All Those Egg Whites from Making Ice Cream

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What do do with them?! Friend and esteemed colleague Nick Malgieri told a class that he saved them in a huge container and when it was full...he threw them out! With testing for our ice cream book, I had containers filled with them too. In 2010, I decided to discard the 2007 and 2008 containers. Fortunately this year, Woody has used most of them for making angel food cake for his bridge club members.

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Also, my husband Elliott reminded me he likes egg white omelets. I still had a batch so he was not deprived. I set out to perfect his omelet.

As Elliott was aspiring to eliminate as much cholesterol as possible, i heated a small non stick frying pan over medium heat. When it reached 350˚F (hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle) I sprayed the pan with baking spray (Pam) and poured in 2 lightly beaten egg whites. I sprinkled them with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

The first time I rolled it up and served it plain but the second time Elliott organized 3 slices of cooked sausage and a few pieces of cheese. When I lifted an edge to assure that the bottom was nicely browned, I turned the heat off and set the cheese and sausages in the middle of the set egg white. Then I flipped over each side of the egg white to cover it and let it cook for about a minute to melt the cheese. (The plate was heated first in a low oven so it worked perfectly but it would also work to zap it in the microwave for 7 seconds on high.

Now I'm looking forward to collecting more egg white (no problem), and while waiting to be transformed into Elliott Omelets they serve to keep the freezer more filled. Freezers work most efficiently when filled even if it means filling milk cartons with water and freezing them so why not egg whites instead?!

If you intend to use them for meringue baking, we recommend to only store them frozen for 3 months. After thawing them, empty them into a bowl large enough that you can gently whisk them to a somewhat uniform consistency.

This is a reposting with additions from an earlier post on May 8, 2010. Rose has almost a hundred savory postings on our website along with hundreds of baking posts.

Rose's Baking Basics: OUTBakes Perfect Pie Crust Border

I created Rose’s Perfect Pie Plate to make shaping a border truly as easy as pie. The deeply fluted rim keeps the lovely design from flattening when baked and the level impression keeps the dough from sliding down the sides.

We made this video to show you how easy it is to tuck the overhanging border underneath and then to press it down.

If you want to have the baked border flush with the edge of the pie plate you’ll need to press it a little past the edge but i like to press it just to the edge so that when it shrinks a tiny bit you see the edge of the plate.

The pie crust is my favorite: Rose’s Flaky and Tender Pie Crust—the December 2018 recipe of the month on this blog. It is made with butter and cream cheese which gives it a most delicious flavor as well as lovely texture.

Our Weekly Baking Tips for Sunday will have 3 videos with tips for Blind Baking this pie crust for making Rose’s Open Faced Apple Pie. Blind baking gives the pie a very crisp crust but it is also excellent adding the apple slices to the unbaked pie crust, in which case I would choose to brush the dough with a thin layer of apricot glaze instead of egg white.

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Rose's Baking Basics: OUTBakes

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

For our Apple Cider Cake Doughnuts recipe in Rose’s Baking Basics, we state to coat the doughnut pan’s cavities with baking spray with flour. This week we were experimenting with substituting commercial apple cider reduced by 6 times for our apple cider reduced by 3 times. The baked and cooled doughnuts had somewhat flattened tops. When we did a second test, I suggested that we grease two of the cavities with shortening and flour. Voila! The two doughnuts prepped this way had rounded tops and did not rise above the sides of the pan the way the ones coated with Baker’s Joy did.
For our Book Corrections postings for Rose’s Baking Basics we have added LIGHTLY COATED WITH SHORTENING AND FLOUR as an option for this recipe.

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

SHORTENING AND FLOUR DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

TIGHTER GRAIN FOR THE SIDES OF THE DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

TIGHTER GRAIN FOR THE SIDES OF THE DOUGHNUTS ON THE LEFT

Rose on Video presents: A Moment with Rose

A Moment with Rose   by Ben Fink (2010) 

This incredible and beautiful video was photographer Ben Fink's first entrée into making videos. He envisioned that videos could be made as "trailers" for authors to promote their books. Two cameras, several lights, and even rail-tracks were put on the floor of her living room for a rolling tripod mounted camera. What we thought was going to be a short cooking show-style video turned into your being able to see Rose's inner persona and love for baking. 

