Glossary of Baking, Cake Decorating &
Candy Making Terms



A synonym for sift; to pass ingredients through a fine-mesh device to break up large pieces and to incorporate air into the ingredients to make them lighter.


An artist's paint gun using an air pump to spray food coloring finely and evenly on cakes, cupcakes or cookies. Excellent for making backgrounds.

Airtight Container

Available in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and materials, vessels that exclude air are widely used in baking to store icings and cakes. Airtight containers prevent food from becoming dried out. The most popular type of airtight containers are plastic with tight-fitting lids, traditional metal tins with lids are also popular for storing cakes and cookies. Unused airtight containers and lids should be washed thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsed and dried, the lids and containers should be stored separately.

Al Dente

Describes pasta and (less commonly) rice or beans that have been cooked so as to be firm but not hard. "Al dente" also describes vegetables that are cooked to the "tender crisp" phase -- still offering resistance to the bite, but cooked through. It is often considered to be the ideal form of cooked pasta. Keeping the pasta firm is especially important in baked or "al forno" pasta dishes. The term comes from Italian and means "to the tooth" or "to the bite", referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness.

All-Purpose Flour

A blend of soft and hard wheat flours with a medium amount of gluten, suitable for most baking purposes.

Almond Paste

A smooth, heavy dough made of ground almonds. Used in candies and pastries.

Angle Food Cake Pan

A round, high-sided pan with a hollow cylinder in the center that provides the traditional angel food cake shape. It is typically two-piece with a removable bottom for convenient cake removal. Standard size is 10" diameter and 4" deep, just right for a mix. Smaller pans (4" and 7" diameter) are also available. These pans are also great for chiffon cakes, quick breads and gelatin molds.


Affixing decorations, such as flowers or icing decorations, to your cake using dots of icing. Use your icing to attach these items as you would use "glue".


A method of cake decorating using the fine art of detailed extension and curtain work comprised of delicate stringwork and icing lace on a rolled fondant cake.

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Fabric or paper background that is either draped or hung smoothly. Used to highlight a wedding cake setting, or for taking professional pictures for a portfolio or album.

Bag Striping

A technique of applying stripes of color--either icing or color paste-- on the inside of the decorating bag for multi-color decorating effects.


Also known as Mary’s bath or water bath, refers to the method of placing smaller pans within a large pan containing hot water to stabilize the heat from reaching the food and allows food to cook evenly all the way through without the food burning or drying out or can be used to keep food warm. The bain-marie technique is traditionally used for preparing delicate items such as custards, milk-based sauces, mousses, and other foods that need to be gently warmed without scorching, burning, breaking, or curdling.


To cook raw food in the oven using dry heat.

Baking Powder

is a dry chemical leavening agent used in cooking, mainly baking. It is most often found in quick breads like pancakes, waffles, and muffins. When dissolved in water the baking powder's ingredients react and emit carbon dioxide gas which expands, producing bubbles to leaven the mixture. Baking powder is used instead of yeast because its action is instantaneous, while yeast takes two to three hours to produce its leavening action.

Baking Soda

Scientists consider baking soda a type of salt. It is most widely known function is for baking, because it reacts with other chemicals to releases carbon dioxide, which makes dough (cakes, muffins, and quick breads)rise.

Bar Spoon

A long handled spoon used in bartending for mixing and layering of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic mixed drinks. Its length ensures that it can reach to bottom of the tallest jug or tumbler to mix ingredients directly in the glass. A bar spoon holds about 5 milliliters of liquid (the same as a conventional teaspoon).

Basketweave Tip

A decorating tip with at least one serrated side for making ribbed stripes and for producing a basketweaving effect by piping interwoven vertical and horizontal lines.


Batch baking is where a large number of cookies are made at one time. The cookies may need to be cooked in rotation in the oven.


A mixture of flour, fat, and liquid that is thin enough in consistency to require a pan to encase it. Used in such preparations as cakes and some cookies. A batter is different from dough, which maintains its shape.


To agitate an ingredient or combination of ingredients vigorously, using a spoon, whisk, electric mixer or fork. Beating can be used as a method to soften and blend ingredients or to incorporate air into a mixture.


Ingredients or an ingredient that have been agitated vigorously using a spoon, whisk, electric mixer or fork.


To thicken a sauce or hot liquid by stirring in ingredients such as eggs, flour, butter, or cream.


To boil briefly to loosen the skin of a fruit or a vegetable. After 30 seconds in boiling water, the fruit or vegetable should be plunged into ice water to stop the cooking action, and then the skin easily slices off.


To thoroughly combine two or more ingredients together or to process food using an electric blender or mixer.


Sometimes called "pre-baking", refers to the process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without the filling. Generally, the pie crust is lined with tin foil or parchment paper, then filled with dried peas, lentils, beans or other pulses, or with ceramic "baking beans", so that it will keep its shape when baking. Metal or ceramic pie weights are also used. After the pie crust is done, the pulses are replaced with the proper filling. Blind-baking is necessary if the pie filling can not be baked as long as the crust requires, or if the filling of the pie would make the crust too soggy if added immediately.


A whitish coating on chocolate, caused by separated cocoa butter.


To cook a liquid at a temperature of 100°C when bubbles rise rapidly to the surface. Always use a saucepan large enough to prevent ingredients from boiling over the edges of the pan.

Boil Vigorously

To cook a liquid at a temperature of 100°C, without the temperature falling below the specified temperature.


A continuous decoration used around the top, side or base of a cake.

Bouquet Garni

A bundle of herbs usually tied together with string and mainly used to prepare soup, stock, and various stews. The bouquet is boiled with the other ingredients, but is removed prior to consumption. There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most recipes include parsley, thyme and bay leaf, but it may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, peppercorns, savory and tarragon.

Bring to a Boil

To heat water in a pan, with or without other ingredients until it reaches 100°C.

Bromated Flour

A flour which has been enriched with potassium bromate, a maturing agent which promotes gluten development in doughs.

Brush With

Using a pastry brush or crumpled wax paper, cover lightly with melted fat, salad oil, cream, beaten egg white. etc.


The first stage of a growth for a branch, leaf, or flower.

Building Up

Creating larger decorations by leaving the tip in the icing for a longer time continuing to squeeze the bag (example: a dot becomes a ball if tip is left in the icing).

Bundt-Style Pan

This one-piece pan bakes a cake with a hole in the center but is distinguished by fancy, fluted indentations. Used for pound cakes, fruit cakes and mousses.

