In making cakes it is of the utmost importance that the eggs should be properly and sufficiently beaten; otherwise the cakes will most certainly be deficient in the peculiar lightness characterizing those that are made by good confectioners. Home-made calces, if good in other respects, are too frequently (even when not absolutely heavy or streaked) hard, solid and tough. This often proceeds from too large a portion of flour, and too small an allowance of butter and eggs. The richest cake that can be made (provided it is light and well baked) is less unwholesome than what are called plain cakes, if they are solid or leathery. Cakes cannot be crisp and light without a due proportion of the articles that are to make them so; and even then, the ingredients must be thoroughly stirred or beaten; and of course thoroughly baked afterwards.
Persons who do not know the right way, complain much of the fatigue of beating eggs, and therefore leave off too soon. There will be no fatigue, if they are beaten with the proper stroke, and with wooden rods, and in a shallow, flat-bottomed earthen pan. The coldness of a tin pan retards the lightness of the eggs. For the same reason do not use a metal egg-beater. In beating them do not move your elbow, but keep it close to your side. Move only your hand at the wrist, and let the stroke be quick, short, and horizontal; putting the egg-beater always down to the bottom of the pan, which should therefore be shallow. Do not leave off as soon as you have got the eggs into a foam; they are then only beginning to be light. But persist till after the foaming has ceased, ana the bubbles have all disappeared. Continue till the surface is smooth as a mirror, and the beaten egg as thick as a rich boiled custard; for till then.it will not be really light. It is seldom necessary to beat the whites and yolks separately, if they are afterwards to be put together. The article will be quite as light, when cooked, if the whites and yolks are beaten together, and there will then be no danger of their going in streaks when baked. The justly-celebrated Mrs. Goodfellow, of Philadelphia, always taught her pupils to beat the whites and yolks together, even for sponge-cake; and lighter than hers no sponge-cake could possibly be.
Hickory rods for egg-beating are to be had at the wooden- are shops, or at the turner's. For stirring butter arid sugar together, nothing is equal to a wooden spaddle. It should be about a foot long, and flattened at the end like that of a mush-stick, only broader. Spoons are very tedious and inconvenient either for beating eggs or stirring butter and sugar, and do not produce the proper lightness.