What is the cream of tartar?
Cream of tartar is a magical ingredient. It is basically tartaric acid but in the powdery form. It has acidic nature and thus very similar to vinegar or lemon. It is obtained as a byproduct during wine processing. It is left as a residue on the barrels in which wine is produced.
What is its utility in food items?
1. It is used in baking. It stabilizes creams as well as eggs.
2. If trying to prepare a food cake, cream of tartar is a must. It will help the food cake to turn smooth and fluffy.
3. When the cream of tartar is added to egg whites it offers enough strength to the bubbles formed and thus retards the deflating tendency.
4. It successfully adds the volume to the recipe. The resultant product that is obtained is of desired thickness. All this is possible because of the magical product named the cream of tartar.
5. When added to syrups, it prevents the formation of crystals. Thus, it helps in the preparation of perfect candies.
6. It helps cookies to turn crispy yet soft. It when combines along with baking soda produce carbon dioxide gas. Thus, it helps in the baking process. Same gas is released by the yeast which is also used in the baking process.
7. It decreases the pH of water. Thus, if added to the boiling water, it helps the vegetables to retain their original color when they are subjected to steaming.
Can it be replaced with other food ingredients which have more and less same effect?
Yes, it can be replaced with lemon juice and white vinegar. Wherever 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar is required, you can add 1 tsp lemon juice or can add the same amount of white vinegar. Cream of tartar if not available on the kitchen shelf, one can use lemon juice or white vinegar instead of it as these two ingredients are easily available in the kitchen.