A sweet made of cooked sugar and adorned almonds or hazelnuts.
To mix, to put different substances together, to combine.
This involves spreading a thin layer of hot apricot jam, before icing, over cakes just as they are removed from the oven. In so doing the sugar in the icing or in the caster sugar does not become crystallized.
AS REQUIRED (a.r.)
Used to refer to a certain quantity of a substance without stating the exact amount, given that this varies according to the recipe”s intrinsic differences. For example “water a.r. for a mixture of average consistency”. In this case it is difficult to give precise measurements owing to various factors, such as: the strength of the flour and so the difference in the absorption of water, the size of the eggs used and so the amount of water and protein contained within them, the type of fat used, and so on.
The term is used such that the operator is able to ensure that the mixture is made to the required consistency. For other substances see Circa and Flavour.
BAIN-MARIE OR DOUBLE BOILER
The traditional method for heating, cooking or melting ingredients without placing them in direct contact with the heat source. This method consists of placing a vessel full of water over a flame and bringing the water to boiling point; another vessel containing the ingredients that need to be cooked is then placed into the first vessel. This method is especially used with products that easily coagulate (usually eggs) or for very thick pastes.
Paper or foil container for tartlets that have yet to be baked or are already baked.
A large round or rectangular metal tin into which are poured or arranged the various oven preparations.
The search for and the arrival at a desired equilibrium, especially between the liquids and solids that comprise the mixture, in addition to the desired rapport between sugars, fats, dairy solids and other solids contained within these.
These indicate the density of a saccharose solution using the Baumé scale. The density of a simple sugar solution at the same time indicates the percentage of sugar within that solution.
BIGA, NATURAL STARTER
A mixture of a supporting yeast made with flower, yeast and water. Once ready, it is added to the other ingredients or to a mixture to produce complete leavening. They can be pliable, stiff or firm.
To incorporate a substance that binds the other ingredients, such as mayonnaise that binds the greens in Russian salad. The verb is also used to refer to the addition of starch or other to a compound, which, once amalgamated to a liquid sauce, makes it thicker and more velvety.
A traditional preparation with a hemispherical cupola shape, comprising an outer layer of ice-cream and an inner filling of light foam made of egg-yolk and sugar that the French call “appareil à bombe”.
An operation, which, by osmosis, substitutes the actual juice of the boiled fruit with glucose, enriched syrup, thus preserving it.
Sugar cooked with water and other substances at 145°C. It is used for colouring, drawing, and blowing.
This is a substance made of three elements: soluble cocoa, sugar and cocoa-butter. It is sold ready-for-use and is used for decorations and especially for the coating of certain products. In order to be able to use the coating, it has to be melted completely, so it is brought to a temperature of 30-32°C. It is used to glaze all types of cakes and sweets, but it is primarily used for making pralines.
A special method of scraping chocolate.
Small spherical cream puff pastries. They are filled with whipped cream, cream or jam, and have a dusting of sugar and a fondant or chocolate glazing.
An acid obtained from citrus fruits, pineapple and all red fruit. It is usually obtained from lemon, a fruit with a high level of citric acid. It is used in decoration. Quite often it is used in solution.
An operation that clarifies wine, broth, fruit juice and other liquids, and even baked sugar.
To cover a substance with a coating.
COAT WITH CARAMEL (TO)
A term used for various sweets, for example coating a panna cotta with a golden sugar caramel, or coating fruit and sweets with a normal coat of white caramel.
A fatty substance extracted from the cocoa bean. It is sold in yellowish-white blocks or flakes. Its melting point is between 32-35°C.
See Decorating Tip. This term is also used in other meanings: a cone obtained with greased paper for decoration; a small type of bread; both savoury and sweet croissant; and there is another type of cone (like the “cannoncino”- an Italian pastry) made with pastry dough for wafers that can be filled with sweet or savoury fillings.
The term “Chinese cone” refers to a conical-shaped steel colander used for sieving sauces, broth, etc. It is different to the traditional wire mesh colander in that it is made of solid steel with holes of various sizes in it, thus making it possible to press through the ingredients that one wants to sieve.
A sauce or cream in which the ingredients have separated, whereas they should be homogenous both during and after preparation.
