Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What is cream of tartar anyway?

Before baking soda and baking powder were available, how did cooks keep their baked goods from being heavy? They frequently used cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is the common name for potassium hydrogen tartrate and is essentially an acidic salt. It is manufactured by mixing potassium hydroxide with tartaric acid. For centuries it has been formed from the sediment left over in barrels after the winemaking process. Thus, cream of tartar has been around for a long time.
Cream of tartar is found in some baking powder, and is often used to help stabilize egg whites, or to produce creamy frostings and candy.

OK so it sounds like I could have used it when making meringues!!!
So what other uses are there for it?

It can be used to clean brass and copper cookware. It is also helpful in removing stains from sinks and bathtubs. Cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide can remove even the most stubborn rust stains, without scratching a delicate surface.

Oh dear! - all the uses are to do with cleaning!

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