Food Letter BBain-Marie: A shallow hot water bath into which another container is placed to cook. Used to distribute heat evenly and prevent scorching. Also used to keep food warm without boiling or over-cooking.

Baking Powder: A raising agent that reacts to produce carbon dioxide which expands during baking to ensure that cakes and breads rise.

Balsamic Vinegar: Dark brown vinegar from Italy, made from grape juice aged in wooden casks.

Banbury Cake: A oval flaky pastry filled with currants, lemon peel, and spices cake, from Oxfordshire.

Banger: Slang for a sausage.

Bannock: A large, round traditional Scottish cake of made from barley, wheat or oatmeal, varying according to region.

Bap: A light bread oval bread roll with a soft floury crust and light inner crumb.

Bara Brith: A traditional Wales fruit bread or cake.

Bard: To cover lean meat with strips of bacon to prevent it drying out whilst cooking.

Barbary Duck: Breed of duck not as fatty than common duck, requires more basting.

Basmati Rice: Indian long grain rice, with a characteristic flavor.

Bass: White fish with three types: sea, silver and striped.

Baste: To spoon over hot fat or liquid whilst cooking.

Bay boletes or boletus: A wild mushroom of the ‘cep’ family is often found in areas where conifers grow.

Bay Leaves: An evergreen shrub, with aromatic leaves. used as a herb both fresh and dried.

Béarnaise Sauce: Classic French sauce made from vinegar, white wine, black peppercorns, tarragon and shallot, finished with egg yolks and butter.

Béchamel Sauce: A flavored white sauce often used as a base for other sauces.

Beurre Manié: A paste of flour and softened butter, used to thicken soups and sauces.

Bisque: A creamy, rich soup, often made from shellfish.

Black Bream: A dark gray sea fish, served filleted, baked or stuffed.

Black Butter: Butter browned with added lemon juice and parsley, served with fish, like plaice or skate.

Black Pepper: Whole peppercorns of varying colors used as a seasoning.

Black Pudding: A large sausage made from pigs blood, suet and seasonings.

Blanch: To steep in boiling water to soften, whiten, clean or to make the skin easier to peel.

Blanquette: A stew or white meat dish cooked in white stock or water with flavorings, with a sauce made from the cooking stock.

Blind Bake: To bake a pastry case without a filling.

Bonito: Large a oily fish fish from the same family as tuna and mackerel.

Borlotti beans: Large, plump bean, pinkish brown in color with reddish brown streaks; often available dried,.

Bouquet Garni: A small bunch of herbs, usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf and marjoram, either in a muslin bag or tied together, removed before serving.

Bovril: A simple way to flavor boiling water to replace beef stock. Made from beef extract, use as a flavoring for soups. A teaspoon dissolved in cup of water makes a quick beefy drink.

Braise: To cook meat or vegetables slowly in steam in a covered pan.

Brazil Nut: A large nut with a hard shell and white kernel, can be eaten raw or used in cooking.

Brill: A fish of the flounder family.

Brisket: A cut of beef from the belly, used for slow roasting, casseroles, stews or mincing.

Brochette: Cubes of meat, chicken or fish and vegetables threaded on to a skewer and grilled.

Brownie: A firm, chewy cake, often made with chocolate and nuts, cut into squares.

Brown Sugar: Refined sugar with a thin coating of molasses, not to be confused with raw, unrefined sugar.

Buckwheat: A grain sometimes ground as flour.

Buttermilk: Cultured pasteurized milk, mildly acidic with a creamy flavor and thick consistency.

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