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Where do you turn when you need help while baking?


This week, I started a seven-week online pastry making course offered through Boston University. One of the cool things about the course is that we have access to the instructor, both in weekly online chats and via email/text support. As I started prepping on of the items, I realized I didn't have the item that was exactly called for in the recipe. Dang. I was hoping to avoid having to run out to the store.


I texted my instructor and said, "The recipe calls for almonds. In my pantry, I have blanched almonds and roasted almonds, would either of these work?" Fortunately for me, the answer was, yes (the blanched almonds would work). I felt like I was on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and I'd just used my "call a friend option." Sometimes you know someone who you can reach out to with a quick question, and it makes all of the difference in the world. I try to keep a mental note of my friends who are gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, or allergic to nuts. These folks have to navigate food exchanges on the regular and are often great go-to resources when I have a question.


On Friday, I was teaching a class and one of the students said, "I don't have baking powder. What can I substitute?" I know the basics properties of baking powder as a leavening ingredient and how it works in combination with acids, but off the top of my head, I didn't know of a good substitute. I turned to Google. I scanned through 2-3 articles telling me what could be used as a substitute for baking powder. The consensus was that there are about 10 items. I ruled out 3-4 right off the bat. Then there were liquids lik