A Note of Caution

Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

Some classic recipes call for uncooked eggs. Wherever possible, I have altered the recipe to cook the eggs to kill any harmful bacteria, but in a couple of cases, this wasn’t possible. Please keep the tips below in mind whenever cooking with eggs. None of them is a guarantee against ingesting salmonella, but they will reduce the risk.
Look closely at the expiration date on the carton and buy the freshest eggs. Store eggs in their carton in the coolest part of the refrigerator. Never store them in the egg holders on the door, as this is really one of the warmest places in the appliance. The carton helps keep out unwanted odors that can seep into the eggs through the porous shells. Never use cracked eggs. Wash your hands, utensils, and any work surface that may have come into contact with raw eggs with hot, soapy water and rinse well. Raw eggs should not be served to the very young, very old, or those whose immune systems are compromised. Electric Mixers Every serious baker really needs two electric mixers—one heavy-duty model and one handheld mixer.
For recipes requiring a heavy-duty mixer, I used a 5-quart Kitchenaid. The paddle blade creams chilled butter beautifully, the whisk whips eggs for Biskuitmasse (sponge cake batter) in no time, and the dough hook does a fine job of kneading bread. One caveat: Be sure to stop the machine and occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl during mixing, bringing up the batter from the bottom at the same time, as some ingredients have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the bowl and stay there. I reserve my heavy-duty mixer for recipes with a large volume of batter. It doesn’t do a good job with small amounts of ingredients.
When whipping egg whites separately for a dough, beating a small amount of heavy cream, or mixing a small amount of a light batter, a handheld electric mixer works best. Don’t choose a hand mixer by motor capacity alone; but do judge a mixer by the size of its beaters. Large beaters incorporate more air into the ingredients. Smaller beaters, even on a high-wattage mixer, take too long and make chores out of the simplest kitchen jobs.

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