The preparation directions in a recipe indicate exactly how to mix the ingredients. It is important to know the difference between words such as beat, cream, fold, and stir. They do not produce the same results. For example, recipe directions say to fold when it is necessary to mix a light, airy food with a heavier one, whereas beating makes a mixture very smooth. Likewise, recipe directions say to cream when it is necessary to work the food until it is soft and creamy, whereas stirring combines the ingredients in a mixture until they are evenly distributed.
Use a rubber spatula or a flat spoon and gentle motions when folding. Never use an electric mixer to fold. It is important to keep the mixture light and airy.
Use a wire whisk to beat lightly and quickly with a wrist motion.
Add an egg to the ingredients very carefully. Break one egg at a time into a small dish, and check that it is fresh before adding it to the mixture. Never break an egg over the mixing bowl because if the egg is not fresh, everything in the mixing bowl will have to be discarded. A rotten smell or greenish egg whites are clues that the egg is not fresh. Discard it. If the recipe calls for more than one egg, add each egg to the mixture in the mixing bowl before breaking another egg into the same dish.
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