Simply use the alphabetical list below to find the term you need to understand.
A synonym for sift. To pass ingredients through a fine mesh to break up large pieces and to incorporate air into the ingredients to make them lighter.
Dried beans or peas that are used to hold down pastry in a flan tin when baking it blind (without a filling). Just line the pastry with greaseproof paper and place the beans on top. You can get special ceramic or metal shapes for this, but dried beans do the job just as well.
Several breads, cakes or biscuits cooked together.
Dough that is too moist to knead. Also used to describe texture of mixture before all the flour has been added.
To mix ingredients together with a circular up and down motion using a spoon, whisk or rotary / electric beater.
To hold together the other ingredients.
To plunge fruits or vegetables into boiling water.
To stir ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.
To heat sugar until light brown with a characteristic flavour. The temperature range in which sugar caramelises is approximately 160ºC to 182ºC.
To cool food by placing it in a refrigerator or in a bowl over crushed ice.
To make a substance clear or remove impurities.
To thoroughly cover a food with a liquid or dry mixture.
To mix or blend two or more ingredients together.
To let food stand until it no longer feels warm to the touch.
To soften solid fats, often by adding a second ingredient, such as sugar, and working with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until creamy consistency.
To pulverisefood to its smallest particles, usually using a pestle and mortar, or a rolling pin.
To form sugar or honey based syrups into crystals. The term also describes the coating.
To cause semi-solid pieces of coagulated protein to develop in food, usually as a result of the addition of an acid substance, or the overheating of milk or egg-based sauces.
To combine solid fat with flours using a pastry blender, two forks or the fingers.
A measure approximately equal to 1/16 teaspoon.
To place small pieces of butter or other food on the surface of a food.
One pan containing hot water with another pan resting in it, allowing gentle, even heat to be applied – great for melting chocolate.
To sprinkle lightly and evenly with sugar or flour. A dredger has holes pierced on the lid to sprinkle evenly.
Using a spoon to drop cake or biscuit mixture onto a baking tray.
To lightly sprinkle the surface of a food with sugar, flour or crumbs.
A mixture of beaten eggs, sometimes with a little added milk or water. Used to coat cookies or pastry to give a shine when baked.
A mixture of liquids (one fat or oil and the other water-based) in which tiny globules of one are suspended in the other. This may involve the use of stabilisers, such as egg or mustard. Emulsions may either be temporary or permanent.
To break into small delicate pieces with a fork.
To create a decorative scalloped or undulating edge on a pie crust or other pastry.
To incorporate a delicate mixture into a thicker, heavier mixture with a whisk or rubber spatula without stirring, so that the finished product remains light.
Sweet or savoury food coated or mixed into batter, then deep-fried.
To decorate a dish with attractive and complementary foodstuffs.
A rich chocolate filling or coating made with chocolate, white vegetable fat and possibly double cream. It can coat cakes or cookies, and be used as a filling for truffles.
A liquid that gives an item a shiny surface – i.e. fruit jams that have been heated, or beaten egg (egg was) brushed onto pastry before baking.
The protein in wheat flour that gives dough its characteristic elasticity.
To rub fat on the surface of a cooking utensil or on a food itself.
Extracting flavours by hot soaking in liquid in a covered pan. The term also refers to the liquid resulting from this process.
To work dough by pressing it with the heels of the hand, folding it, turning it, and repeating each motion until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Dry ingredients are scooped onto a spoon and then levelled off with a straight edge, such as a knife or spatula.
A mixture of cream and egg yolks, used to thicken and enrich sauces.
To soften by soaking in a liquid or syrup.
To break food by pressing it with the back of a spoon, a masher or forcing it through a ricer.
To gently swirl one food into another.
A paste of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites used to cover cakes or make petit fours. Most often used to cover classic fruit cake, before the icing.
Egg whites beaten until they are stiff, then sweetened. It can be used as the topping for pies, or baked into firm biscuits.
A heavy, heat-resistant paper used in cooking.
To heat the oven, grill or toaster to a desired temperature before inserting the food.
Pâte a choux
Cream puff paste. It is a mixture of boiled water, fat and flour with whole eggs beaten in.
A quick, basic pastry dough that can be used with both savoury and sweet recipes.
A sweet, crisp pastry with the consistency of biscuit and a delicate texture. Added egg yolks make it rich and light.
The mounds made in a mixture - for example egg whites that have been whipped to stiffness. Peaks are ‘stiff’ if they stay upright or ‘soft’ if they curl over.
To force icing or similar through a piping bag to decorate a food – different nozzles give different effects.
To push a fist firmly into the top of yeast dough that has completed the first rising.
To put food through a fine sieve or a liquidiser to form a thick, smooth liquid.
A kitchen utensil that forces food through small holes to form ‘rice’ – usually used for cooked potato to create smooth mash.
Yeast dough benefits from brief intermission of handling. Always cover resting dough so a ‘skin’ doesn’t form. Turn a bowl over it or cover with plastic wrap.
To heat liquid to just before the boiling point to dip food into boiling water or pour boiling water over the food.
To make small, shallow cuts on the surface.
To brown the surface of a food very quickly with high heat.
To add pepper and salt, herbs, or spices to adjust the flavour.
To remove the yolk from the white of the egg.
To cut or break into thin pieces.
To sift flour and dry ingredients through a sieve. Flour will pack from its own weight, sifting incorporates air into the flour and insures accurate measuring.
To cook in liquid that is barely at boiling point.
To remove a substance from the surface of a liquid.
To cook with vapour produced by a boiling liquid.
To soak in hot liquid.
To separate solid from liquid.
To make a liquid dense by adding flour, cornstarch, egg yolks, rice or potatoes.
To leave an opening through which steam can escape.
To beat quickly and steadily by hand with a whisk or electric mixer.
The thin, brightly coloured outer part of the rind of citrus fruits. It contains volatile oils, used as flavouring.