Archive for the ‘Ingredients’ Category

Got Buttermilk?


Here in Singapore, buttermilk is a foreign concept and usually found in atas (‘high class’) supermarkets. Luckily, there’s always a quick, easy and chin chai way to make buttermilk – just add lemon juice!

Today whilst making red velvet cupcakes (post to come soon), I added the juice of half a large lemon to 1 1/2 cups of semi-skimmed milk, as per instructions from dubdew. Cue panic when I tasted it – it was curdly and lemony! Luckily after a frantic phone call to dubdew, I learned that:

– the lemony taste will dissipate after letting the milk stand for a while in room temperature.

– it is best to use full fat milk (although I used skimmed milk and it was fine).

– the acid in the lemon juice will react with other ingredients (the baking soda?) to create carbon dioxide.

About that last point: this means that buttermilk is important because it helps the batter rise better and creates lightness in the cupcakes. I used to think that buttermilk was basically half and half; but since it needs to be acidic, I guess I was wrong.

Half and half, by the way, is a milk product popular in North America and Canada (I think). It’s a very light cream, kind of in between milk and cream, and usually put into coffee. I remember when I bought half and half accidentally when I was studying in New York; I poured it over my cereal, ate a spoonful and nearly choked. I could feel the butter-fat coating my tongue and back of my throat – fattalicious, but also so strange!

So the question is: what would happen if you used half and half in a cupcake recipe? Would the finished product be indeed denser?


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