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Make-Ahead Whipped Cream

!0X sugar is always the preferred way to make whipped cream, over granulated sugar. The 10X has corn starch added to it, in the grinding process, which helps to stabilize it a bit. I use agar agar in my frosting, which is also a stabilizer, made from red algae.

Apr 20, 2014
chubbybunny63 in Recipes

Make-Ahead Whipped Cream

Adele in Texas,

Another think you can do, if you don't already, (to make your cannoli filling less weepy)is to drain your Ricotta for day. Line a metal strainer with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or white paper towels and put the Ricotta in. Place the strainer over a bowl, cover all with saran wrap and refrigerate. You'd be amazed how much liquid will drain out, and the Ricotta filling won't be as wet.

I also make a lot of wedding cakes, and I use agar agar in my frostings, to stabilize them for high heat - many are set up in tents in the summer. Here is another way to stabilize whipped cream:

WHIPPED CREAM RECIPE:
Ingredients:
1 c whipping cream
2 T confectioners sugar*
1 t agar agar*
Whip whipping cream until almost ready. Add confectioners sugar and agar agar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. This cream topping/filling will stay firm and not separate.

Sep 16, 2013
chubbybunny63 in Recipes
1

Gabrielle Hamilton's Minestrone Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

It would seem that the beautiful vegetables would be mush after being cooked for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Dec 29, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Recipes

How to soften butter to room temp when your house is kept cool?

At work I have a proofing box for croissants in the AM while I'm baking off muffins for breakfast. At home I don't have the luxury of owning a proofing box, so the oven off with just the light on is the perfect heat level to proof yeast doughs. I've also in years past used the microwave to do this, a low setting for a few seconds, and then leaving the covered dough in the microwave free from drafts.

Dec 29, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

How to soften butter to room temp when your house is kept cool?

I guess some of us, referring to chefs, are a little but hard to understand. If you have any passion for something, I hope you do the unusual also to achieve a superior outcome.

Dec 24, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

How to soften butter to room temp when your house is kept cool?

Please note that I used the word "understand". My concern would be what you use instead of butter - I just hope it's not a trans fat which is very dangerous to our bodies. If you do any amount of cooking, what would you use in sauces and gravies to enrich them and smooth them out? What do you put on your toast, or bread for a sandwich? etc. etc.

I'm into healthy, and of course all things in moderation. I just can't "UNDERSTAND" how anyone could live without butter out and ready to use.

Most of my friends use butter as well, but they keep it in their fridge, which was the original topic of conversation here. I hate it when I have to try to spread hard butter on a piece of bread and it ends up with holes in it.

As an aside, when I cater, I always whip butter for the rolls or bread. It not only is a nicer presentation, but it whips a lot of air into it and makes it increase in volume. People use less, and as a fairly expensive item, makes it go further. This is a trick I learned when I was a Pastry Chef at the Thousand Islands Resort - but then I had to whip about 10 pounds a day and pipe it out into rosettes for service.)

Thanks for your reply. Happy Holidays!. Now I have to go and use some butter to make creme puffs for a party I'm catering tonight.

Dec 24, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

How to soften butter to room temp when your house is kept cool?

Yeah, I've seen pastry chefs do that on Food Network challenges to warm the butter in a Buttercream frosting. I don't think the bowl would be affected, and sometimes my kitchen is so cold in the winter, it might be a good idea for me to try.

Kitchen Aid also makes a copper bowl that fits under their regular bowl which cold hold ice to cool the ingredients. It would probably also work with hot water to warm the ingredients in the bowl.

Dec 23, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

How to soften butter to room temp when your house is kept cool?

Please don't assume by my previous post that I do the majority of my cooking, like roasting meats, or making a casserole, etc. in my microwave. I don't. But I use it for many things other people would grab a sauce pan for - like warming up tomato soup. I always serve tomato soup (usually with a grilled cheese sandwich) in a coffee mug. I pour the concentrated soup (like Campbells, if I don't have time to make from scratch) into a few mugs, add the water to each, stir, add some fresh lemon juice and freshly grated pepper, stir, and heat in the microwave. I do have to stir midway, to combine, but it's still a lot quicker than waiting for a pan to heat up on the stove and having another pot to wash.

The next time you head for the stove, stop and think if there's a way to use your microwave instead. There might be, and it will save you time and dishes to wash. My time is too valuable to waste on timely chores that I can find a better way to accomplish. I'm a single parent, a Speech and Language Pathologist and a chef/caterer.

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Dec 23, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

How to soften butter to room temp when your house is kept cool?

