Document 6454840


Document 6454840
Funnel cakes don’t require festival, fair
Craving the unmistakable taste
and aroma of freshly made funnel cakes?
¶ There is no need to wait
for the next local festival to
savor this sugar-dusted pastry.
Recreating funnel cakes at
home is quick, fun and easy.
It’s a mouthwatering activity
for people of all ages, and
would make an entertaining
addition to children’s birthday
parties and family gatherings.
¶ “Fun and easy to prepare,
funnel cakes are a great way to
turn a regular meal into something special,” Marc Haymon,
lecturing instructor in baking
and pastry arts at The Culinary
Institute of America, says.
“Serve these tasty delights with
the traditional sprinkle of powdered sugar for a warm and
crispy treat.”
¶ Golden brown and squiggly shaped, funnel cakes have
an undeniable appeal.
¶ Their light and airy
crumb, crisp texture and subtle
sweetness are a result of frying
unleavened batter in hot oil.
Unleavened simply means that
yeast is not required for the
funnel cakes to plump when
they cook. Instead, chemical
leaveners, such as baking soda
and baking powder, are used to
create a slight expansion when
the batter is fried.
¶ Unlike yeast, which works
on its own schedule and rises at
a much slower rate, chemical
leaveners provide flexibility.
Their lifting power occurs within moments of coming in contact with liquid and heat.
¶ If you have never made
funnel cakes, you will soon discover that preparing them is
half the fun of eating them.
Drizzling the batter into hot oil
and creating freeform spiral
shapes is exciting, and worth
learning a few guidelines about
¶ When done properly, frying is a fast and delicious cooking technique that, in fact,
absorbs little oil. This is how it
works: Food is placed into oil
that has been heated to a specific temperature. Once the food is
submerged in the oil, the outside is sealed and the interior is
protected from penetrating oil.
¶ This works only if the oil is
at the proper temperature. If it
is not hot enough, the food will
absorb too much oil and
become soggy, and if the temperature is too high, the outside
can burn before the inside has a
chance to cook. Perfectly fried
food has a golden brown crust
with a moist and tender interior.
¶ Here are a few tips for fry ing success:
¶!Choose the right oil. As
you would for making doughnuts or other fried items, use a
neutral-flavored oil with a
high smoke point. Vegetable
oils are a good choice because
they do not lend off-flavors to
the food and they can be heated to high temperatures without smoking.
¶!Use the proper equipment. An adequately sized pot
and appropriate utensils make
for safe, easy and mess-free frying. A deep pot that provides
several inches between the surface of the oil and the top of the
pot is the best vessel for frying;
the extra room gives ample
space for bubbling.
!Fry at the proper temperature. Keep in mind that every
time you add a piece of food to
hot oil, the temperature will
drop. The most reliable way to
ensure frying success is to monitor the temperature with a
high-quality candy or deep-frying thermometer attached to
the side of the pot.
¶ The following recipe is
from The Culinary Institute of
America’s “Breakfasts and
Brunches” cookbook (LebharFreidman, 2005, $35).
Food fact of the week
The tomato was first domesticated in Mexico by the Aztec people. Today, Americans consume an annual average of more than
90 pounds of tomatoes for every man, woman and child in the
nation, as fresh as well as processed products.
— Heinz Institute of Nutritional Sciences.
Good health’s
just a quick
snap away
Photo by Culinary Institute of America | AP
Those golden brown and squiggly shaped treats that have an undeniable appeal: the funnel cake. Making them at home is fun, quick and easy.A mouthwatering activity for people of all ages.
¶ 1 quart canola oil, for deep frying
¶ ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla
extract in a separate bowl. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir by hand just
until the batter is evenly moistened.
¶ Heat the oil to 350 F in a deep pan or
deep fryer. Drizzle ¼ cup of batter into the oil
in a spiral pattern; form a loose cake about 4
inches in diameter. (Allow the oil to regain
the proper temperature between batches.)
¶ Fry until golden brown on the first side,
about 30 seconds. Using metal tongs, turn the
cake over and fry until golden brown on the
If you’re looking for a way to get
your kids to eat more veggiess, try
crisp green beans, also known as
string beans or pole beans. Or, as
my niece
and I like to
call them,
snap beans.
that green
beans are
ava i l a b l e
year-round, they’re particularly
delicious – and snappable! – during
the summer months.
Snap a bean pod in half and
unfold it, and show the kids how to
pick out the little beans inside.
They’re tasty and crunchy. It takes a
little more time than eating the
whole thing, but it’s more fun this
Try Kentucky Wonder Beans –
they’re just about perfect.
You can even grow them in the
backyard here. Thompson &
Morgan offers a packet of seeds for
$2.95, and you’ll have beans in
about two months.
Green beans generally taste best
if you use them as soon after picking as possible, but editors of
Everyday Food say the beans can be
refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag
for up to five days.
If they last that long.
Building a better
trail mix
¶ 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¶ ¼ cup sugar
¶ 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
¶ ½ teaspoon baking soda
¶ ¼ teaspoon salt
¶ 2½ cups cold milk
¶ 3 large eggs, beaten
¶ ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
second side, about 30 seconds. Remove the
cake from the oil with metal tongs or a wire
mesh skimmer and drain on paper towels.
While making the remaining funnel cakes,
place completed ones on a paper towel-lined
baking sheet in a warm oven. Dust with confectioner’s sugar while warm and serve immediately.
¶ Makes 20 cakes.
Today is National Trail Mix Day,
a favorite of hikers everywhere.
It’s easy to create your own trail
mix. My personal favorite includes
walnuts, almonds, pecans, filberts,
pretzel sticks, dried cherries, dried
cranberries, dried blueberries and
plump raisins. Plenty of good
Photo by Shane Martindale |