A few weeks back I had the good fortune to attend the Boston book launching party for the The Food52 Cookbook . My friend Emily (fiveandspice for all you Food52ers) and her husband hosted a pot-luck gathering where each guest made a dish from the book to bring, it was great fun and a delicious afternoon. As you might imagine from a gathering of such food fanatics, we brought way more food than we needed for the gang assembled. In fact, as the afternoon wore on I started to get a little concerned that we had not properly paced ourselves and would be unable to have a go at the beautiful desserts decorating the sideboard in their dining room.
A lesser group would have called it a day I’m sure, what with the sheer volume of savory tarts, salads, dips, breads, and charcuterie that we all consumed. Many would have slipped into a food coma and curled up in the corner for a little snooze, but not this stalwart group. No, the siren’s song of cakes and cookies took care of that, and as we emptied the last bottle of wine, our hostess took her leave and retired to the kitchen to gather things for dessert.
Not wanting to seem the total deadbeat, I gathered empty dinner plates and followed her to help with cleaning up our mess. After a few trips to and from the kitchen I turned to speak with Emily and found her with a big grin on her face, whipping some crème chantilly with an antique egg-beater….it was awesome. I hadn’t seen one since I was a kid (that would be eons ago for those of you counting), and I was enthralled as I watched her gently whipping the cream to soft peaks. I asked her where she got it, and she told me her husband had found it at a tag sale and bought it for her as a gift….lucky girl.
As someone who regularly over-beats whipped cream with my hyper efficient electric hand mixer, I vowed right then to quest for a good old fashioned manual egg-beater so that one day I too could whip perfect crème chantilly with a little grin on my face.
As fate would have it, the good folks at OXO contacted me about a month after our pot-luck and asked if I’d be interested in testing one of their new fangled egg beaters…..cue the angels singing, my prayers had been answered. As they did with the swivel-headed veggie peeler, with this egg-beater OXO has taken a product design that has remained largely unchanged since its inception (the original beater dates back to 1870!), and brought it screaming back to life as a technically superior and much cooler looking tool. Huzzah!
Now I’ve been approached dozens of times with offers for product testing and give-away booty, but I’ve always turned them down. Not due to any high moral principles on my part (this is not a big surprise to my regular readers, I'm sure), but because none of the products excited me. I’m more than happy to test and pitch a product (with full disclosure of any compensation received, of course) as long as the product in question gets me jazzed. Well, I’m here to tell you that I find OXO kitchen gear to be totally pitch worthy, and yes, as a matter of disclosure I scored my very own OXO egg-beater as part of this giveaway.
Aren't you jealous?
If any of you could peer into my kitchen and see how much OXO stuff I actually own you'd think that I was either (A) a significant shareholder of the company, or (B) have a twisted attraction to companies with names that are palindromes. In fact, I am neither. I’m just a guy that likes well designed, and finely crafted tools that make my time spent in the kitchen a little more pleasant, and on that score, OXO rules. I’ve been a fan for years, slowly acquiring their liquid measuring cups, can openers, whisks, and pot scrubbers. Then, as a winner of 3 Food52 recipe contests over the past 2 years, I received boxes of OXO booty including dry measure cups and spoons, cutting boards, an egg separator, and utility knives. Lucky boy, me.
Ok…so enough about all their other cool stuff, what do I think of this egg beater?
I love it, and so does everyone else around here. In fact, ever since it showed up a couple of weeks ago the kids are constantly asking if they can use it. Most of the time they're just scrambling eggs with it, but Muppet, who has a particular penchant for whipped cream, is seriously smitten with the thing.
"Do you think I could make some whipped cream to put on my hot dog?"
It's easy to get the appeal. Like all OXO products it's great looking, easy to clean (the head detaches for a quick trip through the dishwasher), fun to use, and incredibly efficient. The kids love it for its grippy rubber handle, its silky smooth action, and for its pure fun factor. I appreciate it for the level of control it affords me, especially when whipping cream. For me, a perfect crème chantilly is what you see in the photo at the top of this post, a smooth pillowy mass that barely holds its shape. Sadly, when I whip cream with my electric hand mixer I often lose track and end up beating it a few seconds too long, rendering the cream over-whipped, breaking and a bit chunky. Boo.
When deciding which recipe to make in order to showcase my awesome hand-whipped crème chantilly, the choice was simple….."Teddie's Apple Cake". If I'm not mistaken, this was the first sweet that my sweet made for me when we started dating. It's a dish she's been making for years, having first found the recipe when it was published in the NY Times. It has recently been republished as part of Amanda Hesser's fabulous The Essential New York Times Cookbook . It is an amazing confection jammed with tart apples and warm spices that is equally good in the morning, with an afternoon cup of tea, or as an after dinner dessert. Now that's my kind of versatility.
I called this post "Almost" Teddie's because my recipe is a slight variation on the original. Where I've changed it I've noted how it differs from the original
(original ingredients are in parentheses).
Any of you interested in winning your very own OXO Egg-Beater, leave me a comment below telling me how you'd put one to use in your kitchen, and I'll randomly choose a lucky winner who will smile uncontrollably every time they use it to whip cream….I promise. I'll accept eligible comments until midnight EST on Friday, January 27th, and announce the winner on January 30th.
Cheers – Steve
- butter for greasing pan
- 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups peeled, cored and thickly sliced tart apples, like Granny Smith (3 cups)
- 1 cup chopped pecans (walnuts)
- 1 cup dried cranberries (raisins)
- crème chantilly (vanilla ice cream)
- Heat oven to 350℉. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer (fitted with a paddle attachment) while assembling the remaining ingredients. After about 5 minutes, add the eggs and beat until the mixture is creamy.
- Sift together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir into the batter. Add the vanilla, apples, pecans and dried cranberries and stir until combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve at room temperature with crème chantilly, if desired.