Springtime Baking Wake-Up Call

Wake up! Wake up, Dear Readers! It’s a new season!

With warmer days of the month, the banner of “Light and Fresh” waves ‘Good-Bye’ to the last snowman standing.

Believe it or not, seasonality plays a gigantic part in desired food flavor preferences. We consumers begin craving fresh and fruity flavors with which to swaddle our palates.

As you shed winter coats, boots, cozy sweaters and sweatshirts for lighter more whimsical layers of clothing, introduce lighter and brighter flavors to your beseechingly did-you-know-it’s-springtime palate!

What is your favorite warmer-season flavor, Dear Readers? Is it almond or cherry? How about strawberry, raspberry, lemon, or lime? Maybe you even enjoy a combination of two or more flavors? Miss NiNi does!

Vanilla might be the go-to flavoring in many year-round baked treats. But, Dear Readers, there is a library of color-wheel flavors right outside a pantry door if only you search for it.

Your favorite grocery store offers a minimal number of popular liquid baking flavors and extracts. But are you aware that other food flavoring opportunities are just around the corner with only the click of a computer’s mouse?

Let Miss NiNi introduce you to baking emulsions and oils—all of which will ‘knock the socks’ off the words, “mundane flavor.”

I uncovered these vibrant essences at the point of fretful experimentation in the Miss NiNi food lab. Why, oh, why could I not capture the intensity of a fresh raspberry or strawberry with my supermarket extract and flavoring finds? I was becoming disappointed, to say the least.

Always up for the baking challenge, I began searching the Internet for help.  The website, http://www.lorannoils.com/bakery-emulsions, caught my eye, so I stopped to have a mini tutorial about baking emulsions.

Baking Emulsions

What is a baking emulsion, Dear Readers? Here is the skinny. It is as simple as a flavor suspended in a base containing mostly water. Now, that might be a ho-hum, so-what answer. But contrast that little bit of information with what you might or might not know about a baking extract (which I would say is the type of essence such as vanilla, almond, or lemon that occupy space in your baking cabinet).

Extracts use a base of mostly alcohol. Alcohol bakes out of a batter or dough when exposed to heat. Bingo! A baking emulsion was the answer to my flavoring woes! I now use an emulsion in cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, and frostings with complete Wow-this-is-what-I-was-looking-for flavor! Try them out at Miss NiNis Desserterie.

Dear Readers, the other newbie to my baking flavoring arsenal has the title of citrus oils. As stated on the bottles of pure citrus oils fromhttp://boyajianinc.com/baking.html, “citrus oils are all natural essences cold pressed from the rind of the fruit. Extracts and flavorings don’t come close!”

And understand this—it takes 44 oranges, 66 lemons, and 80 limes to fill a 1-oz. bottle of oil. Directions say, “Use sparingly,” and I do! Miss NiNi has found that even 1/8 tsp. of a citrus oil in frostings or baked and unbaked desserts flavors with gusto!

In case you might be wondering how much emulsion can be used in place of a baking extract, the equivalent is the same when used in a batter or dough that will enter an oven’s heat.. If a recipe calls for one teaspoon extract, one teaspoon of an emulsion would be used. If flavoring an unbaked product such as frosting, use an emulsion sparingly and add to taste. Always shake the emulsion first before measuring so that the mixture is evenly suspended for the best flavor distribution.

When substituting citrus oil for a required amount of extract such as lemon oil for lemon extract, begin by adding ¼ teaspoon oil per cup of ingredients. A small amount of citrus oil goes a long way to adding flavor to batter or dough! And just think, the flavor will not bake out! Hooray!!

With the freshness of Spring, I’m hopeful that our baking chat today has opened the door of opportunity for you to explore warmer-weather flavors in new and delightful ways.

Baking emulsions and oils give zip and zest to Miss NiNi’s handcrafted, award-winning desserts. Let them awaken your Springtime baking, too!