Angel Food Cake

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Mk

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Questions questions questions...

I've heard that if you make loud noises when one is baking, it will implode like a soufflé. But I know only badly made soufflés implode. Why does a badly made one implode? Will an Angel Food cake implode?

Also, after it bakes, you're always supposed to turn it upside-down. Seems kind of strange... most foods you don't finish off by flipping them over for a few hours. :bugeye:

I know we can figure this one out.

:eek: :eek: :eek: :shy: :tongue: :!!)

"Those are rather nice smilies aren't they?"
 

brewnog

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Don't you turn it upside down so that you can get it out of the tin?

Anyway, I always turn fish upside down after cooking it so that the skin is at the bottom.
 

Moonbear

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Yeah, the upside down part is to be able to get it out of the pan, and so the pretty, evenly browned side that was in the pan is facing up for serving. You could serve it out of the pan or right side up, but it wouldn't look pretty for presentation. That's the only reason.

I don't know much about souffles. The loud noise thing might be a wive's tale -- a way of blaming the kids when mom screwed up the souffle perhaps? I only made one once, and the only thing I really remember was that you were supposed to resist the urge to peek into the oven to check its progress (which is really difficult if you don't know how your oven compares to the one used by the cookbook writer and need to watch that you're not burning it near the end), and I think it might have required turning off the oven and leaving it in the oven to cool very slowly (and finish cooking) with the oven at the end, but maybe that's just cheesecake (you have to do that with cheesecake to keep it from cracking; it's very sensitive to the movement and sudden cooling when you take it out of the oven, mostly the cooling, so you let it sit inside the oven to cool a little before you take it out and put it on a cooling rack). Then again, with cheesecake, tossing some berries or other topping onto it solves the problem of cracks just as well. It doesn't change the flavor, just the presentation.

Angel food cake was particularly easy to bake as I recall. Again, something I only made once. I'm not a fan of angel food cake other than as a substitute for shortcake for strawberry shortcake (it's a lighter, fluffier dessert for summer, but I don't often choose to bake cakes in summer, so it's a trade-off there).
 

Moonbear

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brewnog said:
Anyway, I always turn fish upside down after cooking it so that the skin is at the bottom.
Oh dear! You should cook fish with the skin down (touching the pan). You get it all cooked through without having to worry about the bottom burning (because it will just be the skin). If it's in the oven, it means the oven can nicely brown the top of the fish you'll want to show off on the plate so people know it has been baked, and again, you don't have to worry about it sticking to the baking pan. When it's done cooking, just slide a spatula between the fish and the skin and leave the skin behind so your guests don't have to deal with skin. You can worry about scraping the skin off the baking dishes after your guests leave if the skin burns or sticks.
 

Evo

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I thought souffles always fell when they started cooling, but here is a tip from the Food Network to prevent falling. (they will still fall a bit in the center)

" After 6 minutes the souffles will start rising. Check the rising souffles to see if any edges are getting caught on the rims of the ramekins; if necessary open the oven door and carefully slice the sticking part with a paring knife (you won't ruin the souffles if you work fast). The souffles will straighten themselves out. When the sides of the souffle are golden brown (the key to a souffle not falling is the crusty, golden brown sides)"

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_5023,00.html [Broken]

Angel Food cake has to be cooled upside down otherwise it's own weight will cause it to fall.

Here is one of my favorite cooking sites "Cooking for Engineers", this actually looks like a yummy recipe for Angel Food.

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article.php?id=83
 
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brewnog

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Moonbear said:
Oh dear! You should cook fish with the skin down (touching the pan). You get it all cooked through without having to worry about the bottom burning (because it will just be the skin). If it's in the oven, it means the oven can nicely brown the top of the fish you'll want to show off on the plate so people know it has been baked, and again, you don't have to worry about it sticking to the baking pan. When it's done cooking, just slide a spatula between the fish and the skin and leave the skin behind so your guests don't have to deal with skin. You can worry about scraping the skin off the baking dishes after your guests leave if the skin burns or sticks.
Aha, not the way I do it! I'm talking fresh-water fish here, by the way.