Buttercream Icing

The most versatile and best tasting decorating icing. Icing is smooth and creamy with decorations remaining soft. Stiff consistency is used for flowers with upright petals, medium consistency is used for borders and flat flowers, thin consistency is used for icing the cake, writing and making leaves.

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Cake Board

Corrugated cardboard sized to provide bases for cakes. Can be found in single or double thicknesses.

Cake Circle

Corrugated cardboard rounds sized to provide bases for standard circular cakes. Can be purchased, waxed, unwaxed, patterned or with ruffles already applied.

Cake Pan

Cake pans come in various depths. Professional cake pans have sides at least 2" high; the taller sides result in taller cakes. Round, square and rectangular shapes are typical, and hundreds of shaped pans are also available.

Cake Rack

An open metal round or rectangular wire rack used to cool cakes and other baked goods, after they have been removed from the oven.


The cuplike green portion of the flower connecting the petals to the stem. The outer protective covering of a flower, which folds back when open in segments called sepals.

Candy Clay

A combination of chocolate and corn syrup to keep the chocolate pliable. Used to form woven baskets, ribbons and flowers like the rose. Also known as Candy Modeling Clay.

Candy (Sugar) Thermometer

A thermometer used to check the temperature of sugar when making sweets. A sugar thermometer is also invaluable for checking the setting point when making jams and jellies. A sugar thermometer can also be used to measure the temperature of oil when deep frying.


Browning sugar over a heat, with or without the addition of some water to aid the process. The temperature range in which sugar caramelizes is approximately 320°F to 360°F (160°C to 182°C).


In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt granulated sugar, stirring constantly, until sugar caramelizes into a golden-brown syrup. Superfine sugar caramelized in less time.


A continuous flow of decorations from one level to another.

Caster Sugar

Castor or caster sugar is the name of a very fine sugar in Britain, so named because the grains are small enough to fit though a sugar "caster" or sprinkler. It is sold as "superfine" sugar in the United States. Because of its fineness, it dissolves more quickly than regular white sugar, and so is especially useful in meringues and cold liquids.

Cast Sugar

Sugar that is boiled to the hard crack stage and then poured into molds to harden.

Casually Iced

A loose, free-flowing way to ice your cake that is easy for anyone to achieve. Unlike perfectly smooth iced cakes, the casually iced cake surface has a textured look, achieved with a light stroking motion of the spatula.

Celsius Scale

The metric system of temperature measurement, with 0°C at the freezing point of water and 100°C at the boiling point of water.

Chiffon Method

A cake mixing method involving the folding of whipped egg whites into a batter made of flour, egg yolks, and oil.


To place in the refrigerator, at a temperature of less than 40°F, to reduce the temperature of food.


A food that has been stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of less than 40°F, in order to reduce its temperature before serving.

Chocolate Compound Coatings

Available from many companies in sweet, semisweet, butterscotch, peanut butter, and a variety of colors for great versatility in candy making. Eliminates the tempering process necessary for real chocolate.

Chocolate Liquor

Unsweetened chocolate, consisting of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Chocolate Truffle

Is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate or cocoa powder, usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape.

Citric Acid

Helps prevent sugaring and improves flavors, especially in fruit candies. Comes in liquid or crystal powder form. Crystals can be mixed with an equal amount of water to form liquid citric acid.


Remove impurities from butter or stock by heating the liquid, then straining or skimming it.


To evenly cover food with flour, crumbs, or a batter.

Coats a Spoon

When a cooked egg-based mixture or sauce leaves a thin layer on a metal spoon as a test for doneness.


Powder of roasted cacao beans, when added to oil makes an excellent substitute for processed chocolate. The dry powder that remains after cocoa butter is pressed out of chocolate liquor.

Cocoa Butter

A white or yellowish fat found in natural chocolate.

Coconut Dough

A chewy, coconut filling for candy bars or centers.

Coconut Oil

One of the ingredients in man-made chocolate. Used to thin chocolate or soften finished candy and make it less brittle.

Color Flow Mix

A prepared, pasteurized egg white based powder that produces Color Flow icing when mixed with water and confectioners’ sugar. Used to create decorations to be placed on a cake. First the decoration is outlined on wax paper with regular strength color flow. Then the color flow is thinned and allowed to flow into the outlined area. Once dried the piece is removed from the wax paper and placed on marshmallows, sugar cubes, or wax paper or parchment paper outline so that the decoration does not come into contact with the grease or humidity of the icing.


To mix or toss to distribute ingredients evenly. Use a fork or wooden spoon.


A dessert made of whole or pieces of fruit in sugar syrup. Whole fruits are immersed in water and with sugar and spices added to the dish, over gentle heat. The syrup may be seasoned with vanilla, lemon or orange peel, cinnamon sticks or powder, cloves, ground almonds, grated coconut, candied fruit, or raisins. The compote is then served either warm or chilled arranged in a large fruit bowl or single-serve bowl for individual presentation. The dessert may be topped with whipped cream, cinnamon, or vanilla sugar.

Confectioners' Sugar

Granulated sugar that has been processed into a powder. Contains either cornstarch or wheat starch to keep the powder from clumping. All confectioners' sugar is pre-sifted but with different gauges of mesh. The size of the gauge is sometimes indicated on the packaging, such as 4x, 6x, or 10x. Used to make icings, gum paste, fondant, or sprinkled on top of cakes, cookies, or donuts. Also known as Icing Sugar or Powdered Sugar.

Cookie Cutter

A metal or plastic tool with a sharp edge that is used to stamp out shapes from dough to make cookies or designs on a cake. A wide choice of shapes are available ranging from plain or fluted round cutters to novelty shapes such as stars, hearts, Christmas trees and flowers.

Cookie Sheet

A flat pan with one edge (and sometimes two) slightly curved for ease in handling. Standard sizes are 10 x 15-inch and 11 x 17-inch.

Cooking Spray

A spray form of various types of oils, combined with lecithin, an emulsifier, and a propellent such as food-grade alcohol, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide or propane that is available in various flavorings.

Cooling Rack

An open metal round or rectangular wire rack used to cool cakes and other baked goods, after they have been removed from the oven.


The central inedible part of a fruit which contains the seeds or pips. To remove the central inedible part of a fruit, for best results use an apple corer to core smaller fruit.

Cornelli Lace

An elaborate piping technique using a series of curved lines that yields a lace-like pattern.


A powder created from maize used as a thickener in cooking, to dry Gum Paste when working, or to dust the work surface when rolling out fondant. Also found in confectioner’s sugar to prevent clumping.