This video was filmed one month before Rose’s Heavenly Cakes won IACP’s Best Book of the Year, but we did not get to see its final version until the fall. Ben made a second video with Rose for The Baking Bible in 2013, as a “trailer” for the book’s launch. He also did all of the photography for the book. His unique style of making videos has won him awards. You can see his work in many commercials, and even on video screens in McDonalds.

NOTE: We have over 150 YouTube videos, transcribed by Hector Wong, from Rose’s appearances on television shows, her own PBS Baking Magic series, and instructional videos. You can see a complete listing on our Television & Videos pages.

"ROSE’S BAKING BASICS" BREAK THROUGHS PREVIEW

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When Michael Batterberry and Food Arts Magazine were still alive, and I had a new book coming out, he would always ask me if there were any new break throughs and there always were! He would then do a full page, featuring them in the magazine. So I am continuing the tradition by offering here a sampling of the top tips and techniques you will find in my newest book. 

Two of my most valued additions to this book are that on the charts, the grams come before the volume, and right after the chart there is a "mise en place" (set up of ingredients). The recipes are written exactly the way in which I bake. We love working from this new format.

* My favorite caramel sauce with amazing flavor and smooth texture that keeps for months:

* The best flour for pie crust and how to tenderize bleached or unbleached all-purpose flour.

* How to unmold tarts that have stuck to the bottom of the tart pan the easy way (what took me so long to figure out this ridiculously simple method)!

* How to keep the bottom crust of a custard pie such as pumpkin from getting soggy.

* How to use pie crust scraps to make the best rugelach and why it is the best.

* How to make cake strips for any size cake pans.

 * How to never ever risk over-whipping egg whites and why it’s fine to add the sugar and cream of tartar right from the beginning.

* Neoclassic Meringue—cousin to Neoclassic Buttercream. How it’s possible to make either one without a thermometer.

* How to salvage broken mousseline buttercream.

* How to make the silkiest smoothest dulce de leche the easiest way.

When Tragedy Strikes Your Mousseline Buttercream

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This is truly the queen of buttercreams: silky, buttery, light and airy, and a bit temperamental. Combining the Italian meringue with the butter is the tricky part. It is essential that the two mixtures have near the same temperature. And sooner or later it happens to everyone: Instead of becoming a beautifully emulsified satiny texture, it starts to curdle and separate. Your heart drops and panic sets in--all that expensive butter and time....But all is not lost. Here are some tips and also a solution should all else fail:

Use an instant read thermometer to ensure that the temperature of the mixture is between 65° to 70°F/19° to 21°C and adjust as needed. If not using a thermometer, try adjusting with just a small amount of the buttercream.

If all else fails, with your hands, squeeze out the liquid that has separated and pour it into a large measuring cup with a spout. On high speed, beat the remaining butter until it becomes smooth. Then gradually beat in the liquid. The resulting buttercream will be less airy but perfectly emulsified and silky smooth.

Note: You will have a higher degree of success if using high fat butter.
Also, it works best to add all the meringue to all the whipped butter rather than the reverse. This technique is detailed in Rose's Heavenly Cakes and The Baking Bible.

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The Hoola Hoop of Tart Unmolding

DSC02688.jpgTruly it is the simple things that can make the biggest difference. It took me all these years to figure out a sure fire way to unmold a tart in a tart pan with removable bottom when it sticks to the bottom. I wasn't happy with heating a towel under hot tap water and wringing it out before applying it to the pan bottom as it never stayed hot enough for more than a few seconds and I was also concerned by the risk of moisture creeping into the bottom crust. One day during our step-by-step photo shoot, it suddenly hit me how to heat the bottom of the pan effectively without turning the tart upside down! I've added this simple technique to the upcoming Baking Basics but can't bear to make you wait for almost two years to know it, especially with all that holiday baking coming up. So here it is right now: Heat the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan by filling it with very hot water. Let it sit for several seconds until the pan feels hot. Empty the water and invert the pan onto a counter. Set the tart on top and let it sit for about 1 minute or until the bottom no longer feels cold. Repeat if necessary. You can also use a blow dryer to heat the inverted cake pan. If necessary, slide a thin-bladed knife or long metal spatula under the crust to release it.

