Cream of Tartar powder
Potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate
In french recipes it is found as "crème de tartre".
Cream of Tartar is used as a stabilizing ingredient and as an acidity regulator. It is odorless and has a neutral taste.
Where does it come from?
It is a natural acid found in many fruits, especially grapes. It is commercially produced from the by-products of the wine production industry. During the fermentation of the must, the tartar (a form of potassium hydrogen tartrate) settles to the bottom of the barrel, from which, after processing, cream of tartar is produced.
When to use Cream of Tartar:
Cream of Tartar is used in confectionery recipes, in mixtures containing "air bubbles". It has the property of creating a grid that holds the bubbles together, when we beat egg whites to make a fluffy meringue or when we make whipped cream. Cream of tartar is also ideal when we make buttercream. When we make recipes in which we want to maintain the air that is created during mixing and to maintain the volume of our mixture, cream of tartar is ideal for this purpose.
Keep in mind that cream of tartar does not act as a leaving agent. It acts as a stabilizer that holds together the air bubbles created by beating the batter.
Cream of Tartar also acts as an acidic factor that can be used in combination with baking soda to help it react and release carbon dioxide so that our batter swells during baking (whenever we use baking soda, we add vinegar or lemon to achieve this reaction). Cream of tartar can replace vinegar or lemon juice in this case.
Cream of Tartar, as an acidic agent can be added to dough to make it "crumbly". There are some recipes when we want the dough to be able to be grated and crushed, such as apple crumble or biscuits or other sweet tarts and pies that we want to have a crumbly textures.
Finally, Cream of Tartar can be added to syrups and sugar glazes to prevent sugar from crystallizing.