Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Angel Food Woes

Okay, I'm going to admit it...

I used to be a pastry chef at a 5 star restaurant...
BUT, I can't make an angel food cake to save my life.
My grandma always made us an angel food cake for our birthdays if we were near her house, smothered with lemon glaze and with a candle and fresh flowers from her yard stuck in the hole in the middle.
ALWAYS perfect.

I had been given the Ratio cookbook by Michael Ruhlman for my birthday from a dear friend and found that it had an angel food cake recipe in it.  He says that the secret to a good angel food cake is not overbeating  your egg whites (not into a meringue like I usually do, but to a soft peak and still pourable stage.)
Okay, I did that perfectly.  Bought a new angel food pan at a garage sale and used it.  Fresh farm eggs.  Okay, I didn't have cake flour and used regular flour (could that be the problem?)

I also was impatient as it was Valentine's day and the kids wanted dessert, so I only let it cool for an hour, when the recipe said one and a half hours.  (Maybe that was it?)

It looked lovely in the pan baking, rose up and browned perfectly.
When I took it out and turned it over to cook it started shrinking...
When I turned it out it broke and then flumped over to the side.  Ew.

I also made fresh lemon curd from the Ratio cookbook which was divine, but note to self,
don't mix an eggy cake like Angel Food with eggy lemon curd.  Too much of a good thing.
I'm going to make a lemon tart tonight maybe.

Does anyone have suggestions on making a great Angel Food cake?

The recipe I used was:

Angel Food Cake
12 oz egg whites (9-11 egg whites)
12 oz sugar
4 oz cake flour
3 fingered pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1T fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

*If you want the directions let me know and I'll post them.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sesame Sticks

I LOVE sesame sticks.  They are so expensive though, and not as easy to find here as I'd like them to be.  I can get them in bulk at Whole Foods, but it's a 20 minute drive to get there (and they are still expensive!)

I found this recipe online at RedChiles (a really cool food blog!) and tried it this past weekend.
They are great!
So EASY and CHEAP to make!
I doubled the recipe, and didn't have the chili pepper powder to add.   Plus added a few things which I'll list on my recipe below.  (My recipe also reflects the doubling and extra stuff...)
Next batch I make I'm not going to put as much garlic powder either, they were SOOO garlicky (and this coming from a major garlic lover!) I guess you can add any flavorings you prefer, or cheese...

Sesame Sticks
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 2 cups all purpose flour*
*I used about 1 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of baby rice cereal plus 1/2 cup of wheat germ)

  • 8 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 cup Sesame seeds (I think I added a bit more for fun)
  • 4 tsp garlic powder  (Next time I'll only use 1 or 2)
  • 2 tsp sugar  (I might leave this out too, just because I'm trying to watch sugars)
  • Salt per taste
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 cup water
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • Coarsely powder the oats (I used a small food processor,)  then take a bowl and add the rest of the dry ingredients including sesame seeds and mix well.
  • Melt the butter and add to the above mixture. This will form a bread crumb like consistency.
  • Add water little by little and knead to stiff dough. Keep it aside for 30 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into smaller portions.
  • Then take small balls of dough and place it in between 2 greased waxed-paper sheets. Apply pressure and make it into flat disc. Remove the top cover and with the tip of your hands flatten the dough and make it as flat as possible. (I used a rolling pin.)
  • Using a knife or pastry cutter to cut into small strips. Repeat this process with the remaining dough as well.
  • Place the strips on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until they are light brown.
  • Turn them over and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool before snacking!
 Yields: 80 sticks

Monday, February 1, 2010

Natural Deodorant Recipe

I just found this recipe for Natural Deodorant on this site
I am so excited to try it as I know it will save bundles and I will know what's in it!

You use your own empty stick deodorant containers (washed out.)  I found a site once where you can order these new, but can't find it now.  If you know of it please let me know!

Natural Deodorant

1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup baking soda
10 drops essential oil(they recommend tea tree or lavender)
Mix it all together(takes about 2 seconds)
you can use it just like that-dust it on as a powder
OR if you want to put it in a stick form you add
2-3 tbs coconut oil
you find it in the baking aisle by the shortening (also good as a skin cream and lip balm)
Once you have it all mixed up you pack it into an old, empty stick deoderant container.
Let "cure" about 24 hours for it to hold together properly when you apply it.

*Another recipe is HERE.  (They say to use 1 part baking soda to 6 parts corn starch.)


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