Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Using up Egg whites and testing a new mixer

So what do you do when you have a bunch of egg whites left from himself making crème brulee and a new mixer to try out?

Make meringue would be the obvious choice but I already have some in stock all be it shop bought and anyway I didn't fancy anything that sugary so macaroons were out too as they tend to be very sweet indeed.

As it happens as I wrote this post Marye from baking delights announced a new monthly event about recipes for leftovers and the first one is EGGS.. it seemed fate to join in. Check out What to do with leftover ...Eggs.

In more general news Sunday was a good day, Treestump was very chilled out and happy to be with anyone apart from when he was having his feeds so I got a chance to potter in the kitchen for the first time in months. In fact as you will see I probably did rather too much and should have used some of the time to catch up on rest but I've had baking (and cooking in general) withdrawal the last few months!!

While I decided what to do with the egg whites I thought I'd try out the mixer with a tried and tested recipe. So out came the chocolate brownie recipe, now the best ever brownies are from Ryton Gardens and are gluten free as they use soy flour. I did have the recipe from there at one point as himself worked there for a while but we managed to lose it however a pretty good approximation is a recipe adapted from a Nigel Slater one I found on the internet, swapping the normal flour for soy again.

The mixer did well and it certainly speeded things up as the sugar and butter creaming is hard work normally. I ended up using 200g of dark choc and 50g of white which was chopped in chucks, the dark was melted. That worked well but next time I will do more chunks if I'm using a difference chocolate as it was a game of hunt the chunk, will I have one in this slice or not? A day or so later and I've remembered why I always do a double batch as I get told by the four year old I'm not allowed any more as he needs the last piece for his lunch box!!

So chocolate cravings sated and the mixer part of the machine tested I still have a bowl of egg whites waiting for me to use them, in fact the bowl is even fuller as the brownies use both whole eggs and an extra yolk!

While I go surfing for ideas I decide to cook up a bread mix I have sitting in the kitchen. So one quick wash of mixer bowl and paddle and the machine is in action again this time with a four year old in attendance to see how it works. Again it is SO much quicker and easier in the mixer. That goes into the the oven on bread proving mode.. yes I know a Celiac buying an oven and specifically picking the version with bread proving and baking modes seems strange but I had my reasons .. honest.. and I did stop short of the top of the range which has a steam oven feature as well!

On to surfing and I rapidly found a couple of sites with articles on using egg whites.
David Lebovitz had some fun ideas, though the volcano sounded a little to OTT for a Sunday afternoon, I do like any recipe that involves setting fire to things though!

The Gourmet Sleuth
had lots of useful eggy facts as well as recipes and I will try and remember the suggestion to use an ice-cube tray to freeze whites individually as that gives more options all round.

Then on I found the following suggestion
"Bake the potato, scoop out the flesh, mix with whatever you like - fried onions, mushrooms, cheese etc. Whip egg whites until stiff, fold into potato mixture, fill skins and bang in a hot oven. They rise up and go crispy on top. Very retro but tasty and look good."

I pencilled that in for tea but it wouldn't use up all the whites so first I decided to try out Financiers the recipe for whic
h I'd found following one of the links from the above sites. The original recipe is on the Eggbeater blog and I liked it as it is nut based and I have a bunch of small metal tins just perfect for cooking them in.
Before I discuss the cakes in more detail just to say the potatoes came out fine though next time I will use a stronger cheese because although I added peppers, courgette, ham and cheese they were still a little bland.

So Financiers. little nut and butter based cakes baked in fancy tins. The Eggbeater recipe called for coconut but al
so mentioned making them with all sorts of ingredients and while coconut appealed I only had the end of a packet available. So cue trying out the food processor attachment for the mixer to chop some brazil nuts finely.. again it worked very well and while I don't think i will get rid of my main food processor as it has a much bigger capacity I can see this one getting used for small day to day tasks partly as the mixer will be living on the top and the food processor is in the cupboard.

Then the flour component got replaced with a mix of soy (as it was still out from the brownies) and chestnut as I'd just received my first ever bag of it and it seemed to go.
Shuna's (who writes Eggbeater) post on the subject is well worth reading for various option and information about how they should turn out and the details below are based on that to a large extent.

They were extremly tasty and the mix of flavours worked very well. Shuna is right in that they do eat best fresh though they are fine the next day too, after that they lose something both in flavour and texture as they get too soft.

Most of them were cooked in small tins, some of them sugar coated and some not. Both were nice, the sugar ones unsurprisingly
crispier. I also did a few in ramekins which made a very good base for some rhubarb and strawberry compote and cream!

I think next time creme brulees are made these might be made to go with them, the type of nut being picked depending on the flavour of pudding.
Brazil nut and Coconut Financiere (Bankers Cake)

Dessicated Coconut 60g
Finely chopped Brazil Nuts 125g

Soft Brown sugar 110g
Golden Granulated sugar 120g
pinch of salt

egg whites 225g (about 6-7 ?)

Melted butter 200g

Chestnut flour 50g

Soy flour 75g

Mix first five ingredients together in a bowl till well mixed.

Add the whites and combine (they haven't been whisked or anything)

Add butter in stages mixing well each time.

Shift in flour in three lots and fold in.

Refrigerate over night.

Heavily butter the tins, ramekins etc to stop the batter sticking and coat with sugar to if fancied.

Fill tins 1/2 to 3/4 full as they do puff up some and cook at 190c (375F) on a baking tray. Bake till golden and a skewer comes out clean, check after 15 mins and turn, ours took about 20 and they do need to be well cooked or they don't turn out.

They unmold best while still warm, so only leave a few mins before doing so.


  1. I love it! Great job!

  2. these sound deliciously round flavoured - nice choice of flours

    x x x