Kitchen chalkboard: a quick 101 on eggs
Eggs in baking
Eggs play an important role in the world of baking and if you’ve ever whipped up egg whites, you’ll appreciate that a drop or two of acidic lemon adds some much appreciated structure. If you don’t have a rockstar mixer, like a KitchenAid, your biceps will thank you on this front.
Room temperature eggs are usually best in baking. It helps both egg whites and yolks to integrate more easily into the batter, giving you a smoother finish. You may not notice the effect if the recipe only calls for one egg, but in egg rich cakes, you’ll have a lighter, fluffier end result over the denser result made with cold eggs.
Eggs in cooking
Ever had to make a Niçoise salad or some deliciously devilled eggs, but found yourself cursing egg shells midway through? Adding half a teaspoon of bicarb or baking soda to the pot of water while boiling the eggs will increase the pH of the egg whites (generally higher in fresh eggs), thereby weakening the albumen lining that connects it to the shell, making them super easy to peel. Nifty, no? You could also plan to boil only older eggs, as they have a lower pH anyway, making peeling easier.
If you’ve ever doubted whether your eggs are good to cook with or if they’ve potentially been rolling around in the egg tray for too long, just pop ’em into a glass or bowl of water. If they sink straight to the bottom, they’re as fresh as can be. If they sink but stand upright, they’re still fine but you better use them fast. If those suckers float, we suggest you dispose of it post-haste, as that egg won’t be smelling too pleasant once the shell breaks.
We hope these tips are everything they’re chalked up to be, and come in handy when next you’re pondering all things egg.