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home : lifestyle : putnam   May 24, 2016

7/23/2014 10:22:00 AM
4-H food find
You can have your cake & eat it too


NewsTribune photos/Katlyn RumboldKatie Smith intricately outlines her cake for the 4-H Fair. Each year, exhibitors at the fair are required to learn a new technique. This year, one of those techniques is outlining. To see this cake, as well as other creations, the 4-H Fair continues through Sunday in Princeton.
+ click to enlarge
NewsTribune photos/Katlyn Rumbold
Katie Smith intricately outlines her cake for the 4-H Fair. Each year, exhibitors at the fair are required to learn a new technique. This year, one of those techniques is outlining. To see this cake, as well as other creations, the 4-H Fair continues through Sunday in Princeton.
Katie Smith, 16, of Walnut Winners 4-H practices her cake decorating skills for this year’s Bureau County 4-H fair. For her, cake decorating is a creative outlet and allows her imagination to wander. Katie’s mom, Janet, is the leader for the Winners.
+ click to enlarge
Katie Smith, 16, of Walnut Winners 4-H practices her cake decorating skills for this year’s Bureau County 4-H fair. For her, cake decorating is a creative outlet and allows her imagination to wander. Katie’s mom, Janet, is the leader for the Winners.
Katlyn Rumbold
Princeton Bureau Chief



WALNUT — Tonight’s the night Bureau County 4-H members are scurrying around putting the finishing touches on each of their projects with hopes of advancing to the state fair in August. But for one Walnut Winners 4-H member, this is nothing new.

Sixteen-year-old Katie Smith has been exhibiting food projects at the Bureau County 4-H fair ever since she was old enough to join at 8. Over the years, she has exhibited everything from yeast rolls to food preservation to cake decorating, where she really found her niche.

“I like cake decorating because you can be more creative with it than the other projects, since there aren’t a lot of rules for it,” Katie said. “There are suggested designs in the book, but how you use them is up to you. There aren’t very many examples so you can put them together any way you want.”

With each food project, 4-Hers will get a book of general guidelines, recipes and tips they should incorporate into their cooking. There are various levels within each category. Katie has been decorating cakes for the past four years, and each year, she learns a new technique.

Last year, she made a golden sponge cake using the entire egg; not just the egg whites. This year, she had to incorporate writing, cutter, outline and star fill.

“For food projects, they start out in the cooking 101 level doing something really simple like cereal bars,” explained Katie’s mother Janet Smith, who also happens to be the Walnut Winners 4-H Club leader. “Then the next level, they’ll learn to bake a nut bread like banana nut.

“They get to learn a lot of different techniques with cooking. It teaches them a wide range of skills and makes them branch out in different techniques that they may not think about using.”

In fact, Katie has discovered she really enjoys food preservation and has learned how to bake using yeast.

“Food preservation is actually a lot more fun than I thought it’d be,” Katie emphasized. “I thought it’d be boring, but it actually wasn’t because you can do a lot of different stuff with that too. I’ve never done food preservation before. I didn’t realize you could do that stuff yourself.”

She says her grandma taught her the ropes to food preservation when they canned peaches and jam together.

“I can with my grandma,” Katie continued. “I was surprised with all the different things you can make yourself instead of buying it from the store. That’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve learned.”

Another thing, don’t procrastinate, the duo says. It’s less stressful if something doesn’t turn out a week before the fair versus the night of, Janet said.

The Bureau County 4-H fair will continue through Sunday, July 27 for those looking for new recipes to add to their cookbooks.




Recipes
GOLDEN SPONGE CAKE
1 1/3 cups cake flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups sugar, divided
6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour once, measure and sift again with baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large mixing bowl until soft mounds begin to form. Beating at high speed, sprinkle remaining sugar over egg whites, 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat until stiff peaks are formed. Combine egg yolks, water, vanilla and lemon extract in a small bowl. Add dry ingredients and beat enough to blend.

Fold egg yolk mixture into beaten egg whites by cutting down through mixture, lifting up and folding over, about 40 strokes. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake is golden and springs back when lightly touched.

If cake pan has prongs around the rim for elevating the cake, invert pan onto prongs. If not, invert pan over the neck of a bottle or funnel so that air can circulate all around it. Let the cake cool completely, 2-3 hours.

Unmold cooled cake by running a metal spatula around the edges of the pan, being careful not to separate the crust from the cake. Slide cake from pan and cut the same way around removable bottom to release, or peel off parchment or wax paper if used.

Place the cake, bottom-side up, on a platter. Cut slices by sawing gently with a serrated knife.
 
CLASSIC BUTTER CREAM ICING
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon Wilton flavorings (imitation vanilla, almond or butter)
7-8 teaspoons milk or water
1 pound (4 cups) pure cane confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Wilton meringue powder
Pinch of salt, optional, dissolved in recipe liquid

In large bowl, beat shortening, flavoring and milk or water. Add dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly combined.

Blend an additional minute or so, until creamy.

Makes about 2½ cups.

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE RECIPE
The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake test baked by 50 bakers and counting
¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 ounces of your favorite chocolate (do not use white chocolate or candy melts. Any chocolate bar that isn’t flavored and doesn’t contain mix-ins like nuts, Rice Krispies, nougat, etc. will work.)
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (4 ½ fluid ounces) vegetable or canola oil, measured in a liquid measuring cup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup cocoa powder (natural or Dutch will work with this recipe)
½ cup room temperature water, measure in a liquid measuring cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-size mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix butter and sugar until fully combined. The end result should look like wet sand.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Once the melted chocolate is cool enough to touch, add it to the butter/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.

Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and cocoa powder into a separate medium-sized bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to ensure that the ingredients are mixed well after sifting.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in three additions, mixing until just combined after each addition.

Mix in water until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and put in oven.

Check for doneness at 18 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake should come out clean. If not done, check again every three minutes until they’re done.

Immediately remove cupcakes from the cupcake tin and place on a cooling rack or on the counter to cool to room temperature.










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