YES! You CAN Unmold a Meringue Pie Shell!!!

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>Recently, I learned a great tip from my cousin's wife Vicki who comes from Australia and now lives a mere hour away from us. We were talking about the famed Pavlova--a fabulous crisp meringue shell with marshmallowy interior, filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Woody and I had made numerous tests to perfect the consistency of the meringue for our upcoming Rose's Baking Basics book. I've always baked my meringues by piping or spreading them on parchment, which effectively prevents sticking. Vicki, however, said that she instead dusts the pan with cornstarch and the meringues slide off with ease. Of course I just had to try this immediately with the always tricky/sticky piped meringue baked in a pie plate, featured in The Baking BIble for the "Pomegranate Chiffon Pie." Prior to Vicki's suggestion, I had recommended coating the pie plate with vegetable shortening and then dusting with Wondra flour. It was always difficult to remove the first piece, and not that much easier to achieve attractive slices. (Note: meringue does crumble when cut.) My first test was using cornstarch instead of flour and the meringue still stuck. I suspected that the shortening did not coat evenly so the next test was coating the pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and then dusting it with cornstarch. This test proved to be the charm. I waited impatiently for the meringue to cool completely and then dislodged the very top edge along the rim with the tip of a small knife. I hesitatingly nudged the meringue forward slightly and, to my great joy, it moved. Holding my breath, with my fingers, I then lifted out the entire meringue shell onto a plate. I gazed at this wondrous sight, but it didn't take more than a few minutes to start wondering how it would work with just the non-stick cooking spray and no cornstarch. I coated the pie plate with non-stick cooking spray and removed excess with a paper towel. Instead of piping the meringue, I just spread an even layer into the pie plate. Without the cornstarch it was more difficult to spread the meringue. At the same time and temperature (and the day was actually less humid) the meringue was still a little gooey in places so I returned it to the oven because meringue will not unmold in one piece if not completely dry. It stuck in places even when completely dry, which indicated that the cornstarch is necessary. Conclusions: Piping the meringue makes it easier to make it consistent in thickness but spreading it looks just as good. Non-stick cooking spray plus cornstarch is ideal and makes it possible to unmold the meringue. Non-stick cooking spray alone is slippery, which makes it harder to spread the meringue, and will not be possible to unmold in one piece. With or without cornstarch, non-stick cooking spray makes removing the slices much easier than shortening and flour.

Know Thy Oven

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LEFT: BREVILLE CONVECTION, RIGHT: PANASONIC CONVECTION

One batter, weighed equally between two identical pans, and baked for the exact same time to the exact same internal temperature, in two different countertop ovens. The interior of the cake (the crumb) is the same but the tops and the exterior are markedly different. (Note: The top of the cake in the Breville is browner but the exterior is less brown.) Breville_vs_Panasonic2.jpg

LEFT: BREVILLE CONVECTION, RIGHT: PANASONIC CONVECTION

No two ovens bake exactly the same. All ovens, except for those with circulating trays, will have some hot spots. Convection ovens tend to bake more evenly but still have hot spots. I rotate my cakes half-way around after two-thirds of the estimate baking time except if they are sponge type cakes such as génoise or chiffon that will fall if moved before they finish baking. In the Breville, if a recipe calls for 350°F/175°C I use 340°F/170°C. In the Panasonic, if it's a small cake or a pie I don't lower the temperature but for a large cake that requires more than 1 hour of baking time, such as a honey cake, which starts browning too fast, I lower the temperature to 325°F/160°C after the first 30 to 45 minutes of baking. When you get a new oven, try baking a familiar cake. I use my all-occasion downy yellow cake from The Cake Bible. Get to know your oven and you can adjust accordingly.