Corn Syrup

A corn product used to prevent sugaring in candies. Often adds a chewy consistency.


A grooved insert and retainer ring for the decorating bags that allows tip changes without changing bags. The coupler has two parts; the inner coupler base and the outer coupler ring. Decorator bags are cut so that only the first thread of the inner coupler is exposed.


Natural, sweet chocolate containing no added fats other than natural cocoa butter; used for dipping, molding, coating, and similar purposes.

Covered Wire

Florist wires covered with paper not plastic, used when making Gum Paste flowers.


The fat content of milk, the thicker the cream the higher the fat content. To beat fat (usually butter) and sugar (usually granulated sugar) together to form a pale and fluffy mixture which resembles whipped cream in texture and color. This mixture is used as a basis for a wide variety of cake, pie and pudding recipes.

Cream of coconut

A sweet thick liquid made from fresh coconuts, and added sugar and stabilizers.

Cream of Tarter

Potassium bitartrate; a white powder used to hold beaten egg whites and to harden flowed sugar.


The process of beating fat and sugar together to blend them uniformly and to incorporate air.

Creaming Method

A mixing method that begins with the blending of fat and sugar; used for cakes, cookies, and similar items.

Cream Together

To beat fat (usually butter) and sugar (usually granulated sugar) to form a pale and fluffy mixture which resembles whipped cream in texture and color. This mixture is used as a basis for a wide variety of cake, biscuit and pudding recipes.

Crème de Cacao

A cacao (chocolate bean) flavored liqueur, often scented with vanilla. It is different from chocolate liqueur, which is usually sweeter and more syrupy. It exists in two different variations: Dark crème de cacao is dark brown, while White crème de cacao is a clear, colorless form of the same liqueur. If a recipe calls for just crème de cacao, the white variant is usually the correct to use.

Crème Fraîche

A heavy cream thickened and slightly soured with buttermilk and often served on fruit.


Press together two pastry layers on edge of pie crust, sealing the dough and at the same time creating a decorative edge using fingers, a fork, or other utensil.


The process of adding crispness to vegetables, crackers, breads, or cookies. By soaking vegetables in water containing ice or heating crackers, bread, or cookies in ovens, various amounts of crispness can be provided to the food item being treated.


A sweet fruit dessert made with baked fruit that has a topping (streusel-like) made from flour, sugar, butter that has been combined until it is crumbly and looks like coarse meal. Crisps are commonly referred to as a "fruit crisp" or as a crisp described by the name of the fruit in the dessert, such as apple crisp. Most crisps are made with sliced apples but other firm fruits, such as pears and cranberries, can be used. A typical crisp combines a variety of ingredients, which include brown sugar, oatmeal, nuts and spices that are mixed with the butter, flour and cinnamon to create a granular topping that is spread over the baked fruit. Crisps do not have a bottom crust and the topping, when baked, becomes crisp and crunchy. Although it can be served cold, it is most often served as a warm dessert with softly whipped cream or vanilla ie cream.


An Italian baked dessert tart, and a form of pie. It is traditionally prepared by folding the edges of the dough over the top of the jam or marmalade filling, creating a more "rough" look, rather than a uniform, circular shape. The jams that are traditionally used as a filling are cherries, peaches, apricots, berries.


To break into small pieces or crumbs.


An ingredient that has been broken into small pieces or crumbs.


To condense a food to its smallest particles, usually using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.


To form sugar- or honey-based syrups into crystals. The term also describes the coating.


Cut into small (about 1/2") cubes.


Small cakes usually round in shape baked in cupcake papers in a muffin pan. Can be arranged in tiers to resemble a larger wedding cake.


A general term for orange-flavored liqueur made from the dried peel of bitter oranges found on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Curaçao can be colored orange (known as Orange Curaçao or only Curaçao), blue (Blue Curaçao), green (Green Curaçao) or left clear (White Curaçao). All variants have the same flavor, with small variations in bitterness. Blue and green Curaçao are often used to provide color to mixed drinks.


Custard-like pie or tart filling flavored with juice and zest of citrus fruit, usually lemon, although lime and orange may also be used.


To cause semisolid pieces of coagulated protein to develop in food, usually as a result of the addition of an acid substance, or the overheating of milk or egg-based sauces.


A mixture of beaten egg, milk, and possibly other ingredients such as sweet or savory flavorings, which is cooked with gentle heat, often in a water bath or double boiler. As pie filling, the custard is frequently cooked and chilled before being layered into a prebaked crust.

Cut In

To mix a cold fat, such as butter or margarine, with flour or dry ingredients by hand until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs using a pastry blender or two tableware knives.

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A measure approximately equal to 1/16 teaspoon.

Decorating Bag

The container that holds a decorating tip and decorating icing. Bags can be made of plastic, polyester or parchment paper.

Decorating Tips

Specially-shaped, open-end tips used to form icing decorations. The size and shape of the opening on a decorating tube determines the type of decorations the tip will produce. Sometimes called decorating tubes.

Decorating Tubes

Specially-shaped, open-end tips used to form icing decorations. The size and shape of the opening on a decorating tube determines the type of decorations the tip will produce. Sometimes called decorating tips.

Decorator Brush

Nylon brush used for color striping, smoothing icing details, painting sugar molds, painting chocolate molds, applying vanilla and piping gel to fondant, and moving outlines.

Desiccated Coconut

A finely cut, dry, unsweetened coconut. Sometimes referred to as macaroon coconut.


Cut into very small (about 1/4") cubes.

Direct Heat

A cooking method that allows heat to meet food directly, such as grilling, broiling, or toasting.


To add a solid to a liquid and to stir or heat it until the solid becomes an integral part of the liquid.

Disposable Bag

Clear plastic decorating bag used to hold icing, coupler and tip. Ideal for creating fine lines of melted chocolate or for writing on chocolate. Also, ideal for using with colorflow. The end of the bag is uncut allowing you to determine the size of the opening.


Scatter small bits, as of butter or margarine, over surface of food.

Dotted Swiss

Texture effect made by dotting the surface area.

Double Boiler

Also known as a double saucepan this consists of a set of two pans that stack on top of each other. A double boiler is used, where water is heated in the lower saucepan and the top pan is used to carry out any cooking process that requires gentle indirect heat.


A combination of ingredients including flour, water or milk, and, sometimes, a leavener, producing a firm but workable mixture for making baked goods.


Round, edible sugar balls coated with silver or gold which are used for decorative purposes.


