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Page:The White House Cook Book.djvu/310

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USE NONE but the best materials, and all the ingredients should be properly prepared before commencing to mix any of them. Eggs beat up much lighter and sooner by being placed in a cold place sometime before using them ; a small pinch of soda sometimes has the same effect. Flour should always be sifted before using it. Cream of tartar or baking powder should be thor- oughly mixed with the flour; butter be placed where it will become moderately soft, but not melted in the least, or the cake will be sodden and heavy. Sugar should be rolled and sifted; spices ground or pounded; raisins or any ether fruit looked over and prepared; cur- rants, especially, should be nicely washed, picked, dried in a cloth and then carefully examined, that no pieces of grit or stone may be left amongst them. They should then be laid on a dish before the fire to become thoroughly dry; as, if added damp to the other ingredients, cakes will be liable to be heavy.

Eggs should be well beaten, the whites and yolks separately, the yolks to a thick cream, the whites until they are a stiff froth. Always stir the butter and sugar to a cream, then add the beaten yolks, then the milk, the flavoring, then the beaten whites, and, lastly, the flour. If fruit is to be used, measure and dredge with a little sifted flour, stir in gradually and thoroughly.

Pour all in well-buttered cake-pans. While the cake is baking care should be taken that no cold air enters the oven, only when necessary to see that the cake is baking properly; the oven should be an even, moderate heat, not too cold or too hot ; much depends on this for success. Cake is often spoiled by being looked at too often when first put into the oven. The heat should be tested before the cake is put in, which can be done by throwing on the floor of the oven a tablespoonful


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