Functions of Eggs in Recipes EMULSIFIER An emulsion
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Functions of Eggs in Recipes
EMULSIFIER An “emulsion” is a mixture that forms when liquids are combined that do not normally mix. For example, take oil and vinegar salad dressing. The vinegar and seasonings sink to the bottom and the oil floats to the top. BUT add an egg yolk in the correct manner and the two will combine to form a permanent emulsion.
Food items that use the egg as an emulsifier include: Mayonnaise - ingredients include egg yolk, vinegar, lemon juice, oil, and seasonings. The lemon juice & vinegar typically separate from the oil, but add eggs (the EMULSIFIER) and they permanently combine. Hollandaise Sauce (in Eggs Benedict) – the ingredients are very similar to mayonnaise with the exception of butter for the oil, and no vinegar. The egg yolks slowly cook while being whipped, preventing separation of the sauce.
Gordon Ramsay makes Mayonaisse
LEAVENING AGENT By vigorously beating egg whites and you add air to create an egg foam. This egg foam acts as a leavening agent to help the product rise, and the protein in the egg white helps it hold its structure.
Food items that use the egg as an leavening agent (foam)include: Angel Food Cake- the main ingredient is egg whites (12 of them) which are beaten with cream of tartar to stabilize the foam, and later sugar. Flour is folded in to the egg foam and baked. The proteins coagulate to hold the structure, but the air is also suspended in the foam to assist in the rising of the product. Meringue – very similar to angel food cake, however there is no flour, just egg white, cream of tartar (or other acid) and sugar. This is baked for either a soft meringue as in pie topping or a stiff meringue shell as in pavlovas.
How to Whip Egg Whites
THICKENER Heat causes egg proteins to coagulate. Because of this they act as good thickeners. Examples: Hollandaise sauce, custards, lemon curd. ** Stirring constantly is to prevent lumps. necessary
Alton Brown demonstrates Lemon Curd
BINDING AGENT Eggs act as a binding agent that hold ingredients together. An example of this is meatloaf. The egg protein coagulates during the cooking and keeps the meat, bread crumbs, and onions together in a loaf.
Easy meatloaf recipe Ingredients The when the egg in this recipe 1 1/2 pounds ground beef cooks, its proteins bind with the 1 egg onion, bread crumbs, and meat and 1 onion, chopped helps to form the loaf. 1 cup milk 1 cup dried bread crumbs salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons prepared mustard 1/3 cup ketchup Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a large bowl, combine the beef, egg, onion, milk and bread OR cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5 x 9 inch loaf pan, OR form into a loaf and place in a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour.
INTERFERING AGENT New York style ice cream includes eggs in the recipe. Eggs act as an interfering agent in frozen desserts by preventing the formation of large ice crystals and keep ice creamy.
STRUCTURE The coagulation of the egg protein helps hold the structure in baked products such as muffins, creampuffs, and cakes.
NUTRIENT ADDITIVE Eggs are high in protein, cholesterol, and certain vitamins and minerals. They can stand alone as a main dish in things like omelets or soufflés. They also provide protein to desserts such as custards.
RICHNESS, TENDERNESS, FLAVOR & COLOR Eggs add important flavor to dishes, especially egg-rich ones like custard & cream puff shells. The fat in eggs add a “richness” to baked goods making them flavorful and tender. The orange yolks give a yellow color to yellow cakes, vanilla pudding, and many other light colored foods that include eggs.
In Summary: Ø Ø Ø Ø Eggs are an important ingredient in a variety of recipes. They act as an emulsifier to combine oils with other liquid ingredients they would not normally combine with. Whipping them adds air and structure to our light, fluffy cakes. Cooking the yolks with milk thickens our puddings, custards and other creamy desserts. Adding eggs to our ice cream interferes with ice crystal formation to improve the texture. The proteins in eggs bind with other ingredients to hold the structure of a recipe together. They add flavor, color, tenderness, and richness to a huge variety of things we eat every day. And finally, eggs are nutritious and provide and inexpensive source of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals.