Using a square cake pan for round cake pan recipe

If you have a recipe for a round cake and want to bake it in a square tin, use a square tin which is 2.5 cm (1 in) smaller than the round tin size.

For example, the recipe for a 23 cm (9 in) round cake could also be used to make a 20 cm (8 in) square cake. Halving the quantities given for the 23 cm (9 in) round recipe will make a 12.5 cm (5 in) square cake or doubling the quantities will be sufficient for a 28 cm (11 in) square cake

Cooking and Baking – Common Substitutes for Ground Ginger

Ginger is a popular spice and a favored ingredient, especially in Indian and Asian cuisine. It is used to add flavor and fragrance to many recipes. For centuries now, ginger has also been used for its medicinal value. Though it is sold in many forms, the most popular types are ground ginger and dried ginger. Ginger is considered a root solution for numerous health conditions. Whether you have a terrible cough and are suffering from digestive distress, ginger can cure many ailments. However, there are certain health conditions which demand a complete ginger ban. In such a case, finding a dried or ground ginger substitute becomes essential.

What Are Some Good Ground Ginger Substitutes?

If you are looking for an emergency substitute for ground ginger, here are a few ground ginger substitutes that work well during cooking and baking.

Allspice

The taste of allspice resembles that of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a variety of other spices. Allspice is a dried unripe berry that has a mildly sweet flavor. It is often used in meat and vegetable recipes as a replacement for ginger. If your recipe required you to add a teaspoon of ground ginger to it, you could replace it with a teaspoon of ground allspice instead.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice is a famous American spice mix. It consists of a blend of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. It is often used as a seasoning or an ingredient in a variety of recipes, including pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, while pumpkin pie spice can be used to replace ground ginger, it will also give it a slightly different taste and color.

Mace

Mace is a particularly good substitute for ground ginger in baking recipes. Mace is essentially the thin exterior coating on nutmeg. It is warm and aromatic, which is why it is often used as a replacement for ground ginger in a variety of recipes. Replace a teaspoon of ground ginger with a teaspoon of ground mace and the taste will remain more or less the same.

Cooking is easy if you know some simple kitchen hacks. We hope we have been able to teach you some new ones today.

YOGURT MAKING – Making Greek Yogurt At Home

If you’ve been wondering how to make Greek yogurt at home, this article is for you. In it, we dive into the steps to take to make rich, creamy, and delicious Greek yogurt for less than the price commercial alternatives. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it!!

Ingredients you’ll need for two servings:

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1/4 plain yogurt with active culture or yogurt starter culture (according to package directions)

Active Preparation Time:

  • 40 minutes

Ready In:

  • 18 hours

How to make Greek Yogurt in 3 Easy Steps:

Step #1 – Heat the milk

  • Heat your milk in a non-stick pot over medium or medium-low heat.
  • Stir frequently, until the milk starts steaming, but before it starts bubbling.
  • Use a candy or instant-read thermometer to determine when it registers 180F.

Caution

  • Don’t leave the milk unattended as it is likely to boil over quickly, stick, or burn.

Optional

  • If working with pasteurized milk, this step is not strictly required but may impact the texture of your yogurt.  At a minimum, your yogurt should be brought to room temperature before starting the process.

Step #2 – Make yogurt

  • Get a clean 5-8-cup container that is heat-safe and pour the milk into it.
  • Leave it to stand for a while, stirring it frequently.
  • Once it has cooled to about 110 F – 115 F, it’s time to combine the yogurt with 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl or yogurt starter culture.
  • Then stir the mixture into the rest of the warm milk and cover the container.
  • Place in an incubator and leave to stand until mixture is thickened and tangy (8-12 hours).

Step #3 – Refrigerate and Filter

  • Line a strainer or funnel with either a coffee filter or two layers of cheesecloth. I use a clean square of an old white tee-shirt for this, and it works just fine.  This is what will allow the liquid to drain out of the yogurt while leaving the milk solids behind.
  • Fill the funnel or strainer with the yogurt.
  • Cover the top of the strainer with cellophane wrap. Make sure that you get a tight seal.
  •  Place the strainer over a large bowl with space between the bottom of your strainer and the bottom of the bowl to capture the liquid that is going to drip out.
  • Put the strainer with the bowl under it into your refrigerate.
  • Let yogurt set in the strainer for eight hours or more, longer if you want your Greek yogurt thicker. I usually check the catch bowl and empty a few times to keep too much liquid from accumulating. The longer your yogurt sits in your refrigerator, the thicker your Greek yogurt will be. But don’t leave your yogurt too long or you will have yogurt cheese with a text similar to cream cheese.
  • That’s it; now you can remove your Greek yogurt and store your Greek yogurt in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

These are the concise steps to follow to make Greek yogurt easily at home.

