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Notes on Recipes & Ingredients
by Renee Shelton

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Notes on Recipes and Ingredients

To make the recipes as consistent as possible, certain steps should be taken in the handling of ingredients and the reading of recipes. Substituting some ingredients with others generally will result with the same finished product if the ingredients are comparable with each other. Here are some tips regarding measuring, and reading of recipes along with common abbreviations.

Handling and Using Ingredients

  • Dry ingredients are measured in a measuring cup and leveled off with a straight edge.
  • Liquid ingredients are measured in a liquid measuring cup.
  • Brown sugar is packed inside the measuring cup, then leveled off.
  • Eggs are size large, unless otherwise noted in recipe.
  • If making a recipe calling specifically for butter then butter is preferred over margarine and the recipe will state "butter only". Otherwise butter and margarine are interchangeable depending on cook's tastes and desired effect (some margarines are very soft and not good for baking). Use a margarine that is specially made for baking, or with the highest percentage of oil, with 60% or more preferred. Read the label as this information will clearly be marked (at least in the US).
  • Sugar is standard granulated sugar. If you are looking for a substitute for castor or caster sugar in a recipe, use superfine granulated sugar.
  • Powdered sugar is confectioner's sugar, and has cornstarch in it to help prevent caking. Depending on where are, icing sugar may mean the same as powdered sugar (processed with a starch), or it may mean simply pure sugar ground into a pure powdered sugar form. Different manufacturer's, such as Sugar Australia, produce this but since it does have no starch it will cake up. For those that cannot have cornstarch in their diets, there is powdered sugar available with tapioca starch instead.
  • Cream is heavy or whipping cream, not half-and-half.
  • Milk is generally whole, but low-fat milk, such as 2% or 1%, can usually be used without harm to recipe.

Reading Ingredients - Recipe Shorthand

  • Here is a basic guide for recipe shorthand:
    • c = cup
    • t = tsp = teaspoon
    • T = Tbsp = tablespoon
    • lb. = # = pound (for example '1lb.' and '1#' and '1 pound' all mean the same thing)
    • oz. = ounce
    • g = G = gram
    • kg = KG = kilogram


Hope this helps in creating your recipes! Let me know if you have any questions.

- Renee.







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