To adorn, to decorate a work with graceful elegance and refinement.
A conical-shaped instrument for decoration the narrowest extremity of which, attached to the icing bag, is either smooth or serrated.
A preparation of greens, meats, ham etc. cut into small cubes and used for various types of stuffing and filling.
The part of various substances that can be consumed.
A substance that has the ability to reduce surface tension of molecules comprising liquids. In this way they enable the cohesion of two unmixable liquids, oil in water for instance.
Literally “light dish to be served between two more substantial courses”, or else between the main course and the fruit course. Generally it is used to refer to light modern desserts.
Fragrant substances that originate mainly from the vegetable kingdom. They are extracted by maceration, distillation and with the help of fatty substances. In confectionary, essences are primarily used to provide aromas to ice-creams and creams.
To fill an empty space by inserting a substance. For example “to fill cream puffs” means to place cream inside the cream puffs themselves. See also Filling.
To provide flavour to a tasteless preparation using the various substances indicated in every recipe. Generally speaking, the quantity of flavouring to use is not indicated because the substances used often have the same aromatic strength. Furthermore, there are marked variations in tastes and flavours depending on the culinary customs and traditions of different regions.
A professional term used in France, Italy and Switzerland for “Parisian cream”, it is a compound made of chocolate and cream used in the preparation of truffles and as a filling for cakes and choux.
To brush or spray the surfaces of various gastronomic products with beaten egg, milk, syrup and more, in order to give a special golden and shiny colour to the finished product.
An operation that consists in providing resplendence to sweets by covering them or brushing them with glaze, fondant or coating.
A mixture of icing sugar, gum and other substances used to obtain a sweet malleable substance.
This is extracted from a plant that grows in the arid lands of Turkey and Iran. It is a stabilising thickener quite frequently used in the manufacture of gum paste and gelatine.
A type of flour with a high gluten content, hence resistant and elastic, used for mixtures where a high degree of elasticity is required.
An operation primarily applied to dairy products, including ice-creams that maintain fatty substances in the form of emulsion with the aqueous phase. To get this result, the dairy or cream mixture is passed through a pipe at a pressure of up to 200 Bar. The fat globules treated in this manner have a diameter of between 1 and 2 µm (microns), in such a way that their small size inhibits their separation from the other components and prevents surfacing.
A branch of medicine that deals with the study of and teaching of individual and collective measures aimed at protecting the preservation of health. It is a series of norms that deals with personal cleanliness, environmental cleanliness, etc.
Able to absorb ambient moisture.
Ice-cream is a food product made of a mixture of simple and semi-worked primary substances (milk, cream, egg, sugar, fruit, flavouring pastes etc.), which by freezing and agitating at the same time thickens until it reaches a certain consistency and softness.
It is worth recalling that the Italian word for ice-cream “gelato” was used in the eighteenth century as an adjective for “sorbetto”, therefore “sorbetto gelato” (ice-cream sorbet). It is only later that the word “gelato” replaced the word “sorbetto” to then be used as the generic term. Today in Italy, the two terms live side by side; sometimes they are well separated while in other instances they are completely muddled. After the war, almost certainly because of the aggressive marketing of industrial ice-cream, “gelato” was used as a generic term for almost every by-product of ice-cream making.
This machine is commonly used in artisan production. They can be vertical or horizontal. Today, the horizontal ones are the most suitable, and they allow even less skilled operators to work successfully.
ICING BAG (SAC-Ë-POCHE)
Conical canvas or plastic bag inserted into a decorating tip and used for decoration and for creating shapes using soft pastes or compounds; it is also used for filling.
Finely ground sugar (saccharose) used either for powdering or for integrating in doughs or masses with a low level of humidity, in which crystalline sugar would have difficulty dissolving.
To add a substance to a preparation or compound by mixing it well such that it is absorbed.
A compound usually made of confectioner’s custard softened by the addition of Italian meringue and whipped cream.
Meats, greens, fruit or other foods cut into thin, matchstick strips.
An absolute unit of temperature. Absolute zero on the Kelvin scale corresponds to Ð273.15° Celsius. On the Kelvin scale, water freezes at 273.15 kelvins and its boiling point is 373.15 kelvins. Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British physicist (1824-1907).