Baking Powder on the Rise

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Our preferences for baking powders are ones that are made with an all-phosphate product containing calcium acid phosphate and non-GMO cornstarch. Baking powders containing sodium aluminum sulfate (SAS), to aid in releasing more carbon dioxide during the baking stage, generally have a bitter after taste, especially noticeable when added to pie dough. Recently, Rumford released a new baking powder, Rumford Reduced Sodium Baking Powder, which contains 52% less sodium than leading brands and no aluminum. Rumford informed us that this new product activates mostly during the heating/baking phase. We were curious to test this new baking powder since timing of activation has a great impact on baked goods, especially muffins and cupcakes. Letting the cupcakes rest before baking gives the cupcakes more rounded tops because if more of the baking powder activates in the early stage from the liquid in the batter there is less to disrupt the cell structure, during baking, needed to collapse the crumb to form a flatter top. My White Velvet Butter Cake recipe served as our test recipe, since it is an egg white based butter cake and has a somewhat neutral flavor, which enables us to perceive differences during tasting more easily. Since there can be a relatively long time frame to fill over a dozen cupcake liners, during which the baking powder will have begun to activate, we wanted to see if the new baking powder, which reacts more in the baking stage, would give us a wider window of time to fill the cupcakes and result in more uniformly shaped cupcakes. We made two batches of cupcakes with each baking powder serving as the leavening for each batch. Once we filled the cupcake liners, we also let some of the cupcakes rest 20 minutes, and others 30 minutes before baking them. We baked all of the cupcakes for the same amount of time.

ORIGINAL RUMFORD ON THE LEFT, LOW SODIUM RUMFORD ON THE RIGHT

The test card shows the height in inches, then the width in inches. The cupcake on the left, made with the original Rumford baking powder, had the batter stand for 20 minutes after filling the muffin cups and before baking as did the one on the far right, made with the new Low Sodium Rumford baking powder. (It is both flatter and wider.) The middle cupcake, which is very similar to the original Rumford, but made with the low sodium baking powder, stood for 30 minutes before baking. The results indicate that the new Rumford baking powder is more effective in preventing doming for up to 20 minutes of standing time but not longer. However, when we gave them a taste test we found major differences.

The original Rumford cupcakes had a more pronounced flavor and texture. The sodium reduced Rumford ones were milder in flavor and fluffier. We preferred the original Rumford for flavor and texture. People are always asking either how to get more rounded cupcakes or flatter ones to hold more frosting. One of the major problems is that if making 12 or more cupcakes, by the time the last few cupcake liners are ready to be filled, the batter has been sitting in the bowl for at least 10 if not more minutes, resulting in more doming in the baked cupcakes. The longer the batter stands in the bowl before dispensing, the more the loss of leavening action during filling the liners. Once the batter is dispensed into the muffin liners this action slows down but is still taking place. So when the muffins are set in the oven, there is less leavening available to burst through the air bubbles in the batter to flatten the crumb during this heating phase.

Did you know that different brands of baking powder have different compositions, reactions, and results in the finished product? If you'd like to know why, continue reading!

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Baking powder is a chemical leavener that is used primarily in cake baking to enlarge the air bubbles in the batter, which gives volume and tenderness to the cake crumb. In Europe, most cakes are leavened with beaten egg white or whole eggs whereas in North America, most cakes use baking powder, baking soda, or a combination of the two. Baking powders are mixtures of dry acid or acid salt and baking soda, with starch or flour added to stabilize and standardize the mixtures.

Most baking powders are "double acting," meaning that they will react or liberate carbon dioxide when they come in contact with moisture during mixing of the batter and again when exposed to heat during baking. (A "Single acting" leavener, such as baking soda alone, reacts fully when it comes in contact with moisture.)

We also, tested the two baking powders by activating 1/2 teaspoon of each in custard cups with hot water. Within less than a minute the original Rumford had activated, fizzing furiously to completely dissipate. The reduced sodium Rumford only activated partially with dry, non-activated powder nestled on top of the foamy activated powder (even after 10 minutes). Doing this hot water test is good method for verifying that your baking powder is still activated.

We recommend that you always mark the date upon opening a can of baking powder and store it airtight to avoid humidity. Baking powder can lose a substantial amount of its strength after about a year.

