Key Terms

agar agar
A natural vegetable gelatin counterpart derived from red algae.
à la minute
Items prepared to order.
The white portion of the egg. It consists primarily of proteins and water.
A starch derived from the root of tropical plants; used to produce clear, thickened sauces that will not go cloudy.
A whitish coating that can appear on the surface of chocolate. There are two types of bloom: fat bloom, arising from changes in the fat in the chocolate; and sugar bloom, formed by the action of moisture on the sugar ingredients.
blown sugar
Garnish made by taking caramelized sugar and pumping air into it to form round shapes or balls like glass.
Process that occurs when sugar reaches a certain temperature and starts to brown, at approximately 170°C (340°F).
Process where a protein changes from a fluid into a thickened mass.
Cooked fruit served in its own cooking liquid.
Starch derived from corn; used as a thickening agent in liquid-based foods. It is mixed in with a cold liquid to form a paste or a slurry and then added to simmering liquids to thicken.
A fruit purée, used as a sauce.
The process of formation of solid crystals precipitating from a solution.
crème anglaise
Thin vanilla custard used as a sauce or base for frozen desserts.
crème chantilly
Whipped cream with sugar and vanilla.
Thickened custard made from egg yolks, sugar, and a liquid, usually lemon juice.
focal point
Visual accents on a plate, buffet, or platter.
fruit butter
Sauce made from cooked fruit that has been puréed and cooked until thick.
Decorative element on a food item or platter.
A gelling agent derived from collagen obtained from various animal by-products.
A process that breaks down the bonds of starch molecules in the presence of water and heat, allowing the starch to thicken the mixture
A protein composite present in cereal grains, especially wheat, but also found in barley, oats, and rye. Composed mainly of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin. Gluten contributes to elasticity and texture in bread doughs and other products containing wheat.
A substance that forms a gel in contact with water.
Naturally occurring substance in animal and plant tissues (most notably egg yolks and soybeans) that is an excellent emulsifier.
modified starch
A starch that has been physically, enzymatically, or chemically treated for use in food products as a thickening agent, stabilizer, or emulsifier.
modified starches
also called starch derivatives, are prepared by physically, enzymatically, or chemically treating native starch to change its properties.
molecular gastronomy
The study or use of scientific principles in food preparation.
negative space
The empty space between items on a plate or buffet that is used to make the presentation more appealing.
plated dessert
A dessert that is assembled from several components.
pre-gelatinized starches
Starches that have been cooked and then dried, making them soluble in cold water.
pulled sugar
Garnish made by shaping caramelized sugar by hand by pulling it into long ribbons or other shapes.
derived from the stomach linings of cattle, sheep, and goats, is used to coagulate, or thicken, milk during the cheese-making process
A thick, frothy sauce, either sweet or savoury, made by whisking egg yolks and liquid over low heat.
Process of cooking food in vacuum-sealed packaging at consistent, low temperatures.
Process of creating spheres of liquid with a firm surface that will hold.
spun sugar
Garnish made by drizzling caramelized sugar from a fork or whisk into long, very fine threads.
A starch extracted from cassava roots.
A) To add a hot liquid to egg yolks slowly so the yolks are not cooked too quickly.
B) To allow an item to soften slightly by coming to room temperature slowly.
C) A process used to heat and cool chocolate to create a crystal structure that will result in shiny and crisp finished chocolate.
Italian for “sabayon.”


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Modern Pastry and Plated Dessert Techniques Copyright © 2015 by The BC Cook Articulation Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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