Cooking for men

Dot writes: Ken has made a Christmas cake. It looks and smells lovely, and it doesn’t need to be saved for Christmas as we suspect there may be another waiting in Norfolk, but we decided to hold off gobbling it up until it had been properly iced. Ken covered it in marzipan and I was supposed to make and apply the royal icing. According to Delia Smith’s recipe, you have to sift a pound-and-a-half of icing sugar, add it to four egg whites stirring it in in lots of two spoonfuls, and then whisk with an electric whisk for ten minutes until the mixture stands up in stiff peaks.

Sadly my weedy little electric whisk wasn’t up to the job. It has never really recovered from when I did this last Christmas and the attachment that joins the whisk to the mixer wand has gone all wobbly. So it was time for Ken to step in again and give whisking the manly man’s touch.

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Actually, that drill wasn’t fast enough and he switched to a bigger one.
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At the end the whisk looked like this.
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Sadly, even this wasn’t enough to make the icing stand up in stiff peaks. It did thicken, and I’ve put it on the cake, but it has run down the sides and given the cake a sort a traily frill all around as though it’s wearing a dress that’s too long for it. I suspect what we need is a good old-fashioned metal egg beater with a handle to turn.

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4 thoughts on “Cooking for men

  1. Mairi Jay

    Wonderful teamwork and ingenuity. I love that story. Andrew, from where did you get all those domestic accomplishments. It certainly wasn’t me.

  2. laura

    Amazing! I always wondered why recipes for whipped egg whites had all those fancy calls for chemical adulterations (creme tartar, baking powder, brass bowl). Why has no one recommended a drill? If there were a vacuum cleaner attachment that could do as much, I would use it! – BTW, one time in my life (restaurant job) I had to whip, by hand, a couple of egg whites to the “stiff peaks” standard. Hard work, but in the right conditions, a single egg white, can take up a lot of air!! Oh, and yes, my arm is still aching.

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