To Mix Sponge Cake. Separate yolks from whites of eggs. Beat yolks until thick and lemon-colored, using an egg-beater; add sugar gradually, and continue beating; then add flavoring. Beat whites until stiff and dry,-when they will fly from the beater,-and add to the first mixture. Mix and sift flour with salt, and cut and fold in at the last. If mixture is beaten after the addition of flour, much of the work already done of enclosing a large amount of air will be undone by breaking air bubbles. These rules apply to a mixture where baking powder is not employed.
To Mix Butter Cakes. An earthen bowl should always be used for mixing cake, and a wooden cake-spoon with slits lightens the labor. Measure dry ingredients, and mix and sift baking powder and spices, if used, with flour. Count out number of eggs required, breaking each separately that there may be no loss should a stale egg chance to be found in the number, separating yolks from whites if rule so specifies. Measure butter, then liquid. Having everything in readiness, the mixing may be quickly accomplished. If butter is very hard, by allowing it to stand a short time in a warm room it is measured and creamed much easier. If time cannot be allowed for this to be done, warm bowl by pouring in some hot water, letting stand one minute, then emptying and wiping dry. Avoid overheating bowl, as butter will become oily rather than creamy. Put butter in bowl, and cream by working with a wooden spoon until soft and of a creamy consistency; then add sugar gradually, and continue beating. Add yolks of eggs or whole eggs beaten until light, liquid, and flour mixed and sifted with baking powder; or liquid and flour may be added alternately. When yolks and whites of eggs are beaten separately, whites are usually added at the last, as is the case when whites of eggs alone are used. A cake can be made fine-grained only by long beating, although light and delicate with a small amount of beating. Never stir cake after the final beating, remembering that beating motion should always be the last used. Fruit, when added to cake, is usually floured to prevent its settling to the bottom. This is not necessary if it is added directly after the sugar, which is desirable in all dark cakes. If a light fruit cake is made, fruit added in this way discolors the loaf. Citron is cut in thin slices, then in strips, floured, and put in between layers of cake mixtures. Raisins seeded and cut, rather than chopped. To seed raisins, wet tips of fingers in a cup of warm water. Then break skins with fingers or cut with a vegetable knife; remove seeds, and put in of water. This is better than covering raisins with warm water; if this be done, water clings to fruit, and when dredged with flour a pasty mass is formed on the outside. Washed currants, up in packages, are quite free from stems and foreign substances, and need only picking over and rolling in flour. Currants bought in bulk need thorough cleaning. First roll in flour, which helps to start dirt; wash in cold water, drain, and spread to dry; then roll again in flour before using.
To Butter and Fill Pans Grease pans with melted fat, applying the same with a butter brush. If butter is used, put in a small saucepan and place on back of range; when melted, salt will settle to the bottom; butter is then called clarified. Just before putting in mixture, dredge pans thoroughly with flour, invert, and shake pan to remove all superfluous flour, leaving only a coating which adheres to butter. This gives to cake a smooth under surface, which is especially desirable if cake is to be frosted. Pans may be lined with paper. If this is done, paper should just cover bottom of pan and project over sides. Then ends of pan and paper are buttered.
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