Thursday, October 29, 2009

Burnt Umber vs. Burnt Sienna

One of the best parts about publishing a book in the 21st century is having a blog associated with said book. And the best part about a blog is the interaction with the readers. Particularly when they ask excellent questions and point out mistakes. We love having the opportunity to quickly clarify points and correct mistakes (even with two excellent editors, two authors, and a proofreader, things get through!)

A lovely reader asked for clarification on when to use two colors of brown in several of the recipes. The two browns we use most frequently in the book are Premo Burnt Umber and Premo Raw Sienna. We successfully managed to correctly name these two colors in the introduction, and in several of the recipes. Unfortunately, they're incorrectly named in several others. Which one you use does matter, so let's take a quick look at the two colors.

First up: Raw Sienna. This is the lighter brown. It should bring to mind caramels or toffee. It's the brown that will yeild a perfect caramel color when you mix it with translucent. We use it for bacon and the caramel swirl in the ice cream cone recipe. It's always correctly named in the book (yay!)

Burnt Umber is next. It's the color that looks like a rich chocolate. Think of chocolate truffles, or a juicy char-broiled burger, or a moist chocolate cupcake. We use burnt umber in a bunch of recipes: apple, coffee, cinnamon roll, burger, taco, pizza, cupcake, and the gingerbread. Unfortunately, we refer to this color in nearly all of these recipes as "burnt sienna." Burnt sienna is not, in fact, a color that Premo comes in, and we definitely mean Burnt Umber in all of these instances.

When in doubt, all of the circles in the ingredients sections are the correct color- the darker brown means Burnt Umber, while the lighter means Raw Sienna.

Hopefully that clarifies which brown to use in each recipe!

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