To remove water from ingredients cooked in liquid or from raw ingredients that have been washed in water by placing them in a sieve or colander. Water can also be drained from ingredients cooked in water by placing a lid over the pan of ingredients and cooking water and inverting it.


Coat or sprinkle lightly with flour, sugar, etc.


To pour a liquid over other ingredients, usually in a random design and often as a finishing decorative touch.

Drop Flower Tip

Decorating tip used to make icing flowers quickly and easily.

Dry Fondant

A commercial powdered cane sugar product that needs to be reconstitute with liquids to make a simple fondant.


To sprinkle lightly with a powder.


A light covering of a fine powdered ingredient.

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Egg Wash

A mixture of beaten eggs (yolks, whites, or whole eggs) with either milk or water. Used to coat cookies and other baked goods to give them a shine when baked.

Electric Hand Mixer

A hand held mixer which usually comes with various attachments including a whisk attachment for whisking cream, batters and egg whites and sugar. Dough hooks are also available for some models to mix and knead yeast mixtures.

Electric Mixer

A large worktop piece of equipment which has the capacity to mix large amounts of bread, cake, icing and pastry dough. Food mixers also often have useful extra attachments such as a blender, juice extractor, pasta maker or coffee grinder.


To taper an icing decoration by relaxing the bag pressure and movement before stopping the technique.


A delicate technique that creates a pattern on the top and sides of the cake using a series of straight and curved lines, dots and flower shapes resembling fine embroidery.

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Featherweight Bag

Reusable polyester decorating bag.

Figure Piping

A decorating technique used to form figures out of icing. The form figures normally consist of fruits, vegetables, animals, or people.

Filé powder

Also called gumbo filé, is a spice made from dried and ground sassafras leaves. It is used in the making of some types of gumbo, a Creole and Cajun soup/stew. It is sprinkled sparingly over gumbo as a seasoning and a thickening agent, giving it a distinctive flavor and texture. Filé can provide thickening when okra is not in season. Filé should be stirred into a dish after it's removed from the heat because undue cooking makes file tough and stringy.


Frosting, preserves, and/or pudding that is spread between layers of cake to hold them together.


To remove lumps, excess liquid, or impurities by passing through paper or cheesecloth.

Finely Chop

To cut food into very small pieces using a sharp knife or food processor.

Firm Ball Stage

A term used in connection with making sweets to determine the temperature of a sugar and water syrup. When a teaspoon of the boiled syrup is dropped into cold water and it forms a firm ball, which does not flatten when removed from the water, the syrup is at firm ball stage or has a temperature of 242°F to 248°F.

Firm Peaks

When a whisk is removed from a well whisked or whipped ingredient, the mixture stands up in small points known as firm peaks.


An open pie filled with sweet or savory ingredients; also, a Spanish dessert of baked custard covered with caramel.

Flower Former

A curved plastic form used to dry icing flowers and to create curved petals.

Flower Nail

Round, flat surface on a stem that is finger-held and can be rotated. Used for making icing flowers.


When a mixture is beaten or mixed until it has a soft texture.


Press together two pastry layers on edge of pie crust, sealing the dough and at the same time creating a decorative edge using fingers, a fork, or other utensil.


The process of whipping eggs, with or without sugar, to incorporate air.


When a mixture is beaten or mixed until it has a frothy and bubbly, semi-liquid texture.

Fold In

To combine a light ingredient such as whipped cream or whisked egg whites into a heavier mixture such as melted chocolate and butter. By folding in the lighter ingredient the heavier mixture becomes lighter. To fold in, pass wire ship, rubber spatula, or metal spoon vertically down through the mixtures across bottom of bowl and up opposite side. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn with each stroke. Repeat until evenly combined. Do not stir in circles. Also refers to incorporating ingredients like chocolate chips or nuts into a cake or cookie dough.


A sweet, elastic icing made of sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin that is rolled out with a rolling pin and draped over a cake. It has a smooth, porcelain finish and provides a firm base for hand molded sugar flowers, decorative details, and architectural designs. Cakes iced in fondant have a layer of buttercream, apricot glaze or ganache underneath to keep the fondant soft. Flowers made with fondant are generally not as delicate as Gum Paste flowers. A fondant covered cake should not be refrigerated unless it contains perishable items.

Fresh Flowers

Can be added to a cake as long as they are non-poisonous and organically grown. All stems are poisonous. Can be placed in plastic holders or on plates, specifically designed for holding fresh flowers on cakes.


To cover a cake with icing.


A light foam-like texture created when liquid has been whisked until a collection of small bubbles have formed.

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A sweet, rich chocolate, denser than mousse but less dense than fudge. It is made by pouring hot cream over chocolate and beating it with a wooden spoon until the mixture is glossy and smooth, and will soften in very humid weather.


Swags of icing used to create a draped decoration along the top of the cake.


To add a small decoration, often edible, to a dessert just before serving to enhance its finished appearance.


Ingredient of Gum Paste used to strength the final product. Also used to thicken some fillings.

Glacé Fruits

The French word for glazed, and refers to fruits that are preserved in a sugar syrup and then further glazed or candied with syrup.


Glazes are used to give desserts a smooth and/or shiny finish or to seal in the moisture. Cake glazes can be water icing (confectioners’ sugar mixed with liquid), melted chocolate in combination with cream, butter and/or sugar syrup, or fondant (a thick shiny opaque icing). Caramel is used to glaze some cakes and small pastries; and sugar cooked to the hard-crack stage can be used to give pastries sheen but no color. Tart glazes are made from sieved jam, preserves or jelly, or a combination of the above. Pastry glazes (brushed on dough before baking) can be an egg glaze made with whole eggs or yolks; milk, cream and/or butter glaze (these produce a duller finish); sugar glaze (sugar sprinkled over milk or cream glaze), or any combinations of the above.


A type of sugar used in commercial candies and frosting, baked good, soft drinks and other processed foods because it does not crystallize easily. Also called dextroglucose or dextrose. Used in making fondant.


A protein formed when hard wheat flour is moistened and agitated. Gluten is what gives yeast dough its characteristic elasticity.


A colorless, odorless, syrupy liquid made from fats and oils and used to retain moisture and add sweetness to foods. It also helps to prevent sugar crystallization in foods like candy. Stir into icing to restore consistency or use to soften fondant or royal icing. Can be used to soften dried icing colors, and when making rolled fondant.


To rub food downwards on a grater to produce shreds or slices of varying thicknesses.


To apply a layer of fat to a surface to prevent food from sticking.


a blood-red, strong syrup made from pomegranates. It is sometimes referred to as grenadine syrup. It is the number one among fruit syrups, and is used in many cocktails not only for sweetening, but also to give them a red color.


To mechanically cut a food into small pieces.

Gum Arabic

A powdered resin that is taken from two sub-Saharan species of the acacia tree. It is used primarily in the food industry as a stabilizer. Also, an ingredient used in making gumdrops.

Gum Paste

A sugar paste dough with a gum stiffening agent, this mixture is most often used for handmade flowers and other three-dimensional decorations. Flowers made from Gum Paste usually look the most lifelike. It dries hard and breaks easily if not handled gingerly. Gum Paste is susceptible to heat and humidity. If properly stored, Gum Paste decorations will last for years as keepsakes.

Gum Paste Flowers

Realistic-looking fruits, flowers, ribbons and bows molded from a paste of sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin. Gum Paste decorations which can be used to garnish a cake, are edible and will last for years as keepsakes.

Gum Tragacanth

Powdered resin that is essential ingredient for Gum Paste to ensure its elastic qualities.

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Hard Ball Stage

The stage or temperature at which a small quantity of heated sugar syrup forms a hard ball when dropped into cold water. This temperature is usually between 250°F and 265°F. A candy thermometer is a handy tool for determining the proper temperature. The hard-ball stage is important because certain candy recipes require this in order to be prepared successfully.

Hard Crack Stage

The hard crack stage is the highest temperature you are likely to see specified in a candy recipe. At these temperatures, there is almost no water left in the syrup. Syrup dropped into ice water separates into hard, brittle threads that break when bent. the syrup is at hard crack stage or has a temperature of 300°F to 310°F.


This is the "space" from the top of canning jar (where the lid fits) to the point where the food or liquid fills the remainder of the jar.


To increase the temperature of ingredients, either to cook or to make it more palatable.

Heath Crunches

Include peppermint, toffee, pecan crisp, lemon and cinnamon. Ready to add to chocolate to make barks and fillings.

Hoisin Sauce

Also called Peking sauce, is a thick, reddish-brown sauce that is sweet and spicy, and widely used in Chinese cooking. It's a mixture of soybeans, garlic, chile peppers and various spices.

Hull (also Husk)

To remove the leafy parts of soft fruits, such as strawberries or blackberries.

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To cool down cooked food by placing in ice; also, to spread frosting on a cake.


A mixture of sugar, butter, and flavorings used to cover a cake and from which decorative, edible designs are created.

Icing Color

Concentrated color formula used for adding color to icing and other foods.

Icing Comb

A plastic triangle with toothed or serrated edges; used for texturing icings.

Icing Pearls

A technique using icing, piping gel, and tips to form pearls on a cake.

Invert Sugar

Created by combining a sugar syrup with a small amount of acid (such as cream of tartar or lemon juice) and heating. This inverts, or breaks down, the sucrose into its two components, glucose and fructose, thereby reducing the size of the sugar crystals. Because of its fine crystal structure, invert sugar produces a smoother product and is used in making candies such as fondant, and some syrups. The process of making jams and jellies automatically produces invert sugar by combining the natural acid in the fruit with granulated sugar and heating the mixture. Invert sugar can usually be found in jars in cake-decorating supply shops


A yeast derivative, used in fondant centers to make them creamier as the fondant ripens. Usually only a few drops are necessary. Can be omitted from any recipe.

Iridescent Powder

Powder that give cakes and decorations a pearl-like finish.

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To cause a food to set or solidify, usually by adding gelatin.

Jelly-Roll Pan

A rectangular pan with about 1" deep sides originally designed to make sheet cakes or sponge cakes for jelly rolls. Today, the pan is commonly used for baking cookies, rolls and pizzas. Standard size is about 10 1/2 x 15 1/2 x 1-inch.

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A clear alcoholic beverage distilled from cherries.


A technique used in both bread making and pastries to combine and work a dough or mixture into a smooth and pliable mass. In bread making, kneading the dough also develops the gluten strands in the flour so it adequately holds in the gases released by the leavener (yeast) to produce a bread with good volume and texture. This technique can be done by hand, using the press-fold-turn action, or using a food processor or electric mixer with the dough hook.

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Lace Points

Royal icing piped filigree which extends past the edge of the cake.


A method of using intricate, dimensional overpiping of borders on a rolled fondant cake. Overpipe scrolls, scallops and stringwork plus other decorations for the layer-upon-layer look.


A detail that crisscrosses with an open pattern. The lattice can be piped on the side of the cake or pressed into the cake.


An individual horizontal part of a solid.

Leaf Tip

Decorating tip used to make icing leaves and some flowers such as the lily and poinsettia.


An ingredient or process that produces air bubbles and causes the rising of baked goods such as cookies and cakes.


An emulsifier made from soybeans and used to keep oils from separating.

Lemon Zest

The yellow outer rind of the lemon that contains the fruit's flavor and perfume. The rind being the outer skin of the lemon which consists of both the yellow zest and white membrane (pith).


Removing the rounded top part or "crown" of a cake to provide a flat surface for frosting and decorating.

Lightly Grease

To apply a thin layer of Pan Release or fat to a surface to prevent food from sticking.


To place layers of edible (cake or bread slices) or inedible (foil or wax paper) ingredients in a pan to provide structure for a dish or to prevent sticking.

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To partly mix two colors of cake batter or icing so that the colors are in decorative swirls.


A paste made of ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites, used to mold edible flowers or fruit to decorate the cake. Marzipan can also be rolled in sheets, like fondant, and used as icing.


Pronounced mas-kahr-POH-nay. It is a soft unripened cheese that belongs to the cream cheese family. It comes from Switzerland and Italy and is a thick, buttery-rich, sweet and velvety, ivory-colored cheese produced from cow's milk that has the texture of clotted or sour cream. It delicate and mild flavor is great with fresh fruit and is probably best known for its use in Tiramisu. Produced mainly in the fall and winter it is sold in plastic 8 ounce tubs and can be found in specialty food stores and in the deli section of some grocery stores.


To apply heat to a solid ingredient to turn it into a liquid.


Egg whites beaten until they are stiff, then sweetened. It can be used as the topping for pies, or baked as cookies.

Meringue Powder

Mixture made with pasteurized dried egg whites; used to make long-lasting, hard-drying royal icing. Safe to use uncooked in icings, meringues and mousses. Also adds strength to sugar molds and buttercream flowers. Stabilizes buttercream and whipped cream icings.

