I am mortified by how long it has taken me to tell you about OXO’s new Egg Beater. Yikes. Here are the facts: OXO sent me one of their new Good Grips Egg Beaters–along with a second to give away to a lucky reader–as part of their Blogger Outreach Program. Nothing is required of me save that I review it–the good and the bad– and give a second one away.
And here is the excuse: to give the egg beater a good test I needed a recipe that required egg whites. The beaters arrived after I made my holiday Meringue Cookies and, the holidays being what they are, I was never again in a situation where I had the time to choose a recipe at my leisure. I didn’t even whip cream this Christmas, instead serving a cookie tray even for Christmas dinner! So, now that I am done with excuse making, about this egg beater…
Full disclosure: I have never owned an egg beater. I have had a stand mixer almost my entire adult life (and my entire childhood) and I only acquired a hand mixer in the last few years. So to say that I am spoiled for whipping eggs and cream is an understatement. However, I was excited about the egg beater because it would allow my kids to be more involved in baking in situations I might have reached for the hand mixer. That is Sammy busy rotating away in the photo above.
For the test recipe I chose a doozy–although I did not realize it at the time. I might as well have tested it on angel food cake, that’s how many egg whites we were whipping. If you had ever told me I would whip 11 egg whites to stiffness by hand I would have told you you were smoking something funny. The recipe–which we loved–is a nearly grainless cake from Gale Gand’s Butter Sugar Flour Eggs: Whimsical Irresistible Desserts, an Italian Chocolate Cake with Polenta. The egg yolks are beaten or whipped to pale yellow ribbons with sugar and the whites are whipped to stiffness. Chocolate and butter are melted and little by little all is folded together, with the polenta or cornmeal being folded in last.
The egg beater’s gears work really smoothly, and the stainless steel bridge at the bottom of the beaters allows you to rest the beater on the bottom of the bowl (no small thing when you are whipping that many egg whites!). The beaters detach easily from the base and are dishwasher safe. The grip is comfortable, and Sammy (age 5) was able to work the gears and whip the eggs. She did find it tiring, so we took turns. As a matter of fact that is the only negative thing I have to say–no matter how amazing an egg beater is, if you are spoiled by electric, it still takes a lot longer and is a lot more work. Of course it is also a lot less expensive and a lot easier for little kids to handle, the second being the reason it will find a use in my kitchen. That and the fact that sometimes you do not have a clean whip attachment, in which case this will come in handy.
So how can you win one of these babies? (Giveaway is now over.)
This recipe has really gotten short shrift while I’ve talked about the egg beater I used to make it! It fantastic–rich, super chocolate-y, and unusual from its hint of cornmeal. Gand states that cornmeal is an acceptable substitute to polenta, and indeed that is all I had. I even used coarse, and while the effect was a little jarring, it was not unpleasant. I would probably prefer fine grain next time.
- 16 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used a chocolate in the 60% range)
- 8 oz (2 sticks) butter
- 11 eggs, separated
- pinch of cream of tartar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 T liquor of choice (suggestions: Cognac, brandy, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Sambuca... I used Starbucks coffee liquor)
- ½ cup polenta (cornmeal is ok to sub)
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 300 F. Grease a 9X13 cake pan and then line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave, at 50% power in 30 second intervals. Stir well and then set aside to let cool a bit.
- Place the egg whites in a large bowl. Make sure that your bowl and beaters are clean and dry. Begin whipping the egg whites--when they are foamy, add a pinch of the cream of tartar. Continue whipping, and when soft peaks have formed, sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar over the egg whites. Continue whipping until stiff peaks have formed--be careful not to overwhip and dry the egg whites out. Shake the beaters off.
- Place the egg yolks and ½ cup of sugar into another large bowl. Whip (you can use the same beater as long as you do the egg whites first) the egg yolks and sugar until they are very pale yellow and ribbons form when the beater is dragged across the surface of the mixture.
- Fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. When it is almost blended, add the egg whites and fold them in until almost blended. Then sprinkle the liquor and polenta (or cornmeal) on top of the mixture and fold it in. Be careful not to deflate the egg whites, but do fold the mixture until completely blended now. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Spread the top even with a rubber spatula.
- Place the cake into the oven. Bake until the center is firm and a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out either clean or with just a few crumbs attached, 60-75 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan before slicing. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
As always, Amazon affiliate links were used in this post, but only to link to products on Amazon that I would have discussed and linked to anyway.