Baking for the Holidays


Baking for the Holidays with Megan Hansen

Friday, Food Editor Megan Hansen answered a few questions on Twitter about baking from Taste Marin readers.

Take a look at her responses to your questions.

Readers Question 1: Is bittersweet chocolate interchangeable with semisweet chocolate?

Megan Hansen
I prefer semisweet, but the two can be interchangeable. Semisweet is sweeter; bittersweet is like really dark chocolate.

If you use bittersweet chocolate in a recipe instead of semisweet, increase the amount of sugar in your recipe.




Readers Question 2: Have any advice for baking with fruit?

Megan Hansen
Fruit can be tricky, especially in muffins and pies. Ever made muffins and had all the fruit sink to the bottom?

Try dusting your fruit, whether it be frozen or fresh, in a coating of flour before folding it into your batter.

The flour coating will help absorb the fruit’s natural liquid that is released as it bakes; keeping the fruit from sinking.


Readers Question 3: What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda?

Megan Hansen
While both are leaveners, baking powder contains acid and baking soda doesn’t.

Baking soda has to combine with an acid ingredient to react and release carbon dioxide to make dough rise.

In my experience, cookies made with just baking soda or a combination of the two leaveners is best.

Using just baking powder can make a cookie more cake-like and using just baking soda will make them denser.

Cookies that use both baking powder and baking soda will spread more and be more even.

(see NPR image: here)

Megan Hansen
Have more baking questions?

Tweet them to @TasteMarin on Twitter, and I will answer them!


Thank you Megan!