Milk Chocolate

A combination of chocolate liquor, added cocoa butter, sugar and milk or cream. It must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor. It may also contain optional ingredients.


Individually decorated wedding cakes served to each guests.


To combine two or more ingredients by stirring in circles with a wooden spoon until ingredients are distributed evenly and there are no clumps of one ingredient. Or, to combine with an electric mixer on low speed.


A large worktop piece of electrical equipment which has the capacity to mix large amounts of batter or dough. Food mixers also often have useful extra attachments such as a blender, juice extractor, pasta maker or coffee grinder.

Modeling Chocolate

A thick paste made of chocolate and glucose, which can be molded by hand into decorative shapes. Also referred to as Candy Clay.


Adding enough liquid to dry ingredients to dampen but not soak them.


A very light and airy filling similar to a dense whipped cream flavored with fruit or chocolate. Mousse is not recommended for cakes that will be displayed at room temperature for any length of time.


To muddle is to combine ingredients, usually in the bottom of a mixing glass, by pressing them with a muddler before adding the majority of the liquid ingredients.


A muddler is a long pestle shaped often shaped like a baseball bat that is commonly made of wood, but modern designs can be found in stainless steel or plastic with teeth on the bottom. One end of this essential bar tool is large and rounded and is used to mash the ingredients. While the other end is skinnier and flat and is used to mix ingredients.

When stocking a bar it is ideal to have both a traditional wood muddler and a plastic toothed muddler. Use the wood muddler for herbs, such as mint, for Mojitos and Mint Juleps. Use the newer designs like Shawn Soole's Viva Stick, for fruits and other thick ingredients.


To slowly heat wine or cider with spices and sugar.

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Nondairy Liquid Coffee Creamers

The frozen liquid type is excellent in candy. Use in place of milk or cream in fudges.


A mixture of caramelized sugar and almonds or other nuts, used in decorative work and as a confection and flavoring.

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A line of icing which helps define shapes on the cake. Often used on character cakes in which a feature is first outlined, then filled in with stars or zigzags. Also used when you need a straight or curved line, such as hair and mouths.

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Pandan Leaves

Pandan is a herbaceous tropical plant with long green leaves. In Southeast Asia, pandan leaves are used to lend a unique taste and aroma to many Thai desserts and some drinks. Pandan paste is used in cakes and desserts, as it is sweet and imbues foods with a bright green color. It can be purchased as a ready-to-use paste in Asian specialty stores. If purchased fresh, pandan leaves should be pounded into a paste for use in desserts, adding water sparingly.

Paramount Crystals

Vegetable oils, mostly coconut oil, in small solid pieces and used as coconut oil.

Paramount Paper

A heavy, heat-resistant paper used in cooking.

Parchment Bag

Disposable decorating bag formed from a parchment paper triangle.


With knife, remove outer covering, such as with apples.


Rolled Fondant without any of the softening ingredients (glycerin, cornstarch or shortening). It is used mainly for decorative ribbons, three dimensional shapes and appliques, as it dries bone-dry and crusts more quickly than Fondant. It can be rolled very thin. It is also used to make sugar greeting cards, picture frames, bells, boxes or other containers which can then be decorated with piping or sugar flowers. Decorations made from pastillage should not be eaten.

Pastry Blender

A tool made of 5 or 6 parallel U-shaped steel wires attached at both ends to a handle. It cuts the butter into small pieces so the flour can coat the particles. Two knives may also be used.

Pastry Cream

A delicate milk and egg-based filling similar to pudding. Pastry cream can be flavored with vanilla, chocolate or coffee.

Pastry Cutter

A tool which is used to stamp out pastry, biscuits, scones, sweets and canapés. Pastry cutters are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes from the most popular plain or fluted round cutters to novelty shapes such as stars, animals, numbers and letters and can be made from metal or plastic.

Pastry Wheel

A small hand held tool with a fluted wheel on the end for cutting pastry and creating a decorative edge


An illustrated design which can be transferred to an iced cake, then decorated.


The mounds made in a mixture. For example, egg white that has been whipped to stiffness. Peaks are "stiff" if they stay upright, or "soft" if they curl over.


Round, edible sugar balls coated with a pearl dust (in almost any color) used for decorative purposes. Pearls can be individual or in strings.

Pear Nectar

A thick, sweet, slightly grainy juice that is extracted from pears. Bottled pear nectar can be found in most supermarkets.


Pull off outer covering, such as with bananas or oranges.


A fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk, using no flavorings except for vanilla. Penuche often has a tannish color to it and is lighter than regular fudge. It is formed by the caramelization of brown sugar, and thus its flavor is said to be reminiscent of caramel. Nuts, especially pecans, are often added to penuche used for texture, especially in the making of penuche candies.


Pepperoncini are a variety of the same species as bell peppers and chili peppers. They are also known as Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers and golden Greek peppers. Pepperoncini are mild with a slight heat to them, with a hint of bitterness and are commonly pickled and sold packaged in jars.


The outermost segments of a flower.

Phyllo Dough

A dough or pastry that is paper-thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough used for making pastries in Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern Cookery. Phyllo dough is made with flour, water, and a small amount of oil. It is almost always used in multiple layers separated by melted butter. When these are baked or deep-fried, they become crispy and the result resembles puff pastry, though the method is very different, and they are generally not substituted for one another.

Pie Dish

A deep round glass, earthenware or metal dish with sloping sides and a wide rim. Pie dishes can be used to make double crust (with a base and topping of pastry) or single crust (with a top crust only) pies.


Used in a tiered cake, such as a wedding cake, to separate the tiers of cake. They can be made of plastic or wood in several lengths to achieve the desired look.


An approximate tiny measurement of a powdered ingredient usually obtained by picking it up with the finger and thumb.


Squeezing icing out of bag through a decorating tip to form decorations.


Decorative details created using a decorating bag and various metal decorating tips. Piping details include leaves, borders, basketweave, and flowers.

Piping Bag

A triangular shaped fabric or greaseproof bag that has large opening at one end and a small opening at the other. A nozzle is inserted into the small end, the bag is filled with a smooth, semi-solid mixture and forced out using pressure from both hands.

Piping Gel

Transparent gel that can be tinted any color for decorating, writing or pattern transfer.


Remove pit or seed, such as with cherries or prunes.

Practice Board

Hard surface that can be used flat or upright for practicing decorative effects. Also used to prevent Gum Paste and fondant flower sections from drying before assembling.


To set the oven or grill to a specific temperature to allow the internal temperature to increase sufficiently before cooking.


To apply pressure.


To let yeast dough rise.

