|Melting Over the Stove||Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a larger pan of simmering, not boiling, water.(The bottom of the bowl should not touch the hot water.) Stir occasionally until completely melted.|
Note: Do not get any water or steam in the melted chocolate or it will seize and grainy and unusable.
|Storing Chocolate||Keep chocolate in a cool, dry place(below 75°F, if possible). At high temperatures, chocolate grays in color when cocoa butter naturally rises to the surface. This does not effect the chocolate flavor or quality.|
|Ingredients||Don't mess with the basic ingredients: the flour, liquid salt, fat and leavening in your recipe. Unlike other types of cooking. you must measure your ingredients accurately and have the right tools to do so.|
|Measuring Tools||Dry ingredients are measured in flat-topped measuring cups and are made to be filled to the top and leveled off.|
Liquid measurements are usually done in glass with more space at the top and a pour spout. Add liquids to the cup, set it on the counter and look at it sideways, eye level to the liquid.
|Flour||All-purpose flours today are pre-sifted, therefore there is no need to sift the flour unless a recipe specifically states to do so. Whole-wheat flour is heavier. If substituting whole-wheat flour for all purpose flour, you won't achieve desired results. You can substitute half the flour in an all white flour recipe with whole wheat-flour.|
|Butter||Substituting a spread product for butter or margarine is the most frequent baking mistake. If the first ingredient in a butter substitute is water, don't use it for baking. Spreads that are less than 60% fat have a lot of water included and will make cookies spread too thin or otherwise not give you the desired recipe results.|
|Baking Soda||Use instead of baking powder when a recipe contains acid ingredients such as buttermilk, vinegar or sour cream. It creates a chemical reaction as soon as the liquid ingredient is acidic, so the recipe should be baked immediately after mixing.|