We have also tested Argo's baking powder, which also activates more during the heating phase. We tested it against our baking powder of choice, Rumford's original Aluminum-Free Baking Powder. We found it especially effective in cakes baked in fluted tube pans as we could use the same amount of baking powder, but the Argo resulted in a less domed top which, when inverted, sat flatter on the plate. (To get similar results with the Rumford would require such a minute amount of extra baking powder it would be hard to measure accurately.) When using the Argo in a layer cake, however, it needed to be decreased to keep the cake from dipping.

Here are the ingredients listed for each baking powder: Rumford Original Aluminum-Free (red background can) Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Non-GMO Cornstarch Rumford Reduced Sodium Aluminum-Free (silver background can) Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium acid Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Non-GMO Cornstarch, Potassium Bicarbonate Argo Aluminum-Free Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch And Monocalcium Phosphate. The White Velvet Butter Cake recipe is in The Cake Bible and Rose's Heavenly Cakes.

Vegan Meringue

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When I saw this extraordinary mind blowing technique on Food 52, replacing egg white with chickpea liquid (they refer to it as watery dregs) we just had to try it! Dan Barber, in a project utilizing parts of ingredients that more often than not get tossed, came up with this genius technique. I can't begin to imagine how anyone could conceptualize and take the daring mental leap that the liquid in which canned chickpeas is packed could possibly support and hold air to create a mousse the way viscous egg white accomplishes so perfectly, but it does! Of course there are differences. First of all, Food 52 noted that the chickpea flavor completely disappeared on baking and we found this to be true in that no one would ever detect the actual flavor of chickpea but there is a subtle additional flavor. Also it does not hold its shape in baking quite as well so that any ridges or swirls flatten into mushroom cap smoothness. Here's the recipe as we did it:

1/3 cup/59 grams chickpea liquid (now dignified in Latin as

aquafaba

bean water)

1/2 cup/100 grams superfine sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the chickpea liquid and sugar and use the whisk beater by hand to stir it together. Attach the whisk beater. Starting on low speed, and gradually increasing to high, beat for 15 minutes until fairly stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. They will droop slightly.

Place a dab of meringue underneath the parchment in the center to keep it stationary. Use two large tablespoons or pipe mounds onto the parchment.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes. At 50 minutes, Woody pressed one and it was not yet crisp so we continue baking another 10 minutes. This caused the meringue to begin to brown and become less smooth but still not crisp, however, after removal from the oven and cooled they became perfectly crisp. (We should have taken them out at 50 minutes.) Thus encouraged we decided to try our praline meringue ice cream sandwich cookie recipe which uses brown sugar. The mixture did not form stiff peaks but tasted absolutely delicious. The meringues cracked during baking, which they normally do, but looked puffy and promising. Sadly, on cooling, they deflated and the centers were gooey liquid even on further baking.

We are not vegans but if we were, we would find that the meringues made with aquafaba and superfine sugar, which are delicate and light, are a perfectly acceptable substitute for the egg white variety.

DId You Know?

