Pennsylvania's scrumptious Funnel Cakes
Every place has its own specialty in food items. It represents their culture, their tradition, their eating habits, the nature around them and many more. The food items differ from place to place. Many countries share same kind of food culture, but again their taste, their style of making those food items differs. It is because the culture flows from one place to another. But it is accepted with some changes.
If have to talk about cakes then it was firstly originated in European countries. Then it flowed from European countries to other parts of the world. As everybody knows cakes are very famous at every corner of the country. Only difference is this that they differ from each other in taste, design and presentation as each person put his own creativity and specialty in that. Similarly, you can find a large range of cakes in each country and at every place. German chocolate cakes are different from those of Spanish cakes and from Pennsylvania Funnel Cakes.
Let us talk about Pennsylvania's Dutch specialty and that is Funnel Cake. Cakes are one of the specialties of Pennsylvania because of the unique taste of the funnel cake. Basically these Funnel cakes are like pastries. Funnel cake is an Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch dessert made by frying unleavened, or non-rising, cake batter in hot grease. Funnel cakes are made by pouring batter through a funnel into hot oil in a circular pattern and deep frying it until they become crispy and brown in color. Don't be surprise to read that funnel cakes are served hot and you are suppose to have them when they are hot, of course see to it that it won't burn your tongue. The funnel cakes are often served with sugar and maple syrup.
Funnel cake is also spelled as Funnelcake. This Funnel cake is a local specialty of Pennsylvania Dutch region of the United States. The term funnel cake was firstly associated with Pennsylvania. These funnel cakes are immensely popular throughout United States at ballparks, fairs and festivals. Funnel cakes are also served with powdered sugar, jam, or other toppings.
There is an easy procedure involved in the making of Funnel cake. It is not that difficult task and can be made without any complexity with all the necessary materials. But during carnivals, fairs, Renaissance fairs, and seaside resorts they are one of the famous stall food items. When made at concession stands, a specially-made pitcher with an integral funnel-like spout is used instead of a separate funnel.
A number of funnel cake recipes exist for home use, most people only experience the funnel cake phenomenon at carnivals, state fairs and other outside events with concession stands. The basic batter can be purchased in bulk through concession supply stores, along with the shortening, funnel-shaped dispenser and fryer vat. Commercial funnel cake concession stands may also offer fruit toppings, whipped cream or self-serve honey and chocolate syrup dispensers.
The batter used to form a funnel cake does not contain baking soda or baking powder, which keeps it from rising as it cooks in the fryer. The end result is a slightly crispy cake with a distinctive donut-like texture. The remaining oil allows powdered sugar or other toppings to adhere to the surface of the cake, but eating a funnel cake can be a messy experience. Many seasoned funnel cake enthusiasts use a knife and fork to cut the treat into more manageable pieces.
Many people say that the funnel cake resembles the food items like fried dough or "elephant ears". But dough products are prepared with a risen yeast dough and funnel cakes are made with an unleavened batter. Interesting fact to note is that they both are quite similar in taste.
In Austria, there is one food item which is quite similar to funnel cake. This food item is called as Strauben" which is one of the traditional food of Austria. It is made and served as the funnel cakes are served, hot and crispy. The Finish analog of funnel cakes, Tippaleipa, is traditionally served at May Day on Vappu celebrations. Even Indians have a similar dish like funnel cake. In India they are called as Jalebi.
Funnel cake can be made very easily. All you need is flour, baking powder, egg, milk, sugar, salt, and other items of your choice for toppings. You can have powdered sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, warmed apple or other fruit filling, ice cream, whipped cream, and syrups for your toppings. To make a funnel cake firstly you need to merge together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl with wire whisk. After that you take another bowl and beat egg and milk. After that add sugar in the egg-milk mixture and stir to dissolve. Use an electric mixture make a smooth powder of dry ingredients. Then take a a deep fryer or a skillet heat at least 1 inch of oil to 375 degrees F. in the fryer. To form each funnel cake, place one finger over hole in bottom of funnel. Then cautiously fill funnel with batter. Then allow the batter to go into the hot oil and don't forget to create a hole in the batter with your finger, before you put it in the oil. Then try and make circular or other shapes with batter. Let it cook for one minute or so. Then remove it from the oil and drain it on paper towels. Then for toppings you can sprinkle sugar, powdered jam, and many more items to make it more tasty and serve it warm and not so hot that it will burn the tongue.
In recent years, several specialty stores have begun offering funnel cake franchises as a means of fund raising or providing secondary income. These companies offer interested groups and individuals all of the start-up equipment and specialized batter mixes to start their own funnel cake stands at local public shows and events. Because the cost of the batter, shortening and other ingredients is relatively low, a funnel cake vendor can quickly earn a profit after only a few sales. The name recognition of funnel cake alone can drive traffic to the concession stands offering it. Selling funnel cakes as a fund raising effort has become popular among many charitable and non-profit groups.