Chef Sara Moulton Answers Your Cooking Questions

PHOTO: Decorating a cake

Celebrated author and TV chef Sara Moulton is the food editor at "Good Morning America."

You've written to her with questions about what you'd like to learn in the kitchen, and she has responded.

Sara Moulton Answers Your Questions

Amanda Bennethum: Hi Sara, I have a question regarding cake frosting. I was wondering when a frosting recipe calls for milk, can the frosting stay out at room temperature or should it be refrigerated? When I use my frosting recipe that includes milk in the ingredients I always refrigerate my cake. I was wondering if my cake can stay out at room temperature for any length of time with the milk in the frosting. I am twenty five years old and enjoy baking; however, I do not want to make anyone sick. Thank you so much for your help, Amanda Bennethum.

Sara's Answer:


I reached out to my trusted source, the King Arthur Flour hotline and Jonathan got back to me with this answer (I asked about butter creams too):

"I conferred with another baker and we would really only keep a frosting that contained milk out of the refrigerator for maybe an hour or two at a time as there is still a chance for spoilage. However, an Italian or Swiss butter cream can hold for a longer period of time out of the refrigerator, up to 4 hours. There are some bakers that will keep butter cream out for a longer period of time, but butter can go rancid even in such a high sugar environment, so this practice is a bit controversial.

I tend to keep my cakes refrigerated until 1-2 hours before it will be served. At this point I take it out and allow the butter cream to soften at room temperature; works like a charm."

Marie Murphy: I need a new way to cook chicken breasts. This week we had oven fried chicken, chicken and dumplings. I am at a loss. Please help.

Sara's Answer:


Here are three different chicken treatments, one with chicken breast, one with chicken thighs and one with chicken breasts with the skin on. There is more versatility if you don't just stick to boneless skinless chicken breasts. I am sure you could adapt the second two to work with chicken breasts, just reduce the cooking time.

Chicken Saltimbocca with Artichoke Sauce

Chicken Cassoulet

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