Crisira the Cupcake Fairy says: post any question about baking on this blog and she will whisper the answers to Tessy! But we have to see if Tessy will reveal them! She doesn’t want to give out TOO many secrets!
the first time I tried beating egg whites into soft peaks or stiff peaks (depends on what the recipe calls for) I had trouble. I put the egg whites into the cake batter just as they came out – no peaks! the cake turned out heavy and dense…beating the egg whites in peaks and then putting them into a batter serves a purpose: making the batter light and airy. Crisira the cupcake fairy whispered to my daughter Tessy these secrets: always use an electric beater (by hand is torture!) and use the whisk attachment not the regular standard cake mix attachment; make sure the bowl is clean and dry because any water, even a drop, will not allow the egg whites to beat properly; when separating the egg whites from the yolks, make sure none of the yolks get into the bowl. Well, Tessy and I listened and followed carefully, and believe us: we got wonderful peaks out of the egg whites in no time at all – effortless!
BUTTERMILK AND SOUR CREAM FROM SCRATCH
don’t have buttermilk in the pantry? get milk and add some lemon juice, stir and let sit for 5 minutes….for one cup of buttermilk you need, use one cup of milk and add about a teaspoon of lemon juice.
don’t have sour cream handy? especially for those who do not live in the US (in Italy for example sour cream is hard to find)… to make one cup of sour cream: put half a cup of cream (light cooking cream in the US is fine, in Italy called “panna da cucina” or cooking cream) and half a cup of white yogurt, add a tablespoon of lemon juice, stir and put in the refrigerator for an hour….
it can be very troublesome getting a cheesecake from the bottom baking pan/springform pan onto your serving dish. Crisira the Cupcake Fairy has a helpful tip: when the cheesecake cools off completely, freeze it even for just half an hour, then remove it gently from the bottom pan with a spatula or cake serving knife and transfer to your serving dish. And remember: never put the cheesecake in the refrigerator or the freezer without it completely cooling off! It will create condensation and the crust part will become soggy!
Crisira the Cupcake Fairy insists: when baking cupcakes, never just set the timer and leave the kitchen! you must keep an eye on cupcakes and take them out of the oven as soon as they are baked! Most people read the baking time in a recipe and think that’s it. You have to get to know your oven because baking times are not exact and not for every oven. Cupcakes are delicious when supermoist and, if you overbake them, they lose that moistness!