Eggs are very important for us bakers. They help us make baked goods fluffy, creamy and also they help us to make things thicker and more firm. In order to achieve all those qualities we need to know how eggs are built and how to handle them. This is what I will teach you in this post. After learning this you will be able to bake better cakes than you ever thought possible.
So, let´s dive in…
First of all, this is how the egg is built:
Now, one thing that is fairly important is that the egg shell is made of a porous, air-permeable calcareous shell. It surrounds the (for us pastry bakers important) eggwhite and egg yolk.
Interesting facts about eggwhite:
The eggwhite consists of two things:
- Albumin – which is the runny part of the eggwhite.
- Globulin – which is the thick part of the eggwhite. In combination with salt it looses its thickness and becomes more and more runny, too.
The influence of eggwhite on cakes and creams:
Whipping ability: Because eggwhite has a high gas retention capacity it can keep the air you whip into it. This results in a foam formation which can be imroved by adding lemon acid or salt.
Volume: Because of the before mentioned gas retention egg white can increase in volume and also increse the volume of creams or baked goods. It is also responsible for fluffyness of creams.
Dryness of baked goods: The more egg white you add to your recipe the dryer it will get.
Interesting facts about eggyolks:
Whipping ability: Because of the high fat content of eggyolks it is not possible to whip them until they increase in volume. But the fat helps to make the taste of your baked goods more intense.
Coloring: Eggyolk has a beautiful organge color which adds a nice color to the baked goods and also help them get a nice brown color when they´re baked.
Freshness: Eggyolks contain a lot of fat which helps to keep the baked goods moist and fresh for a long time.
How to tell if the eggs are still fresh:
Shaking – if you shake the egg and you can´t hear anything that indicates that the egg is fresh. If you hear a sort of sloshing sound you better not eat the egg.
Smelling – Fresh eggs don´t smell, if they start to go bad they smell more and more like poop.
Floating – Put the egg into a bowl of water. Fresh eggs stay on the ground. Older eggs stick the blunt end up. * This happens because the air cell inside the egg gets bigger as the egg gets older. So, the bigger the air cell the more the egg will stand up in the bowl full of water, hence the older is the egg.
Seperation – The fresher the eggs are the harder it is to seperate the eggwhite from the eggyolk.
Opening the egg – The fresher the egg the thicker is the eggwhite and the eggyolk is very round. If the eggs are old the eggwhite will be very runny and the eggyolk is rather flat.