There is a saying in Hindi, which loosely translates to ‘we take everything at home for granted’. In the context of food, even the most extravagant meals prepared at home often don’t compare to restaurant food, perpetuating the habit of eating out, which isn’t very good for the body, as it is common knowledge that the good in restaurants are usually made delicious and addictive due to the overuse of oil, cheese, chocolate, or butter, which is okay to consume once in awhile, but detrimental to our bodies from the frequency with which we consume them.
Since I am a strong advocate of eating at home, in my quest for finding healthy, yet tasty recipes, I learnt a few tricks along the way. Here are the first three tricks I ever learnt to make restaurant quality food at home. These are also the tricks that are most important
The magic egg-wash:
Think of those buttery, flaky croissants and puff pastries that you stop at the local bakers for – golden crusts, pleasing to the eye and melt-in-your-mouth. Most of us are convinced that this is something that we can never make at home. Next time you attempt a flaky pastry, or even doughy pretzels & bread at home, try a little egg wash on top, right before baking. The results are wondrous, and you’ll never think of stepping foot into a bakery ever again!
Coffee in chocolate:
If coffee is your first love, this tip will take you straight to heaven. Ever wonder why commercially bought chocolate cakes, pastries, pies, and even hot chocolate taste so rich? Have you tried to replicate the taste at home – adding truck loads of chocolate to never get the same result? If you’re answer is yes, it’s because you’re doing it wrong.
Just add a dash of coffee, instant coffee powder to be exact, to your chocolate concoction and feel the rich chocolate flavor come alive in your mouth, without the overpowering taste of coffee. How’s that for homemade food!
Salt in Sugar:
This third one’s a doozy, and you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind. But here’s the truth: Salt makes sugar taste sweeter, but not in a sickly sweet manner. Surprised? Let me ask you this: Have you ever had a salted caramel based dessert, a sauce even? Realize how satisfying it is, an intense sweetness that doesn’t cause your teeth to cringe? Well, that’s the salt’s doing.
This trick works so well that putting salt into desserts and sweet beverages has become a fad. It’s very common among millennials, in fact, to add a pinch of salt into their coffee shot with sugar.
I regularly add salt to my cookies, fudge, truffles, and dessert sauces, intensifying the sweetness of the honey or sugar without all the calories and rotting teeth. Try it out yourself, and remember – Just a Pinch! 😀