Related References

YOGURT MAKING – How to Make Yogurt From Pasteurized Milk

These days, a quick trip to the grocery store will reveal an ever-increasing number of yogurt flavors. So, why learn to make your own yogurt when you can easily rush to the nearest grocery store and grab several cups? Well, for starters, doing it yourself gives you the chance to learn many facts about yogurt. For example, did you know that pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt? If you didn’t, now you do, and here is a complete guide on how to make yogurt from pasteurized milk.

What You Need:

  • Milk – You can make yogurt from whole milk, 2% skimmed milk, organic and local milk. However, pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt, and that is what we shall use in this discussion.
  • Starter culture – The options available for your starter culture include powdered starter culture, store-bought yogurt, or homemade yogurt from a previous batch.
  • Yogurt Incubator – The incubator is important for maintaining your milk and culture mix at about 110 F to 115 F for close to five hours. Therefore, options available to you include a yogurt maker, thermos, or heat keeper jugs. You can also use several mason jars filled with hot water and placed in a cooler. Feel free to get creative as long as you maintain the needed temperatures for the required amount of time, and you ensure equal distribution of heat throughout the incubator to prevent the occurrence of some hot and cool spots.
  • Other requirements – include heavy, large pots, candy thermometer (preferably one with a clip for attachment), large spoon or whisk, storage containers, cheesecloth, colander, ladle, both large and small bowls.

How to make yogurt from pasteurized milk

1. Clean all your tools

Did you know that you actually need a bacterium known as Lactobacillus bulgaricus to make good yogurt? Keeping in mind all the microorganisms, including other bacteria, present all around us, it is always advisable to wash and even sterilize all your yogurt making equipment and surfaces to avoid introducing other unwanted bacteria. Some clean their tools with boiling water, but thorough handwashing is also enough.

2. Heat the milk

While it is possible to make yogurt without heating the milk first, it is always advisable to first heat your pasteurized milk to the boiling point. This will help get rid of any bacteria present. Moreover, heating the milk for some extra minutes helps in concentrating it so that your yogurt can be thicker.

3. Cool the milk back

After heating your milk to the boiling point, cool it back down to 110 F-115 F. Make use of your thermometer to track the temperatures. You can also use an ice bath to speed up the process. Also, keep stirring to ensure even cooling.

4. Add your starter culture

When using a powdered starter, it is okay to whisk it in according to the amount specified on the packaging. However, when using yogurt as a starter culture, it is advisable to first isolate a small amount of the milk and keep adding it to the starter culture and stir until all of it has been mixed. This is because adding cold yogurt directly to the milk will slow down the incubation by suddenly dropping the temperatures too much.

5. Incubate

Use your ladle to transfer the milk and culture mix to your incubator of choice. The main importance of incubation is to maintain your milk and culture mix at the stated temperature for 5 to 10 hours undisturbed. However, keep in mind that shorter incubation periods under cooler temperatures will produce sweeter, thinner yogurt while longer and hotter incubation periods will produce tarter and thicker yogurt.

6. Check if it is done

After the first 5 hours, it is okay to start checking hourly if your yogurt is done. When ready, your yogurt should start looking firm. Moreover, it will get more acidic with each passing hour.

7. Store your yogurt

Once your yogurt is done, it is okay to put it in the fridge. It will be sweeter within the first few days, but after that, it will start tasting sour over time. It will remain good for about two weeks.

Final Words on How to Make Yogurt from Pasteurized Milk

While pasteurized milk makes the best yogurt, use ultra-pasteurized milk does not culture as easily as regular pasteurized milk and some people have reported failed incubation when using ultra-pasteurized milk to make yogurt.  Having given this advice, I will admit that I have not had this problem and I have been using ultra-pasteurized milk to make yogurt for years.

Related References

What is Yogurt?

Yogurt is milk, which has been fermented using bacteria referred to as yogurt cultures. When yogurt cultures ferment the lactose in milk, it produces lactic acid which works on milk protein resulting in a characteristic tart flavor and texture that separate yogurt from other dairy products.

Although most yogurt available globally is made using cow milk, yogurt can also be made using milk from goats, buffalos, camels, yaks, ewes, and mares. The milk may or may not be homogenized or pasteurized. 

The process of making yogurt, as well as the milk used makes it possible to have different types of yogurt. 
Some countries have regulations governing the number of bacteria (colony-forming units of bacteria) that should be contained in yogurt. In China, for instance, yogurt should have 1 million CFU+ of lactobacillus bacteria per milliliter.