The Ins and Outs of Making Your Own Wedding CakeIf you are a home baker, chef, or especially a pastry chef, people are going to expect (or at least hope) that you will be making your own wedding cake. After having made over 100 wedding cakes, and gotten to experience first hand all the dramas surrounding a wedding, I have a few basic ideas to help keep your sanity intact and allow you to enjoy your own wedding. First, keep in mind that wedding cake portions are traditionally small. A three-tier cake (12 inches, 9 inches, and 6 inches will serve 150 people. If you are anticipating more guests or chose to serve larger portions, make a sheet cake in addition to the tiered cake. (The batter for two 12 inch layers is equal to one 18 by 12 inch sheet cake.) Tiered cakes take longer to cut and serve and since the wedding cake comes at the end of the reception, guests often leave before the entire cake is cut. A good plan is to make the cake layers ahead and freeze them. If frosting the layers before freezing, they need to be set, unwrapped, in the freezer for a few hours until frozen solid so as not to mar the decorations when wrapping. They will need to be defrosted gradually by unwrapping and setting them overnight in the refrigerator, to avoid condensation. Be sure to use a refrigerator that is odor free as butter and or chocolate absorbs aromas readily. If freezing the layers unfrosted, wrap them well in several layers of plastic wrap. It is also helpful to set the wrapped cakes in freezer weight zip seal bags. You want to keep the cake from drying or absorbing any odors in the freezer. If you choose to have a traditional white (or ivory, assuming and hoping you are using butter!) the best choice of covering the cake, if not using fondant, is mousseline. At relatively warm temperatures it holds up well, and even at excessively high temperatures, should it melt, it is so beautifully emulsified it forms an elegant sauce. (See base recipe below. You can add different flavorings such as colorless liquors. Fruit purees, lemon curd, or cooled melted chocolate will tint the mousseline so best used as the filling between the layers.) If traveling with a tier cake it is highly advisable to stake the tiers. Drive a 3/8 inch wooden dowel, sharpened at one end, through the tiered cake layers to keep them from sliding. Choose a dowel that is about 6 inches longer than the height of the finished cake for ease in removal. Before frosting each cake layer, it is a good idea to cut two 1 inch long slits in the center of each cardboard base to form an X before placing the cake layers on top. This will enable the dowel to penetrate through the cardboard without risk of compressing the cake. No need to make the cuts on the cardboard supporting the bottom tier. Use a hammer, tapping gently, to drive the dowel through to the bottom of the cake. When the cake is ready to be displayed, remove the dowel by twisting and pulling it up and out of the cake. Frost or place an ornament on top of the cake to hide the small hole. Alternatively, you can use a 3/16 inch decoratively covered wooden cake base and a 1/2 inch dowel attached to its center with a flat head screw (similar to a sheet rock screw). Be sure first to make a hole in the dowel slightly smaller than the screw to prevent the dowel from splitting. The dowel must be shorter than the height of the completed cake. Also drill a slightly larger than 1/2 inch hole in the center of each cardboard base before placing the cake layer on top. When ready to tier the cake, lift the layer supporting it with the palms of your hands. Line up the center hole with the top of the dowel and carefully slip the layer down to the base or layer beneath it. To prevent marring the frosting, when the cake layer gets almost to the base or layer beneath it, remove your hands and allow it to drop gently into place.

Flourless Nut Torte Technique Photos

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While going through and editing out over 2000 of my photos on the computer I discovered this great series of step-by-step photos, taken by Woody, of the Hungarian Jancsi Torta from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. As I have just posted a coffee pecan version of the cake, we thought it would be helpful to share the technique photos that are essentially the same.

GROUND WALNUTS

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CHOPPED CHOCOLATE PRIOR TO MIXING

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MIXED CHOCOLATE AND WALNUTS

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EGG YOLKS AND SUGAR TO BE BEATEN

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EGG YOLKS RIBBONY

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STIRRING IN CHOCOLATE AND WALNUTS

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YOLKS, WALNUTS, AND CHOCOLATE MIXED

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VERY STIFFLY BEATEN EGG WHITES

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WHITES FOLDED IN

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PREPARED PAN WITH PARCHMENT IF UNDER 3 INCHES HIGH

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BATTER BEFORE BAKING

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FULLY BAKED AND DOMED CAKE

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CAKE OUT OF OVEN AND BEGINNING TO SINK

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UNMOLDED

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COOLING

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THE CUT CAKE

Dry Milk--an Undervalued Ingredient

This is an invaluable bit of kitchen wisdom imparted to me by the late Carl Sontheimer of the original Cuisinart food processor. He once told me that adding powdered milk to mixtures such as marzipan results in a more velvety smoothness. I've since noticed the presence of dry milk on the labels of many ingredients. And recently I tried adding it to yogurt to see if it would soften the intensity of the lactic acid. I was amazed how just a small amount of the dry milk powder made the yogurt creamier and deliciously mellow.One of the important uses of dry milk I value the most is its addition to bread dough. I've experimented with "instant" dry milk and King Arthur's "Baker's Special Dry Milk. Their dry milk not only adds a smoother and more mellow flavor, it also results in a more tender texture and a significantly higher rise. Unlike "instant" dry milk, which is intended to be reconstituted and processed at low heat, the "Baker's Special Dry Milk" is heated during production to a high enough temperature to deactivate the enzyme protease, which impairs yeast production and, what is most critical, gluten formation and structure. This variety of dry milk will not reconstitute in liquid so it must be added to the flour. The high heat process also produces an exceptionally fine powder, which disperses uniformly through the dry ingredients. Because the particles are so much finer than the more crystalline ones of "instant dry milk," they pack down when measuring in a cup so if replacing "Baker's Special Dry Milk" with "instant" dry milk by volume you will need double the amount to arrive at the same weight. To substitute it for regular milk in recipes, use 1/4 cup of "Baker's Special Dry Milk" or 1/2 cup "instant" dry milk (1.4 ounces/40 grams) plus 1 cup/8.3 ml/8.3 ounces/237 grams of water per cup of milk. Up to 8.2 percent of the weight of the flour is the recommended amount; I use 6 percent in my soft white sandwich loaves.

