Technique makes fast frosting safe despite egg whites


June 01, 1994

Q: I have always loved seven-minute frosting that's made with sugar syrup and whipped egg whites, but I worry these days, with all the talk of salmonella, about whether it's safe?

A: This recipe should be safe from any chance of salmonella if you are careful to follow precise steps. First, make sure the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees and is still boiling as you are pouring it into the beaten egg whites. Salmonella is killed at temperatures of 160 degrees and over, so you may want to also use a thermometer to test the hottest temperature of the icing as the syrup is being poured in. Also, look for pasteurized egg whites in your supermarket, which would eliminate the potential problem.

Q: What is a Dutch oven and how or when do I use it?

A: Dutch oven is a large, wide pot with two handles and a tight-fitting lid. Its heritage dates back to the 1700s in Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, when it was made of cast iron. Today a Dutch oven may be made of various materials and sometimes the handles are not oven-proof. It is used for moist cooking treatments, such as braising and steaming. When the Dutch oven is completely oven-proof, it is excellent for recipes that call for first sauteeing and then finishing by baking in the oven.

Tip: A reader who certainly seems to know Italian cuisine advises that Parmesan rind is wonderful warmed in a small oven and used as a seasoning for minestrone and other soups. He also says that when softened, it can be grated along with the cheese and you will never know the difference.

Send questions to: What's Cooking, c/o Food & Home, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.