To line the sides of a baking-tin with a thin layer of pastry or other substance.
Fatty acids. Lipids are usually understood as being the fatty parts of a compound.
A compound of almonds and sugar, ready to be worked.
A mixture comprising several ingredients which after preparation will form a single compound.
An egg white and sugar compound beaten until stiff. There are various types: for the oven, for ice-cream making, etc.
Able to be mixed or dissolved.
To wet lightly.
A shape in metal, card, plaster, silicon, rubber or other, used for moulding both cooked and raw substances.
French term used to refer to a very soft mix. It corresponds to the Italian term “spuma” or “schiuma” meaning foam.
An Italian verb meaning to cover a preparation with a sauce that has a consistency such that it does not slide off.
Single or compound stabilizers without flavour.
A French product similar to Italian torrone.
Refers to the increase in volume of a mass or compound during mantecation or beating.
To remove superfluous pieces from a cake or dough.
Small grains or pieces of sugar, chocolate or dried fruit used for ornamentation.
A method of sterilisation, albeit incomplete, via the rapid exchange of heat.
The value that indicates the level of neutrality or acidity of various products in an aqueous solution. Acid solutions have a pH value from 0 to 7 and are more acidic at the lower end of the scale; neutral solutions have pH 7, and alkaline solutions go from 7 to 14.
PLASTIC OR MALLEABLE CHOCOLATE
A type of chocolate that is made soft owing to the addition of a sugar and glucose syrup, and sometimes also starch.
Strong metal sheet for baking cakes and sweets.
The starch obtained from potatoes. It is partially used in confectionary mixtures requiring a short structure. As with all starches, it is also used to bind sauces, creams, etc.
Used to refer to decoration carried out with thawed coating, to which water has been added and mixed and then placed into the paper cone. It is used for ornamental writing, motifs and frets. Add 40g of cold water to 100g of coating thawed by bain-marie; stir until grainy. Mix on a bain-marie adding water if necessary until the mix is smooth, shiny and with a long structure. It is very important in decoration.
To concentrate substances via evaporation such that they become thicker or tastier, or else removing a part of the substances in order to have a lesser amount.
To pass almonds, hazelnuts, mixtures etc. through a refining machine.
A machine used to refine hard and dense doughs.
Instrument used for measuring the refraction index of a sugar solution with which one can reveal the percentage of sugar dissolved in a solution.
Refers to the renewal of a yeast or dough.
Rolling out pastry using a rolling pin.
An egg white and sugar mixture. It is used for decorations such as flowers and other motifs, ornamentation, and also for covering and providing resplendence.
Common sugar used to sweeten coffee or in sweets. In ice-cream making it is the “stock” sugar. It is a disaccharide made of one molecule of glucose and one of fructose.
A special instrument for cooking foods au gratin.
A small instrument with a flat or rounded end that is used for scraping.
SHEET OF PASTRY
Other than referring to puff pastry, this term refers to any form of pastry that has been rolled out and flattened using a rolling pin or a machine.
A type of short pastry with a high butter content that gives it a very brittle structure.
Using a strainer, impurities are removed from boiling syrup. This operation is called skimming.
Butter kept at room temperature such that it can be used in mixtures and for spreading.
A type of flour with a low gluten content used for mixtures in which a high degree of elasticity is not required.
A homogenous mixture obtained by mixing a solute in a solvent (e.g. sugar in water).
Sorbet is the precursor of today’s ice-cream. Tradition has it that the sorbet be made with water, sugars, juices and/or fruit pulp or infusions, sometimes with milk, cream or other derivatives and almost always with the addition of wines, liqueurs or distillates. Contrary to the granita or gramolata, the structure of the sorbet has to have a fine grain and it has to incorporate the air that it can take by means of a natural process. Using the term sorbet to refer to any water-based ice-cream, so long as it contains fruit, is mistaken.
Rather than being the speciality of the ice-cream maker, the sorbet is now the prerogative of restaurants of haute-cuisine. The reason for this is that sorbets need to be made and served in the space of a few hours owing to the fact that the fragility of the structure does not allow for long periods of conservation.
A sweet or savoury composition, generally with a base of cream, sauce or dough, and an egg-yolk liaison in addition to other substances, made fluffy with the addition of beaten egg white. It is cooked in tall soufflé or fire-resistant dishes.
