Cream of tartar is my new favorite ingredient! A few months ago, I was making a meringue pie for the first time and in the process, I found out how important this simple ingredient is. And not just for meringues!
The Many Uses of Cream of Tartar
Adding just a 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tartar (or potassium bitartrate, as it is also called) per egg white during whipping meringues boosts the mixture’s volume and prevents it from flattening. The final product a pillowy, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth meringue you’ll never forget.
In baking, cream of tartar acts as a leavening agent that produces the softest and fluffiest baked goods without the use of yeast.
Cream of tartar can also be added to icings, frostings, or syrups to prevent the formation of sugar crystals.
When added to powdered or granulated materials, it prevents the formation of lumps.
Cream of tartar also acts as a thickening agent in liquids dishes like soups and sauces.
Finally, adding a 1/2 teaspoon of potassium bitartrate into the water where veggies are cooking will help them keep their bright colors!
Note: Even if you don’t have potassium bitartrate in your pantry, you can get the same ‘wow’ effect by using these cream of tartar substitutes!
I am truly excited I’ve ‘discovered’ this amazing ingredient. That’s why I’m sharing my favorite recipes made with cream of tartar.
Amazing Recipes That Call for Cream of Tartar
#1 Meringue Cookies
These delicate, light-as-air cookies are an old-fashioned treat, perfect for holidays and special occasions. Add extra flavor by dipping them in chocolate. Just melt a cup of semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave (this will take about 30 seconds). Dip the bottoms of the cooled cookies in it and let them stand on parchment paper until the chocolate is set. Peel away the parchment paper and serve.
#2 French Macaroons
My favorite macaroon recipe is made with coffee, ground almonds, cocoa powder, and just a pinch of cream of tartar! These macaroons taste the best when consumed with a cup of warm café mocha. To make café mocha, pour a shot of espresso and a tablespoon of chocolate syrup into a mug, then fill with steamed milk, top with whipped cream, and dust with cocoa powder.
#3 Chocolate Mousse
What is simple and yet very luxurious and decadent? Chocolate mousse, of course! Chocolate mousse recipes are ready in no more than 10 minutes but with the addition of cream of tartar, they’ll taste like they had been prepared in a fancy restaurant. Note: To make the preparation even simpler, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Just place the chocolate in a small microwave-proof bowl and heat for one minute, stopping to stir halfway through.
#4 Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake has a light and airy texture everyone loves. Adding 1 ½ teaspoon cream of tartar makes it even more delicate, especially when it is hot. So, make sure you cool your angel food cake before you cut it to prevent it from falling apart. After it’s baked, turn the cake upside down and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes.
I have rediscovered and redefined roulade by adding cream of tartar to make the base extra feathery, as well as adding ﬂavors of orange and chocolate into the filling. Together they produced a truly special dessert. If you’re going to serve this delight to your kids, decorate with colorful sprinkles; if it’s for grown-ups only, grate some dark chocolate over the top of the roulade.
#6 Baked Alaska
Ice cream in the oven? That’s what this amazing dessert is! A cover of delicate meringue made with cream of tartar keeps the chill on this easy and tasty dessert. It pairs great with a tart sauce called coulis, made of pureed frozen raspberries and a teaspoon of orange. A tip that will prevent food wasting: Use the leftover yolks to make an omelet by combining them with ¼ cup of milk and 3 whole eggs.
#7 Sugar Cookies
The fastest and easiest cookies are often the best! I make these heavenly bites with butter, brown sugar, nuts, and vanilla. Cream of tartar is added to prevent them from being chewy. Bite and you’ll find a melt-in-your-mouth center under the crunchy surface! Note: the nuts must be ﬁnely chopped for this recipe, even finer than those sold in the supermarkets. Place them in a food processor and process in short bursts until they’re finely chopped but not fully ground (be careful not to make a paste!).
#8 Sponge Cake
Add a whole teaspoon of cream of tartar to make this classic cake extra spongy! The beauty of sponge cakes is that they are really moist, tender, and voluminous without extra added fat. You can serve your cake plain or topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a handful of chocolate chips or berries.
#9 Snickerdoodle Cookies
Simple, rich cinnamon-coated snickerdoodle cookies are perfect with coffee or milk in the morning! Two parts cream of tartar and one part baking soda equal baking powder. So if you don’t have cream of tartar or baking soda in the pantry, don’t let that stop you from baking these easy, classic cookies! You can use 1 tablespoon baking powder in this recipe instead.
#10 Soda Bread
This dense, golden bread is made with lemon-lime soda which gives it a lightly sweet, citrus ﬂavor. Perfect for pairing with salads and soups! This soda bread can also be baked as a rectangular loaf. Place the dough in a lightly greased 8- x 4-inch loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes, until golden brown. To make sure the bread is done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, you’re good to go. To make your loaf even sweeter and better-looking, sprinkle sanding sugar on top.
Soufflés appear in sweet and savory varieties. For special occasions, serve your soufflé pillows in individual soufflé cups. Buttered the cups generously and add equal portions of batter into them. Bake the soufflés at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. So very French!
#12 Pound Cake
Pound cakes are the best family treat during summertime, especially when they’re made with fruits. Summer is the season of berries so infuse your pound cake with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. For an extra sweet flavor, garnish the cake with sweetened whipped cream made of 1 cup whipping cream, 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract beaten in a medium bowl until stiff and creamy.
What’s your favorite cream of tartar recipe?
I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!