Are you in the middle of cooking a recipe that calls for arrowroot powder, but don’t have any on hand?
Don’t worry, there’s no need to panic or run to the store just yet. You may be surprised to learn that cream of tartar can be used as a substitute for arrowroot powder in certain dishes.
But before you start swapping ingredients, it’s important to understand the differences between these two ingredients and when it’s appropriate to use cream of tartar instead.
In this article, we’ll explore the various uses of arrowroot powder and cream of tartar, and provide tips on how to successfully substitute one for the other.
So let’s dive in and discover if cream of tartar can save the day in your next recipe!
Can I Use Cream Of Tartar Instead Of Arrowroot Powder?
Arrowroot powder is a popular ingredient used as a thickening agent in many recipes, from sauces and gravies to custards and puddings. However, if you find yourself without arrowroot powder, cream of tartar can be used as a substitute in certain situations.
While cream of tartar is not a direct replacement for arrowroot powder as a starch, it can be used to add volume to dishes like custards and puddings. Start by adding half the amount called for in the recipe, so if it calls for 1 teaspoon of arrowroot flour, start with 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar, and check your results.
It’s important to note that this is not the usual use of arrowroot powder, so the results of using this substitute cannot be assured. However, many people have successfully used cream of tartar as a substitute for arrowroot powder in their cooking.
Understanding Arrowroot Powder And Cream Of Tartar
Arrowroot powder and cream of tartar are two different ingredients with distinct properties and uses in cooking. Arrowroot powder is a fine white powder that is derived from the roots of the arrowroot plant. It is commonly used as a thickening agent in recipes, especially in sauces, gravies, and desserts like custards and puddings.
On the other hand, cream of tartar is a byproduct of winemaking that is made from a crystalline acid scraped from wine barrels, purified, and turned into a powder. It is primarily used as a stabilizing agent in recipes, especially for whipped egg whites, where it adds volume and texture.
While arrowroot powder and cream of tartar may seem similar, they cannot be used interchangeably in most recipes. Arrowroot powder is primarily used to thicken dishes, while cream of tartar is used to stabilize and add volume to beaten egg whites.
However, if you find yourself without arrowroot powder and need to add volume to your custard or pudding recipe, cream of tartar can be used as a substitute. It’s important to note that this is not the usual use of arrowroot powder, so the results of using this substitute cannot be assured.
When To Use Arrowroot Powder
Arrowroot powder is a versatile ingredient that can be used as a thickening agent in a variety of recipes. It is especially useful in dishes that require a clear, glossy appearance, such as pie fillings and sauces. Arrowroot powder is also a good choice for thickening acidic liquids, as it won’t break down like other starches.
Another benefit of arrowroot powder is that it thickens at lower temperatures than other starches, making it ideal for delicate desserts like custards and puddings. It also freezes and thaws well, making it a great choice for frozen desserts.
However, arrowroot powder does have its limitations. It doesn’t thicken up the way cornstarch does, so it’s not the best choice for pies that need to be thick enough to slice, like coconut cream pie. It also doesn’t hold up well at high temperatures, so it’s best used to thicken sauces toward the very end of cooking.
When To Use Cream Of Tartar
Cream of tartar can be used as a substitute for arrowroot powder in recipes that require a thickening agent. It works best in dishes like custards and puddings, where it can add volume and help give the dish a smooth texture.
Additionally, cream of tartar can be used to stabilize egg whites when making meringue or other whipped egg dishes. It helps to create a stable foam and hold the structure of the bubbles, resulting in fluffy, airy desserts.
Cream of tartar can also be used to prevent sugar crystals from forming in candy-making. By binding to the sugar crystals, it keeps them small and helps to create a smooth texture in caramels and other candies.
In baking, cream of tartar can be used to activate leavening agents like baking soda. When combined with baking soda, cream of tartar creates a chemical reaction that helps baked goods rise and become fluffy. It can even be used as a substitute for baking powder in a pinch.
Finally, cream of tartar can be used to retain the color of steamed or boiled vegetables. By adding a small amount to the cooking water, it can help vegetables maintain their vibrant color without affecting their taste.
How To Substitute Cream Of Tartar For Arrowroot Powder
If you’re looking to substitute cream of tartar for arrowroot powder, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to understand the role that arrowroot powder plays in a recipe. Arrowroot powder is primarily used as a thickening agent, while cream of tartar is used as an acidic stabilizer.
To use cream of tartar as a substitute for arrowroot powder, start by adding half the amount called for in the recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder, start with 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. It’s important to note that this substitution is not always guaranteed to work, as the results can vary depending on the recipe.
Cream of tartar can be particularly useful as a substitute when you’re looking to add volume to dishes like custards and puddings. However, if you’re using it in this way, it’s important to keep a close eye on the consistency of your dish and adjust as needed.
When using cream of tartar as a substitute for arrowroot powder, it’s also important to consider any potential changes in taste or texture. While cream of tartar can work well in some recipes, it may not be the best choice for others. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different substitutions to find what works best for your specific recipe.
Recipes That Work Well With Cream Of Tartar As A Substitute
Cream of tartar can be a great substitute for arrowroot powder in certain recipes. Here are some recipes where cream of tartar works well as a substitute:
1. Meringues: Cream of tartar is often used in meringue recipes to stabilize the egg whites and prevent them from collapsing. Simply add a pinch of cream of tartar to your egg whites before whipping them.
2. Soufflés: Similar to meringues, cream of tartar can be used to stabilize the egg whites in soufflés. Use an equal amount of cream of tartar in place of arrowroot powder when stabilizing the egg whites.
3. Frostings: Cream of tartar can also be used in frostings to give them a lighter and fluffier texture. It can be added to whipped cream or cream cheese frosting for a delicious and airy texture.
4. Cakes: While cream of tartar may not be the best substitute for arrowroot powder in baked goods like cakes, it can still be used in certain cake recipes. For example, cream of tartar can be added to angel food cake to help it rise and hold its shape.
Tips For Successful Ingredient Swapping
If you’re considering using cream of tartar as a substitute for arrowroot powder, here are some tips to ensure success:
1. Start with a small amount: As mentioned above, start by using half the amount of cream of tartar called for in the recipe. This will help you avoid over-thickening your dish and potentially ruining the texture.
2. Be mindful of taste: Cream of tartar has a tangy flavor, which may not be desirable in all recipes. Consider whether the tangy taste will complement or detract from the other flavors in your dish.
3. Consider the dish: Cream of tartar works best as a substitute for arrowroot powder in dishes where volume is important, such as custards and puddings. It may not work as well in sauces or gravies where thickening is the primary goal.
4. Experiment: Every recipe is different, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredient substitutions until you find what works best for you. If you’re unsure about how a substitution will affect your recipe, try making a small batch first to test the results.
By following these tips, you can successfully substitute cream of tartar for arrowroot powder in your cooking and baking endeavors. Remember to start with a small amount, be mindful of taste, consider the dish, and experiment until you find what works best for you.