need advice about hand mixers and beating egg whites for angel food cake
Posted: 20 January 2008 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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My KA 4.5 qt stand mixer does a good job of whipping egg whites for angel food cakes, but the bowl is not large enough to adequately fold in the dry ingredients.  I am thinking about purchasing a large copper bowl and a hand mixer, just for beating the whites.  Does anyone use a handmixer when making an angel food cake?  If so, what brand and model mixer do you use?  I’ve heard mixed reviews thus far - some people have good success with hand mixers for this job, and others not.  I would really appreciate your feedback before I buy any more baking equipment.

Thanks for your input!

Cakeluvr

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Posted: 20 January 2008 09:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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cakeluvr - 20 January 2008 08:24 PM

My KA 4.5 qt stand mixer does a good job of whipping egg whites for angel food cakes, but the bowl is not large enough to adequately fold in the dry ingredients.

I’ve got a 4.5qt KA stand mixer… I’ve made a few angel food cakes with no problems (using the 4.5qt bowl; I’ve also got a 3qt bowl).  How many egg whites are you using?  IIRC, the recipe I’ve used calls for 11-12, or about 1-1/4 cups.

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Posted: 20 January 2008 10:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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You must be very good at folding in the dry ingredients in your 4.5 qt bowl!  One recipe calls for 1-1/2 cup whites, another, 1-3/4 cup whites.  I tried making an angel cake a while back that used 1-1/4 cup whites and they were just about coming out of the bowl when they reached the stiff peak stage.  Folding in the dry ingredients was a real challenge and my cake didn’t rise well at all.  Tasted good, but didn’t have the “classic” (tall) angel cake look.

I appreciate your reply!

cakeluvr

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Posted: 20 January 2008 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Geez… I don’t ever remember getting that much lift out of 1-1/4 cups of egg whites.  It was about 2/3 full, IIRC.  Maybe I’m doing something wrong… I can see having trouble with 1-1/2 or 1-3/4 cups of whites…

I’m going to have to make one from scratch again (I got a rushed request for one and I—gasp!—used a box last time).

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Posted: 20 January 2008 11:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I use a hand mixer to make angel food, chiffon, etc, and they have all turned out perfectly and at the correct height.  I don’t know my hand mixer brand off the top of my head, but it isn’t anything special.  I’m guessing you will have to beat the eggs longer than in a stand mixer, but most recipes specify stages of beating (soft, stiff peaks, etc.), so I just beat until I reach the specified point.  Folding is separate issue, and you will find a lot of discussion about it on the main blog.  I have had the most success with a large balloon whisk, but some people prefer a spatula or a slotted skimmer.

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Posted: 20 January 2008 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Please let me know how your scratch cake comes out.  It’s very possible that I used 1-1/2 cup whites and that’s why they whipped up so close to the top of my bowl.  I may have remembered this detail incorrectly (I have several recipes in my cake baking folder) and you, most likely, did nothing wrong. Thanks again for your input and happy angel cake baking. 

cakeluvr

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Posted: 21 January 2008 12:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks, Matthew for your reply!  I think I will check out some hand mixers on line.  I’m encouraged to hear that you’ve had success with your angel and chiffon cakes using a hand mixer.  I use a big rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients, but maybe a balloon whisk might be a better tool.  I’ll read up about folding on the main blog, as per your suggestion.  I appreciate your feedback.

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Posted: 21 January 2008 10:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I have a Euro-Pro hand held mixer that I like because it has a retractable cord storage feature (hate those loose cords all over the place), but I don’t think it works better than any other standard handheld mixer. 

But when I need a large bowl to work in, I reach for my huge plastic dollar store bowls - I bought a bunch of them to replace the heavy stainless steel bowls I had been using - they’re as light as air, super easy to wash, and they’re dirt cheap.

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Posted: 24 January 2008 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks everyone for your replies.  I think I’m going with a hand mixer and large copper bowl for angel cakes.  Happy baking!

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Posted: 29 February 2008 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Nothing beats a good old fashioned balloon wisk and a bowl (pun intended).
As cooking enthusiasts I think we get too hung up on equipment. For non commercial baking beating egg whites and cream with a wisk is just fun. I hearken back to my teen years when I marveled at Julia Child whipping things. The sound the wisk makes in the bowl is a delight. The wonder of watching egg whites foam, froth, and finally billow into delicate clouds entrances me. These fancy machines we buy are time savers but there is little that they do that is actually better than what can be achieved with skillful hands.

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