Folding Method – Tips and Tricks
- Folding is a gentle mixing method. It is intended to combine two elements when one or both is delicate, and subject to being destroyed by overly vigorous mixing.
- It is most commonly used to combine beaten egg whites, or whipped cream, with a heavier mixture, such as batter.
- When folding two mixtures together, it is important for both of them to be approximately the same temperature. This allows them to combine smoothly. If one is significantly cooler than the other, the warmer mixture will form clumps when the two are folded together.
- The lighter mixture is usually placed on top of the heavier one in a large bowl. Do not do the reverse or the foam will partially collapse.
Folding – Tips and Tricks
These are tips for folding one element into another to minimize the destructiveness of combining them.
- 1 container heavy substance
- 1 container light/delicate substance like foamed egg whites
- To get yourself oriented, see this video
- Starting at the back of the bowl, a rubber spatula is used to cut down vertically through the two mixtures, across the bottom of the bowl, and up the nearest side.
The bowl is then rotated a quarter turn with each stroke, continuing the down–across–up–and–over motion.
This gently turns the mixtures over on top of each other, combining them in the process. A rubber spatula is the ideal tool for this method.
- Always fold gently, but thoroughly, since under-folding can leave pockets of foam that are not combined with the batter, which then forms a sticky wet layer on the bottom of the pan after baking; over-folding can result in a product that does not rise appropriately in the oven.
- If the batter is very thick or heavy, first stir in about a quarter of the lighter foam. This will loosen the mixture, and enable the remainder of the foam to be folded in with ease.
- Generally, the folding process should take about a minute, to avoid over folding. Some streaks may remain, but these should be thin and even. If the batter is evenly streaked, it is generally okay to stop.
Folding liquid fat such as butter, into a batter, use the following steps:
- Soften or melt the butter. Place in a medium-size mixing bowl. Let cool until tepid.
- Mix in 1 cup of the batter.
- Add the rest of the batter, then fold as above.