" means "little oven" which was the oven next to the main oven, and wasn't as hot, thus it was ideal for baking little items.
Tarts sit in their pastry; pies sit under theirs.
Wafer paper is the other term for rice paper, which is used in baking as well as in art!
Lamination, crimping and half-turns are all ways to shape pastry, but boxing is not.
Enrobing a cake is one of the most beautiful processes in the world, and everyone should do it at least once.
A roux is one of the most basic sauces and is essential in a huge variety of ingredients.
Adding water to milk powder to make milk again is called reconstituting.
Cups are a measuring device that is somewhat newer than ounces. One cup is eight ounces.