It's hard for me to understand why people don't leave their butter out at room temp to start with, but if I need more than is handy that way, it's easy to either use a low power setting on a microwave, such as a power lever of 1 or 3 for 20-30 seconds; or on the rack in my oven with the light left on. The former is instant, and the oven light takes a few minutes.

I also proof bread dough in my oven with just the light on. It keeps it out of drafts, off the counter, and in a nice warm environment which yeast loves.

For people who are opposed to owning a microwave oven, it is not dangerous to be around. It gives off less radio waves than you radio does. If you can afford to be entertaining company, then certainly you could pick up a little cheap one at Sam's Club. It also cooks several foods, like fresh vegetables in a more healthy way than even steaming - the quicker you can cook a fresh vegie, the more nutrition it retains. There are no excuses not to have one. I do the majority of all my cooking in one - it makes my food healthier, saves me time, and I have many fewer dishes to wash.

As to the health concerns of eating butter,or leaving it out on the counter, it takes several days for butter to turn rancid. My grandmother always insisted that margarine was healthier than butter, but in fact the animal based fats are much easier for our bodies to digest than artificial substitutes. (Our bodies know what to do with natural fats, but not artificial ones.) Of course, all in moderation. Some of the healthiest people around are cooking with lard, kosher recipes often call for chicken fat, and on and on.

I am a chef, and encourage everyone to replace their margarine or trans fat substitute with the real thing. Life is too short to not appreciate the advantages of real butter, and the convenience of a microwave oven. I got better things to do with my free time than wait for butter to soften up on the counter, or boil food to death on a cook top. I have wedding cakes make, parties and dinners to cater, etc.

By the way, Happy Holidays to everyone. Enjoy your family and friends. Count your blessings, even in the darkest hours. Celebrate!!!!! Eat a nice slice of fresh bread with real butter on it. You only live once!

Dec 23, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

Festive Sweet-and-Sour Sauces

What happened to one of my faves, a cocktail weiner, in a warmed sauce of equal parts currant jelly and gulden's mustard. So yummy!

Dec 23, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Features

For New Cooks: Learn Technique or Focus on Flavors?

Boy, oh boy, did the chicken come first or the egg? What good would enjoying a flavor be if you didn't know how to prepare a dish? Get the technique down, and then experiment with different flavors. You need to know how to make mayo, for example, before you decide what ingredients to add to enhance the flavor, for your palate. Gee whiz, can there be any debate about this?

Dec 23, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Features

Is It Safe to Leave Butter Out at Room Temperature?

I grew up with a stick of room temp butter in the cupboard, on a butter dish. I don't remember it ever lasting more than 10 days in our house. If you don't use that much in 10 days, cut the whole stick of butter, paper and all, in half, and only leave out half a stick (or a quarter if that's all you would use). I hate when I eat breakfast out, or stay at a friend's, who keep their butter in the fridge. When it doesn't spread easily you end up using more than you need. As a pastry chef/chef, I couldn't imagine ever using margarine, or some other "spread".

Aug 31, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Features

The Basics: How to Make Lasagne

I'm wondering how the lasagna, mentioned in a post below, could dehydrate a little overnight in the fridge, if it's covered. Wouldn't that prevent the dish from drying out overnight?

Aug 31, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Features

Basic Italian Meatballs

Why ever would you ruin meatballs with lipton onion soup mix?

Aug 31, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Recipes

Thousand Island Dressing

I live in the Thousand Islands, and this recipe is way off the mark!

As a child we made our dressing with 2 ingredients - Hellman's Mayonnaise and Heinz Chili Sauce (it comes in a bottle that looks like a ketchup bottle).
Here, when you add relish, we call it Russian Dressing.

I'm amazed at the number of people who don't know where the Thousand Islands are. They're not in the South Pacific, like some people think. They are located on The St Lawrence River, just above Lake Ontario, on the New York border with Canada. It is a big resort area in the summer.

If you do a google search for the Thousand Islands Inn, you will see where the dressing was created.

May 13, 2011
chubbybunny63 in Recipes

making boxed cake mix better...

You can measure out half a cake mix, which I often do when making wedding cakes, as different sizes of pans need different amounts of cake batter.
My preferred method is to use a kitchen scale to measure out about 9.12 ounces of cake mix. For 3 eggs use 1 whole egg and 1 yolk (or 1 white). Then halve the rest of the ingredients listed on the box. Hope this helps.

