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54 votes
Accepted

Why do gelatin sheets have a diamond pattern?

I think it is a side effect of the drying process. If you look at about the 5m50s mark, the drying conveyor is a diamond pattern. YouTube video of the process
54 votes
Accepted

Why do I need sugar syrup for slush?

It's a bit more complex than you think. You need the right amount of sugar for the correct texture. Harold McGee (1990) clarifies this in his excellent book, The Curious Cook." He writes, &...
  • 67.6k
31 votes
Accepted

How to make thick Asian sauces?

Thickening agents To thicken, you would mix in an agent designed to do so. There are many options, but here are some that are directly applicable to Asian cooking: Corn starch - Works well in small ...
30 votes
Accepted

What causes dough made from coconut flour to not stick together?

Gluten is what makes a dough stick together and have structure. Coconut flour has no gluten, so the resulting dough will be a crumbly mess. Intentionally gluten free recipes usually contain any number ...
  • 10.5k
26 votes

Chocolate won’t harden up on my cookies

The problem is the “small amount of oil”. If you measured wrong or just eyeballed it, you now have a chocolate spread instead of a solid coating. Storing the cookies in the fridge may or may not be ...
  • 55.2k
24 votes

Bell peppers become either crunchy or soggy

There is a slight carry over with most things you cook. However I think the answer to most "Why is my stir fry not like the restaurant's?" questions, has to do with heat. Their stoves are much, much ...
  • 11.1k
24 votes

How to make thick Asian sauces?

Many such sauces include a thickening starch, like corn starch. This can either be mixed with some of the cold liquid and stirred into the hot, or used to coat ingredients prior to adding liquid (with ...
  • 39.9k
20 votes

Why do gelatin sheets have a diamond pattern?

The same reason why toilet paper is quilted. The pattern is there to ensure that the sheets do not stick together. Small amounts of moisture will always be there during packaging. If the sheets of ...
  • 1,075
10 votes
Accepted

UK Pork roast: why can't I make crisp crackling?

Whilst I do not know about the practices in Denmark that would make the achievement of crispy crackling there, I can comment upon the Chinese and UK angle, and, offer some tips for you to get good ...
9 votes

What ingredient or method causes a mixture to be a bread versus cake?

Multiple factors give cake and bread its distinct attributes: Fat/sugar content: a bread is generally very lean. Most traditional breads do not have any fat or sugar in it at all. Cake will generally ...
  • 8,760
9 votes
Accepted

Can I make hard / crunchy food without sugar or fat?

Blah ... this is getting to be a bit long for a comment, so I might as well reformat & expand more, even though it might not be an appropriate answer. (and I should note that this is mostly from ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Homemade ice cream texture gritty, sandy?

It sounds very much like you didn't manage to completely dissolve the sugar. It's also possible to get a bad texture from ice crystals in your ice cream, but I don't think you'd describe it as gritty ...
  • 57.7k
9 votes

Trying to recreate my grandmother's buttermilk biscuits

Miscellaneous thoughts: Egg whites are not going to give you "stretch" in a biscuit. The fat will interfere with that. The elasticity will come from the gluten. That means at least a little ...
  • 22.1k
8 votes
Accepted

What is a mealy tomato, and how would one use one?

Yup, tomatoes can most definitely be a bit grainy. It's not a hard graininess like sand, but a softer graininess. The best comparisons that come to mind are hydrated but uncooked cornmeal or slightly ...
  • 57.7k
8 votes

How to prevent eggplant having a tough or rubbery texture

Make sure your initial cooking is reasonably fast and hot, and from there just cook it until it's soft enough for your tastes. Many vegetables firm up when cooked at lower temperatures, especially in ...
  • 57.7k
8 votes

Bell peppers become either crunchy or soggy

Bell Peppers have a very fast change from crisp to soft This is why you usually encounter them either raw or fully roasted and peeled. They change quickly. In a stir fry, cook them just a couple ...
8 votes

What causes dough made from coconut flour to not stick together?

From PrimalPal: Because it doesn't contain gluten like many flours, coconut flour doesn't stick together as well as traditional flour – this means you'll have to use extra eggs. Also note that ...
7 votes

Why is the texture of the pasta in a store-bought pasta salad different to the texture of pasta I've cooked at home?

Expanded from the comments... Use properly salted water when cooking the pasta. Slightly undercook the pasta a little bit; the pasta will continue to cook as you prepare the salad. Do not rinse the ...
  • 20.1k
7 votes
Accepted

How to prevent eggplant having a tough or rubbery texture

You need a minimum cooking time and water for it to be cooked thoroughly. You mentioned that once they turned out tough and chewy: then they were not cooked fully through. Vegetables are not like ...
  • 621
7 votes
Accepted

Firm vs. crisp vs. crunchy for apples

'Firm', 'Crisp', and 'Crunchy' are not standardised labelling/marketing claims and will vary between vendors. The marketing or procurement teams, or the grower of each variety, may have given the ...
  • 5,350
6 votes
Accepted

what determines the texture of cookies

First, it is the ingredients. For example, shortbread cookies don't have liquid, while other types do have liquid. This makes them quite different. Also, there might be ingredients you didn't pay much ...
  • 129k
6 votes
Accepted

Baked beans still firm after soaking and hours of cooking

Since it's hard to know the age of your beans, it's best to cook them before you start adding sauce ingredients. My approach is: soak them about 20 hours. Depending on how much water they soak up you ...
  • 10.6k
6 votes
Accepted

Why did my steak marinade not make a difference?

There seem to be two general expectations for the marinade here: (1) it would tenderize the steak, and (2) it would result in more flavor. The first of these is basically a culinary myth, and the ...
  • 31.8k
6 votes

Pork Belly - served with soft fat

They are not lying, slow cooked pork belly is supposed to be soft and tender. It's perfectly acceptable to serve pork belly this way and there are many people who prefer it. If it's not to your ...
  • 70.8k
6 votes
Accepted

How to make cornbread less crumbly?

Two things hold cornbread together: Egg and gluten. Gluten forms from the wheat flour interacting with the liquid. In general you don't want too much gluten or the bread will be tough and chewy ...
  • 47.1k
6 votes

How smooth is peanut butter?

Madehow.com discusses the entire process of making peanut butter. Peanut butter is usually made by two grinding operations. The first reduces the nuts to a medium grind and the second to a fine, ...
6 votes

How to make ridge structure of crispy chicken

In many places cornflakes are very cheap, I am assuming where you are they are expensive because they are imported. You aren't going to be able to get the ridged structure without something like ...
  • 70.8k
6 votes

How to make ridge structure of crispy chicken

It's not that difficult to make flakes out of starch, if taste is not your major concern, as you are going to season and fry them and not eat with milk. All you need is flour of your choice and water....
  • 3,094
6 votes

Chocolate won’t harden up on my cookies

It may have something to do with the temperature that the coated cookies are stored at, I mean, some room temperatures can be significantly higher than others. Perhaps the chocolate will harden in the ...
6 votes

Chocolate won’t harden up on my cookies

In addition to Stephie's answer, when melting and re-cooling chocolate, it needs to be tempered properly. That refers to how the chocolate is cooled and "seeded". The fats in chocolate can ...
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