There’s a common misconception that corn starch and baking powder are interchangeable in recipes, but in reality, they are very different ingredients with unique properties and functions.
Corn starch, as its name suggests, is a fine powder made from corn. It is commonly used as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and other cooked dishes. When mixed with a liquid, corn starch forms a paste that helps to thicken and stabilize the mixture, preventing it from becoming too thin or runny.
On the other hand, baking powder is a leavening agent that is commonly used in baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and breads. It is a mixture of several ingredients, including baking soda, cornstarch, and an acid (such as cream of tartar). When added to dough or batter, it reacts with liquid to produce carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough or batter to rise and become light and fluffy.
So, what’s the difference between corn starch and baking powder? It comes down to their intended use and function in recipes. Corn starch is used as a thickening agent, while baking powder is a leavening agent. They may look similar, but they have very different roles in the kitchen.
It’s important to use the right ingredient in the right recipe, as substituting one for the other can have disastrous effects on the final product. For example, using corn starch instead of baking powder in a cake recipe can result in a dense and heavy cake that doesn’t rise properly. On the other hand, using baking powder instead of corn starch to thicken a sauce can cause it to become overly bubbly and foamy.
In conclusion, corn starch and baking powder may seem similar at first glance, but they are actually very different ingredients with different uses and functions in the kitchen. It’s important to use the right ingredient in the right recipe to achieve the desired results. Always check the recipe carefully and make sure you have the correct ingredients on hand before getting started.