Cream of tartar. What is it and uses in the kitchen

What is cream of tartar and its uses in the kitchen .

Surely many will have happened to me at the time and when you find yourself in a recipe this name among the list of ingredients you think, but what the hell is cream of tartar ?

I am going to explain a little what this product is and what it is used for, and not just in the kitchen. An ingredient that I recommend for many dessert recipes that you will find on the blog.

Not only the famous Italian meringue , but as a stabilizer to make real icing for decorating cookies, soufflés and even to get a firmer whipped cream .

Surely names like pectin, invert sugar or buttermilk will sound Chinese to you, almost as much as cream of tartar . They are still allies in your kitchen when it comes to cooking, one more point for your recipes to be delicious.

The chemical name is potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartar. It appears in the bottoms of wine barrels as crystallization during the fermentation of the grapes.

In this way it is collected and stored to produce the white powder in which the cream of tartar is marketed.

What is cream of tartar used for in the kitchen?

  • In addition to its homemade culinary use. Cream of tartar is one of the ingredients that make up the chemical yeast that we all have at home and with which we bake our delicious cakes.
  • It is the additive E-334 used by the food industry, which is present mainly in yeast. Also in many other products, jelly beans , jams, preserves, chewing gum …
  • It is also used as an acidity corrector in wine, and in the preparation of carbonated drinks with gas. Combining it with lemon we will have an interesting household cleaner.
  • As you can see, this great unknown is not so much and its usefulness is great and varied. At home we can use it in many recipes.

Where we use it. Recipes

  • It is a great clear stabilizer . That is why it is usually added to the whites to make Italian meringue with what we do that increases the tolerance to heat.
  • Also to maintain and increase the volume of the whites in a firmer way. One eighth of a teaspoon should be added per egg white used in the meringue.
  • In the case of the icing used to decorate cookies , it is common to use it as an ingredient, since it gives them greater flexibility.
  • It is used to prevent crystallization of caramels or syrups with sugar. Considerably reduces discoloration of vegetables during the boiling process.
  • We can use it to get doughs with greater volume, since together with the baking soda, it is part of the group of pastry boosters. In fact we can prepare at home a substitute for traditional chemical yeast using cream of tartar.
  • For this we must combine ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and ¼ teaspoon of corn starch (Maizena), understanding by teaspoon the American measure of teaspoon, equivalent to 0.45 grams.

Where to buy it and what happens if we can’t find it?

  • Until a few years ago, we could only find cream of tartar in pharmacies or specialized chemist drugstores.
  • Today it is for sale in stores specialized in creative pastries and in many online stores in the sector.
  • For this purpose it is common to also use lemon or vinegar in the kitchen. A way to substitute cream of tartar in some preparation if you do not have it. Even with the envelopes they sell at Mercadona de litines, the acidic part of the sodas.

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