Why You Really, Really Shouldn't Cheap Out On Baking Ingredients

Various baking ingredients
Various baking ingredients - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Building up your baking cupboard can be a daunting task, especially if you follow the ingredient list to a T. There are countless types of flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and so on. And when you get to a recipe you've been looking forward to making and realize you don't have exactly what it's calling for, say, dark versus light brown sugar, it's tempting to just use what you have to avoid a trip to the grocery store. Mashed spoke with Francisco Flores, Iberostar regional chef of Mexico, who says this is a mistake and believes it's worth buying exactly what the recipe instructs to elevate your baking recipes.

Beyond your baking and pastry skills, having the proper ingredients at the foundation of the recipe is what separates a good bake from a great bake. "Regardless of the recipe you have, when you have the right ingredients quality-wise, it can turn into something different," says the chef. So when you have a recipe that calls for bread flour and you only have all-purpose, or you've only got milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, take the time to hit the grocery store and make sure you have exactly what you need. As Flores says, "Most of the time a recipe will call for the right ingredient, so don't take it for granted or substitute for something else — try to find it." Luckily, that doesn't mean you have to spend big to get great tasting results.

Read more: The Most Useless Cooking Utensils, According To Chefs

Expensive Doesn't Always Mean Better

Cocoa dusted truffles
Cocoa dusted truffles - Mtreasure/Getty Images

Flores emphasizes that it's not just about buying premium ingredients every time, saying, "It's not just about the price — it has to be the right product. The right flour might not be the most expensive, but if a specific type is noted in the recipe, that should be followed." However, price can determine the quality of a certain ingredient. The chef adds, "Like if a recipe calls for 70% chocolate, you might just find what you have in the pantry. But if you're trying to take it to the next level, using that specific type matters." More expensive cocoa powder prices, for example, correlate with higher quality beans with higher fat percentages, which leads to a richer flavor.

Flores concludes, "You can try different things, but if you have a recipe you know works, pay attention to the little details and take the time to source the proper ingredients because that makes a big difference."

Read the original article on Mashed.