Pulled Sugar

A technique in which boiled sugar is manipulated and pulled to produce flowers and bows.


Press through fine sieve or food mill.

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Raw Chip Coconut

Unsweetened coconut in wide strips, used to make excellent brittle.


To take a dried food such as milk back to its original state by adding liquid.


To reduce volume of liquid by rapid boiling in an uncovered pan.


To place food or ingredients to one side until they are needed in a recipe.

Ribbon Stage

A term in baking that describes a certain stage that is reached when beating eggs together with sugar. It is when the batter forms a flat ribbon falling back upon itself when the electric mixer beater is lifted. Or when a whisk, spoon or your finger is moved through the mixture leaving a trail behind that is visible for a couple of seconds before disappearing back into the mixture.


Ready to be eaten, the term ripe is most commonly used with reference to the flavor and texture of fruit.


To reduce the thickness of pastry or dough by applying equal pressure.

Rolled Buttercream

A sweet and very pliable icing similar to Rolled Fondant that is rolled out then placed on the cake as a covering. The cake is first covered with a very thin layer of buttercream icing, and the rolled buttercream is laid on top. It can also be used to mold flowers.

Rolled Fondant

A thick, malleable dough made of powdered sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and glycerin with added flavor and then optionally tinted. Typically, it is rolled out and then draped and smoothed to conform with the shape of the cake for a flawless matte finish, making it a popular covering for wedding cakes. Rolled fondant can also be modeled, formed, twisted, imprinted, cut out to form eyelet lace and used to make scrolls and flowers. It can be used to cover cake boards. It acts as a smooth base for pastillage flowers and royal icing details. Sometimes referred to as Sugarpaste.

Rolling Boil

When water in an open saucepan reaches boiling point and all of the liquid is moving with bubbles continually rising and breaking on the surface.

Rolling Pin

A long, smooth cylindrical roller mainly used to roll out pastry. A variety of types are available: without handles, with integral handles or with handles that are attached to a central rod in the roller. Rolling pins are usually made from wood but can also be made from marble or plastic. A rolling pin can also be used to crush ingredient (in a plastic bag) to make crumbs.

Room Temperature

The average temperature of a kitchen.

Rose Tip

Decorating tip used to make the rose, daisy, primrose, daffodil, pansy, rose bud, sweet pea, ribbon, bow and ruffle border.

Round Tip

Decorating tip used to make dots and outlines. Also used for writing and figure piping.

Royal Icing

Icing that can be made with raw egg whites, meringue powder, water, confectioner’s sugar or cream of tarter. It can be tinted in any color. This icing is piped from a decorating bag to create latticework, beading, bows, and flowers.

Royal Icing Flowers

Decorated flowers made of royal icing. When dry, the texture is hard and brittle and keeps virtually indefinitely. Do not refrigerate dried decorations.


A combination of spices, seasonings and herbs that add flavor and texture to meats.

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To heat a liquid almost to the boiling point.


To heat a liquid almost to the boiling point.


A small British quickbread of Scottish origin.


Using a knife, fork or the edge of a spatula, make shallow slits or gashes by gently pressing it against the surface.


To form a thick, lumpy mass when melted (usually applied to chocolate).

Self-Rising Flour

All-purpose flour with added salt and leavening (baking powder). See How to make self-rising flour.

Semi-sweet Chocolate

A combination of chocolate liquor, added cocoa butter and sugar. It must contain at least 35% chocolate liquor. Most commonly know in the form of semisweet chocolate chips.


One of the green, leafy parts which make up a flower’s calyx.


To divide an egg into its two distinct components - the egg yolk and the egg white.


Tiers of the cake are separated using plastic pillars. The space can be left empty of filled with flowers or icing decorations.


Let food become solid.


Very thin, often long or curly pieces of a solid ingredient that have been sliced off a whole block using a vegetable peeler.


Any fat used in baking to tenderize the product by shortening gluten strands. A white, tasteless, solid fat that has been formulated for baking or deep-frying.


To cut or shave food into slivers.

Side Decoration

Icing decorations used around the sides of a cake such as strings or garland.


To pass dry ingredients through a sifter or sieve to aerate and remove lumps.


Cook just below boiling point—about 185°F (85°C). at sea level when small bubbles will rise slowly to the surface. A mixture simmers before it boils.

Simmering Point

The temperature of a liquid when it is heated to just below boiling point.


To ladle or spoon off excess fat or scum from the surface of a liquid.


To cut into even-sized thin pieces using a sharp knife or food processor.


Food that has been cut into even-sized thin pieces using a sharp knife or food processor.


Long, small fine pieces of food.


To immerse a solid in a liquid.

Soft Ball Stage

A term used in connection with making sweets to determine the temperature of a sugar and water syrup. When a teaspoon of the boiled syrup is dropped into cold water and it forms a soft ball, which flattens when removed from the water, the syrup is at soft ball stage or has a temperature of 234°F - 240°F (112°C - 116°C).

Soft Crack Stage

A test for sugar syrup describing the point at which a drop of boiling syrup immersed in cold water separates into hard though pliable threads. On a candy thermometer, the soft crack stage is 270°F - 290°F (132°C - 143°C).

Soft Peaks

When a whisk is removed from a lightly whisked or whipped ingredient, the mixture just stands up in points known as soft peaks.


To change the texture of an ingredient or combined ingredients to make them softer or a room temperature.


A food that has been made soft.


An elaborate piping technique using a series of curved lines dropped in a random manner that yields a lace-like pattern.


A light, fluffy, baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert.


Broad, flat metal utensil used to spread icing smoothly and evenly. Also used to put icing in decorating bags and cutting fondant.


To divide horizontally.


An icing flower arrangement on a cake.

Springform Pan

A round pan with high, straight sides (2 1/2 to 3") that expand with the aid of a spring or clamp. The bottom of the pan can be removed from the sides when the clamp is released—this allows cakes, tortes or cheesecakes to be easily removed from the pan.


To scatter a powdered ingredient or tiny droplets of a liquid.


To apply pressure to fruit or vegetables to obtain their juice.


To maintain a texture or prevent separation, as in adding piping gel to whipped cream or meringue powder to buttercream icing.


All tiers of the cake are placed directly on one another. Dowels are placed inside the cake to support the cake placed on top of it.


One of the reproductive parts of a flower usually found in the center of the flower.


To leave ingredients for a specified period of time to enable the flavors to develop or to rise.

Star Fill-In Method

Covering part or an entire decorating surface with icing stars. Also used to decorate character cakes.

