Usually, baking powder is a pre-made mix of different leaveners that will make a cake light and airy. Another type of leavener would be yeast. Use cream of tartar with baking soda in a 2:1 ratio, if ready-made baking powder isn’t available.
Also known as sodium bicarbonate. Baking soda is a powerful leavener that reacts immediately with moistened batter. Baking soda is often used in muffin recipes instead of baking powder. The key is to not let dough with baking soda stand around but to bake it immediately. If used as baking powder, use baking soda with cream of tartar in a 1:2 ratio.
Beating in baking recipes simply refers to the rigorous mixing of ingredients, usually using a spoon, handheld mixer or food processor. The purpose of beating it to fully combine ingredients while incorporating enough air to make the batter light and fluffy. Over-beating will result in the opposite: a flat and hard cake.
Blending is a preparation method that means combining different ingredients with a spoon or food processor to achieve a smooth mixture.
Blind baking refers to baking a pastry without the filling. For example, fruit tartlets are often made from a blind baked pastry case, filled with cream and topped off with slices fruit. Blind baking is the easiest when you use ceramic baking beans (if you’re not planning on doing this regularly, dried beans or lentils will also do the trick). Line a tart tin with pastry, cover it with baking parchment and weigh it down with ceramic baking beans to keep the dough from rising.
Buckwheat isn’t a grain at all. It’s a dried fruit similar to the “seeds” in strawberries. Kinda funny, isn’t it? Buckwheat is a gluten-free flour and is used as a substitute to refined flours. I wouldn’t recommend replacing white flour with buckwheat 1:1. Instead, mixing different gluten-free flours prooved to be a more successful approach. Buckwheat is now available widely across stores and almost every organic food store will sell it.
The easiest way to substitute butter in vegan baking recipes is with margarine. Personally, I struggle with margarine the most, because it’s over-processed, meaning that it’s so far removed from a natural state of food that it’s hardly food anymore. However, there are great vegan butter substitutes that are made from a mix of coconut oil and sometimes cocoa butter. Substituting butter in a recipe with a single ingredient is kinda difficult unless you substitute 1:1 with margarine. This depends on the desired effect of the butter in the recipe. When butter is used for moisture, try apple sauce, bananas, aquafaba, almond butter or soy yoghurt instead.