The Whipping Method

I think of the whipping method as “European” and I don’t think that’s an inaccurate assessment, since you only tend to come across it when making spongecakes like génoise, joconde, ladyfingers or specialty cakes like rehrücken. I can’t think of any common uses for the whipping method here in the States, except perhaps for flourless chocolate cake. Essentially, the whipping method is how European bakers create very light cake layers in the absence of chemical leaveners.

You need a lot of eggs — plus plenty of sugar, which helps create a thick syrup that keeps the egg foam from collapsing. The neat thing about the whipping method is that it gives lie to the myth that egg foams can only be created with whites. Twaddle. Indeed in most instances where the whipping method is employed you’re whipping either whole eggs or egg yolks plus sugar. Egg whites plus sugar are a rarity in the whipping method universe because, well, then you’d have a meringue, would you not?


The Roll-In Method

The “roll-in” method is the description for what you do when you laminate dough for croissants, Danishes and puff pastry. Effectively you’re “rolling” butter into a flour-and-water dough. Personally I think of it as “folding” it in, but there you go. Who am I to argue with decades of established pastry lingo?

There’s no question that laminating seems more like a technique than a “mixing” method, though when you consider that one of the chief aims of mixing is to incorporate fat it all starts to make a little more sense.


The “Blitz” or “One Step” Method

This technically isn’t even a method. Rather it’s the opposite of a method. But I made reference to it in the gâteau battu series I did (which seemed to go on for months). The “blitz” method is simply shorthand for putting everything in the mixer bowl at once and turning on the machine. See what I mean about it being a “non-method”? There’s no methodology to it at all.