May 16, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

Need a moist chocolate cake recipe ASAP

Mix in pan chocolate cake - (can be doubled for 2 layers)
Do not spray cake pan
Into an 8" square or 9" round cake pan place the following:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
large pinch salt
Stir all with a fork until well blended.
Make 3 wells in dry mixture and put 1 of the following into each well:
6 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Pout over all:
1 cup cold coffee.
Mix just to combine with a fork
Bake in 350* oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Let cool in pan and frost, or line pan with parchment paper if you want to flip out onto a plate. Since you don't want to spray the pan, run a knife around edge of the pan before flipping out.
This is a wonderfully moist cake and so easy to make at the last minute.

May 16, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

Need a moist chocolate cake recipe ASAP

If you can't find buttermilk, using a 1 cup measuring cup place 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or vinegar, and fill up the cup with milk to the 1 cup mark. Let sit a couple of minutes and you will have a suitable substitute for buttermilk.

May 16, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

Please share your favorite chocolate cake recipe!

I just posted a recipe and forgot to add that for a chocolate version of the buttercream frosting to use vanilla extract.

May 16, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

Please share your favorite chocolate cake recipe!

My fave quick chocolate cake is a mix in the pan recipe. It can be doubled to make 2 layers.
Do not spray cake pan with pan spray,
Into an 8" square or 9" round cake pan put the following ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
large pinch of salt
Stir all with a fork to evenly distribute.
Make 3 wells in the mixture. Place 1 of each of the following into a well:
6 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Over all, pour:
1 cup cold coffee
Stir with a fork until all mixed.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a 350* oven.
Leave in pan to cool and frost with frosting.

My favorite frosting for this cake is an orange buttercream.
Whip together well:
1 stick butter (please don't ruin with margarine)
1/3 cup shortening (I use a professional shortening called Sweetex made by Proctor and Gamble, but Crisco should work equally well)
When this mixture is fluffy and well blended, add:
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (I only use Domino's 10X)
1/2 teaspoon extract (for orange flavor, use orange extract - I only use Virginia Dare)
1 teaspoon orange zest for orange frosting, lemon zest for lemon flavor, etc.
Whip well until very fluffy.
Add 2 egg whites and whip for about a minute.
If you are opposed to using raw egg whites, and many are, use pasteurized egg whites, or heat them above hot water to reach a heat that makes them safe to use.
(Most chefs I know are comfortable with using egg whites if they trust their food purveyor, in that the chain of refrigeration is reputable and the eggs are fresh. I know that Martha Stewart has been criticized for using raw egg whites in her royal icing for cookies, so it's up to you as to what you are comfortable with.)
After frosting the cake keep refrigerated.

This frosting can also be made with 1/4 to 1/2 cup cocoa to make a chocolate frosting. It is very versatile in the flavor you can make. The texture is wonderful. I found the recipe years ago in a cookbook from a bakery in NYC and have used it successfully in my business.

When I was a pastry chef at a resort in the Thousand Islands (Yes, where the salad dressing was created), I made desserts for dinners by multiplying the cake recipe and the frosting recipe. All you need is a large bowl and a spatula. I made cakes, especially lemon, for large groups of people.
I'm impressed with how moist the cakes are.

May 16, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking

Stuck springform pan bottom.

Have you tried putting them in the freezer? Don't know if you could then press down on one side of the wedged base and tip it up to catch the underside on the other side.

May 16, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Cookware

Springform Pan that Doesn't Leak?

I bake a lot of cheesecakes for a tier of a wedding cake. I use regular 3" high cake pans and line them well with foil. After they are cool and refrigerated you can lift the cheesecake out of the cake pan and proceed. I've also made a parchment to fit the base of the cake pan, and sprayed the bottom and sides of the cake pan with a good professional pan spray. After the cheesecake is cool and refrigerated, use a knife around the edge to separate any remaining cheesecake from the sides of the pan, then flip out. It should come out easily with the parchment paper in the bottom. Either method works equallyt well, and I can bake any size cheesecake as there is a cake pan.

May 16, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Cookware

making boxed cake mix better...

I'm responding to a previous question about using half a cake mix. Earlene from Earlene's cakes suggests laying the mix down flat, and using a long metal spatula to divide the mix in half. Then she says to lift up the bag with 1/2 mix on either side of the long spatula, cutting open the bag, and then pouring out half of the mix,
However, I prefer to measure out, using a kitchen scale 1/2 of the contents, usually 9.12 ounces of dry mix. Then for 3 eggs, use 1 whole egg, and 1 yolk, and halve the rest of the ingredients on the box. I'm a professional pastry chef and often need 1 1/2 mixes, or even down to 1/4 mix for different pans. Good luck.
Also, I suggest sifting the dry mix for better mixing and results.

May 15, 2010
chubbybunny63 in Home Cooking