Baking Powder

Baking powder is used for increasing the volume and lightening the texture of baked goods. A very common ingredient around the kitchen, it is used a raising agent in cakes, breads and biscuits. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand. It’s a combination of acid and alkaline, recipes with acid making baking powder more effective. Baking powder is always added to dry ingredients for better aeration. Baking powder is also used a substitute for yeast in bread.

Baking Soda

It is also known as bread soda, cooking soda, bicarbonate of soda, sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, or simply bicarb. This white powder is commonly used as a raising agent in baking. It is used in cakes and baking products. It combines with an acidic component (lemon, vinegar etc.) to produce tiny bubbles which lighten the dough or batter. However, extra amounts can result in a collapsed cake with an unpleasant flavour.


Cocoa is the powder extracted from the fully fermented bean of Cocoa plant. Cocoa bean is the basis for chocolate. Cocoa powder is mainly used to produce chocolate flavoured biscuits, cookies, cakes etc. It is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate.

Corn flour

Also known as corn starch is finely grounded white starch powder. The flour blends well with all the food ingredients. It can also be blended with wheat flour to minimize the gluten content for pastries, cakes and other confectionery items. Corn flour is used as a binding agent for puddings and similar recipes. It is commonly used as a thickener for soups, sauces and other dishes.

It is very important to make a paste of corn flour and cold water before added it while cooking heated dishes. This prevents lumping of the flour.

Tartaric Acid

Also known as Tartar cream is typically used to stabilize egg white. It is also added to foods to give a sour taste.  Tartaric acid is popularly used in fruit and vegetable juices, soft drinks, confectionary, and others. Mexican cuisine has embedded tartaric acid in most of its recipes. Tartaric acid is an important food additive that is commonly combined with baking soda to function as a leavening agent in recipes.


Yeast is a microscopic living fungus that is an essential ingredient in bread making and brewing. It is widely used in baking as a leavening agent, where it converts the food/fermentable sugars present in dough into the gas carbon dioxide. This causes the dough to expand or rise as gas forms pockets or bubbles. When the dough is baked, the yeast dies and the air pockets “set”, giving the baked product a soft and spongy texture. When yeast is used for making bread, it is mixed with flour, salt, and warm water or milk. A longer rising time gives a better flavour, but the yeast can fail to raise the bread in the final stages if it is left for too long initially.

Know Your Ingredients

Baking     ♦     Spices     ♦    Fresh Herbs     ♦    Nuts and Seeds     ♦    Dairy Ingredients     ♦    Other Ingredients



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