Bakers increasingly use dairy products to make delicious pastries, cakes, and bread. Dairy products bring out the ingredients’ sweetness and give baked goods a flaky, light texture. This article will look at the best baking dairy products and offer tips and tricks for creating perfect pastries every time.
Butter is essential in baking, adding flavor and richness while providing moisture. Unsalted butter is preferable because you can control the amount of salt in your recipe. Pastry chefs recommend European-style butter with a higher fat content for their superior flavor and creaminess. Cool it off with melted butter before adding it to other ingredients to not cook them.
Butter also plays a vital role in many pastries. Pies, tarts, and croissants require butter layers to create a flaky texture. When making these items, it’s vital to ensure that the butter is cold so that it doesn’t melt into the dough as you work with it.
Cream is another dairy product that can be used in baking for its luscious texture and flavor. Heavy cream is the richest and thickest type, perfect for whipped toppings and fillings. Half-and-half combines milk and cream, making it lighter than heavy cream but still offering the same creamy flavor. Sour cream provides a tangy punch to pastries, while yogurt offers sourness with a bit of sweetness.
Another use for cream is in custards, which require heavy cream or a combination of milk and cream. Custards are made by heating a mixture of dairy and eggs over low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. When making custards, constantly stir so the eggs don’t curdle and the mixture doesn’t burn.
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Depending on the recipe, you may need to use different types of milk. Whole milk has higher fat content than low-fat or non-dairy milk like almond or oat milk. Whole milk works best for cakes and other baked goods that require a lot of moisture and richness. Low-fat milk is ideal for quick bread, pancakes, or muffins as it doesn’t add as much fat to the recipe.
Non-dairy milk can also be used in baking recipes, though its flavor may be slightly different. Almond or oat milk is best suited for vegan recipes, while coconut milk adds a tropical flavor that might be better suited for cakes and frostings.
Cheese can also be used in baking, whether sweet or savory. Ricotta is the most common cheese used in baking as it has a creamy texture that adds richness to pastries. Cream cheese is also famous for pies and other desserts as it helps keep them light and fluffy.
If you’re looking for a savory option, shredded cheddar cheese works well for quiches or savory tarts, while grated parmesan cheese lends flavor to bread and focaccia. Other cheeses like blue, feta and brie can also add flavor to pastries.
5. Raspberry cream tart recipe
Now that you know the best dairy products for baking, here is a delicious recipe to get you started. This tart uses cream cheese, cream, and raspberries for a light and flavorful dessert.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon ice water, plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
For the crust: In a bowl, combine and whisk the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two forks until it resembles a coarse meal. Add egg yolk and ice water and mix until the dough comes together. If necessary add 1 teaspoon of water until dough forms. Gather dough into a ball and wrap it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
When ready to use, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Press dough into the edges in a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim excess dough from the sides and prick the bottom of the crust several times with a fork. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
For the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and heavy cream until light and fluffy. Add in sugar, cornstarch, and salt and mix until combined. Gently fold in raspberries.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread evenly. Bake tart at 375°F for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and center is set. Cool completely before serving.
All in all
When baking, having the right dairy products can make all the difference. From sour cream to heavy cream to cheese, there are many options depending on the recipe and the type of flavor you want. With these tips, tricks, and a tasty raspberry cream tart recipe, you can create perfect pastries every time.