I normally fry it first skin-side-down on a VERY hot heat, then turn the gas off after about 6 minutes, leaving for a few more minutes to cook on the residual heat, and then turning the fish over for the last 30 seconds or so to seal the top.

I like to eat the skin, but many don't, and my way the flesh flakes off the skin with no effort. The skin's the best bit if you rub salt, black pepper, butter and lemon into it half an hour before cooking!


Ooh and Evo, hooray for cookingforengineers.com! :smile:
 

Mk

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But why does it fall in the first place?
 

Evo

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Mk said:
But why does it fall in the first place?
The souffle or the Angel Cake? My link gave the reason the Angel Food Cake will fall if not inverted after cooking.

Here is the reason souffles fall.

"If we were to take a look at unbaked souffle batter under a microscope, we would see a soft-textured base separated by relatively huge bubbles of air (from the beaten egg whites). When heated, air expands. In your oven, the air in the souffle obeys the rules of physics, pushing up the soft textured base.

The nature of an airy souffle is to rise and fall, sort of like ancient Rome. Only flour could prevent a souffle from falling, but as it turns out, a souffle recipe typically includes little of it. This distinguishes a souffle recipe from a muffin recipe."

http://www.sptimes.com/2005/06/22/Taste/Cooks__an_ideal_souff.shtml [Broken]
 
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DocToxyn

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As Evo's posts point out it is the air that is incorporated into the souffle or the cake that gives it it's volume. There will be some loss upon cooling, which is why souffles tend to sink some and again why you cool angel food upsidedown. Another example of this would be the italian holiday bread called pannetone. The final proof of this bread is done in a tall cylindrical paper mold which fits into special shelves in the oven so that the bread can be baked upsidedown. This results in a light, fluffy bread with good air volume.

The trick with cheesecake is again in the cooling, you want to do this as slowly as possible because again it is contracting after the heat is off, but you also need it to release from the sides of the pan, if you don't get this by using a good pan or parchment, you will get cracks.

Cooking fish skin side down keeps it from curling up in the pan. If one cooks it with the skin up, the skin will heat unevenly and contract at different rates across the cut of fish and thus curl more that if it is heated rapidly and uniformly by putting it skin down first. Plus you have the weight of the fish pressing down on the skin to effect an even contraction as well. I agree with brewnog in that the skin can be the best part, just try a salmon skin roll at the next sushi place you go, mmmmmmm! I would also add that the fins of brook trout, when fried in butter (along with the rest of the fish) are crunchy and delicious.
 

FredGarvin

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Evo said:
...if necessary open the oven door and carefully slice the sticking part with a paring knife (you won't ruin the souffles if you work fast). The souffles will straighten themselves out. When the sides of the souffle are golden brown (the key to a souffle not falling is the crusty, golden brown sides)"
AGHAST! Never open the door unless you absolutely have to! The temperature loss alone will give you a problems. Just run your thumb around the top of the soufle batter at the rim, leaving a little ditch around the perimeter. It will rise perfectly every time.

Evo said:
Here is one of my favorite cooking sites "Cooking for Engineers", this actually looks like a yummy recipe for Angel Food.

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article.php?id=83
That's a cool link. I'm bookmarking that one.
 
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Moonbear

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Evo said:
The souffle or the Angel Cake? My link gave the reason the Angel Food Cake will fall if not inverted after cooking.
I guess that means one shouldn't use a non-stick pan for angel food cake? Otherwise, wouldn't it just come out of the pan and fall the other way?
 

Evo

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Moonbear said:
I guess that means one shouldn't use a non-stick pan for angel food cake? Otherwise, wouldn't it just come out of the pan and fall the other way?
I imagine if it fell out it would flatten a bit. :tongue:
 
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I use a non-stick pan, no problems at all. My oven dosen't heat evenly, so I half to rotate my baked goods midcooking.
 

JamesU

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a PF discussion about souflees and cake :tongue2:
 

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