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Old 07-13-2006, 12:52 PM   #1
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Cream of tartar?

When do you use cream of tartar? Can it be used to substitute baking powder? Does it rise more than other levening agents? Thanks, in advance, for your input.

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Old 07-13-2006, 12:54 PM   #2
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Hope you don't mind Dina but I have a question regarding it also. In fact, I was looking at cooking books earlier and making out a shopping list and was questioning this.........

How long is cream of tartar good for in its original container?
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:57 PM   #3
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As I understand it, cream of tartar (the potassium salt of tartaric acid) is not a leavening agent by itself.

When the acid, cream of tartar, is added to a true leavening agent, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) it becomes a single action baking powder.

The addition of an acid that breaks down when heated makes a double action baking powder.

As for the other uses of cream of tartar I will let others, whom I am sure will be here soon, address that far more ably than I can.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:09 PM   #4
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You can also use it to stabilize whipped egg whites and to make candy.

I don't think it goes bad if it's kept airtight.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:48 PM   #5
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Do a Google search on "cream of tartar" and you will find out everything you ever wanted to know about it.

Here are the first two links:

http://www.ochef.com/933.htm

http://www.ochef.com/76.htm

There are some interesting historical facts about Cream of Tartar being used more than 7,000 years ago in Iran.
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Old 07-13-2006, 03:03 PM   #6
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Cream of tartar isn't a leavening agent on its own. The combination of baking soda, cream of tartar and salt makes baking powder.

Baking soda has about four times the leavening power of baking powder, but powder works where soda won't.
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Old 07-20-2006, 03:21 AM   #7
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I read in a cookbook that lemon juice can be used for cream of tartar in a pinch. I took it one step further and used orange juice (not having either of the above). My recipes worked out okay, but that doesn't guarantee it for anyone else.
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Old 07-20-2006, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anwencelia
I read in a cookbook that lemon juice can be used for cream of tartar in a pinch. I took it one step further and used orange juice (not having either of the above). My recipes worked out okay, but that doesn't guarantee it for anyone else.
The cream of tartar provides an acidic environment for the baking powder to work. Using a citrus juice will also do the trick but will also impact the flavor.
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Old 07-21-2006, 11:46 PM   #9
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Shelf life is quoted as 6 months , 12 months, 2 years to indefinitely....take your pick...

Information:

One type of Single Acting Baking Powder is the combination of baking soda with cream of tartar - with a little cornstarch to keep the other two dry and inactive. [othertypes - phosphate and SAS single action baking powder]

SABP reacts when wet to produce gas. As it is "single acting", it works immediately. Liquids must only be added just before it is baked, or the gas bubbles disappear before it gets to bake.

This combination loses potency after awhile.

Double acting baking powder is a boosted baking powder. Cream of tartar is replaced by two other acids: one that reacts when wet, and another that reacts when heated. [It contains a little cornstarch also]

This combination also loses potency after awhile.

As all types of baking powder tends to lose leavening powder over time, homemade can be an interesting addition to the pantry.

Baking soda and cream of tartar have an indefinite shelf life. Keep in separate containers in the pantry, to make baking powder for an emergency.

Formulae:
1 ts double acting baking powder = 1/2 ts cream of tartar + 1/4 ts baking soda
[This works well if gotten get into the oven immediately.]
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:50 AM   #10
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We also used cream of tartar to make playdough for our kindergarteners-----pretty useful stuff for just being white powder!
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