Star Tip

Decorating tip used to make a shell, star, rosette, rope, zigzag design and ribbed stripe.


To allow a substance to stand in liquid below the boiling point, for extraction of flavor, color or other qualities, as tea.


To agitate an ingredient or a number of ingredients using a hand held tool such as a spoon. Also, to move spoon in circular motion to incorporate ingredients. Usually refers to combining liquids or melted ingredients. To stir ingredients cooking on the stove top, use a wooden spoon and stir from the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching.


To pass wet ingredients through a sieve to remove lumps or pieces of food.


A layered casserole brunch dish, similar to a quiche or frittata, made from a mixture which mainly consists of bread, eggs and cheese. It may also include meat or vegetables. The preparation usually requires the bread to be layered with the filling in order to produce layers (strata).


A technique using a small round tip to create garland on the side of cakes.


A crumbly topping made from a mixture of butter, flour, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. The word "streusel" comes from the German word "streuen" which means "to sprinkle" or "to scatter". Streusel was originally used as a topping for the German-made "Streusel Kuchen" but is now used as a topping for cakes, coffee cakes, Danish pastries, muffins, pies, sweet breads, crisps, and tarts.


The chemical name for regular granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar.

Sugar (Candy) Thermometer

A thermometer used to check the temperature of sugar when making sweets. A sugar thermometer is also invaluable for checking the setting point when making jams and jellies. A sugar thermometer can also be used to measure the temperature of oil when deep frying.


To cook slowly over low heat in butter, usually covered, without browning.

Sweet (Dark) Chocolate

A combination of chocolate liquor, added cocoa butter and sugar. It must contain at least 15% chocolate liquor and has a higher proportion of sugar than semisweet chocolate.

Swiss Dots

A piping technique that forms tiny dots in random patterns that resemble a fine dotted Swiss fabric.


Liquid that has a consistency similar to syrup -- thick and viscous.

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Tart Pan

This pan is distinguished by its short (about 1") fluted sides and removable bottom. Various shapes and sizes are available.


The process of melting and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures in order to prepare it for dipping, coating, or molding.


A procedure for putting a finish onto the surface of the cake.


To allow food that has been frozen to come back to its original non-frozen state.


Frozen food that has been removed from the freezer and has reverted to its original non-frozen state.


Use to measure the temperature of food that is cooking or cooked, two main types of thermometer are used in cookery, a sugar (candy) thermometer and a meat thermometer.


To increase the thickness of an ingredient or a mixture of ingredients by heating or freezing.


A narrow piece. To add a liquid to a thicker mixture to make it runnier.

Thread Stage

A test for sugar syrup in which a drop of boiling syrup forms a soft 2" thread when immersed in cold water. On a candy thermometer, the thread stage is between 230°F and 234°F.


Trumpet like center of a flower.

Throat Former

Object used to shape and dry orchid centers.


To stack cakes of graduating sizes.

Tier Separators

Constructed supports that separate stacked cakes.

Tip Brush

Small brush that is used to clean icing out of decorating tips.

Tip Position

For tips which have irregularly shaped openings, the direction the tip is held must be specified in order to produce correctly formed decorations.

Toasted Coconut

Fine, sweetened golden brown coconut.


Sausage-shaped protuberance near the center or top of orchid throat.


Thin, sharp matchstick-sized pieces of wood or plastic used trace designs on icing or add small amounts of food coloring to icing or dough.


A dense cake that does not use leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda.


Splitting a single cake layer in half horizontally to form two layers.


Is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate or cocoa powder, usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape. Commonly referred to as chocolate truffles.

Turbinado Sugar

A raw sugar that has been steam cleaned. It is light brown in color and coarse grained, with a slight molasses flavor.


To secure poultry or other food (usually meat) with string, pins or skewers so the food maintains a compact shape during cooking.


Revolving cake stand for easier decorating. Some turntables can be tilted to decorate the sides of the cake.

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Baked goods that contain no agents to give them volume, such as baking powder, baking soda, or yeast.


A fruit or vegetable with its skin left on.

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Describes wines made primarily from a single named grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label. Examples of grape varieties commonly used in varietal wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.

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An ingredient that has been thoroughly rinsed and scrubbed to prepare it for cooking or eating.

Water Bath

A gentle cooking technique in which a container is set in a pan of simmering water.

Wax Paper

Paper that has a waxed surface making it ideal for using as a non-stick lining for cake tins and baking trays.

Wheat Starch

A powdery substance obtained from wheat kernels. It is very useful as a thickener, but it doesn't have as much thickening power as cornstarch, which requires only half as much to achieve that same level of thickening. Wheat starch is used for thickening sauces, gravies, and puddings. It is best to stir it into water first before it is added to other foods, so that it can be more easily incorporated without creating lumps.


To beat rapidly using a fork, hand or electric whisk to introduce air into a mixture or single ingredient to increase the volume and become fluffy.


A mixture of ingredients or a single ingredient that has been rapidly beaten using a fork or hand or electric whisk to introduce air into it to increase the volume.

Whipped Cream

Made of heavy cream and sugar and usually has some type of stabilizer to prevent it from separating. Whipped cream must be kept refrigerated. Not recommended for outdoor settings.


A hand or electric tool used to introduce air into ingredients to increase their volume. Also, to beat rapidly using a hand or electric whisk to introduce air into a mixture or single ingredient to increase the volume. Similar to whipping but not as fast a motion or for as long a period of time. Ingredients are whisked until blended or smooth-but not fluffy.

Wire Rack

A metal rack with feet to raise it slightly above the surface on which it is placed. Wire racks are invaluable in baking to allow freshly baked cakes, loaves and biscuits to cool before storing.


To encase food in plastic cellophane or aluminum foil.

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Sometimes known as peel or rind. Thin, colored outer coating of citrus fruit that contains the essential oil extracts that gives the fruit its distinctive flavor. A small amount of zest gives a strong characteristic flavor of the fruit. Citrus zest is used extensively in sweet or savory dishes wherever the flavor of citrus fruit is required. Zest can be grated from fruit using the fine side of a standard grater - be careful to only remove the colored zest and not the white pith underneath which imparts a bitter flavor, the best way to avoid this happening is to turn the fruit frequently when grating. Alternatively use a zester - a small tool which efficiently removes the zest by running it down the skin of the fruit.


A hand held tool that removes the zest from citrus fruits. It has a metal rectangular head with several holes in it. The holes are passed over the skin of the fruit and fine shavings of the zest are removed.

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