Have you ever made an Angel Food Cake from scratch? It is not as difficult as you may think, but there are specific things that must be done and NOT done.
First of all assemble all your ingredients which will include Egg Whites, Cake Flour, Cream of Tartar, Sugar and Vanilla Extract. Recipe is under the Recipe Section/Cakes – cakes-frostings/angel-food-cake/
Next make sure that you have a Tube Pan and make sure that it is clean and dry. DO NOT GREASE THE PAN or the Batter will not cling to the sides and your cake will be a flop!
To make the cake do the following:
- Separate the Whites from the Yolks (this is best done when the Eggs are cold); be sure and not to get any Yolk into the White or the Whites will not beat up as they should! (To properly separate the whites from the Yolks, see Baking Tidbits) separating-egg-whites-from-egg-yolks/
- Sift and measure the flour as indicated in the recipe. (This will include combining half the Sugar with the Flour)
- Combine the Whites and Cream of Tartar and Beat until soft Peaks Form.
- While the mixer is running, slowly add the Sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. (Do not overbeat the Whites or your cake will be too dry)
- Remove from the mixer and foldin the Flour /Sugar Mixture with an over and under motion. Be very gentle to avoid deflating the Egg Whites.
- Turn the Cake Mixture into theTube Pan
- Bake in the temperature indicated in the recipe. Baking will take about 45 minutes. (DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN UNTIL YOU ARE SURE THE CAKE IS DONE – THE TOP WILL BE SLIGHTLY CRACKED AND DRY LOOKING)
- After Removing the Cake from the Oven turn it upside down until it is completely cool.
Once the Cake is cooled, loosen the sides with a straight-edged spatula and carefully remove it from the pan. If your pan is a 2-part one, loosen the bottom by running the spatula under the lip – in photo above – then loosen the bottom of the cake and remove from the pan.
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Saturday, January 20th is ‘National Cheese Lover’s Day. How many different kinds of cheese can you think of? There is at least one cheese for every letter of the Alphabet, but most letters have multiple cheeses, many more than I could ever thnk of. I could only come up with about 45 different cheeses without having to look them up. I was flabbergasted when I did look them and came up with 613. There are probably even more than the ones I found. Granted, many of these cheese are variations on a theme. That is, there are several different types of Cheddars – it seems that each of the English speaking countries have their own. Then there are the variations on Bleu Cheeses, Brie, Swiss and on and on.
Cheese is usually made from Cow’s Milk but there are cheeses made from Goat’s Milk and from Sheep’s Milk. If you want to count them as Cheese, then there those made from Tofu – a product that is supposed to resemble cheese, but certainly does not possess all of the qualities of ‘real’ cheese.
I was going to write this blog on all the different types of cheese and the uses that we have for them, but upon second thought, I am going to limit it to America’s favorite Cheese and i am guessing that would be Cheddar. Unfortunately, some of our Cheese Producer’s have taken a really good Cheddar Cheese and then turned it into something that may or may not be considered Cheese by an afficionado.
Cheddar Cheese is usually a firm Cheese, dark Yellow in color. The color certainly has to be added and hopefully it is from natural sources. There is also White Cheddar and if I am not mistaken Irish Cheddar is usually white. Cheddar Cheese also comes in many taste variations. There is Mild, Medium, Sharp and Extra Sharp. The Sharper the Cheese the firmer it usually is and the reason for this is that to be sharp a cheese is aged longer and when it is aged longer, it becomes drier and therefore, harder.
American Cheese, which is made from Cheddar Cheese is a version of Cheddar that is ground up and has gum arabic added to it to give it the consistency that some of us are familiar with. Cheese Spreads are also variations on Cheddar.
Cheddar Cheese makes great sandwiches and toppings for Hamburgers. It is also the basis for one of our most popular dishes and that Is Macaroni and Cheese. Cheddar Cheese is also a popular cheese for omelets, biscuits, breads and one of our most popular and succesful snack products – Cheese Puffs.
I was going to write this blog on cheese which I did. But after finding out how many different cheeses there are, I have decided that I will do a weekly Cheese Blog on either one type of cheese and its variations and/or once having finished the variants, will concentrate on the alphabet starting with A or Z? Please let me know. Would be much easier to start with Z as there are only 3 different types of cheese that I could find starting with the letter Z.
Happy ‘National Cheese Day’ everyone!
Musical Desserts! What are they? Desserts that play music? Alas no. These are desserts that were created to honor people or certain Arts in the musical world.
The Musical Desserts that I am familiar with are:
Pavlova – Both New Zealand and Australia lay claim to the creation of Pavlova and it is the National Dessert of both countries. This famous dessert was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova in honor of one of her visits to the above name countries. It consists of a meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit such as strawberries, passion fruit or kiwi. Pavlova can either be rolled like a jelly roll or free formed in a ring shape.
Opera Cake – a multi-layered sponge type cake put together with calorie-laden, but delicious fillings such as Chocolate Butter Cream, Chocolate Ganache and topped with a Chocolate Glaze.
Peach Melba – a dessert named after the famous Australian Opera singer, Nellie Melba. The dessert was created by Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel in London, while Melba was doing a performance of Wagner’s. Lohengrin in London. Escoffier was the famous French Chef who set the standard for all French Cooking. Peach Melba consists of Poached Peaches on top of Vanilla Ice Cream and is topped with a Raspberry Sauce. For a recipe for this dessert go to deserts/peach-melba/
Crepes Suzette may be another Musical Dessert. There are several stories associated with the creation of this dessert which consists of Crepes (a very thin pancake) served with a flaming Orange Sauce. One of the stories circulating about Crepes Suzette is that it was named after a famous French Actress whose name was Suzette. Another story goes that it was named after a character in a play. Whatever the story, Crepes Suzette are delicious and fun to watch being made. Even though it is not exactly a ‘Musical Dessert’, there is some theater involved, allowing it to surreptiously fit into this category.
Charlotte Russe, although not created as a Musical Dessert, was nonetheless created for a famous person. There seem to be several different variations on the origin of Charlotte Russe. The first Charlotte was created during the 18th Century and named for the wife of King George III of England. It consisted of an apple compote baked in a round mold lined with toast slices.
A few decades later, the great French chef Careme adopted the name but altered the concept in response to a kitchen crisis. He was preparing a grand banquet for King Louis XVIII and discovered he did not have enough gelatin for the Bavarian Creams he was making. Careme used Lady Fingers to bolster the sides of his dessert. The result became known as Charlotte Russe. It is said that he called it Charlotte Russe, because at that time, anything Russian was very popular.
There are other sources that say the dessert was created for or named after, the Russian Czar, Alexander. At this point, it really matters not why or whom it was created for. Charlotte Russe was a very popular dessert during the early part of this century and is very good.
Desserts, whether they are named after Music, Musicians, or Vocalists or Actresses, or Royalty are delicious and usually enjoyed by most who indulge in them.