Baking Radio Podcast Episode #39: How to Bake Chiffon Cake From Scratch! + Chef Sokol’s Citrus Chiffon Cake Recipe

The Chiffon cake as a special type of separated egg foam cake is discussed in detail. This type of cake contains two ingredients that no other sponge cake has- baking powder and oil. Chef Sokol explains what each of these ingredients does for the texture of this specialty sponge cake. A favorite recipe for a Citrus Chiffon cake is given.

 

 

Citrus Chiffon Cake

Makes 1 10-inch cake

2 ¼ cups cake flour

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup canola oil

5 large egg yolks (save the whites for the egg foam for later)

½ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Zest from: 1 orange, 1 lemon, and 1 lime

1 teaspoon lemon extract

8 large egg whites, room temperature

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ cup granulated sugar

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, blend the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. On low speed, add in the oil, yolks, orange juice, lemon and lime juices, followed by all of the zest and the lemon extract. Blend until smooth. Pour the batter into a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Place the egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and using the whip attachment, beat them at high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.
  5. Slowly add the ¼ cup granulated sugar and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. Using a whisk, blend in about one quarter of the beaten egg whites into the reserved batter to lighten it.
  7. Place the remaining egg foam over the lightened batter and, using a rubber spatula, fold it in gently.
  8. Pour the batter into an ungreased false-bottom 10-inch tube pan with metal tabs.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a small, sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool upside down.
  11. Remove the cake from the pan and place it right side up onto a serving platter.

Baking Radio Podcast Episode #37: How to Bake French Chocolate Mousse, with Recipe!

Mousses are defined and discussed in detail. Some mousses use eggs and some do not. Learn about the different types of mousses with chocolate mousse being the emphasis. Chef Sokol reviews the difficulties of combining chocolate and cream, and how to avoid these issues. An authentic recipe for French Chocolate Mousse is given with step by step guidance.

 

 

French Chocolate Mousse

Serves 6-8 people

1 cup heavy cream

3 egg whites

¼ cup superfine sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, melted with ¼ cup brewed coffee over a double boiler, and allowed to cool

3 egg yolks

 

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Wash the whip and electric mixing bowl and dry thoroughly. Beat the three egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whip attachment, beat the softened butter and melted chocolate and coffee mixture. Add the egg yolks, one at a time.
  4. Scrape the chocolate and butter mixture into a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk, whisk the beaten egg whites into the chocolate. This will lighten the mixture.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream using a rubber spatula.
  6. Divide the mousse into 6-8 wine glasses and chill for several hours.

Baking Radio Episode #36: How to Make Marshmallows from Scratch!

Did you know that a marshmallow is really a stabilized meringue that can be made with or without egg whites? Learn why you would want to make them yourself, and how easy they are to create. Find out Chef Sokol’s best tips to get the fluffiest marshmallows ever. She also shares an easy recipe, so you, too, can make your own marshmallows!

 

 

Marshmallows

Makes approximately 1 ½ pounds marshmallows

½ cup cold water

2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin (about 2 envelopes)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup water

1 egg white, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

 

  1. Spray a 9 x 13” pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Sprinkle a heavy layer of confectioners’ sugar over the parchment paper.
  2. Soften the gelatin by placing the ½ cup cold water into a small bowl and sprinkling the powdered gelatin over it. Stir briefly and allow it to bloom and solidify.
  3. In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/3 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring just until the sugar is dissolved. Wash down any sugar crystals with a pastry brush dipped into water.
  4. Cook the mixture until a candy thermometer climbs to 240°F.
  5. While the sugar syrup is cooking, place the egg white into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whip attachment beat the egg white until it forms stiff peaks.
  6. Once the sugar syrup reaches 240°F, gently place the softened gelatin into it, and whisk until it has melted. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a greased, heatproof liquid measuring cup.
  7. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the beaten egg white (do not pour the syrup directly onto the beaters).
  8. Once the sugar syrup has been added, turn the mixer up to high speed. Add the vanilla extract.
  9. Continue beating until the mixture looks light and fluffy.
  10. Using a rubber spatula, pour the marshmallow into the 9 x 13” pan spreading the mixture evenly.
  11. Allow the marshmallow to sit at room temperature for several hours until firm.
  12. Gently remove the marshmallow from the pan. Place on a cutting board. Using a knife sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cut the marshmallow into squares, rectangles or using a cookie cutter into any shape you wish. Roll each marshmallow into confectioners’ sugar.
  13. Place cut marshmallows onto a sheet pan lined with waxed paper sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.
  14. Store at room temperature in an airtight container separated by layers of wax paper for one week.

Baking Radio Podcast Episode #33: All About Caramel for Bakers Part 2 of 2

Explore the two ways to make caramel, and which way is the easiest. Learn the best tips for the smoothest caramel ever. Once you have made caramel, how do you clean the pan? Find out the secret. Chef Sokol shares a simple caramel sauce.

 

 

Simple Caramel Sauce

Makes about 1 cup

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¾ cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. Place sugar, water, and lemon juice into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Raise the heat and continue to cook, without stirring, until the syrup comes to a boil. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization.
  3. Allow the syrup to boil, gently swirling the pan a few times until the mixture has turned the color of light to medium brewed tea.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the cream. The caramel will bubble up, so use caution.
  5. Add the vanilla and whisk the caramel over low heat until the mixture is smooth.

Note: You can store the caramel sauce in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three weeks. It can be microwaved to warm and thin it out.

Baking Radio Podcast Episode #24: How to Bake Cheesecake

Discover why cheesecake is really not a cake. Typical bottom crusts for cheesecakes are discussed along with other options. Find out how a traditional cheesecake filling can be embellished with different flavors. Chef Sokol teaches you how to attain the creamiest cheesecake. A simple vanilla cheesecake recipe is shared.

 

 

Cheesecake

Makes a 1 9-inch cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust

1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  1. Preheat the oven to 350oF.
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together the crumbs, sugar, and butter. The mixture should look like wet sand.
  3. Press the mixture firmly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of a greased 9-inch diameter springform pan.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.

Cheesecake Filling

2 1/2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Grated zest from 1 lemon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

  1. Lower the oven temperature to 250°F. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese until it is creamy and smooth.       Beat in the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
  2. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, followed by the heavy cream. Stop the machine several times and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to prevent any lumps.
  3. Pour the filling onto the crumb crust and bake for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Baking Radio Podcast Episode #20: Quick Breads

Quick breads are defined and their ease of preparation is discussed. The three mixing methods used to prepare quick breads, the creaming method, the muffin method and the biscuit method are defined and reviewed in detail. Chef Sokol shares the recipe for her award winning blueberry muffins.

 

 

Grandma Etta’s Blueberry Muffins

Makes 12-14 standard sized muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1 cup milk

1/4 cup canola oil

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed) — mixed with 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Extra granulated sugar for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and oil until blended.
  4. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix only until combined.
  5. Toss the blueberries and 1 teaspoon of flour into a bowl and fold them gently into batter. Do not overmix!
  6. Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. If there is remaining batter, spray another pan and fill in the same manner. Sprinkle each muffin with granulated sugar.
  7. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and a cake tester or sharp knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.