Sometimes a recipe calls for ingredients to be folded together.
If a recipe calls for ingredients to be folded in, it means that the ingredients need mixed together lightly using a gentle lifting motion, rather than vigorous stirring. This is to avoid losing air while mixing leading to loss of volume and less rise when cooked.
This could be a hot or cold souffle, a cake without a raising agent or any recipe that needs whisked egg whites to lighten a mixture.
The folding action
Use a figure of eight motion with the spoon to cut through the middle of the mixture, go up and around the side of the bowl bringing mixture from the bottom over the top and back down through the middle. Turn the bowl as you go to evenly mix everything together.
Tips for good folding
- Use a large metal spoon as this cuts through the air bubbles, rather than tearing or breaking them, which a wooden spoon would do.
- Always fold in a large bowl. This gives you plenty room for your folding action, making the process easier.
- Stir a spoonful of egg whites into your flavoured sauce, first, then fold in the remainder. This loosens the mixture and makes the remaining egg whites quick and easy to fold through.
- Try to fold in as quickly as possible, egg whites start to collapse quite quickly once they’re whipped.
- Stop even if there are still small lumps of egg white visible. The more you fold, the more volume you lose, so don’t be tempted to do an extra couple of turns to make sure.