A chilly greeting to you all today!
During these cold Winter months we women tend to bake up a modest amount of deserts for our family, and enjoy many an hour practicing the wonderful art of baking. Every once in a while our creations (such as a rich Double Chocolate Fudge Cake) need a quite few structure building proteins coming from a dairy-family-member, eggs. And sometimes these eggs (particularly the whites) do not always whip up properly, and a little bit of un-whipped egg can get left in the bottom of the bowl. Yikes! What to do?
I learned just recently, that whole eggs contain 76% moisture, 12% protein, 10% fats and emulsifiers (which are bonders for water and oil), and 2% sugars and ash. Egg whites contain 10% protein 88% water, and egg yolks contain 17% protein and the 10% fats. Now I only typed out all of the %(s) for the people who, like me, love every little fact they can get their brains on. The biggest thing I would like to point out is how much egg protein is in both egg whites and yolks. This protein is the the most helpful characteristic in eggs when used in baking (other than their lovely rich dairy flavor), for the reason that protein is a structure builder and aerator in baked goods.
Back to Whipping eggs… Because egg whites are packed full of protein and water they are easily whipped and hold thousands of tiny air bubbles which can produce quite a bit of volume in cakes and many meringues.
But why is it that sometimes egg whites don’t fully whip up?
Well, if you have noticed when handling eggs, the whites have two thicknesses, and it is the thicker portion that is key in helping get all of the whites whipped. You see, as an egg ages, the thicker portion of the white begins to thin, and thus as it thins, the white loses its stability to hold up when whipped, or even, not whip up all the way.
Here is a helpful hint: when you are desiring to bake a cake that is supported mostly by the whipped egg whites called for in the recipe, such as in angel food cake, be sure to buy grade AA eggs. These are the freshest eggs you can find at the supermarket and are only a few days old, and all other grades (A or B) can be a week or two old. I suppose if you have laying hens you have really fresh eggs!
Hope this helps all of you home bakers!
Good bye for now!
Jessica (the eldest singer and sister)