Blogs > Cooking from Scratch

Chef Stacy believes that cooking from scratch and using the best ingredients are the secrets to preparing delicious and memorable meals. She has created dozens of classes for the home chef and teaches students how to master culinary techniques and recipes in just one session. Read on to see what she's dishing up for The Oakland Press today....

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's all in the Wrist

On Wednesday night, the students in our "culinary school" class series made a selection of very beautiful and delicious desserts. Lemon curd tart, black bottom banana cream tart, chocolate souffle & creme anglaise, and a fresh fruit tart filled with vanilla bean pastry cream. Impressive as they are, each of these desserts can be easily produced at home in your own kitchen with some careful organization and the proper technique.

Many people marvel at the impressive sight of a towering souffle, but most people assume it is beyond their culinary grasp. The truth is, you, too, can make a perfect souffle if you learn the proper way to fold egg whites into the base mixture.

Folding one ingredient into another is about much more than just mixing them up. When folding, there are a few things that absolutely must be kept at the top of mind:
1. use a rubber spatula (do not use a spoon or even a rubber "spoonula")
2. you must turn the bowl as you fold
3. you must start from the center of the mixture and fold upward and then over

The reason so many particular precautions are taken into consideration when applying this mixing method is that it is essential to the texture of the finished product. Folding egg yolks or egg whites into something, rather than haphazardly mixing them up, is what keeps the air from deflating.

Mousses, chiffon cakes, sponge cakes, and souffles all require the use of eggs and egg whites as a leavener. Knocking the air out of the mixture will ensure that the final product is dense and does not rise properly.

Check out our "Mirepoix Chefs-in-Training" Facebook page for photos from our class on Wednesday. The bright colors will perk you up on a dreary & grey winter day. Spring is almost here - we tasted it on Wednesday!


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