To make yogurt, the milk must be heated to approximately 185 F or 85 C. Heating is necessary for denaturing milk proteins and prevent them from forming curds. The milk is then cooled to about 113 F or 45 C before the yogurt culture is added. The temperature is maintained for 4 -12 hours to enable fermentation. The resulting yogurt is usually sweetened and flavored to remove its natural sourness. 

Related References

What is Wild Rice?

From its name, one would naturally assume that wild rice is a type of rice or just a regular cereal grain. However, this is not the case, because contrary to what its name suggests, wild rice is actually not rice at all. Yes, this “rice” that is full of nutrients is, in fact, the seeds of aquatic wild grass. Wild rice can any of four different species of grass from the genus Zizania. Three of these species are native to North America, while the other one is native to China, Asia. As an aquatic food, it thrives in freshwater lakes, ponds, or even rivers.

How does wild rice compare to White and brown rice?

White rice is usually produced after milling. This process removes the bran, germ, and husk, leaving a refined product with a polished appearance. However, removing these layers has a direct effect on not only the appearance but also the texture and flavor of the rice. This, in return, gives it a longer shelf life. Besides that, milling also greatly affects the nutritional value of the rice, and due to this depletion, white rice is often enriched with nutrients such as niacin, iron, and thiamine.

Brown rice doesn’t undergo milling. This means that the only layer that has been removed is the husk while the endosperm, bran, and germ are intact. This removed husk is the reason why there is a wide difference in the nutritional value between white rice and brown rice; with brown rice having a significantly higher nutritional value. Even if white rice is enriched, some nutrients such as magnesium are not added back. Therefore, while white rice has only 19mg of magnesium per cup, long-grain brown rice contains more than 84mg of magnesium per cup. Brown rice also has more nutrients in terms of phosphorus, potassium, folate, and zinc. It also has more fiber and protein content as compared to white rice.

Even though wild rice is not really rice, its nutritional value is comparable to both white rice and brown rice. From starters, wild rice has a very high nutritional value since it is richer in proteins, potassium, folate, zinc, and most of the other vitamin B complex. It also has more fiber as compared to white rice. However, its fiber content is almost equal to that of brown rice.

Quick and easy ways to use Wild rice?

The most obvious way to use wild rice is to replace rice in soups and salads. Due to its high nutritional value, wild rice comes with a myriad of benefits. It promotes good heart health due to its high fiber content. Moreover, it is also easy to prepare wild rice. The basic ways of cooking wild rice are by either boiling, steaming, baking, or even cooking it in a microwave.

Other benefits of wild rice

Wild rice can boost energy and increase bone mass. It is also good for boosting your immunity as this makes your body stronger enough to fight diseases and infections. Wild rice might help reduce birth defects due to the high content of B vitamins that are also available in green leafy vegetables. It is also noteworthy that wild rice is gluten-free.

Foraging

Because wild rice is a native food and can still be found in abundance in the wild, wild rice is a nutritious food which can be gathered and stored to add real value and nutrition to your families meals.

How To Make Yogurt Cheese At Home?

Have you ever wondered how to make yogurt cheese at home? Well, if you have, it’s probably a lot easier than you might have imagined it would be. In fact, it’s so easy that you can do all of the prep work in just a few minutes. What is yogurt cheese? It’s yogurt that is thickened, which makes it similar in consistency to cream cheese. How do you make it at home?

  • Start with 1 cup or more of yogurt and make sure that it is real yogurt with live active cultures.
  • Take a strainer or funnel and line it with either a coffee filter or two layers of cheesecloth. Actually, I use a clean square of an old white teeshirt for this, and it works just fine.  This is what will allow the liquid to drain out of the yogurt while leaving the milk solids behind.
  • Fill the funnel or stainer with the yogurt.
  • Cover the top of the funnel or strainer with plastic wrap. Make sure that you get a tight seal if you don’t; then your yogurt cheese may not come out with the right consistency.
  • Place the strainer or funnel over a large bowl with space between the bottom of your strainer and the bottom of the bowl to capture the liquid that is going to drip out.
  • Put the strainer or funnel, with the bowl under it into your refrigerate. Let yogurt set in the strainer for at least a day, longer if you want your yogurt cheese thicker. I usually check the catch bowl and empty a few times to keep too much liquid from accumulating. The longer your yogurt cheese sits in your refrigerator, the thicker it will become.
  • That’s it; now you can remove your yogurt cheese and store your yogurt cheese in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Conclusion

Once your yogurt cheese is finished, make sure that you keep it refrigerated. It is a dairy product, so leaving it out at room temperature for a lengthy period of time will cause it to spoil. You should also use the yogurt cheese you’ve made within about a week. Any longer and it could spoil.

Related References