Molasses is the general name for a very thick, sweet liquid that comes from refined sugarcane. The type of molasses depends on the amount of sugar, the way it is extracted and the age of the sugarcane.
Molasses are healthier than refined sugar. They contain Vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and iron. If you are going to eat cake, it should be a healthy one.
A different method to activate yeast is by using molasses. It is the sugar that will “feed” the yeast. If you want to use it as a raising agent, then you’ll need to add:
- ¼ cup molasses + ¼tsp baking soda = 1tsp baking powder
The reason why this works so well as a rising agent is because it’s acidic, just like lemon juice and vinegar. When you use this in recipes, you’ll need to adjust the other ingredients.
Molasses are sweeter than sugar. So take this into consideration. You’ll also need to think of the liquid consistency of your batter mix.
As a raising agent, molasses and baking soda can replace baking powder in gingerbread muffins, bread, and cookies. It can also be used to make a sticky toffee pudding like no other.
The molasses can be used with baking soda in the cake base as well as in the sauce. If you want to marinate meat, then try ginger chicken kabobs or sticky spare ribs. The sweetness will add flavor, and the baking soda will soften the meat.
But now for a couple of tips for using molasses — Because of its heaviness, make sure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature. This way, the mixture will start to cook faster without air bubbles escaping.
Molasses is sticky. Measuring by cups is a great, straightforward method, but half the molasses seems to stick to the cup! Rub a little oil around the cup first. It will help the molasses slide out.B
8. Cream of Tartar
It’s easy to make your baking powder because cream of tartar is something that most bakers already have in their cupboard. Making your raising agent with this powder will result in a healthy option. This also renders a more natural taste.
The scientific terms for the cream of tartar are potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen. It is a tartaric acid that comes from producing wine. When mixed with baking soda, it produces carbon dioxide. This will cause your baking recipes to rise.
Cream of tartar used to be in baking powder. So you can see why it’ll work well. It functions in the same way as other substitutes we have seen. The acid will mix with the alkaline in the baking soda to create carbon dioxide.
The advantage of using the cream of tartar is an ideal liquid consistency. If you’re going to use vinegar or lemon juice, then you’re going to add more liquid to the recipe. You might need to adjust other ingredients.
You’ll also need more vinegar to get the same bubbly reaction. This could affect the taste. However, if you use too much cream of tartar, then you might end up with a bitter taste. So the correct combination is:
- ½tsp cream of tartar + ¼tsp baking soda = 1tsp baking powder
The reason to use this over baking powder is that it is aluminum-free. Many store-bought baking powder products contain sodium aluminum sulfate. This can leave a slight metallic taste in your cakes.
Your cream of tartar and baking soda are ideal for all cake and cookie recipes. In particular, you could try angel food cake with lemon curd or citrus meringue pie.
If you mix too much cream of tartar and baking soda, then don’t throw it away. This mixture is brilliant for cleaning stainless steel and rust stains. It can also revive dishes that have been scratched.
9. Baker’s Ammonia
This might seem a peculiar alternative, but Baker’s Ammonia is a good baking powder substitute. Before baking powder or baking soda was used, Baker’s Ammonia was the main raising agent. It was what lots of people used in family recipes that have been passed down through generations.
When searching for Baker’s Ammonia, you might find it under the name “ammonium carbonate.” But before we dig into its benefits, there is one warning — Baker’s Ammonia has a very strong smell. So strong it was waved under the noses of Victorian ladies to bring them back around after a dizzy spell!
Though this smell won’t affect the taste of your cooking, it can only be used in certain recipes.
You won’t need to mix Baker’s Ammonia with anything else. When heated, it breaks down into ammonia, water, and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide will elevate the food. The ammonia gas will escape. The escaping gas makes Baker’s Ammonia only suitable for cookie style recipes. If you try to use it in cakes, then the ammonia gas will get trapped in the cake.
Another reason for its excellent fluffiness is its tiny crystals. When the dough heats up, the crystals decompose. You then get air pockets in its place. These two reactions make for light, crunchy crumbs. Also, you won’t get commercial, metallic flavors that you would from baking powder.
Baker’s Ammonia is the first substitute in this list that’s a double-acting agent. This means it’ll produce double the air bubbles. If you make cookie dough, then it needs to rest before baking. Baker’s Ammonia starts to work while the dough is resting. It will go into the second phase in the cooking when the heat is added.
In Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Baker’s Ammonia is still used in crackers. In Poland, this is also common in their traditional recipes like rolled sugar cookies. Meanwhile, the Germans make spiced Christmas cookies with this, too.
Baker’s Ammonia is great for cookies and crackers. Make sure you store the cooked goods in an air-tight container.
Don’t be put off by the smell. It’s an amazing ingredient. If you see a recipe that requires Baker’s Ammonia, then don’t be tempted to substitute it with baking powder. On the contrary, teach your young bakers how to use it and keep the traditional recipes alive.
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