DId You Know?

Melting Chocolate EffortlesslyWhen melting a large block of dark chocolate, such as a 2-1/2 kilo/5.5 pound block, there's a much easier way to do it than chopping it first into small pieces with a chef's knife. The only draw back is that it will take several hours so I like to do it the night before. Simply place the chocolate in a pan and set it in an oven with a pilot light or oven light. Be sure to put a note on the oven door so that someone doesn't come along and turn up the oven! About four hours later the chocolate will have melted into an even liquid pool of shiny chocolate. Chocolate should not exceed 122˚F/50˚C. At higher temperatures it will lose flavor. So be sure that your oven's pilot light does not register higher. This method works only for dark chocolate as chocolate containing milk solids requires frequent stirring to prevent seeding. Tip for accentuating the flavor of chocolate: Many ingredients enhance the flavor of chocolate. Coffee, raspberry, walnuts, for example, are known to be synergistic additions. But have you tried malt powder? Start by adding about 1.5% malt to the mixture. Ideally you should not be able to distinguish the flavor of malt but rather to achieve a more intense yet mellow chocolate flavor.

How to Prepare a Fluted Cake Pan

Cakes baked in fluted tube pans form their own beautiful decoration and often require nothing more than a dusting of powdered sugar or cocoa if that. However, if the pan is not prepared properly, the cake will not release well and some of the lovely decorative parts will be stuck to the pan.I have found only one supermarket product that works to give a full release to the cake and that is Baker's Joy, which contains flour and lecithin. Other products simply don't work nearly as well. Pam cooking spray is excellent for other uses but for baking, the Pam with flour and lecithin for some reason does not release well and, to my taste, it imparts an unpleasant taste to the cake. The best way to coat the pan, using Baker's Joy, is to use an even spray and then to brush out any excess to avoid air bubbles. Also wipe the top edge of the pan with a paper towel to keep the pan clean during baking. If you can't find Baker's Joy, the best substitute is solid vegetable shortening and flour, preferably Wondra flour, but any will do. Use a brush for the shortening to make sure you reach all the nooks and crannys. Then add some flour and tap and rotate the pan to coat evenly. Invert the pan and tap out any excess flour. If you like a high shine on the cake's surface, here's a great tip from the late Rich Hecomovich who worked for Nordicware: Set the pan in a 325°F/160°C for 1 to 3 minutes until warm. If the pan is hot, allow it to cool just until warm. Coat the inside of the pan with Baker's Joy. Then take a small pastry brush and brush the spray into all the groves. (The warm pan will melt and thin out the spray.) Flip the pan upside down on a paper towel to let the excess coating drain out (1 to 3 minutes). Invert the pan and slowly pour in the batter. Set a towel on the counter to buffer the pan and knock the pan on the counter a few times to make the air bubbles/pockets in the batter pull away from the outside of the batter so that the sides of the baked cake will be smooth. And another great tip, from Liz Duffy who was the food stylist for Rose's Heavenly Cakes: To eliminate air bubbles in the surface of the cake, for butter or oil cake recipes: first add a small amount of batter to fill the bottom of the pan, and using the back of a large spoon or spatula, press the batter into the pan's flutings at the bottom. Now here's a tip from me: If you prefer to use unbleached flour, tube pans are perfect to prevent the usual dip in the center. Why? because there is no center!