An instrument used in confectionary, gastronomy and ice-cream making for spreading out cream, ice-cream, fillings and jams on preparations.
To moisten lightly, sprinkle or spray a cake with syrup or liqueur.
To spread a thin layer of cream in a uniform manner, using a spatula or a knife.
A substance extracted from cereals, tubers, and roots. It is used as a thickener (in puddings and creams etc.) and also to cut flour, which is too strong, into masses and doughs with a short and very crumbly structure. Corn and wheat starch is finer that potato starch.
A thermal treatment that aims to ensure the prolonged stability of a food substance as a result of the destruction of microorganisms and spores. Various types of sterilisation exist depending on the product Ð whether it is liquid or solid, and also depending on the packaging of the product.
Milk is the most relevant example for ice-cream makers and confectioners: the milk undergoes a treatment whereby it is brought to a UHT (Ultra High Temperature) of 140°-145°C in 4-8 seconds, following which it is immediately packaged and rapidly cooled.
A type of sieve comprising a metal mesh placed inside a round frame and used to filter sauces, creams, juices, and broths.
A rather weak type of flour to which a given percentage of strong flour is added.
The denomination “sugar” means specifically “saccharose”, that is a disaccharide, i.e. a compound of two simple carbohydrates: glucose and levulose. Sugar is obtained from sugar canes in tropical countries, while it comes from sugar beet in temperate zones.
To cover almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios or other with a layer of sugar using sugarcoating machines. These spherical sugarcoating machines are made of copper and they rotate such that the sugar clings to the surfaces, thus obtaining the pralines.
A metal vessel (it used to be in tin-plated copper, today it is in stainless steel) with a spherical or hemispherical bottom particularly suited to the whipping of creams and mixtures.
The release of a liquid following the formation of a clot or the contraction of a product in its gellified state. This inconvenience occurs all too often in ice-creams or fruit sorbets; it can also be called a “well”.
To pass a compound through a syringe in order to provide different shapes to large or small cakes, petits fours, etc.
T.P.T. (TANTUM PER TANTUM)
Refers to a mixture of crushed almonds with an equal quantity of caster sugar or saccharose.
An acid obtained from fruit, especially grapes. It is used in the same way as citric acid.
A small container made of various pastries (short pastry, puff pastry, shortcrust pastry, etc) filled with various sweet or savoury substances.
Bringing the coating to the right temperature of utilisation in order to favour its subsequent hardening and thus producing its appetising shine.
To blend chocolate in basins such as to make the unwanted tannins and acids evaporate, thus making the mass more fondant.
A shape made of paper, cardboard or other material used as a model to cut out shapes for decorations. It is primarily used for gum paste, chocolate, almond brittle and other solid substances.
THICKENER - GEL
The main function of these products is to manipulate the rheological conditions of the aqueous phase. They are hydrocolloids that can absorb a lot of water to produce a three-dimensional lattice with intra- and intermolecular bonds, such that the mobility of the aqueous phase is limited and the product takes on a viscosity of greater or lesser density.
A sauce used to add the finishing touch to an ice-cream sundae or for variegating and embellishing any other product.
A sugary mass that has not yet been refined.
UHT - Ultra High Temperature
A method of sterilisation at high temperatures (up to 150°C) where the foodstuff remains at this temperature for a very short time.
A fine crystalline sugar containing pure vanilla or else flavoured with vanilla sticks (sugar and vanilla sticks in sealed jars).
To glaze sweets using substances that make them look more appetizing.
To provide a light covering for a preparation using sauces, creams or gelatine.
To beat a liquid or semi-dense compound in order to make it denser and to increase its volume by the incorporation of air.
An instrument used to make a substance vaporous and soft by incorporating air, and also to mix liquids and semi-dense compounds. It is made of about ten curved stainless-steel wires inserted into a cylindrical handle; in order to beat low-density compounds ball-shaped whisks with more flexible wires are used; for sauces and dense compounds elongated and rigid wires are preferred.
A chemical and micro-organic substance. When it comes into contact with liquid and solid substances, and under the influence of heat, it provokes a process of fermentation and an increase in volume.