Sunday, 26 December 2010

EGGS: Their value to baking!

EGGS can come from many different female birds/reptiles/fish. They are filled with protein and choline, thus classifing eggs as a "meat" in the Food Pyramid.
The most common egg is the chicken egg, which you use in baking. Read more to find out the importance of egg in the baking world!

-Shell :
Soft, fragile, and smooth! The color of the shell (be it white or brown) depends on the chicken. Make sure your egg shells are free from cracks or tears.
-Yolk: The yellow center. It should be round, firm, and bright orange-yellow color. The more rich the yolk color is, the better diet the chicken had!
-White: (also called Albumen) It's mainly focus is to protect the egg yolk while in the shell. It has very little protein, and many culinary uses.

Eggs have all essential amino acids for humans. They bring protein to vegeterian diets, along with Vitamin A, E, AND D. An egg is one of the few natural ingredients that contain Vitamin D. When consumed, eggs are very easy for your body to digest.
There is some debate about the medium-high cholesterol value in an egg due to the yolk. Medical professionals just want you to monitor your egg-intake closely.

BAKING VALUE:Eggs are the structure behind the baked good. Eggs are filled with protein, and protein "builds walls." They also add flavor, richness, and color to any baked good. Egg wash some cranberry-orange scones and they come out golden brown! Brioche depends on eggs to give it a nice glossy shine.
Egg yolks, along with eggs, can be used as a emulsifier and thickener. Think: hollandaise sauce, chocolate mousse, and lemon curd. All the protein makes your mixture thick and structured.
Egg whites are used to lighten food. Think: chocolate mousse (or any type of mousse), angel food cake, and lemon merigune. Just make sure your bowl and tools are clean when whipping egg whites. Any types of yolk or "dirt" with cause the egg whites not to whip properly.

Egg white coagulate between 144-149 degrees F. Egg yolks coagulate between 149-158 degrees F. When eggs get over cooked, they get dry, a bit green (due to the iron and sulfur), and firm. Thus, when baking any type of custard, make sure you do not over cook the mixture or it will look like scrambled eggs.

Overall, eggs give a nutrional value to our bodies and richness to foods. Cooking eggs is an art and takes time and practice to perfect. When cooking/baking with eggs, make sure your equipment is clean and spotless!

Happy Baking!

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