Baking With Extracts
Extracts are concentrated and flavorful, and you can use them to create rich flavor profiles for baked goods without the processing requirements for using fresh fruit, nuts, herbs, or spices. Keep reading to discover the benefits of using extracts in baking, the difference between an extract and a flavoring, and some of the most popular baking extracts in the confectionery industry today.
The Benefits of Using Extracts in Baking
Using extracts in baking can yield a more uniform flavor across the baked goods than using whole seeds, nuts, or fruit. It is also often faster and more convenient to use extracts than washing, chopping, and preparing fresh ingredients for baking. Using extracts can help you infuse a wide variety of flavors into your food regardless of seasonal produce availability, and they typically offer a longer shelf life for your confectionery products.
The Difference Between an Extract and a Flavoring
Extracts are concentrated liquids containing the compounds that give a herb, spice, fruit, or nut its characteristic taste and scent. Flavorists typically infuse the aromatic plant molecules into ethyl alcohol to create stable emulsions with a potent flavor. The FDA regulates flavoring extracts with guidelines for alcohol content – pure vanilla extract, for example, must contain at least 35% alcohol by volume .
Flavorings and essences serve the same purpose as extracts, but they are more cost-effective and less potent. Flavorists often use diluted extracts or synthetic flavor compounds instead of whole spices, nuts, or herbs to make flavorings. Both extracts and flavorings are valuable ingredients for baking.
The 7 Most Popular Flavor Extracts for Baking
- Vanilla extract is the most popular flavor worldwide and a staple baking ingredient for both home bakers and large confectionery producers. The chemical compound vanillin gives vanilla extract its complex flavor profile that adds creaminess, masks bitterness and balances sweetness in flavors such as chocolate or strawberry.
- Almond extract is a popular baking ingredient many people associate with the taste of marzipan. Almonds are stone fruits in the same family as plums and apricots, and flavorists can use both almond oil and other stone fruit pits to make extract this flavorful liquid.
- Lemon extract contains pure lemon oil, making it more potent than lemon juice. You can use the citrus extract for both sweet and savory baking, and it is the ideal substitute for lemon zest that can interfere with the texture of some desserts.
- Peppermint extract is a baking ingredient commonly associated with the holiday season in the US and popularized by the flavor of candy canes. The refreshing minty taste pairs well with rich, dark flavors such as chocolate and cream, adding freshness to heavy desserts.
- Chocolate extract is similar to vanilla extract, derived from infusing the flavor of cocoa beans into an alcohol solution. Many bakers use chocolate extract to complement cocoa powder and melted chocolate in baking, creating a more robust chocolate flavor.
- Coffee extract and espresso powder infuse rich roasted flavors and slight bitterness into baked goods without altering the moisture content of the recipe. This extract is superior to ground coffee as a flavoring ingredient that does not typically dissolve in batter or dough.
- Coconut extract captures the natural flavor compounds of the fruit and is a popular ingredient in tropical, fruity recipes. This extract is the ideal alternative for coconut flakes or shavings that change the texture of baked goods.
Extracts are valuable ingredients for the confectionery industry, allowing bakers to infuse a wide range of flavors and aromas into their products without altering the texture and formulation of the recipe. They are also often easier to use and more cost-effective than whole ingredients. Advanced Biotech supplies a wide range of high-quality natural extracts for the food and beverage industry. Please contact us for more information.