Flavorings are used widely in baking and pastry to enhance, change or add to the taste of the base product. They are used in cakes, cookies, biscuits, candies, pastries, bread, etc. They come in the form of oils, extracts, emulsions, seeds, spices, herbs, powders, or compounds. Let’s look at them in detail.
Extracts such as vanilla and almonds are the most used flavorings for home culinary creations. They are primarily used in cakes, yeast products, cookies, fillings, buttercreams, and pastries. Extracts are made with alcohol as a base- some are pure, which means they use essential oils or distillates from ingredients mixed with alcohol. Others are processed synthetically to emulate the flavors of the purified extracts using artificial flavors or a blend of natural and artificial.
Some powders such as cocoa are used in baking as a primary or secondary flavoring agent. Freeze-dried fruit is also another example used in buttercream, especially when you want a strong fruity flavor in the end product. But, be careful when using freeze-dried powder because it soaks up the liquid and can be problematic when you use it as the main ingredient in cakes and cookies. Other powder flavorings include cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, etc. You should first mix the powder with the dry ingredients to spread evenly before adding water.
Baking oils come from flowers, plant leaves, or peels like lemon or orange peels. They are ideal for flavoring chocolate and candy because they are high heat tolerant and do not contain alcohol or water. You can use oil flavorings in baking recipes but note that they are more potent than extracts, so your measurements must be accurate. They are also more expensive than extracts because they have a more intense flavor.
Seeds are mostly used in bread and cookies and are sprinkled on top as additional flavor. If you want the flavor of seeds such as caraway or sesame but not the seed themselves, you can use a grinder then disperse the powder in your prepped mixture.
Essences come from fruits, spices, and other plants distilled with steam to get the flavor. Many people love essences because they are very aromatic, and you only need a few drops to get the flavor.
Bakery emulsions are processed with water, emulsifiers, essential oils, and stabilizers like gum arabic. They are water-based and used as an alternative to extracts. Many people love them because they are also bake-proof which means that the flavor doesn’t change even after baking, unlike extracts. They are also less expensive than extracts and are mostly used in large bakeries.
Citrus peel and juices
Many people use citrus peels and juices to make home-baked cakes. To get this type of flavoring, peel the fruit with a vegetable peeler, cut it into 1ich pieces, and add them to the milk or cream you intend to use. Boil and allow the liquid to cool, then remove the peels and use the liquid for baking.
Liquors and liqueurs
Dark rum and bourbon are examples of these types of flavorings. Liquors and liqueurs are usually sweetened and flavored with spices, herbs, fruit, nuts, or seeds.