Okay, the countdown to Food Bytes’ pilot episode has begun. We’re finalizing our script, finishing our boards, working out the kinks and checking our inventory. Then it hit me.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to make sure our viewers could have SOME ingredients at hand BEFORE the show starts? That way, no one need rush to their closest baking/cooking supply store in case they want to make something they see on the show.”
With that in mind, here are some extra things that we like to keep in our pantry (these are not written in any particular order):
- Vanilla Sugar [To make vanilla sugar, simply place vanilla bean husks (the more the merrier) into a sealed tub of sugar. After a week or so, the vanilla flavor should permeate with the sugar, hence creating vanilla sugar. Or you could just buzz everything together.]
- Gelatin [Either powdered or in sheets.]
- Dulce De Leche [The fastest way we do this is by simply pouring a 12 oz. can of condensed milk into a cake pan, put in in a bain marie, cover it with aluminum foil, then bake it for 1.5 hours in a 425 degree oven.]
- Cumin [If you’re able to buy them whole and grind them yourself, it’d be nice. But the pre-packaged stuff does quite well too.]
- Bittersweet Chocolate [While I normally buy them in big chunks, buying them in chips could actually save you alot of time and alot of manual labor. If you don’t use alot of it, consider buying chips instead of blocks. But please, don’t be like other home bakers who HOARD tons of branded chocolate chips at home. Buy only what you need, and give other cooks a chance.]
- Shortening [I use this on the counter and on my hands when I knead bread. Yes, you could use flour, but it tends to throw off the recipe.]
- Homemade Tomato Sauce [SPOILER: We’ll be doing a show on this… hehehehe…]
- Vanilla Beans [Are they worth it? Yes. As long as you only buy one or two, you need not worry… odds are, you’ll use them up before they get the chance to spoil.]
- Instant Yeast [Kept in the freezer, this will last a year or two after the written expiry date. Just buy a small pack.]
- Heavy Cream [Yes, I realize they’re not stored in the pantry… but they’re essential in MY kitchen anyway.]
- Homemade Vanilla Extract [Just take some vanilla bean husks and put them with some rhum or bourbon. Steep for two weeks, ‘BAM’, homemade vanilla extract. I use this for my cheesecake. Yes, we will do a show on that as well.]
Of course this is by no means a complete list. But rest assured that 99% of the ingredients we will use on the show will NOT be hard to find… or at the very least, we’ll tell you where you can buy them. We hope you are as excited as we are as the countdown for Food Bytes continues.