THICKENING AGENTS

THICKENING AGENTS

A sauce must be thick enough to cling lightly to the foods; otherwise, it will run off and lie in a puddle at the bottom of the dish. This does not mean that it should be heavy and pasty either.
Starches are the most common thickening agents used in sauces but there are others as well.
– Roux: A cooked mixture of butter and flour
– Beurre Manie: an uncooked mixture of butter and flour
– Whitewash: a blend of milk and flour
– Slurry: blend of water and flour
– Corn starch: a blend of cornflour and water. Used when a clear glossy texture is required.
– Arrowroot: used like cornstarch but gives an even clearer sauce.
– Waxy maize: Used when the sauce is to be frozen. Flour and other starches break down and lose their thickening power when they are frozen. Waxy Maize does not.
 – Breadcrumbs: Both fresh and dry will thicken sauces very quickly as they have already been cooked.
– Egg Yolks: used as a thickening in emulsion sauces such as mayonnaise and Hollandaise.
– Egg Yolk and Cream Liaison: Thick cream also adds thickness and flavor to the sauce. Egg yolks have the power to thicken because of the coagulation of the protein present in the yolk when heated. Besides thickening, the liaison also gives richness, flavor & smoothness to the sauce.
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