Bank Holiday Treats for you to enjoy.





As predicted the Bank Holiday Monday weather is a wash out so I am off to the kitchen to create something for the family to eat.  I am planning on making some shortcrust pastry using Trex and butter in the recipe like I do when I make Corned Beef Slice. I am going to make some Mini Pasties for my new recipe book which is nearly finished. Nothing to do with the book but I am going to make a gateau of some description for the family to enjoy later.

Breaded Chicken

Yesterday, I made Filled Burgers with my daughter and I did manage to grab a couple of photos. Also we made Breaded Chicken just like you have in a certain chicken fast food restaurant. We ate these treats as part of our cinema night where the children pick a film to watch as a family and we all enjoy loads of different cinema type food ranging from hotdogs, popcorn, dips to snacks and icecream but last night we had burgers, crispy chicken, salad and a chocolate pizza for pud. We were stuffed but it was great fun and  another special  time with my family – something I would have struggled to do if I had still had the market stall as Saturday night was definitely  not a night to have time with the family back then.

Today, I have added my thoughts and advice about the wonderful ingredient eggs which I hope you will find useful. I am going to try this week to add the rest of the ingredients I had on my website ingredient page to my blog  ingredient page- just to get that job out of the way. Then I am going to concentrate on finishing my new book which is full of picnic ideas that you can make with and without the children – perfect for those lazy summer days at the beach, in the park, in the garden etc. Also. I must try to finish the rest of the links I have to add to my blog posts so it looks like I am going to be very busy whilst the children are on holiday this week. If the weather improves I will be going out with them somewhere so in the meantime I am going to make the most of the wet weather and off to the kitchen I go.


Eggs
A vital, very versatile ingredient in the baking world. When making cakes the eggs help in the formation of the structure of the cake as they are gelatinous in structure and when combined with the gluten from the flour it forms the shape of the cake and gives the spongy texture of the cake.Also the liquidity of the egg helps the keep the cake moist and add colour to the baked product, e.g., the glaze on a pie.

When used for meringue, the whites of the egg are only used and the air is trapped between the protein molecules . A large volume of air can be incorporated into the egg whites to make a light and airy meringue. The fresher the egg the more stable the meringue as the tighter and smaller the air bubbles will be and the final baked meringue will have a more rigid structure.

Nutritionally, eggs are not only a good source of protein. They provide vitamins such as B12, B2, D, E and A as well as minerals such as choline, selenium, phosphorous. Most of these are found in the yolk along with cholesterol and fat.

The only thing I would agree with is the size of the eggs used in the recipe which I have noticed I don’t specify in my recipes. I just presume that everyone uses the same eggs as myself but from now on I will change that as I only use large eggs. Many years ago, I know people would weigh the eggs  and the amount of liquid that they made before adding them to a recipe. Even today I have seen people when they have been baking do this but I am not of this camp so I stick to what I know and trust which is by adding the correct number of eggs. I tell a little lie here as in my cake making if I am short of eggs or when I have been trying to make a large number of cakes I have omitted some of the eggs and replaced them with milk.


Whilst running my baking business form the market I used the cheapest eggs as I needed to keep a profit margin. Many people believe that the free range eggs are better in quality and give a better cake but if I was to use these at the market I would have to include them in the costings which would increase my prices for the goods I sold. Whether the customers at the market would pay the higher prices I don’t know. For a while I did buy my eggs from a local farm but eventually the farmer could not guarantee he could supply enough eggs so I had to change my supplier. I do not think there is much difference between the eggs apart from the colour of the yolks and truthfully I haven’t really looked into it. I know that some hens for caged eggs are kept in undesirable  environments rather than being left to roam but I personally can do nothing to stop this. Now that I am just baking for my own family I buy free range eggs but in a ideal world I would love to have my own hens in the garden (but I don’t think the husband would agree to this).

One cheat that I started when I was baking for the market stall which I still use today is to use one or two less eggs than what is required in a recipe and replace them with milk. I started doing this to save money on the cost of baking a cake as the eggs supply liquid and much needed moisture to the recipe which the milk can also provide as this moisture is needed for the subsequent rising of the cake.




I never keep my eggs in the fridge, one, because I use them an awful lot, so I always keep them at room temperature, and two, I don’t have enough room in my fridge to store the number of eggs I buy each week. I tend to use my eggs fairly quickly and they certainly don’t last to the best before date. I don’t use any eggs which have a crack in them as you can’t be too careful with eggs. I have never baked with anything but hens eggs and when I have just suggested about using ostrich eggs to my children for baking a cake with ( I would only need one ostrich egg instead of four hens eggs) one daughter has said out rightly “no I am not eating ostrich eggs , no way, not from a stuffed ostrich” hahaha . My reply was “well it won’t be a stuffed ostrich if it is supplying eggs”. May need a trip to an ostrich farm to show her what a real unstuffed ostrich looks like 🙂

Eggs can be bought in many different forms. They can be powdered, liquid and frozen. This involves the egg being pasteurised which means it is completely safe and can be used to make ice cream, hollandaise sauce, for example. Raw eggs with the “lion mark” are usually salmonella free but all eggs should be handled with care. (they break easily) 🙂

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